Tahiti and its 117 sister islands have long exuded an irresistible charm on adventurers, explorers and travellers wishing to discover new shores. It also features some of the most exhilarating diving in the South Pacific, and certainly some of the best infrastructure. From wall dives and wreck dives to drift dives, novice excursions to expert challenges, The Islands of Tahiti offer an abundance of diving experiences. Protected coral reefs and crystal clear lagoons all provide the perfect shelter for The Islands of Tahiti’s colourful underwater ecosystem, which has rightly earned a reputation as one of the world’s most diverse.
In fact, 99 per cent of The Islands of Tahiti is ocean and lagoon, so what better way to discover the beauty of the Islands of Tahiti than by taking to the water. Known as ‘Moana’ to the locals, the ocean lies at the heart of the history, culture and life of the Tahitian people. Below are some suggestions and tips on how to get the most out of a visit to The Islands of Tahiti…
DID YOU SAY 'REMOTE'?
With their dramatic rocky coastlines, the Marquesas Islands provide a nautical wonderland for novice snorkelers and experienced divers alike. Without the protective ring of coral surrounding the islands, here is where wall diving is at its best, and the fauna is distinctly different to that found in the atolls. Manta rays (sometimes as large as 4m [16ft] across), dragon eels and boxer crabs are all common sights. There is an abundance of fish species, as well as white-tip, black-tip, silver-tip and grey reef sharks and - with a bit of luck - the occasional scalloped hammerhead or pods of whales.
YOU WANT WILDLIFE, WE GOT IT!
The Islands of Tahiti are a nautical playground for humans and animals alike. Keen scuba-divers can explore the steep, rocky depths and grottoes teeming with manta rays, barracudas and shark species or venture into the ‘Octopus Grotto’ between the Society Islands of Raiatea and Taha’a for the ultimate octopus encounter! Dolphins are permanent inhabitants of the waters of the island of Moorea with sightings likely year-round, while from July to October visitors can join tours to see the majestic humpback whales.
EASY ACCESS, BUT WITHOUT THE CROWDS
The Society Archipelago is the most visited out of all the island groups, thanks to the easy access and the wonders of Bora Bora. Yet, diving remains a niche activity and the protected waters provide shelter for the most diverse marine wildlife. The fantastic Moorea lagoon is home to large aggregations of reef sharks, surgeon fish, moray eels and leopard ray. The fabled lagoons of Huahine are treasure troves to be discovered, where the yellow coral at ‘Coral City’ and in the ‘Yellow Valley’ is a key attraction.
TOP OF ITS CLASS
UNESCO has classified the Fakarava atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago a Biosphere Reserve, acknowledging the atoll’s remarkable wildlife, which features many rare endemic species. The atoll’s expansive lagoon is a wildlife sanctuary for rays, hammerhead sharks and a variety of different fauna. The famous Tumakohua pass (Tetamanu) offers some of the best dives in the South Pacific accessible to all levels of divers.
DOLPHINS AND WHALES!
Although dolphins are permanent inhabitants of the waters of Moorea and it is possible to see them all year round, from July to October visitors are also able to see humpback whales, the incredible giants of the sea. Certified and highly regulated eco-tours offer visitors the chance to come up close and personal to these gentle giants – either above or below the water.
The Islands of Tahiti are best-enjoyed cruising the islands and dive sites in style, onboard one of the luxurious liveaboards operating around the islands. Experience some spectacular locations such as the Marquesas Islands where the elusive dragon moray eels can be found, all while staying in paradise. Some of the leading liveaboards include the MV Polynesia Master, which operates 7-10 night itineraries discovering the Tuamotu archipelago, and the Paul Gauguin, built to navigate between the open ocean and tiny lagoons with ease.
Explore paradise as you island-hop between the stunning Islands of Tahiti. Marvel at the manta rays of Bora Bora, drift dive the lagoons of Fakarava where shark sightings are in abundance and enjoy the colourful marine life of Tikehau. Island hopping adventures run throughout the year on 15-day itineraries and offers some amazing diving opportunities.
In association with
Dive Worldwide has a range of bespoke itineraries so you can enjoy the full range of The Islands of Tahiti's scuba delights. For shark lovers, there is the thrill of diving the passes of Rangiroa and Fakarava. Or perhaps a cruise aboard the luxury liveaboard the Paul Gauguin - perfect for divers and non-diving partners with world-class diving and memorable land excursions.
Get to see three top diving destinations in one amazing holiday: the manta rays at Bora Bora; the awesome reefs of Tikehau and the unforgettable shark diving of Fakarava.
Talk to the experts and arrange the South Pacific dive trip of a lifetime. Prices for a 12-day trip including flights start from £4,095.
To find out more phone +44 (0)1962 303 087 or check out Dive Worldwide's website