R.L. Stevenson once wrote about French Polynesia that it is a place hard to reach, a place hard to live but even harder to leave. For years, this stunning region of the South Pacific attracted countless ocean explorers, including perhaps the most famous, Captain Cook. Its numerous atolls and rich polynesian culture captivated the dreams of many, and nowadays remains as a place that will change you for the better.
Take your camera because today we are travelling to the legendary South Seas!
THE FRENCH POLYNESIA
The French Polynesia is a long archipelago consisting of 118 islands located in the South Pacific Ocean. Known as a honeymoon destination, it has been recently rediscovered as a world class region for scuba diving. Each island is home to a rich and very unique biodiversity. Around 800 marine species can be found in this region including whales, dolphins, sharks, rays and a huge variety of colourful fish. Around 300 different species of vibrant corals can also be found in French Polynesia.
The French Polynesia is a long archipelago consisting of 118 islands located in the South Pacific Ocean. Known as a honeymoon destination, it has been recently rediscovered as a world class region for scuba diving.
Diving in French Polynesia is a joyous experience with crystal clear waters, gentle currents and temperatures that rarely drop below 28°C. Perhaps some of the best islands to visit are Bora Bora and Tahiti, but there is much more to see if you plan your dive trip well!
The island of Moorea is located only 9 miles to the North west of Tahiti and offers calm and easy dives, perfect for beginners and experienced divers alike. The reef fringes offer a spectacular variety of corals, including gardens of coral roses in the beautiful dive site Garden of Roses. However, this island is better known as a shark hotspot. Incredible numbers of sharks gather here, such as Blacktip Reef Sharks, Whitetips Sharks, and Grey Sharks. Many can be spotted swimming slowly over the reefs, or resting on sand-beds. If you are lucky, you may also be able to see the impressive Lemon Shark in specific locations around the north of the island.
Waters are beautifully clear and calm, with many walls and drift dives to be found along the outer reefs. Conditions are perfect for divers of all qualifications.
Bora Bora’s lagoon is a sight to behold. It offers the opportunity to dive over stunning corals and cliffs. Fish life here is prolific, with Manta Rays, Eagle Rays, schools of Barracudas and ever present sharks including Blacktips, Oceanic Whitetips, Grey Sharks, Lemon Sharks and Hammerheads. It’s an ideal place for all levels of diving; you’ll find healthy coral gardens inside the lagoon, sheer cliffs, and plenty of swim throughs and wall diving. From August until October, Humpback Whales pass through the waters of Bora Bora and you’ll have a great chance of spotting them during a dive.
Located 350 km on the north of Tahiti, Rangiroa is recognised as the second biggest lagoon in the world. It’s full of some of the most exciting large species including Manta Rays, Eagle Rays, several Turtle species, Blacktips, Grey sharks, Hammerheads, Tiger sharks, Napoleon wrasse, big Jacks and a plethora of colourful reef fish. All this life flows gracefully over gardens of soft and hard corals. Within the lagoon, Rangiroa scuba diving is suitable for divers of all levels. However, beyond this, currents can be very strong and waves can form which tends to put the best dive sites out of reach of less experienced divers and are typically only dived on by those with more experience. Tiputa Pass is the most popular dive site here.
Far from the rest of the world, French Polynesia is still an inhospitable place waiting to be discovered. The wonders that this can offer are reason enough to jump into the adventure and discover the unexplored waters of The South Seas.
The island of Manihi is located around 500 km to the north-east of Tahiti and offers some of the best diving in the French Polynesia. Originally famous for producing black pearls, the region is slowly growing in reputation as one of the best scuba diving sites in the world. You will find a beautiful variety of coral gardens, bustling with beautiful reef fish. Some of the best things to see here, aside from the high numbers of reef sharks, are Snappers, Napoleon Wrasse, Tuna, Manta Rays, Eagle Rays and even Marlin! Waters are beautifully clear and calm, with many walls and drift dives to be found along the outer reefs. Conditions are perfect for divers of all qualifications.