SCUBA DIVING IN TAHITI
All around the many islands of Tahiti, dramatic views continue below the water. Divers and snorkelers are amazed by the density of large marine life. Regular encounters include manta rays whose gigantic wingspan eclipses the passing diver; schools of dolphin dancing along the surf; sharks seemingly at every turn; and, in the Austral Islands, humpback whales thrill the lucky spectators in their annual parade.
The many sites around the island of Tahiti
are perfect for both beginning and advanced divers. Highlights include clear, shallow waters; steep oceanic drop-offs; sunken vessels; walls of bright coral; and schools of smaller species. Although there are fewer larger species here, Tahiti offers excellent variety and density of dive sites.
Some established TAHITI dive sites include:
- The Aquarium: Lagoon dive 10–40 feet. Tahiti’s most popular site and perfect for beginners.
- The Wrecks: Lagoon dive 20–70 feet. Dive alongside and within the wrecks of a large cargo ship and a Catalina flying boat airplane. Also called "Cargo Ship & the Catalina."
- Papa Whisky: Ocean dive 30–150 feet. Glide down the reef walls of a large amphitheatre with an escort of schools of damselfish.
- St. Etienne Drop Off: Ocean dive 30–150 feet. Glide into a deep blue abyss alive with bright small fish species, moray eels and madrepores.
- Fresh Water Springs: Ocean dive 20–90 feet. Explore underwater springs bubbling up from the ocean floor. Also called "the Spring."
- Tetopa Grotto: Ocean dive 10–30 feet. Dive among caverns of lobster, crabs, coral, and pufferfish.
- The Marad: Ocean dive 60–140 feet. Glide down the sheer outer reef wall covered with beautiful gorgonians.
- Lagoon Hole: Lagoon dive 30–90 feet. A basin inside the lagoon is alive with leopard rays, triggerfish, reef shark, and coral bommies.
Dive operators are located in some resorts around Papeete and in Punaauia and Taravao.
The drama of Moorea’s landscape
continues below the sea with an infinite range of canyons, chasms, and promontories. Fish feeding is common here so divers are often surrounded by schools of small and large marine life. With a lack of strong currents, Moorea is perfect for beginners while the deeper canyons attract the more advanced divers.
Some established MOOREA dive sites Include:
- The Aquarium : Lagoon dive 10–40 feet. Perfect for first-time divers. Coral gardens, schools of small species.
- Stingray World : Lagoon dive 30–60 feet. Experience dozens of close encounters with graceful rays. Snorkeling is also enjoyed above the site.
- Taotoi : Ocean dive 30–70 feet. Follow the reef into valleys and ravines while jack fish, Napoleans, and moray eels await your arrival.
- Tiki : Ocean dive 30–70 feet. A very active fish dive makes this one of the most popular. Grey, lemon and blacktip sharks plus barracudas pay a visit.
- Canyons of Opunohu : Ocean dive 30–70 feet. Coral walls and canyons with turtles, sharks, eels, and triggerfish.
- Rose Garden : Ocean dive 70–140 feet. Deep water diving to see giant Montipora coral resembling layers of rose petals.
Dive operators are located in some resorts and in Papetoai, Temae, and Maharepa.
Diving Bora Bora
Diving within the waters of the most beautiful lagoon in the world is on many divers’ “must do” list because of the abundance of large marine life. It is common for divers in Bora Bora
to be joined by legions of gigantic manta rays gliding gracefully within arm’s reach while schools of black-tip reef sharks parade through the sunlit waters.
Some established BORA BORA dive sites include:
- Aito : Ocean drift dive 3–60 feet. Glide through the water with turtles, sharks, and barracuda.
- Anau : Lagoon dive 15–100 feet. A classic manta ray "swarm site." Also called “Manta Ray Channel” or "Manta Ballroom" for its regular encounters with these gentle giants. Snorkeling is also enjoyed above the site.
- Tapu : Ocean dive 30–120 feet. A classic shark dive with black tip reef and lemon sharks joined by the giant wrasse, rainbow jack fish, and moray eel.
- Toopua/Toopua Iti : Lagoon dive 15–100 feet. Coral walls with giant clams small caves, swim-throughs, and legions of eagle rays. Snorkeling is also enjoyed above the site.
- Muri Muri : Ocean dive 60–120 feet. Marine life welcome divers such as grey reef sharks, black-tip reef sharks, turtles, barracuda, and dolphins. Also called the "White Valley."
- Teavanui Pass: Pass dive 15–130 feet. The entrance to the lagoon is framed with purple coral walls, where sharks, eels and giant wrasses await.
- Tupitipiti : Ocean dive 20–150 feet. A steep drop-off with walls of blue and red branching coral plus green and orange sponges, caves, tunnels, corridors, and dramatic swim-throughs.
is a genuine natural aquarium, a mecca for scuba divers around the globe, and said by some to be the richest and most beautiful lagoon in the world.
In Rangiroa, to “shoot the pass” is to experience what many have called “the world’s greatest adrenaline rush!". Divers, snorkelers, and even those aboard a glass-bottomed boat are carried in a rush of water between the ocean and lagoon surrounded by seemingly millions of fish. Outside the reefs, a breathtaking array of large species await divers along the brightly colored walls of the oceanic drop-offs, including squadrons of eagle rays and schools of sharks, tuna, jacks, and barracuda. Rangiroa's lagoon, the second largest in the world, is highly prized by divers from around the world because of the pass dives, visibility, and density of marine life, particularly sharks.
