Diving French Polynesia

23 August 2018
French Polynesia comprises five archipelagoes (Archipel des Tuamotu, Iles Gambier, Iles Marquises, Iles Tubuai and Society Islands) in the South Pacific Ocean about halfway between Australia and South America. It has 2,525 km of coastline. Seventy percent of the population of French Polynesia lives on Tahiti in the Society Islands arcipelago.

One of the best dive sites in French Polynesia is Tiputa Pass in Rangiroa - famous for its sharks, manta rays, turtles and dolphins.

When to go diving in French Polynesia? You can dive in Polynesia all year round. Water temperature never gets much below 25 oC. Humpback whales appear from August to October, hammerhead sharks from December to March. For Manta Rays go between June and October.

Dive Sites of French Polynesia French Polynesia Diving Operators & Liveaboards Books to Take to French Polynesia Your Comments Specialist Diving Travel Insurance


Dive Sites of French Polynesia

"It helps to understand French - at least enough to understand diving terms and instructions. Not as many fish as in the Red Sea, but lots of Black and White Tip Reef Sharks. However, avoid Tahiti. For serious diving go to Rangiroa - one of the world's largest atolls with loads of sharks."
Matthew Moore
"I'm diving instructor, I've been in many dive location around the world, and believe me, the Tuamotu is unbelievable and there is not only Rangiroa and Fakarava, at least 10 other atolls have great dive spots with pristine warm waters."
Serge Renault, 2011
Rangiroa

Rather poetically, Rangiroa means Endless Sky.

Reviews: 5 stars

"Sharks, sharks and more sharks. Cleaning stations of sharks swimming against currents. "
L, August 2018
"Two passes full of pelagic fauna like 10 different kind of sharks, school of dolphins, manta rays, turtles, barracuda, sail fish, eagle rays..."
Serge Renault, 2011

Find a liveaboard to the Rangiroa…

Tiputa Pass
Rangiroa

Tiputa Pass is famous for its large animals: grey reef sharks, turtles, manta rays, dolphins, barracuda and others. The pass is one of two entrances to an enormous interior lagoon, and you need to dive on an incoming tide. The season runs from February until November, but September is the best time for sharks.

Reviews: 5 stars

"If you are interested in large pelagic animals, this is THE place. It can be done at various depth. Around 45-50 m there is ALWAYS a large number of big sharks of a variety of species. I dove 3 times there; I had dolphins playing at my side each time (mostly near the surface)."
Mario Giordano
"Drift dives (strong current, 5-6 knots). Grey, blacktip, whitetip, silvertip and hammerhead sharks. Manta rays, eagle rays, napoleon fish, barracudas, jackfish and many others. Water visibility among 60 metres. Fantastic dives! "
Enrico Conte
"Similar to Awatoru pass. We dived five days in these two sites and even during all those dives we could jump and jump in again - it's difficult to imagine something better. "
Einari Talviste, Estonia, 2009
Awatoru Pass
Rangiroa

Reviews: 5 stars

"Great visibility (60 m at least), different kinds of sharks (from hammer to reef sharks) and hundreds of them, eagle rays, turtles, moray eels, very nice current (approxm. 2-3 m/s!!) and dolphins on surface before jump - experience for all my life!"
Einari Talviste, Estonia, 2009
South Pass
Fakarava

Reviews: 5 stars

"A truly amazing experience. Normally a drift dive through 18-30m with the Wall of Sharks with numbers of Reef Grey, Black Tip and the occasional Tiger and Silver "
Stewart Henderson, 2017
"The south pass is definitively easy to dive, and incredibly rich in diversity. Wall of grey sharks, amazing unspoiled corals with a huge density of reef fishes... "
Serge Renault, 2011
Garuae Pass
Fakarava
"Not as demanding as the Tiputa pass of Rangiroa (and not as amazing), but a great dive. Lots of large schools of big fish; large pelagic animals (tuna, shark, mantas), many very friendly white tips at the ebottom. As in most places in Polynesia, the most amazing thing is how close animals get to you."
Mario Giordano
Tumakohua Pass
Fakarava

Reviews: 5 stars

"Put Palau dive sites to shame. In one dive I saw some hundreds grey reef sharks patrolling the pass (with the occasional white tip and silver tip). It's a jaw dropping dive spot even for someone like me who's not particularly keen on sharks. Corals are also in very good shape contrary to Tiputa in Rangiroa."
Roberto Spanghero, 2018
"Magnificent drift dive and over benches of several dozens of grey sharks."
Gerald Semenjuk
Fitii's Pass
Huahine

Reviews: 5 stars

"Grey sharks, leopards rays, tortoise and big napoleons."
Gerald Semenjuk

French Polynesia Diving Operators and Liveaboards

If you own or manage a dive centre: get yourself added to our directory. Have you dived in French Polynesia? Let us know about the diving centre you used.

French Polynesia Liveaboards - Compare prices online. Book now & pay later.

Aquatiki
Liveaboard

Space for just 8 divers. Visits Tuamotu.

Aquatiki liveaboard

See prices - book now, pay later

French Polynesia Master
Liveaboard

There are 13 cabins spread over 3 decks to cater to 25 people on board. Visits Tuamotu,

French Polynesia Master

See prices - book now, pay later

Rangiroa Diving Center
Tuamotu

Tiputa
Rangiroa
Tuamotu
French Polynesia
Tel: (+689) 40 96 05 55
Mobile: (+689) 87 29 06 18
contact@rangiroadivingcenter.com

Dive Spirit Fakarava
Tuamotu

PK 4,3, 98763
French Polynesia
Tel: +689 40 85 41 46
info@fluidtahiti.com

TOPDIVE
Moorea

InterContinental Moorea Resort and Spa
BP1247
Papeto'ai 98729
French Polynesia Tel: +689 40 56 31 44
dive@topdive.com

Fluid Plongée
Tahiti

Marina Taina
Punaauia
Tahiti 98718
French Polynesia
Tel: +689 40 85 41 46
info@fluidtahiti.com

Hemisphere Sub Polynesie (Marina Apooiti)
Raiatea

BP 1551
Uturoa 98735
French Polynesia
Tel: +689 40 66 12 49
info@raiatea-diving.com

Tahaa Diving
Tahaa

Tapuamu BP 300
Haamene
98734
TAHAA
French Polynesia



Further Reading and References

Coral Reef Fishes Coral Reef Fishes, Indo-Pacific and Caribbean
by Ewald Lieske and Robert Myers, Harper Collins, 400 Pages, Paperback
An excellent, comprehensive guide to reef fishes, which is small and light enough to pack regardless of amount of diving equipment. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to identify the fish they see whilst diving the tropics.
Read the full review...
Lonely Planet Tahiti & French Polynesia
256 pages, 2016

Comments

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