Top 8 Dives: The Islands of Tahiti
DIVE's top 8 areas to dive in French Polynesia
THE AQUARIUM: TAHITI
Level All levels
This is Tahiti’s most popular dive site; it is a large sandy basin inside a lagoon with turquoise water and an idyllic setting. There is a coral reef with an abundance of small fish: lionfish, angelfish, triggerfish and many more. There are two schooners and a Cessna plane wreck also, making it perfect for a beginners first wreck dive.
The Marado: Tahiti
Depth 20-29m and 35m
A typical dive for the area - beginning at the edge of a sheer wall that plunges deeply into the blue. Nudibranches are a common here alongside Napoleon wrasse, blacktip reef sharks, trevallies and snappers. There are also eels roaming freely around the reef which really make this an exciting dive.
The Cargo Ship and the Catalini: Tahiti
This dive site is a dream for wreck divers it features both a shipwreck and an aircraft wreck. The ship begins at around 13m and descends to 25m; you swim the whole way through looking at the jumble of wires, pipes and collapsed beams. The wooden hull cladding has mostly rotted away, the wooden ribs look like a skeleton with schools of fish swimming around, it is a sight you will not forget. There is also a vintage WW2 Catalina flying boat which was scuttled in 1964. The local residents of this include clownfish and anemones - you are able to swim the full length of the boat.
Miri Miri: Raiatea/ Bora Bora
Level Novice to Advanced
Depth 15-20m or 45m
The gently sloping reefs are filled with black tip reef sharks, turtles and notably giant Napoleon wrasse. It some sometimes referred to as the ‘Roses’ also because of the fields of monipora coral that resemble a carpet of roses.
Tupitipiti: Bora Bora
Few divers get to experience the wonders of Tupitipiti - it is a long boat trip just south of Motu Piti Aau. It is a spectacular dive with a huge reef filled with caves, swim throughs and overhangs. The attraction here is not marine life, but you can see whitetip reef sharks patrolling, turtles swimming around the point and the usual array of smaller fish. There are wonderful blue and red branching corals alongside red, green and orange sponges. It is a difficult to reach but well worth it especially for photographers looking for interesting terrain.
Tiputa Pass (Shark Cave): Rangiora
This is a shark fanatics’ paradise - fast currents that sweep through the pass bring with them hoards of sharks. You will descend quickly to a cave at 35m - a structure which shelters divers from the powerful currents. Grey reef sharks coast by in baffling numbers, creating a spectacular experience for anyone lucky enough to see it.
Depth Range 10-23m
Access Hauru Point
Taotoi pass lies just west of the large Opunohu pass and is a typical Moorea dive. It has a sloping reef with numerous valleys, ravines and chasms. The marine life is fairly standard for the area with lots of corals and smaller fish. There are a few fish which make this dive very notable. A giant Napoleon wrasse named Jojo by local instructors rules the reef - she is over a metre long and very playful with divers.
The Mounts of Ceran (Les Pitons de Ceran): Tahaa
Depth Range 25-39m
In Toahotu Pass located on the eastern side of Taha’a lies one of the island’s most beautiful dive sites. Be sure to bring your wide–angle lens as the visibility is superb and there is lots to see. There are two large pinnacles rising just off the ridge; these lead to a bigger seamount where you can stop and observe the fish 15m below. You will be sure to see White tip reef sharks, angelfish, marbled groupers and Napoleon Wrasse. The main draw of this dive is the abundance of sea life and the spectacular scenery.