Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Scuba dive in Fiji with Matava

Nature Comes Naturally At Matava

Scuba dive in Fiji with Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway

5 Star Rating

Visit Date: 24th November 2007

Our dive trip to Matava Eco-Resort exceeded our expectations. We felt like we were living in harmony with nature in our private bure while still having modern conveniences. The beauty of the island flora and fauna and the Astrolabe Reef was what we came for and we were not disappointed. We book 2-3 dive trips a year and our reason for choosing Kadavu was because of Astrolabe Reefs reputation for diversity and Manta Rays. We booked Matava based on trip advisor reviews, good value for the money, and the likelihood that we’d get to dive with Manta Rays (they take their boats to Manta Reef 1-2 times/week and see Manta’s about 80% of the time).

Getting There. All of our gear transferred without a hitch on flights arriving from Nadi and returning to Suva . Our baggage was overweight so we owed about $20 FJ in fees. There are few roads on Kadavu and the only way to Matava is by boat and they pick you up. It was a pretty day both coming and going so we enjoyed the ride.

Diving. Our first day of diving, we went to Manta Reef and within 5 minutes we were viewing the majestic beauty of graceful gliding and feeding Manta Rays. Never to be forgotten was the mother/baby pair that performed a barrel roll at the surface! We hung below the reef and watched several different Mantas feeding overhead. Other days of diving we spent completing our PADI Advanced Open Water Certification which we needed to be dive volunteers at our local aquarium. Our Dive Instructor, Simon Parry, was both fun and on task! He picked the dive sites where we could complete our required skills but also made sure there was plenty of reef life to view along the way. There were 3 dive masters at Matava (Simon, Joe and Tae) who knew the reefs well and would help you find what you were looking for. Our Fiji underwater photos are located at [--]. We did two days of diving Viti Levu which included the shark feeding dive at Beqa Adventure Divers (Pacific Harbor, Beqa Lagoon) so many of the shark pictures were taken there.

Flora and Fauna and Other Activities: When we weren’t diving, we enjoyed the incredible views of the ocean and neighboring little island from our bure deck. There were sea kayaks which you could use to investigate the beaches of neighboring islands and coves. We spent most of our time being entertained by the various sightings, calls and songs of the birds that live and feed at Matava. Our bird photos are located at [--]

Meals. All meals were served at set times (announced by lali drumming) on the main bure covered deck with a beautiful ocean view. Although meal times are set, they are happy to work with your special circumstances. A couple days we were not back from diving at lunchtime so they just served our lunch when we returned. The breakfasts were mainly cereal or granola, toast and fresh fruit plates with an occasional special add on to make it interesting. Dinners were the best meal of the day. Usually some type of fresh fish.

Scuba dive in Fiji with Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway

Guests: The resort guests greatly added to the experience with nightly chats over dinner and drinks. How lucky we were to have been there at the same time as professional underwater photographer Terry Arpino and his son, Alex (uwpgallery.com), Fiji Reef Check National Coordinator Helen Sykes and her partner, Stuart Gow (resortsupportfiji.com) and Tania de Hoon and her husband Jimmy. Tania used to own Aquaventure Dive Resort on Tavenui and is now Operations Manager for the Fiji Adventure Cruise Tui Tai. On the last night of our stay, we also enjoyed the company of Bill Goodwin, author of Frommer’s South Pacific Guidebook.

We enjoyed sharing dinner and conversation with the owners (Richard, Jeanie and Adrian). Adrian’s passion is fishing and he is the Captain of Matava’s game fishing boat, Bite Me, which has 21 Fiji National Records.

Ratings are based on 1 (Dissatisfied) to 5 (Totally Satisfied)
The staff was attentive and informative 5 Star Rating
My personal gear was washed and stored away 5 Star Rating
The quality of the dive trip 5 Star Rating
Attention to safety & environment 5 Star Rating
Condition of the dive boats 5 Star Rating
Dive briefing 5 Star Rating
Dive Leader 5 Star Rating
Value for money 5 Star Rating

Scuba dive in Fiji with Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway