French Polynesia is made up of over 118 islands and atolls. The majority of this beautiful island collection is made up of the open Pacific Ocean-making it a dive lovers paradise.
Historically famous with explorative sailors including Captain Cook on Endeavour and Captain Blythe on the Bounty, it’s now a picture-perfect setting for honeymooners and celebrities both on land and underwater. It has a high price tag but with that comes some of the most beautiful diving the oceans have to offer. Diving this area of the world, it’s not if you will see sharks but what kind, it’s not if you’ll see manta, eagle and sting rays but just how many. If you are a scuba addict and have the budget, this is a bucket list must!
Expect incredible visibility, minimum being 30m all the way to 100 m on the best days. For drift dives, there is Rangiroa, Fakarava and Bora Bora with ideal currents in the passes.
Diving in French Polynesia you can expect to see an enormous amount of variety in both fauna and flora. There are more than twenty types of shark, including blacktail, white oceanic and hammerhead. Turtles, manta, eagle and sting rays pepper the numerous reefs of the islands and atolls with the perfect conditions for both them and divers alike in the balmy 27’c-30’c waters
Wherever you go throughout French Polynesia, from the low-lying coral atolls of the Tuamotus to the steep green mountains and waterfalls of the Society Islands, you are never going to be far from some spectacular diving.
The narrow channels and passes leading to the inner lagoons from the open ocean teem with life. Marine creatures cluster near these focal points and make the most of the bounty the current brings. Of the 118 islands of French Polynesia, 11 currently boast diving centers.
Head to Moorea to dive with sharks. You can see reef sharks and lemon sharks here. Bora Bora has a breathtaking lagoon where you can swim alongside manta rays and sharks on a coral wall. There are reefs completely encircling the island, so there is no shortage of dives to partake in.
Fakarava Atoll is the second largest atoll in French Polynesia, and its lagoon includes two channels. First, the north channel, called Passe Nord Garuae, is 1,600 meters wide. The channel offers a range of dive sites during the slack current and becomes an exciting drift dive on inbound current. Indeed, experienced divers will see hundreds of sharks riding the current, thus it is a great dive to hook up on a reef. Secondly, the south channel, Passe Sud Tumakohua, is located 60 kilometers from the north channel. It is only 200 meters wide, gets less current flow and is more shallow, making it safe for divers that are new to drift diving.
Bora Bora: Perhaps the most Famous island after Tahiti itself, Bora Bora sits in the lagoon of an atoll with a number of great dive sites, some in the lagoon and a number of them outside in deeper waters.
Moorea: Unlike the other destinations just mentioned, Moorea is an island surrounded by a fringing reef. Inside the fringing reef, the water averages 18 meters/ 60 feet. Crystal clear waters, no currents, and abundant marine life makes this the perfect place for a beginner diver and exciting enough for even the most experienced divers. Outside of the reef will bring an encounter with large species especially sharks and marine mammals.