Fiji Scuba PADI Open Water & Ridge-Reef Island Discovery.

What is the minimum stay? 2 weeks 

Where exactly is it? Taveuni, Fiji!

What exactly will I be doing? PADI Open Water Certificate for five days. Eco adventures with volunteering on applied coral reef and forest-based community projects.

It is locally driven so villages benefit from the community development initiatives and local business benefits from the tourists we bring to these remote islands. The holidays are environmentally friendly so the reef and forest also benefit from our dedicated staff and wonderful volunteers. 

We work alongside Fijian communities to share skills and carry out sustainable environmental and community based projects with sensitivity to local values and tradition.

Projects include: Building Fish Houses (Habitat Reclamation), Coral Gardening, Mangrove Planting and Reforestation, Invasive Species removal (coral).

10% of proceeds are given to one of three community projects of your choice and 100% of our dedication and effort will ensure you have an experience of a lifetime.

Designed to give you the chance to give back a little while on holiday in paradise. 

We believe we can help conserve the local environment and provide a steady income for local tourism businesses while inspiring people to make a positive difference throughout their lives by introducing them to volunteering in the rich Fijian culture.

Island Spirit promotes a virtuous circle whereby it appeals to ecologically and socially conscious individuals and groups. 

Our mission is to work alongside our partner organisations, local and international experts to support local businesses and communities in marine awareness, sustainable development initiatives and resource management for the good of island ecosystems and the future generations of Fiji.

 

Pre-Apply Now

What to Expect?

During your stay, your time will be split between applied volunteering, exciting adventures and a rare chance to live in a local village where your host family will teach you to cook local style and give you insight into local culture.

Group sizes are small, with a maximum of 8, which provides a comfortable setting and enjoyable experience (you can learn a lot more!)

Starting dates

29 Feb 2016
14 Mar 2016
28 Mar 2016
11 Apr 2016
25 Apr 2016
09 May 2016
23 May 2016
06 Jun 2016
20 Jun 2016
04 Jul 2016
18 Jul 2016
 

When can I apply?

It is recommended travelers apply as soon as possible to secure their spot!

Quick Itinerary

  • Eight nights under palms trees in a local bure
  • Five days of diving in the Soft Coral Capital of the World, the Rainbow Reef for your PADI Open Water Course.
  • Four nights in a village homestay learning to live like a village tribe member
  • Four days of local ridge-reef volunteering activities including, mangrove planting, building fish houses, coral gardening and crown of thorns clearance.
  • Half day walk in a National Park along the coastline featured in Blue Lagoon 2. Includes one hour sea kayak to a unique waterfall with local guide, Simone.
  • A rainforest trek to a fortified village while bird watching for endemic species and learning how to survive in the forest with local guide Tony, Silio or Mac.
  • Two nights on the ferry to and from Taveuni

Detailed Itinerary

Monday, Day 1

  • A taxi will take you to the bus stand where you will jump on and relax while taking in the stunning coastal views for the next 3.5 hours. Our chaperone will collect you off the bus and whisk you off to to buy some food for the ferry and if there is time to see some sites around Suva.

Tuesday, Day 2

  • After seeing the stunning island of Taveuni from North to South on your journey by boat you will land at around 2pm. Our host will collect you from the wharf and take you to their secluded retreat high in the interior. Its only about 30 minutes or so away. Enjoy your first tropical island nights sleep, it will be deep and refreshing.

Wednesday, Day 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7

  • Our amazing partner Dive Operation with take you by the hand and show you the wonders of the stunning local coral reefs. By day you'll explore the 'Soft Coral Capital of the World' and by night you'll spend a few hours studying the all important PADI Open Water theory book. After five days you will walk away with a certificate which is recognised throughout the world and a huge sense of achievement as well as smile!

Thursday, Day 8, 9, 10 & 11

  • You will stay in a tribal village where you will be welcomed like a VIP guest! Your family will eat with you and look after you like their own, they truly love to host. During this time you can take part in local ridge-reef volunteering activities including, mangrove planting, building fish houses, coral gardening and crown of thorns clearance.

Friday, Day 12

  • You’ll get right into the heart of it on this ¾ day sea kayaking and walking trip deep into the National Park where you’ll visit tumbling waterfalls before returning by foot along a famous coastal path filmed in Blue Lagoon 2.

Saturday Day 13

  • Today you will taxi a taxi to go on a full day forest survival hike into the heart of the forest past ancient fortified villages and ending at a beautiful waterfall. You’ll learn traditional hunting practices still used by the locals, spot the endemic Orange Dove and listen out for the Barking Pigeon, you’ll hear stories passed down from ancestors and delve into Fiji’s history.

Sunday, Day 14

  • You will travel to the wharf via the natural waterslide and International Date Line. You will leave at 4pm on local overnight ferry. You will arrive back into Suva early on Monday morning.

Does this suit me?

  • Eco-conscious, travelling divers who are interested in learning about local island life as well as meet and (if you want) live with local islanders. The escape is designed for divers who are interested in authentic Fjii.

Food Summary

  • Some western dishes, local dishes made by locals, with some organic, fusion dishes incorporating all cuisines.
  • Note: Please bring your own reusable water bottle or purification tablets if you don’t want to drink boiled water.

