On the southwest side of Vanua Levu Island in Savusavu Bay, there is good snorkeling off the family-friendly Jean-Michael Cousteau Resort. The best snorkeling spot in Savusavu is called Split Rock and is located right off the resort beach near the old pier. The Split Rock snorkel dive is marked by pearl buoys about 150m offshore where you’ll find a large coral head with purple gorgonian fans, green fern corals and pale yellow soft corals. The water is about 10m deep, but the top of the coral comes with a meter of the surface. You may encounter clownfish, damselfish, sergeant majors, parrotfish and giant tridacna clams. Known for an obvious split down one side of the coral head, keep an eye out for a the aggressive clownfish guarding the large anemone. The onsite marine biologist at Jean-Michael Cousteau Resort can be a big help.
There are several other snorkeling dive spots near Savusavu including Golden Nuggets, Lesciaceva Lagoon, The Lighthouse, Coral Gardens, Koro Sun Resort and Namena Island. The Golden Nuggets snorkel site has picturesque coral heads with abundant reef fish and white-tipped reef sharks. It is located about 700m past the tip of the peninsula point and has two pinnacles providing habitat to moorish idols, sapphire damselfish and bluejewel damselfish along with an occasional white-tipped reef shark. The water at this boat-accessed spot is about 22m deep, but the tip of the pinnacles comes within 3m of the surface. The Lesciaceva Lagoon is located just inside the barrier reef in the bay and has starfish, stingrays, seaslugs and big trevally in very clear water. At this boat-accessed snorkel site, the water is about 2m deep. The Lighthouse snorkel site is out at the tip of the point near the bay entrance and is typically accessed by boat from the Cousteau Resort. You’ll find sea turtles, reef fish, maori wrasse and soft spaghetti coral along with plate corals. The Coral Gardens is located near Split Rock but closer to the reef wall, and at high tide, it has quantities of reef fish amongst the coral like in an aquarium. The Koro Sun Resort has several popular snorkeling spots including Purple Garden, the Pyramids and the Dream House. The remote Namena Island reef is accessible by boat once a week from Koro Sun Divers.
To reach the Vanua Levu Island snorkeling, you'll need to fly into the only international airport in Fiji, Nadi International Airport (NAN), which is served by Fiji Airways, Qantas, and Air New Zealand. Many of the flights arrive very late at night, so plan accordingly. When arriving in Fiji from the US, keep in mind that most flights arrive very early in the morning and Fiji is just across the international date line, so you’ll effectively land two days after departing the US. On Vanua Levu Island, there are two airports served by Fiji Airways including Labasa Airport from Nadi and Savusavu Airport from Suva. In addition to air service, Vanua Levu Island is connected to Taveuni Island by a twice daily ferry out of Natuvu.
TIP: The Fijian cyclone/typhoon rainy season starts in November and ends in late March. There have been periodic cyclones that have caused damage to both the reefs and to the resorts, including those in 2012 and 2016. It may be worth contacting a local dive shop or resort about cyclone impacts before booking. The best Fiji snorkeling is typically from May through October during the dry winter season, but be aware that the water becomes cooler as the winter season progresses.
Overall, Vanua Levu Island is the 1st most popular snorkel dive spot of all 22 snorkeling dives in Fiji.