View Full Version : Fiji Trip Report ~ Mai Dive on Ono Island

07-05-2009, 23:26
We recently returned from a 9 nite trip to Ono Island, the small island north of Kadavu. We stayed and dived with Mai Dive which is owned and operated by Jason & his wife Danielle.

Mai Dive is about 5 minutes from the Astrolabe Reef and the diving was terrific. We spent a lot of time on a wide variety of diving, including inside and outside the Astrolabe and were impressed with the critter sightings....sea snake, pipehorses, lots of sharks, clownfish in several differently colored brilliant anemones, eagle rays, blue spotted rays, potato cod, sweetlips, BIG morays and BIG mantas plus the entire cast of Pacific tropicals and hard/soft corals. Jason works hard at providing the optimal diving experience for each diver and we found him and his DMs to be safety conscious but not overbearing. Jason grew up diving these waters and he and his crew know them like the back of their hand. One day there were 7 divers in our boat but most of the trip it was just the two of us, sometime there were two or three others. His rental gear was well-maintained and practically new and his boats were fast. We've done quite a bit of private boat diving and Mai Dive has the most capable and knowledgeable captains we've encountered.

We had an intimate spacious bungalow at the end of the beach with our own big deck only feet from the beach, and we appreciated the comfortable beds and an outside hot shower for after dives. The food was delicious and varied, and the ladies doing the cooking have a great handle on baked goods! We enjoyed menus featuring produce from their large organic garden for our meals and snacks.

The resort is located on the east side of Ono and the entire time we were there we never saw another dive boat. It was like having the resort and the island to ourselves, and the entire staff went out of their way to make us feel at home, quickly granting any request made. Our evening spent in the village which the boat captains and some of the resort staff lived in was very likely the most "authentic" Fijian experience to be had in the islands.

A highlight of our stay was the time we spent with 5-7 mantas just a short boatride from Mai Dive. I filled up a 2g card with very close encounters from several angles as the big guys just noted our presence, and then went on about their feeding and circling over a cleaning station.....it alone was worth the trip!

I would like to thank all the folks on this board for their good insights and helpful PMs. The Fiji dollar has been devalued and Air Pacific has some great fares from LAX so it was less than the cost of some trips we've made to the Caribbean from Texas.

Mai Dive is a small, undiscovered "special place" in the Pacific and we intend to return as soon as possible.

Mai Dive - Undiscovered Fiji Island Holiday €“ Fantastic Diving €“ Small Eco Resort - Ono Island Kadavu €“ Astrolabe Reef - Home (http://www.maidive.com)

07-06-2009, 15:58
Thanks for the trip report on Mai Dive. We've heard good things previously and would possibly like to plan a trip there next year. Sending PM.

07-06-2009, 22:48
Thanks the report...not fimiliar with Ono Island but sounds worthwhile if I do a Fiji trip.

Just a bit more information.....Did the resort have Hot water? AC? What were the water temps? Weather? Calm waters? and where did you fly into?

07-07-2009, 23:04
Thanks for that great report mrm777. Mai Dive sounds like an ideal spot. Thanks for adding that link. I'll be checking that one out for a future trip.

07-08-2009, 00:42
Read an article on the web today stating that Continental Micronesia plans to fly HI or Guam to Fiji (Nadi?) by December. That may bring airfare down even further.

Fiji is a good buy right now. By flying Air Pacific and their partners, Pacific Sun, our ticket costs were very reasonable. The boat transfers to/from Ono were included in the resort costs.

07-08-2009, 00:57
Thanks the report...not fimiliar with Ono Island but sounds worthwhile if I do a Fiji trip.

Just a bit more information.....Did the resort have Hot water? AC? What were the water temps? Weather? Calm waters? and where did you fly into?

Yes, private exterior hot water showers, water temps were about 77, weather was cool for our stay: partly cloudy or overcast with one stormy day, one full sun day, waters in lagoon choppy, waters outside lagoon Astrolabe reef had good sized swells most of the time.

We flew into Nadi, arrived early am, showered and took a nap at a nice Raffles Gateway room just across from airport where we got a dayroom. Then flew Pacific Sun to Kadavu where we were met by resort boat for ride to resort.

This is a new small resort, only serves about 12 guests and has been in business for 1 1/2 or 2 years as best we could tell. Has an organic garden and a great house reef. No AC in our bungalow, only a fan, but the weather in June is cool. Dove in 3mm, buddy dove in dive shorts and hooded 3mm vest.

We picked it because of pm's to past guests, Trip Advisor reviews, and also because of the fact it is the northernmost resort on the renown Astrolabe Reef and there were no other dive ops on Ono Island. We're not party types and travel to dive.

Fiji Climate - Fiji Vacations, Honeymoons and Vacation Packages (http://www.fiji-vacations-resorts.com/fiji-climate.htm)

Shark girl
07-08-2009, 01:48
I had an amazing trip with them last year, as they were opening. Stunning diving, a great op, and amazing hospitality. I hope to get back there some day soon!

07-08-2009, 07:46
Thanks mrm777 for the info.....I've got to get to Fiji but it looks like November, late March or April to be the best for warm waters and calm seas....Just I head to Palau in March and been doing Indonesia in November for the last few years.....something will have to give!...thanks again for the info.

07-08-2009, 14:35
Yep....we're wanting to head back in November.
Hopefully Palau next year.

08-30-2009, 17:37
Well I was impressed with your trip report....Booked Mai Dive for 8 nights and 7 days diving in April...Then head to Wananavu for 8 nights and 7 dive days....hope to get up to the Bligh waters.....did you also post a report on Undercurrent?