Curious, mischievous DOLPHINS, elegant MANTA RAYS, graceful eagle & leopard rays awe divers in this destination ... while senses are bombarded by SHARK-FILLED DRIFT DIVES in raging currents (great HAMMERHEADS & TIGER SHARKS, lemon sharks, nurse sharks, silky sharks, grey reef sharks, silvertips, whitetips & blacktips. Reef fish in a rainboow of colors fill the LAGOONS, darting around in large schools. In the blue are PELAGIC FISH (napoleon wrasse, big-eye snappers, marbled groupers). And, don't forget the HUMPBACK WHALES in Moorea & Rurutu, August through October.
A STUDY IN CONTRASTS
Picture a tropical paradise, with its endless white-sand beaches, graceful curving palm trees, plentiful fruits and turquoise waters .... sailboats quietly dotting the sea for miles and spectacular hotels & restaurants offering serene, soothing days of relaxing repose. That is genuinely the picture of French Polynesia.
However for us, in the world of scuba divers, we know it is so much more .... as the ocean holds yet more wonders than the land. For the diver, French Polynesia is one of the most electifying, arousing & hair-raising destinations on the planet!
Twice daily, tidal waters surge through narrow passes from ocean to lagoons ... and back again ... createing a unique drift dive environment so awesome, that words have no adequate power to describe the experience.
And, probably needless to say, it isn't just zooming along with the current which is exciting. It's the fact that you can have schools of thousands of fish hurtling along with you on the ride ... not to mention dozens of sharks (which are shoulder to shoulder with you !) .... which makes this occurence beyond exhilarating.
If you love adventure diving, this is one ride you absolutely shouldn't miss.
ESCAPE TO BLISS ON ONE OF OUR DIVE LIVEABOARDS
You may choose to dive from a few excellent land-based options but serious divers who wish to experience the most remote areas and to access the best of the diving in the French Polynesian archipelago will want to be on a dive liveaboard. We have chosen the vessels we have full confidence in. They run reliable, safety-conscious, professional diving adventures which we recommend without hesitation. Add a few days, or a week, on land ... and you have the perfect dive holiday !
FRENCH POLYNESIA LIVEABOARDS
FRENCH POLYNESIA RESORTS
FRENCH POLYNESIA DIVING ... FROM SWEET LAGOONS TO ROARING PASSES
The underwater life found in the two channels is abundant and varied - including some glorious corals. You will encounter huge schools of sharks (large concentrations of gray sharks, but also white tips, black tips, sleepers, great hammerhead sharks, sometimes tigers ...). You will also see barracudas, eagle rays and manta rays, napoleon wrasse, as well as dolphins and a multitude of different schools of fish: big-eye snapper, goatfish, groupers and lots of moray eels ... At certain times of the year, you can view passing humpback whales, melon-headed whales, whale sharks, giant groupers, schools of manta mobilae ...
But there are no words to describe the rush of diving in the channels with immense numbers of these animals, as the water carries divers and wildlife alike surging in or out of the lagoon, to or from the blue waters of the ocean.
In addition. you're in French Polynesia, perhaps the most consummate example of Paradise on the planet. Above the water-line and below, you'll find wonders of nature that have few equals.
There's no Disneyland ride to equal this !
You'll also encounter manta rays, leopard rays & huge schools of eagle rays, big pods of dolphins (who love diver interaction) and if you're lucky, even the stray marlin.
The exhilarating diving is done in these passes on incoming tides. You'll surge through the passes on the drift dives of your life .... fish & sharks & rays all boiling around you doing the same drift! Spine-tingling & unforgettable. There are lovely lagoon dives also with beautiful corals, plenty of turtles, morays and reef fish (unicornfish, surgeonfish, paddletail snappers, fusiliers, kingfish, soldierfish ....). Mix in a few critters and you have super dives.
On the ocean side, the action is generated by the schools of Napoleon wrasses, barracudas, snappers, dogfish tuna, bigeye jacks .... plus, of course, more dolphins & sharks
And, in Rurutu, you have the distinct possibility of seeing far more than humpbacks. Sightings are not uncommon of the following species: sperm whales, minke whales, sei whales, pilot whales, beaked whales, melon-headed whales.
Like the humpbacks in Tonganese waters, the groups of humpbacks that come to mate and bear their young here come from Antarctic waters and spend 3 – 4 months of the year as residents of the South Pacific.
The curious & playful calves spend time entertaining themselves as well as learning whale behavior from their mothers, while the adult males spend their time attracting the females in an effort to create next year's group of calves. You'll be overwhelmed as you observe ... whether from the boat or eye to eye with the whales in the water.
Read more about swim-with-whales programs around the world.
Do note that the visibility is generally low due to the concentration of nutrients in the water ... but this is what brings in all of these incredible creatures. Diving amongst the dramatic sea mounts, caves & walls ... in strong currents .... with hundreds of pelagics is a never-to-be-forgotten experience.
To complete the diving experience, you'll also find eels, sting rays, tuna, parrotfish, triggerfish, scorpionfish, butterfly fish, puffer fish, soldier fish and snappers along with eels and huge lobsters.
Paradisical French Polynesia lies in the South Pacific Ocean half way between Los Angeles and Sydney, Australia. It is composed of 118 geographically dispersed islands & atolls stretching over more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles) – only 67 of which are inhabited. There are 5 island groups : the Society Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier Islands, the Marquesas & the Austral Islands. Each of these island groups offers something unique in terms of culture, geology and diving.