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Society Island Dive Sites
Bora Dive Sites
& Taha'a Dive Sites
MOOREA DIVE SITES
BORA BORA DIVE SITES
Bora Bora diving is easy, but highly rewarding. There are no monster currents
like in the Tuamotus, and the visibility is usually superb, especially
on the outside of the reef. This is a great place for beginners or novice
divers wanting to gain some more experience. For those who have "been
there, done that" there are some awesome shark encounters to be had in
- WHITE VALLEY
White Valley is located on the back of the Pearl Beach Resort's motu,
beyond the barrier reef. A gently sloping reef starts in perhaps 30ft
of water and drops to a coral plateau at 70-80ft. This ledge runs for
perhaps 100 yards to another gentle slop that falls away into the deep
Pacific. The section known as White Valley is dominated by a huge sand
chute perhaps 50 yards wide, that cuts through the coral, perpendicular
to the reef. It starts at the bottom of the shallow slope and drops
off the edge of the second slope in about 110ft of water. The sand is
home to millions of garden eels. As soon as you enter the water you
immediately notice that the visibility is superb here - 150ft is about
average! You can look down along the reef and see White Valley as a
bright streak in the reef. Numerous grey reef sharks can bee seen below
as soon as you enter the water, and they follow you along the reef to
White Valley. Schools of jacks and barracuda are always seen at this
site. In fact, on the way back to the boat I saw a school of perhaps
1000 pickhandle barracudas 3-4ft in length moving along the reef top.
Regrettably I had run out of film! On reaching the sand chute you will
see lots of grey reef sharks streaking in from the deep. I counted at
least 25 on one dive, and some were hefty creatures perhaps 7ft in length.
These sharks circle you and follow you where ever you go. For those
not used to sharks this may be disconcerting - for photographers it
is a dream, because as you move up the mooring line back to the boat
they follow you up the water column, circling constantly! This makes
for incredible photo opportunities! I don't think I have ever done a
dive where I have had so many grey reef sharks come in so close to me.
And when you are in 40ft of water and have 150ft of visibility, this
makes White Valley, in my opinion, one of the best shark dives in the
world! Don't miss it!
- FAFA PITI
Fafa Piti is Bora Bora's manta dive. Set within the lagoon itself, visibility
is often a problem - you may be unfortunate to have maybe 30ft, like
we did! The dive is set within a sandy section at about 60ft, flanked
by coral on both sides. The mantas come down the corridor created by
the coral, to the cleaning stations along the reef. As many as 10 mantas
can come in on any one dive. The dive is easy and with no discernible
current, and for those who have never seen mantas before it is an ideal
way to experience them at close quarters. However, if you want really
fabulous manta experience, you need to go and dive The Circus in Manihi!
See the Tuamotu Atolls section for more details! TAPU Tapu is located
on the outside of the reef, just south of the only channel into Bora
Bora's lagoon, Teavanui Pass. A gently sloping reef interspersed with
small channels and gullies, this is a popular dive site at which the
French divemasters do shark feeds. Numerous black-tip reef sharks are
attracted in by the food on offer. Excellent visibility allows you to
enjoy a grand vista of about 209 back tips bombing around excitedly,
grabbing bits of fish that have been strategically hidden under a coral
boulder. Other fish enjoy the feast too! A couple of hefty morays, a
large and very handsome Napoleon wrasse, the odd turtle, and dozens
buuterflyfish, surgeonfish and other reef dwellers enjoy the mel
From October until May or June Tapu is also a great place to see lemon
sharks. These sharks have a body similar to that of a nurse shark, but
with a more pointed head and a much more fierce look! They can grow
to 12ft in length, most the average tend to be around 7-8ft in length.
Bottom dwellers, they are quite shy and take their time in coming in
to the feeding area. If you approach them they often swim away back
down the reef! If they come in close they can make for great photo opportunities!
Tapu is a great place to interact with turtles. While they may not be
very big - perhaps 2ft long - they are not wary of divers and seem to
enjoy posing for photos! The large Napoleon fish is also happy to pose
for photos - he is exceedingly inquisitive and comes right up to you,
his beady eyes swivelling around as he looks for the person with some
food on offer! Tapu is an excellent dive for fish life, especially the
sharks, Napoleon wrasse and turtles.
