Fiji Soft Coral & Shark Bonanza Photo Workshop Oct 2026

Dive the soft coral capital of the world with Bluewater's 2026 Photo Workshop at Waidroka Bay & Volivoli Beach Resort.


Fiji Soft Coral & Shark Bonanza Photo Workshop Oct 2026

Join us in the soft coral capital of the world! Our Fiji underwater photo workshop spends 3-nights at Waidroka Bay Resort and 7-nights at Volivoli Beach Resort, the ultimate combination in Fiji for divers.


Why Join This Trip?

  • Dive the world’s best shark dive in South Fiji plus the world’s best soft corals in the Bligh Waters in warm, clear water
  • Learn from one of Bluewater’s top photo instructors - Mark Hatter
  • Easy travel from the USA, stay at two of Fiji’s best dive resorts
  • Bring your non-divers to experience the best snorkeling in the world at VoliVoli resort


October 14 - 24, 2026

10 nights at Waidroka Bay Resort & Volivoli Beach Resort

Trip Leader: Mark Hatter

Book now to lock in 2024 rates!

Standard Ocean View/Panoramic Room $3,990 per person, double occupancy

Deluxe Ocean View / Deluxe Bure $4,200 per person, double occupancy

Premium Ocean View / Deluxe Bure $4,325 per person, double occupancy

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Click here to compare room types:
Waidroka Room Options | Volivoli Room Options

Single Occupancy and Non-Diver rates available. 

Option to upgrade to a 2 bedroom Superior Bure at Waidroka for $500


Trip Overview

Start off your Fijian adventure with a day of reef diving followed by 2 days of exhilarating shark diving in the Pacific Harbor area where you have the opportunity to observe and shoot several species of sharks, including bull sharks, silvertip sharks, lemon sharks, and the occasional tiger shark. There is also the opportunity to explore the hard coral reefs and massive sea fan gardens in the southern part of Viti Levu.

In Fiji, it’s all about the corals. The colors are so incredibly vibrant and the anthias so plentiful that it’s hard to ever look away. Around every corner is the next world-class image. One of the main draws of diving Fiji is the reef scenes - they are quite spectacular!

The gorgeous, lush, color-splashed images of Fiji that you see in dive publications are courtesy of a soft coral called dendronephthya. Few other places in the world offer such an abundance of this coral, nor the wide spectrum of colors, ranging from pink, purple, and orange, to yellow, and fiery red. Dendronephthya soft coral needs a brisk current to really look their best. With little current present the soft coral colors are muted, but as the current increases they inflate with water and their color really begins to glow. As the current picks up, planktivores such as beautifully colored scale fin anthias spring up off the reef in polarized schools. Together, this forms a rich pageantry of color. Underwater photographers will want to shoot when some current is present, making a dramatic difference to the color of the underwater imagery.

One of the best places for soft coral in Fiji is the Bligh Waters between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu where there are numerous reefs and pinnacles. The reefs in the surrounding Bligh Waters, also known as The Vatu-I-Ra Passage, are some of the healthiest in the world, with very little pollution and few boats, so you’ll be able to see an array of marine life including anemone fish, turtles, colorful soft coral, and reef sharks. 



Marine Life To Photograph

You’re going to see the healthiest soft coral in the world, more colors than you can imagine, and some extremely rare macro creatures—like the ornate ghost pipefish, orangutan crabs, frogfish, nudibranch, and seahorses — and in all likelihood, turtles, moray eels, schools of barracuda, trevally, giant groupers, grey, black and white tip reef sharks, and the occasional tiger shark.

Fiji 2022 Trip Recap  Fiji 2022 Trip Recap Fiji 2022 Trip Recap

(L) Colorful Reef By Paul Gruner. (M) Clown Fish By Dan Bishop. (R) Sharks By Cindy

Read the reviews on diving Fiji here.



Trip Type

This trip is a PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP. It will be led by one of our photo instructors and will include daily underwater photography tutorials, in-water photography support, and one-to-one advice and guidance as required.

