Introducing Naviti & Around
One of the largest (33 sq km) and highest (up to 380m high) islands of the group, Naviti has a rugged volcanic profile. Along with the two smaller islands of Nanuya Balavu and Drawaqa at the southern end, three very different and equally inviting resorts welcome travellers.
The islands’ main attraction is an amazing snorkelling site where you can swim with mantarays. The best time to see the giant rays is between June and August, although they may be spotted as early as May and as late as September, cruising the channel near Mantaray Resort. All the resorts in the area offer snorkelling trips to the rays for around $35 per person plus snorkel hire, with spotters heading out in the mornings ahead of the tours to check where the animals are. Once the rays are spotted, everyone dives overboard and it will be up to you to keep up with the rays. If they are swimming against the current you’ll have to kick like an Energizer bunny to stay anywhere near them. It can be a bit of a free-for-all – watch for the flipper in the face. Those able to free dive the seven-or-so metres down to the rays may have a really close encounter, with ‘look, don’t touch’ as the guiding principle.
Awesome Adventures Fiji offers day trips to Naviti that include return transport, lunch and three hours at Botaira Beach Resort (adult/child $103/57).