A beginner’s guide to snorkelling

Vanua Levu isn't just a tropical paradise above the waves. In the warm and clear waters surrounding our five star Fiji resort, guests can swim amongst lush coral gardens and multi-coloured fish while snorkelling in the soft coral capital of the world.

If you're new to snorkelling but don't want to miss out on the action, follow the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort beginner's guide and get ready for endless fun!

Stick with the experts

The Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort is famed for its incredible snorkelling and for being the only Fiji resort with a resident marine biologist – Johnny Singh. Johnny helps educate our guests on the stunning underwater paradise before taking them out for snorkelling trips. Whether you've been snorkelling a few times before or you're a complete beginner, Johnny will take the time to ensure that you are safe, comfortable and having fun at all times.

Practise your breathing

Before plunging into the water, familiarise yourself with your equipment. The snorkel is a tube-like apparatus that will allow you to breathe when your mouth and nose are submerged in water. Practise breathing calmly and slowly through the tube above water before going under. Once you feel comfortable, adopt these techniques in the shallows ahead of venturing deeper.

Don't touch coral or fish

In the Namena Reserve close to the best Fiji resort live more than 1,100 species of colourful fish and 400 varieties of coral. Here at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, we're passionate about maintaining this gorgeous underwater ecosystem so that everyone who visits can enjoy it for years to come. Help preserve this space by not touching any of the marine life you come across. Human contact can cause damage to aquatic life and even wipe out species, states Reef Relief.

Stay calm and slow down

Although it's easy to become excited by the unbelievable views below the Savusavu waters, it's important to take your time when snorkelling to avoid exhaustion. Stay at a steady pace when exploring and stick to your group and guide. This will prevent panic to yourself and the marine life you may come across. Such creatures may include clownfish, starfish and turtles – four of the world's seven turtle species reside here!

While enjoying your five star family holiday in Fiji at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, be sure to head out on a snorkelling adventure you'll never forget. 

Go green at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

Being the best Fiji resort is high on our agenda. Therefore, we take great pride in creating a luxury holiday experience that our guests will never forget.

Another element close to our hearts is sustainable tourism. We are proud to practise green methods across the resort and through our services. The World Travel Awards have even awarded the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort with Australasia's Leading Green Hotel award three consecutive years in a row!

Discover how you can partake in sustainable tourism while enjoying a luxury couples holiday in Fiji.

Learn how the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort helps preserve the coral.Learn how the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort helps preserve the coral. 

Green guest amenities

As a guest of the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, you'll stay in one of our bures – a Fijian thatched house – on the shores of Savusavu Bay. All of our luxury bures are designed with sustainability in mind and built from naturally harvested materials. The high roofs allow for maximum air circulation – eliminating the need for wasting resources on unnecessary air conditioning systems. 

From the non-phosphate cleaning products to the chemical-free spa lotions and ointments, you'll find nothing but natural, harm-free goods used throughout the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort.

Ocean initiatives making a difference

Our five star Fiji resort is located just a stone's throw away from the clear and clean Pacific Ocean. Jean-Michel Cousteau – the resort's founder and ocean environmentalist – has ensured that the resort places a firm focus on preserving this underwater paradise.

In 2013, through Johnny Singh's initiative, the resort founded a coral farm in a bid to restore the reef. So far, there are 87 fragments of live coral that are currently being nursed back to health after breaking away from their original colonies. This programme helps to grow the broken coral fragments into larger, healthier groups.

Get green fingers in our organic garden.Get green fingers in our organic garden.

Great for the environment and for our guests

Not only will guests leave the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort with happy memories, they'll also leave full after dining on plenty of delicious Fijian cuisine. All food served at meal times is sustainably sourced from the local area, if not from our own organic garden in the resort. Here we grow herbs, fruits and vegetables that you may try when experiencing a traditional Lovo feast – a cultural Fiji cooking method. 

The resort also features Fiji's first ever water reclamation plant. This low energy system puts treated wastewater to good use and reduces both the carbonaceous and nitrogenous demand around the resort. This water is then pumped to nearby ponds and wetlands.