What to expect from our Photo Workshops

  • Daily photo workshops - Your photo instructor will schedule seminars each day on topics including, but not limited to, equipment type and selection, the concept of underwater photography, lighting and composition techniques, and post-processing. They will also include topics relevant to the location and your experience such as wide-angle, and macro-specific workshops and assignments.
  • In-water support - Where possible, each dive group will spend time underwater with the photo instructor, receiving in-water support and guidance on their shooting techniques.  Participants can also request in-water assistance during the workshop and the photo instructor will do his or her best to accommodate all requests. 
  • Consecutive days of practice & review - Each day you will have the opportunity to practice the techniques and skills learned in the previous day’s tutorials. If you are new to underwater photography you will likely see a vast improvement in just a few days.
  • Daily photo image reviews - You are strongly encouraged to bring your laptop, a thumb drive, edit your photos, and submit your shots for review from both the instructor and your peers. These are fun and interactive sessions encouraging you to improve throughout the trip.
  • Quality time with fellow photographers - Both new and experienced photographers from past workshops have expressed the advantages of joining a trip with like-minded divers with a passion for underwater photography.
  • Suitable for everyone - New and experienced photographers are welcome on all our trips. Gain the necessary skills to start shooting great photos, increase your confidence in finding the best underwater shots, or hone specific skills. We also encourage non-photographers to join, as many of them really enjoy the daily photo reviews, learning about underwater photography, and some have even returned to a photo workshop with an underwater camera setup!

Enjoy free, unlimited access to a wealth of knowledge and advice from your photo instructor. 


Trip Syllabus

This is an opportunity to hone your UW skills shooting both wide-angle and macro imagery. The workshops will consist of 6 sessions of 45 minutes each on formal instruction during the trip. In addition, there will be a 1-hour intro to UW photography via a Zoom session 1-3 weeks prior to departure. Workshops and tutorials will take the form of PowerPoint presentations, informal group discussions, one-to-one training, streaming live demonstrations (e.g., using programs like Lightroom), and underwater help. Informally, there will be one-to-one instruction for individuals above and below water as needed.

  • Beginner Topics:
    Intro to UW photography, wide angle photography, macro photography, as much one-to-one teaching as necessary
  • Intermediate Topics:
    Wide angle shooting, natural light shooting for distant subjects (schooling sharks)
  • Advanced Topics:
    Using Lightroom local adjustment tools for balance of light in gradient images


Diving Conditions in October

June through October is the dry season. During that time, the water is clearest with visibility often reaching 100 feet or more, but it can be windy and water temperatures can drop into the mid-70s. Most likely marine life sightings during this season include sharks, eagle rays, whales, and turtles.

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  • 3 nights accommodation at Waidroka Bay Resort
  • 7 nights accommodation at Volivoli Beach Resort
  • Full meal plan (3 meals daily with juice, milk, rainwater, coffee, and tea at breakfast)
  • FREE daily underwater photography tutorials and workshops
  • Round-trip Nadi Airport/resort transfers
  • Transfer between Waidroka Bay Resort and Volivoli Beach Resort
  • 1 day of 2-tank reef diving at Waidroka Bay
  • 2 days of 2-tank shark diving at Pacific Harbor
  • 3 days of 2 tank boat diving & 3 days of 3 tank boat diving at Volivoli Beach Resort 
  • Unlimited shore diving at Volivoli on dive days (reserve tanks 24 hours prior)
  • Tanks, weights, and dive guide
  • Complimentary wifi at Volivoli on 2 devices per person
  • Welcome drink on arrival
  • Beach BBQ
  • Traditional Meke performance
  • Hosted group event on the last night
  • Free use of kayaks and participation in a variety of complimentary resort activities
  • Dolphin Safari at Volivoli Beach Resort
  • Resort and Government taxes



  • Nitrox ($125USD - must be pre-booked) *only available at Volivoli Beach Resort 
  • Marine Park Fees ($20FJD per day)
  • Beverages other than tea, coffee, and rainwater
  • Lobster and crab menu items (market price)
  • Personal dive equipment
  • Dive courses
  • Extra dives at Volivoli ($78US per tank)
  • Night dives at Volivoli (min. 6 divers; $125US per tank)
  • Excursions
  • Dive and Travel Insurance (diving insurance is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED)
  • Fuel surcharge

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Important Information

  • No. of dives:  2 days of 2-tank shark dives and 1 day of 2-tank reef dives at Pacific Harbour, 3 days of 2-tank boat diving, and 3 days of 3-tank boat diving at Volivoli Beach Resort – includes all tanks, weights, and dive guide
  • Avg. visibility: 50 - 130 feet
  • Required skill: Beginner to advanced
  • Wetsuit needed: 3-5mm full-length wetsuit (recommended)
  • Topside temperature: 72-81°F (22-27°C) in October
  • Currents: We can, and regularly do, encounter medium to strong current

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About Waidroka Bay Resort

Waidroka Bay Resort offers the best of world-class scuba diving with amazing variety, combined with some of Fiji’s finest soft corals and the great Fiji Shark Dive in the Beqa Lagoon. Expect comfortable accommodations, great services, and an overall excellent value for money!

