Tahiti and her abundant islands provide a wonderfully rewarding diving location for beginners.
Tahiti may be relatively small, but along with its islands (officially known as French Polynesia) it covers a staggering four million square-kilometres of ocean on the South Pacific! There are a total of 118 islands and atolls, although they only add up to 1,544 square miles. These consist of five archipelagos: the Society Islands, Marquesas Islands, Austral Islands, Tuamotu Islands and the Gambier Islands. Tahiti is the largest island,
Great corals, sharks, pelagics and some great undersea topography make Tahiti and its islands excellent locations for diving,
European nationals may visit for up to three months without a visa. Polio, tetanus and typhoid inoculations are recommended.
Tahiti boasts some of the best diving on the planet for beginners. The attractions include a sunken schooner, underwater freshwater springs, a vertical cliff and sealife that include white-tip sharks, moray eels, eagle rays and nurse sharks. The less explored area on the backside of Tahiti however offers conditions far better suited to advanced divers. The area, known as Tahiti-iti, boats sheer walls, fantastic corals and many exotic benthic and pelagic species unique to this island.
Tahiti’s sister islands promises leopard rays, stingrays, schools of jackfish, shark and eels feeding, triggerfish and large Napoleon wrasse. There is also a sunken ship.
The most famous of the Leeward Islands is renowned for its abundant sea life. Especially manta rays that can bee seen swimming in groups of up to ten. Very rare for these solitary creatures.
Raiatea and Tahaa
These two islands share the same lagoon that has 11 passes through the coral reef. The area boasts drop-offs, shelves and caves, most of which are located outside the reef. Fish-wise you can expect to see schools of pelagics, surgeonfish, triggerfish, jackfish, leopard rays, tuna, barracuda and even a few manta rays during the season. The lagoon also features the wreck of the Nbordby; a three-masted 19th century Danish ship that was sunk by a storm in 1900.
Half a dozen dive sites scattered around the lagoon. Expect to see large schools of barracuda, jackfish, spadefish, red snapper, tuna, rays, turtles, sharks (which you can feed) and Napoleons.
One of the world’s most outstanding destinations. The largest atoll in the South Pacific offers a huge lagoon 77km long and 26km wide. It drops to a depth of 30-40m. The most famous dive locations are the two passes in the coral reef, the Avatoru and Tiputa channels. Here you’ll meet schools of sharks, eagle rays, jacks, tuna, barracuda, manta rays, turtles and dolphins. There are also some small underwear caves and submarine channels.
Manihi promises both lagoon and ocean diving. One site here is a breathtaking wall that rises from 1,300m deep to only 4m from the surface. The waters here boasts large Napoleon wrasse, black-tip sharks, manta and eagle rays, giant jackfish, gray sharks and a numerous types of coral.
Well known for its huge fish population that live within a circular lagoon with a diameter of 26km.
The Marquesas Islands
Underwater caves filled with lobster and rare shells, open water volcanic reefs with large fauna, schools on manta rays, huge loaches, schools of leopard rays, stingrays, loads of melon-head whales and even friendly hammerhead sharks make this a wonderful destination. And if these creatures aren’t attraction enough, there is also a very friendly dolphin that likes to play with divers.
The Austral Islands
The southernmost location of French Polynesia, the Austral Islands promise encounter with whales that are as easy as they are amazing.