We love being a sustainable resort in Fiji and we hope that our guests enjoy our eco-friendly services while staying with us! 

What wildlife will you find at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort?

Are you excited for your five star family holiday in Fiji? Of course you are! There's so much to see and do at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, including keeping an eye out for some of Vanua Levu's exotic wildlife.

What creatures will you find on your family holiday in Fiji?

Underwater creatures in the Namena Reserve 

The Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort is lucky enough to be a stone's throw away from some of the world's best diving and snorkelling spots. The Namena Reserve is approximately 70 square kilometres in size and within this vast space lives more than 1,100 species of fish and 400 corals.

At the resort, we have our resident marine biologist, Johnny Singh, who is happy to take groups out to explore these waters. Here you may swim with clownfish (Nemo!), red snapper, bottlenose dolphins and even turtles! The Namena Reserve is home to four of the world's seven species of turtles, including the green turtle. This species can live up to 80 years old and weigh up to 130 kilograms, according to National Geographic – making them one of the world's largest species of turtle.

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Exotic birds on Vanua Levu

Vanua Levu is the second largest island in Fiji and home to the best Fiji resort and an abundance of exotic birds, including the following:

  • Fiji goshawks – This species of bird are native to Fiji and are considered a bird of prey. You may spot them in the trees and parks near the resort. They have a grey head, back, tail and wings, and yellow eyes and beak.
  • Orange fruit dove – As the name suggests, this Fijian bird is orange! Try and spot this colourful creature on our complimentary excursion to Nakawaga Waterfall as the orange fruit dove loves to live in forests.
  • Silktail – The silktail is one of the island's rarest birds and is unfortunately listed as near threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list of threatened species. However, there are still a number of silktail's that live on Vanua Levu. Look out for a small black bird with metallic blue patches and white patterned tail.

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Local lizards of Vanua Levu

In Fiji, there are 30 types of reptiles that live across the archipelago's 300 islands. One that can be found on Vanua Levu is the Fiji banded iguana. This lizard is bright green in colour and has blue spots over its body – making it a little easier to spot while exploring. The Fijian government consider Fiji iguanas a national treasure and have even featured the lizards on postage stamps and currency! 

While enjoying your family holiday to the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, be sure to keep an eye out for some of these local creatures! 

Learn how to play beach rugby on your Fiji family holiday

While enjoying your five star family holiday in Fiji, you'll no doubt be playing fun-filled beach games on the shores of the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort. One game that is incredibly popular with guests and our staff is beach rugby.

Never played? Don't worry. Follow these simple rules and you'll be scoring those tries in no time!

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Beach rugby – what's it all about?

Beach rugby is based loosely on rugby union and is played around the world. It turns out that Australians can't get enough of rugby either as more than half a million adults and children take to the field to play the sport, according to Roy Morgan research – putting it in the top 20 sports played in the country.

In fact, rugby is also a game much loved by the staff at our five star Fiji resort. The Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort has their very own team that often takes part in competitions around the island and beyond. They're also extremely partial to a match on our own beaches so be sure to wear your game face at all times! 

Who will be the winning team of your beach rugby game?Who will be the winning team of your beach rugby game?

How do you play?

Depending on how many players you have rounded up, beach rugby is often played with five people per team, according to the official Rugby Union laws. However, for a casual game at the resort, four to seven is acceptable.

With rugby ball and teams ready to go, the game will begin with a free kick to the side who won the coin toss.

Whoever is lucky enough to catch the ball will begin their run up the pitch toward the marked goal! Try and dodge tackles from incoming players of the opposing team in a bid to score that all important try.

If the ball is lost to a rival team member, try your best to regain play to avoid them scoring points. 

The game lasts a total of 10 minutes, with five minute halves either side and a three minute break in between. At this point, teams will switch sides and discuss tactics – perfect if a few last minute tries are needed.

That's it, time's up. Shake the sand out of your hair while the points are tallied up to determine the winning team.

Congratulations! If you managed to steal the win, well done – if not, better luck next time. Discover all the family fun you can have at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort today.