Waidroka Bay Resort Waidroka Bay Resort

Waidroka Bay Resort Waidroka Bay Resort


Waidroka Bay Resort Features

  • On-site full-service dive center
  • Restaurant and bar
  • Internet available throughout the resort. Surcharges apply, depending on the option you choose
  • Laundry service available at $15 FJD per load 

 Waidroka Bay Resort Waidroka Bay Resort 



  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner available around the clock at the resort, freshly prepared using the best local produces
  • Outside pool bar with a happy hour every day. Wines, beer, cocktails and soft drinks available.

Read more about Waidroka Bay Resort here.

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About Volivoli Beach Resort

Volivoli Beach Resort is the ultimate diving paradise in Fiji for beginners and advanced divers alike, located in one of Fiji's best diving destinations. They offer 32 comfortable rooms with panoramic beach and ocean views.

Volivoli Beach Resort Volivoli Beach Resort

Volivoli Beach Resort Volivoli Beach Resort

The Volivoli Beach Resort also just recently opened its brand new camera room, which can accommodate up to 14 people and comes complete with international and USB charging ports, and individual air-guns at each workstation.

Volivoli Beach Resort Volivoli Beach Resort 


Resort Amenities

  • 2 x licensed restaurants and  3x bars
  • Large swimming pool with swim-up bar
  • Onsite dive operation – RA Divers
  • Airport transfer service
  • Multiple happy hours
  • Large screen TV for sports events
  • Hammocks
  • Poolside furniture
  • Day spa
  • Beachside bar
  • Beach towels
  • Beachfront location
  • Lush tropical gardens
  • 24-hour main grid power
  • Onsite backup generator
  • Reception and day room facilities
  • All tide swimming beach
  • Weekly beach BBQ

Read more about Volivoli Beach Resort here.

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Travel Information

  • International flights: Guests should fly into and out of Nadi international airport (code: NAN).
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure: Round trip Nadi airport/resort transfers are included in the price.

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About The Trip Leader

Mark Hatter is an accomplished photojournalist who has had nearly one hundred feature articles with many hundreds of images published in more than two dozen fly fishing and diving publications over the last two decades.  His most recent destination features have appeared in Alert Diver and Diver (UK) magazines. 

Mark has traveled the world in pursuit of new underwater photography challenges, including cold-water destinations such as British Columbia and even Antarctica in January 2018.  

“Of course, I love shooting in tropical locations but I think cold water diving is a great forcing function to hone one’s photography skills as the environment and equipment are much more demanding of a diver.  Good image capture in cold water is particularly rewarding.” Mark tells us. 

Mark has been shooting underwater since the early 1980s and has worked in both film and digital mediums in his photojournalism pursuits.  In 35 years of diving, Mark has logged over 2000 hours, much of it doing underwater photography.  Currently, he teaches underwater photography classes locally at Seminole Scuba in Lake Mary, Florida. More about Mark here.


Payment Schedule  

Deposit: $800 to confirm trip

Payment 2: $1000 due May 1, 2025

Balance: due July 1, 2026

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Call us today at +1-310-915-6677, email us

Or leave us a message in the live chat box 

And let us book your dream vacation!

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Photo Gallery 

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Underwater Photos from Previous Trips  

 Fiji 2022 Trip Recap Fiji 2022 Trip Recap

Fiji 2022 Trip Recap Fiji 2022 Trip Recap Fiji 2022 Trip Recap

(L) Colorful Reef & (M) Shark By Craig Dietrich. (R) Star Fish By Dan Bishop

 Fiji 2022 Trip Recap  Fiji 2022 Trip Recap  Fiji 2022 Trip Recap


Fiji 2022 Trip Recap  Fiji 2022 Trip Recap  Fiji 2022 Trip Recap

Fiji 2022 Trip Recap  Fiji 2022 Trip Recap  Fiji 2022 Trip Recap

 Guest Images By Pam Sichting, Wally Greene, Jennifer Nevius, Paul Gruner, & Deana Nickenson

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