I've seen a lot of beautiful reef tanks in my life. Tanks stuffed with well-established coral and colorful fish that captured my attention. 

I've also seen parts of these reef tanks in nature. Every place I've dived had one or two components of a prize-winning reef tank, but I not all of them.

Then I discovered Fiji. 

The first two minutes of my first dive in Fiji was information overload. My brain could not comprehend how there was so much coral of all varieties, surrounded by so many different types of fish of all sizes, all right in front of my eyes. Imagine swimming in a fully mature mixed reef tank that goes on for hundreds of yards. That's what Fiji was like.

Fiji continued to amaze me above water as well. The snorkeling was as impressive as the diving, the people were so genuinely friendly and happy, it was infectious. Lush green vegetation was everywhere and I was far from stranded on a tropical island - I was on a private island resort with great food and very comfortable accommodations. Needless to say, leaving was hard.

In October 2018, I will depart to again Fiji with no more than 10 couples looking to have the trip of a lifetime. One of those slots could be yours. 

(and I promise your spouse won't be bored)

Spend Six Days With Three Saltwater Experts

On A Private Island In Paradise Seeing

Mother Nature's Reef Tank

About The Trip

Trip Dates: October  - October 13th - 21st, 2018*

I designed the trip to satisfy both reef junkies and people who aren't into saltwater tanks. Every day you'll have the chance to dive world-famous sites, snorkel reefs that start just 50 feet off the beach, be pampered in the spa overlooking the ocean or book an off-island excursion, just to name a few activities.

The trip starts Saturday, October 13th in Los Angeles, CA where you'll board your flight to Fiji.

We'll cross the international date line during our flight to Fiji so when you wake up, it will be Monday, October 15th and you'll be in paradise. After clearing customs, we'll take a short drive to Walt Smith Fiji, the largest exporter of fish and coral in Fiji. Walt Smith is closed to the public, but you will be allowed in to see behind the scenes

After the Walt Smith tour, we'll head to a lunch at a local Indian food restaurant and then board our plane to Taveuni, Fiji. Once in Taveuni, Matangi Private resort is a short bus and then boat ride away. 

While on the resort, you can come dive with me or make up your own itinerary! Chose between daily boat dives, shore dives, snorkeling, spa treatments, relaxing by the beach or pool, challenging hikes or off-island excursions. Evenings will be filled with a mix of lectures from saltwater aquarium or ocean experts, Fijian entertainment, delicious food and a wine list that won't disappoint. 

When Sunday comes around, you won't want to leave, but we'll have to depart for home and take a boat load of memories with us and few new friends.

* Stay an extra night for no extra charge!

Location: Matangi Private Island Resort, Fiji

Your Host & Accompanying Experts

Mr Saltwater Tank Headshot

There is a central theme in my life: water. In 1989, I got my first saltwater tank and was forever hooked on having part of the ocean in my care. In 1995, I became a SCUBA diver and got the joy of seeing the animals in my tank in their natural habitat. The ocean once again captured my attention and I wanted more. Now I get to bring part of the ocean to the world by taking the confusion out of owning a saltwater tank through my show, Mr. Saltwater Tank TV. 

With over 360 episodes resulting in over 12 million views, countless talks to reef clubs, saltwater aquarium trade shows and a select clientele base, I've seen a lot of fish and coral in captivity. Now I'll show you mother nature's reef tank and how you can take what you see and apply it to your tank.

 Trip Host: Mark Callahan, "Mr. Saltwater Tank"

Laura Simmons

Laura is the curator for Cairns Marine, the largest fish and coral exporter in Australia. She has more than 25 years experience in husbandry and operations of public aquaria. Laura‚Äôs role at Cairns Marine is to oversee husbandry operations, develop new projects and work closely with her many public aquarium colleagues domestically and internationally. Laura can ID just about everything on the reef, give you the run down on it's behavior, and I'm excited she will be joining us again in Fiji.

Lyle Squires

Lyle is an Carins boy who spent his youth following his dad on collecting trips to the Great Barrier Reef and inland Australia. Regarded as a world expert in aquatic life collecting, husbandry and transport, Lyle has expanded the family legacy of making Carins Marine the top collector and exporter of aquatic life in Australia. 

His vast experiences means he's full of wild stories including swimming with saltwater crocodiles and dealing with inquisitive sea snakes while collecting fish. 