While Bora Bora is surrounded by deep ocean there are actually very
few places where the coral reef drops vertically into the blue. Tupitipiti
is one of them. Located in the SE corner of Bora Bora, this is a wall
or drift dive along the reef edge. Surprisingly, you will also see fan
corals here, rare in almost all French Polynesia! The upper section
of the reef has a number of caves and gullies to explore. The wall itself
is covered in a profusion of hard corals, and is home to a busy array
of fish life; butterflyfish, surgeonfish, snapper, sweetlips can all
be seen scurrying about. However, it is the deeper water off the reef
edge that holds the most interest - large schools of jacks and snapper,
groupers, eagle rays, mantas, black-tips, white-tips even nurse sharks
are also seen along this section of reef. You may even see a dolphin
or whale iof you are very lucky! TOOPUA Named after the nearby motu,
Toopua is a lagoon dive ranging from 10-100ft in depth. The pretty reef
is home to a huge array of fish species including butterflyfish, Picasso
and Titan triggerfish, parrotfish, morays, surgeongfish, anthias, and
clownfish in their anemones. On a good day you may also see sharks and
barracuda. But it is the spotted eagle rays that frequent this site
that are the main attraction. These delightful and graceful creatures
swoop in from the open sea to feed on an incoming tide, and make for
a wonderful site as they fly in formation through the water.
- TOOPUA ITI
"Little Toopua" is located just to the SW of Toopua. A series of coral
gullies in 50ft of water, you drift along in the presence of those same
eagle rays you saw at Toopua. The safety stop at the end of the dive
is done in shallow coral gardens at the top of the reef.
- TEAVANUI PASS
The only true pass into Bora Bora Lagoon, this is the only means of
passage from the lagoon to the outside of the reef. Approximately 130ft
at its deepest point, this is a drift dive, preferably on an incoming
tide, where you hang out with the sharks and rays and schooling fish
that enter the lagoon on the same tide. An easy multi-level drift dive
for those who have not done one, as the current is not as fierce as
it is in the passes of the Tuamotus!
RAIATEA & TAHA'A
Taha'a is relatively unexplored diving-wise, as it is only just becoming
a popular tourist destination. More dive sites are being discovered all
the time, and Stephane, who runs the dive centre at the Pearl Beach Resort,
is searching for a manta cleaning station he is convinced lies within
the lagoon, as he has seen numerous mantas entering through the passes.
As Raiatea & taha'a share the same lagoon it is possible to dive the
sites of one island while staying at the other!
Located on the outside of the reef, south of Paipai Pass, opposite the
village of Poutoru, this site is named after the Napoleon wrasse that
frequent this section of reef. Err I didn't see any! But what I did
see was an awful lot of black tip reef sharks - perhaps 25 of them.
The dive operators come here to put on a shark feeding display, so as
soon as you are in the water these inquisitive little sharks are right
up to you and ready to eat! They come almost to the surface to say hello
and follow you like little puppies until it is time to be fed. The reef
has some small coral heads under which can be found little groups of
sweetlips, bass and snapper. The reef slopes gently into the deep and
visibility is usually superb. Even with the large swell that we had
on doing this dive, visibility was at least 100ft. Towards the end of
the dive the guides wedge themselves in a coral head and sneak little
bits of fish out of their bags for the sharks. This makes for a much
more controlled, and longer shark feed, allowing you to interact with
the sharks for a greater period of time. An excellent and easy dive
for the first time shark feeder!
- PAI PAI PASS
Pai Pai Pass is the main pass on the western side of Taha'a. It is markedly
different from most of the passes you will see in French Polynesia as
it is much deeper (200ft) and it's sides are scoured clean on the deeper
parts. The upper parts have a dead coral substrate covered in small
plate and staghorn corals and are bedecked in billions of yellow stylaster
corals. This was the only place I saw them in all of French Polynesia!
We dived this pass on a slack tide, and visibility was poor, but there
was a very impressive variety of fish life along the lip of the pass.
Every hole seemed to be home to a moray eel, and there was a large assortment
of butterflyfish species - pyramid, long-nosed, saddleback, masked,
rip and bannerfish (a species of butterflyfish!) While there were not
huge numbers of fish, the variety was exceptional. If you wanted to
take medium angle photos of typical reef species, this would be an excellent
place to do it!
- CERAN'S PASS Under construction
- THE PEAKS Under construction
- THE OCTOPUS GROTTO Under construction
- THE NORDBY WRECK Under construction
- TEAVAPITI PASS Under construction
HUAHINE DIVE SITES
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