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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

FIJI: DIVE THE GREAT SEA REEF, NUKUBATI PRIVATE ISLAND RESORT


Nukubati is a private island resort, a natural extension of a gracious and simple style of South Pacific living. It is environmentally conscious, powered by solar energy and it’s organic garden combined with freshly caught seafood creates a unique cuisine giving it an eco-chic feel. Catering for a limited number of guests, Nukubati is locally owned, preserving its incomparable Fijian style in an atmosphere of total seclusion.

Scuba is Nukubati's premier activity. Just a half hour boat ride takes you to The Great Sea Reef, the third longest barrier reef in the world stretching over 300km across northern Fiji. The Great Sea Reef has 74% of the known coral species and 80% of the known coral reef fishes recorded in Fiji, including many species found only in Fiji – a unique natural wonder.

Nukubati
is the only resort in Fiji with access to this vast underwater treasure. Remote, pristine and untouched, this enormous reef with miles of hard and soft corals is being explored by guests of Nukubati Island. Manta rays, turtles, dolphins and whales parade among uncountable numbers of fish life, with a myriad of Nudibranchs, gastropods and crustaceans displaying around the corals.

Nukubati offers a range of dive types designed to suit your diving abilities and desires. Dives along sweeping walls where you drift through the colourful array of underwater life are balanced by shallow aquarium dives where you explore the wonderful macro-dive world below. All you need is your Open Water certification and the Nukubati dive team will introduce you to the delights that the Great Sea Reef has to offer.


All our resident divemasters are locals, born and bred in the surrounding fishing villages with traditional relationships with the ocean and the reefs. Their knowledge of the Great Sea Reef is instinctive and so is their skill to guide you for whatever your dive needs may be.


THE GREAT SEA REEF, FIJI


Fiji’s marine scientists have, for the first time, surveyed and documented the marine ecosystem of Fiji’s Great Sea Reef (GSR), the 3rd longest continuous barrier reef system in the world, and which is said to stretch a distance of some 150 kilometres along the Northern tip of Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest island.
Out of 35 priority conservation areas in Fiji, 5 areas were ranked to be globally important due to their uniqueness, endemism and high level of diversity, 15 areas were considered to be national importance and 15 of sub-regional importance.
Of the 5 areas of global importance, the Great Sea Reef is on the top of the list, being the 3rd longest barrier reef in the world. It has an exceptional level of endemism and intact systems of lagoons, channels, mangroves and seagrass habitats.

The report was administered by the WWF Fiji Country programme.

According to WWF’s Fiji office, a recent survey of the Great Sea Reef showed that it is home to:-

• 55% of all known coral reef fish species in Fiji
• 74% of all known coral species in Fiji
• 44% of the known marine flora in Fiji
• 44% of Fiji’s endemic reef fish species.

Fact File:

Among the rare, endangered and newly recorded species discovered were:-

• Populations of 12 species listed on the 2004 IUCN (World Conservation Union) Red List of threatened Species, including 10 species of fish, the IUCN threatened green turtle and the spinner dolphin;
• Populations of the locally extirpated and nationally endangered species of Bumphead Parrotfish (kalia)
• 3 species of fish considered to endemic to Fiji including one new species (Pommacentrus sp.) and one possible new record (Chromis opecularis) previously known only within the range of the Indian Ocean
• Within the hard corals, 43% new records were documented for Fiji. Of these, 2 were new genera, and 3 are believed to be geographic range extensions
• 16 species were found to be new additions to the flora of the Fiji archipelago. 2 possible new species were also recorded
• Unusual distant offshore mangrove island fringing reef habitats were found to be of surprisingly high diversity and productivity. These highly dynamic, tidally influenced systems are considered to be “keystone habitats” of crucial importance to maintaining the ecological integrity of the entire coastline

Battle of the sexes rages on at 30,000 feet



Expedia.com.au survey reveals how Aussie men and women pass the time in the air

Sydney, 24 May 2011 – With many international flights lasting more than 20 hours, the dilemma for Aussie travellers is how to pass the time in the air. New research* conducted by online travel company Expedia.com.au has found the age-old saying that ‘men are from Mars and women are from Venus’ holds true in mid-air, with each favouring a different way to pass the time.

Thanks to sophisticated in-flight entertainment systems, which now offer hundreds of movies, TV shows and videogames, unsurprisingly, Aussie men can’t wait to test it out, with over two thirds (67%) opting to use technology to make the hours fly by. Conversely, Aussie women are shunning in-flight technology with over half (55%) preferring to immerse themselves in a good book.

In spite of these differences, Aussie men and women are in agreement that being stuck in a confined space for a long time was the number one air travel gripe, with the lack of seat comfort coming in second. Turbulence and passing time in airports were also high on the list of top air travel dislikes.

To make the flight as comfortable as possible, travellers should use travel tools such as Expedia.com.au’s SeatGuru®, which enables travellers to view and select the best seats via colour-coded aircraft seat maps on certain international flights. Travellers are then able to request specific seats as part of their booking on Expedia.com.au, thereby ensuring that travellers fly more comfortably.

Despite Australians being a friendly nation, striking up conversations with other passengers was something to avoid with only around one in 10 Aussies willing to chat with fellow passengers. One in seven men (15%) admitted to flirting with a member of the aircrew during the flight. Love can also often blossom in the sky with 4% of flyers admitting to having a relationship with someone they met during the flight.

Joana Barros, Senior Manager Marketing of Expedia.com.au, said: “At Expedia, we believe choice is a necessity not a luxury. Things like selecting the right seat to ensure a comfortable flight are a priority for us to bring to our customers. To help travellers consider their options they should utilise Expedia’s unique SeatGuru® functionality to review and select the perfect seat when booking flights”, Ms Barros said.

“Expedia customers can also rest easy when passing time in the air in the knowledge they are getting great value for money and paying no flight booking fees”, Ms Barros said.
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