Activities

  • Diving in the Soft Coral Capital of the World, the Rainbow Reef for your PADI Open Water Course.
  • A village homestay learning to live like a village tribe member.
  • Local ridge-reef volunteering activities including, mangrove planting, building fish houses, coral gardening and crown of thorns clearance.
  • Half day walk in a National Park along the coastline featured in Blue Lagoon 2. Includes one hour sea kayak to a unique waterfall with local guide, Simone.
  • A rainforest trek to a fortified village while bird watching for endemic species and learning how to survive in the forest with local guide Tony, Silio or Mac.
  • Island massage.
  • Slide down a Natural water slide.
  • International dateline.

Includes

  • Discover Scuba course or two tank dive on the ‘Soft Coral Capital of the World’ - Rainbow Reef
  • A one hour island massage
  • ¾ day history and forest survival trek into the National Park rainforest
  • Village Sevusevu ceremony and all activities
  • Four nights village homestay in a small traditional village
  • Meals for 12 days
  • All accommodation including village homestay and cozy local lodge
  • Transfers and island transportation
  • Local orientation and introduction to island history and Marine Protected Areas (MPA)
  • 24 hour in-country support
  • Pre-departure support and information

Excludes

  • Snacks and water
  • Return journey on the ferry at $115 in first class each way
  • Optional extra activities such as bird watching, sailing, Stand Up Paddle boarding

Optional Activities

  • Sunset paddle boarding
  • Coconut oil making
  • Cooking
  • Farming
  • Snorkeling in the ‘Soft Coral Capital of the World’, the Rainbow Reef
  • Snorkeling at a locally run Marine Protected Area

Requirements

  • All volunteers must have a sense of adventure and willingness to connect with nature and engage with local communities. You will enjoy the volunteering more if you can snorkel (including shallow snorkel diving).

Tasks as a volunteer

As a volunteer you will take part in the community initiated projects listed below. These projects are often made quite fun by the friendly locals who really value your participation and dedication to making a difference to their lives. You will have ample opportunity to make a whole community of friends through this informal cultural immersion setting, from singing and plenty of laughter, to great food and the traditional drink of the islands; root kava.

  • Building fish houses
  • Coral gardening
  • Crown-of-thorns clearance
  • Mangrove planting as well as forestry projects

Accommodation

  • Eight nights under palms trees in a local bure
  • Four nights in a village homestay learning to live like a village tribe member
  • Two nights on the ferry to and from Taveuni

Is a Village homestay for me?

  • This experience isn’t for the faint hearted but every single person who has done it has told me they had an amazing experience. It’s a rare change to let go of your normal routine and luxuries and to indulge in the simple yet fulfilling life of a typical island villager. We work with two villages who all love to host, we are personally friends with them all, it’s a very special experience of a life time.

Transfers from/to Nadi airport

  • From experience, it is easier for you to pay cash for this part of the journey as it allows some flexibility incase something happens holds you up in Nadi. Its very easy and cheap to get to Suva from Nadi - $FJD20 per person for a 3.5 hour bus journey along the stunning south coast of Viti Levu.

Helpful information

  • We tailor this trip by changing three elements according to your preferences, just contact us for more information. 
  • Dorm accommodation available please contact us for more information.
  • Please bring your own reusable water bottle or purification tablets if you don’t want to drink boiled water. 
  • Details of your resort/lodge names and full itinerary will be sent to you once your booking is confirmed with 20% deposit.
  • We advise arriving on Saturday or Sunday to acclimatize before the trip starts on Monday

Food

  • Please budget for your own bottled water ($FJD3 each) if you don’t want to drink boiled water. We recommend two per day, you can buy it together with snacks at the local town before you go to your village.
  • Village breakfasts include lemon leaf tea, flour-based buns, banana and porridge.
  • Adventure breakfasts on the move consist of museli with fruit and tea or coffee
  • Village lunches will be similar to dinners and will consist of a variety of dishes made from locally grown cassava, dalo (both root crops), fish and local spinaches. Lots of food is cooked in lolo, coconut milk.
  • Adventure lunches on the move are a choice of roti (curry wrapped in a savory pancake - very filling!) or tuna or cheese and pickle sandwiches or soup with bread.(food requests other than vegetarianism can not be catered for)
  • Village dinners are similar to the lunches
  • Adventure dinners on the move will be either vegetable curry and rice, thai curry with rice, risotto or Italian style tomato and mushroom pasta.

 

Thank You for Going Green in Fiji

Our little way of saying thank you for helping us preserve these stunning waters and pristine lands is to send you a hand-woven Fijian voivoi door mat to your home. It is more than likely you will meet the women who made it and even if not, you will leave knowing that you not only gave 10% of your trip cost back to local projects but also provided direct income to local women who are continuing their traditional skills.

 
  • Program ID: # 2312
  • duration:
    1 to 2 Weeks
  • location:
    Taveuni, Fiji Suva
    Fiji
    16° 42' 54.4464" S, 179° 52' 44.94" W
    FJ
  • Fitness level:
    Moderately Fit
    Very Fit
  • Closest Airport:
    Nadi (NAN)
  • Costs From:
    $1500 to $3000
  • Program Type:
    Environmental & Wildlife Programs
    Learn Abroad
  • Click Here for More Info

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