Some of the most popular RANGIROA DIVE sites include:
- Avatoru Pass : Pass dive 50-70 feet
- Tiputa Pass - Sharks Cave, The Valley, Hammerhead Plateau : Pass dives 40-150 feet
- The Aquarium : Lagoon dive 10-30 feet
- The Wind Turbine : Ocean Dive 60 feet
- The Blue : Ocean Dive 60 feet
- Giant Wrasse Shelf : Pass Dive 60 feet
Dive Operators are located in some resorts and in Avatoru. A live-aboard charter also embarks from Rangiroa.
This untouched land features offers divers a rich ecosystem of underwater topography, thrilling pass dives, and huge variety of marine life. The lagoon is the second largest after Rangiroa and stretches over 37 miles with pass dives at both the northern and southern end. Species most commonly encountered include Napoleon wrasse, seapikes, damselfish, bigeyes, marbled groupers, manta rays, and sharks.
Some established FAKARAVA dive sites include:
- Tumakohua Pass : Pass dive 40-140 feet
- Garuae Pass : Pass dive 40-140 feet
- Sharks Hole : Lagoon dive 60 feet
The Dive Operators are located in and near the White Sand Beach Resort Fakarava. A live-aboard charter also embarks from Fakarava.
The gentle and lush islands of Huahine have a reputation for variety and comfortable diving conditions. The underwater landscape is pristine with a mildly sloping reef that offers dives for all levels including excellent snorkeling conditions. Fish are dense along the reef with regular encounters with stingrays, unicornfish, butterflyfish, wrasse, travallies, grey reef sharks, and eagle rays pufferfish, moorish idols and moray eels.
Some established HUAHINE dive sites include:
- Fa'a Miti : Ocean dive 20-90 feet
- Aquarium : Lagoon dive 10-60 feet
- Hana Iti : Lagoon dive 15-40 feet
- Fitii Pass, Avapeihi Pass : Pass dive 10–100 feet
- The Yellow Valley : Ocean dive 20-110 feet
- Parea Pass : Pass dive 75 feet
- Parea Slope : Lagoon dive 30-60 feet
Dive Operators are located in Fare and in Parea.
This crystal clear lagoon, once filled filled with mother-of-pearl, is now home to diving perfection. The concentrated dive sites offer a wide variety of lagoon, drift, and ocean dives with unique marine life experiences. Species include marbled groupers, which breed in the pass each July. Other encounters are similar to other atolls with a rich variety of smaller and larger species meeting in and around the pass.
Some established MANIHI dive sites include:
- Tairapa Pass : Pass dive 20-70 feet
- The Circus : Lagoon dive 50-80 feet
- The Drop-Off : Ocean dive 15-120 feet
- The Crack, also known as The Break : Ocean dive 20-100 feet
- West Cape, also known as West Point : Ocean dive 20-180 feet
- The Crossing : Ocean dive 20-120 feet
Diving Taha'a and Raiatea
A favorite of all divers, the lagoon of Raiatea/Taha’a is rich with variety with landscapes of sea mounts, caverns, drop-offs, and wrecks that are famous the world over.
Some established RAIATEA & TAHA'a dive sites include:
- Nordby : Lagoon wreck dive 25–80 feet. The 100-year old wreck of a three-masted ship is the best wreck dive in Tahiti and creates a magical night-dive experience.
- Miri Miri : Ocean dive 40–140 feet. Calm, clear waters with giant Napoleans and Montipora coral resembling roses. Also called "Napoleans of Miri Miri" and "the Roses."
- Ceran Pass : Pass/lagoon dive 0–130 feet. An eerie landscape framed by two large pinnacles.
- Miri Miri Pass : Drift dive 0–100 feet. Walls of purple coral pass by as you mildly drift among active marine life.
- Teavapiti Pass : Pass dive 0–80 feet. The bright colors and dense marine life; a favorite among divemasters.
Dive operators are located in some resorts and in Uturoa, Raiatea and Patio, Taha'a.
Diving Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas
Dive sites around Nuku Hiva are as unique as the island itself. The plankton-rich waters attract unique species such as melon-headed whales and scalloped hammerheads along with other large animals such as manta rays. Nuku Hiva is also known for dramatic cave and cliff dives. Other species commonly found include sting rays, tuna, parrotfish, triggerfish, scorpionfish, snappers, and whitetip reef sharks.
Some established NUKU HIVA dive sites include:
- The Hammerhead Sentinel : Ocean dive 30–120 feet. Schools of scalloped hammerhead sharks and manta rays.
- The Pygmy Orcas : Ocean dive/snorkel 0–30 feet. Melon-headed whales at the surface offering excellent shallow diving and snorkeling.
- Dulcinea : Ocean dive 30–60 feet. Magnificent cave diving with canyons and arches.
- Ekamako : Ocean dive 20–40 feet. Huge cave dive where countless stingrays and lobsters await.
The dive operator is located in Taiohae on Nuku Hiva