About The Resort

 I chose Matangi Private Island Resort as it met several crucial trip criteria: 

  1. Adult-only luxurious accommodations 
  2. Plenty of non-water based activities including a spa
  3. World class diving and snorkeling

Ocean View Bure

Beach Front Bure

Tree House Bure

Not a diver? Not a problem. Matangi has plenty of non-diver activities including:  

  • Unlimited snorkeling (including boat snorkeling excursions)
  • Stand-up paddle board 
  • Sea kayaks 
  • Calypso Catamaran sailing 
  • Ridge line and coastal hike
  • Private Lagoon picnic
  • Lounging by Infinity edge pool 
  • The Ocean Spa featuring massage, pedicure/manicure and vichy shower

Off island excursions include:

  • Hand line fishing
  • Pearl farm tour
  • Qamea Village tour
  • Qamea Island Guided Trek (hike through rainforests and working plantations)
  • Taveuni Island hike and waterfall tour
  • Many more

If you are a diver or snorkeler, both are so great, they need their own section. More below. 

White sand beaches with no screaming kids. Fresh food prepared daily that is diverse, very tasty and won't disrupt your digestive system. Tree house rooms that overlook the ocean and include private hot tubs. Outdoor lava rock showers with lush plants draping overhead. Complementary daily laundry service. Matangi has all of these things and more. If you're used to luxurious resorts, you won't be disappointed. If you're used to bargain or average hotels, you'll feel like royalty as the staff are friendly and attentive. 

Rooms at Matangi are called "bures" which is Fijian for "hut". The bures are far from straw huts though. All rooms include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Private outdoor lava rock showers
  • Australian Queen sized beds (larger than American Queens)
  • Coffee makers and a daily supply of fresh made cookies. 
  • Daily laundry service

Chose your luxury level from the Ocean Front bure that are yards from the ocean, Beach Front bure that are steps from the water, or for the ultimate romantic stay, the Tree House bure.

Luxurious accommodations

Plenty of non-diving based activities

Photos From Around Matangi

Diving & Snorkeling

I've got over 200 dives under my belt and Laura lost count after 2,000. After diving around Matangi, we both agree that the Matangi dives are the best we've ever done. Imagine diving a full established and very diverse mixed reef tank and you're just scratching the surface of the diving you'll see on the trip.


If you're not a diver, you won't be left out. The snorkeling off the beach is so diverse, one past trip participant spent three hours floating around just one section of reef! Boat snorkeling excursions take you to reefs around the island and happen every afternoon. By the way, boat snorkel excursions are complementary. 

Not the best swimmer? Floatation aids are also available if you need an upward boost.

The coral and fish coverage is diverse and dense. Five foot (1.5 m) tabling acropora colonies are common. Schools of Anthias, Angelfish, Clownfish in anemones, soft corals, hard corals, nudibranchs, stingrays, squid, eagle rays all make their homes around Matangi. And you don't have to go deep to see this diversity. Most dives are under 50 feet (15 m).

Each morning the dive boat leaves for a two tank dive excursion. Laura and/or I will be on the dives to point out livestock you'll likely miss and to answer your questions about what you saw. Even if you are  a new diver, you'll feel safe and comfortable as an experienced dive master is on every trip.

For those wanting to take their diving to the next level, the world-famous Somosomo straights are nearby and are home to dive sites such as the White Wall, the Purple Wall, Rainbow Reef and the Cabbage Patch just to name a few.

Sound too good to be true? Here's a quick look at my footage from Fiji:

Trip Pricing

  • Exclusive access to three saltwater tank experts
  • 6 days on Matangi Private Island Resort - Stay an extra night for no extra charge!
  • Private tour of Walt Smith Fiji, the largest fish and coral exporter in Fiji (not open to the public, subject to availability)
  • All meals - 3 meals a day - breakfast, lunch, and 4 course dinner (alcohol not included)
  • All bus and boat transfers
  • 25% Fiji taxes

Pricing based on double occupancy. Single occupancy rates are available

Payment Schedule: 

$3,000.00 USD due at booking 

Note:  Just $3,000 is required to reserve your slot. Not $3,000 per person, just $3,000. 

Balance due May 1st.

Chose your room type to continue to booking:


  1. Deposits and any payments are non-refundable.
  2. This is an adults-only tour. No children under the age of 18 allowed.
  3. I highly recommend trip insurance. Contact me for more details.

Ocean View Bure - $4,987.00 per person, double occupancy

Beach Front Bure - SOLD OUT

Tree House Bure - SOLD OUT

Pricing includes:

Questions? Reach me here

Copyright 2018 Mr. Saltwater Tank