Tahiti is the largest island of French Polynesia and is located in the Archipelago of the Society Islands within the central, Southern Pacific Ocean. The island was formed from volcanic activity and is covered in stunning, mountainous viewpoints as well as rich coral reefs and incredible marine life.
Tahiti plays host to many beautiful holiday resorts and a number of excellent dive centers along with world-renowned dive sites, it is truly a great spot for divers looking for adventure both on land and under the surface. Here are the top spots for diving around Tahiti.
Top 5 Dive Sites in Tahiti
Papa Whisky is a 15 min boat ride from Tahiti mainland and has a maximum depth of 50m. When looking at this small artificial island from a boat, you can see what appears to be a large cliff, which is actually the side of a large amphitheatre that stretches 70m across. This amphitheatre was created by the collapse of a part of an underwater plateau. The south side of this giant structure is full of incredible rock and coral formations that are covered in yellow Gorgonians. The currents surrounding this giant amphitheatre are strong, however, once you’re inside this magnificent structure, the currents are little to non-existent. To the north of this structure, you’ll find more giant Gorgonians as well as the stunning purple Starfish. Keep an eye out for schools of Tuna at this location as well as the steep drop off, located at 55m. Due to the depth of this dive site, only advanced divers should attempt it.
The Aquarium is by far the most popular dive site found throughout the waters surrounding Tahiti. The Aquarium is a large sandy basin within a lagoon that is covered in clear, turquoise, warm waters. No deeper than 12m, this dive site is ideal for beginner divers as well as the more advanced divers looking for a more relaxing dive. You’ll find a beautiful coral reef abundant in Triggerfish, Lionfish, Angelfish as well as large numbers of reef critters. As well as a beautiful reef to explore, you’ll also find two plane wrecks, which are easy to penetrate for any new diver.
The Spring is another great diving spot located just a short boat ride away from the main island. This dive site has been named after a natural freshwater spring that emerges from 6m below the surface. You can see it clearly, due to the number of bubbles streaming up through this fresh water. Once reaching the source, you can descend down to 20m where you may be met with sharks, Stingrays as well as Hump Head Wrasse. This dive site is also a spectacular night dive site.
This dive site is more for the intermediate/advanced divers and is known as a ‘typical’ dive site for this area. Diving at this location starts at the edge of a sheer wall, which dives deep into the abyss. Marine life is phenomenal; you’ll see plenty of Nudibranchs, Trevallies, Snapper, Black Tip Reef Sharks as well as the occasional Napoleon Wrasse. Keep an eye out for eels moving around the reef, looking for holes to hide in. The maximum depth is around 35m and is only accessible by boat.
The Cargo Ship and Catalina
This is another diving spot for the intermediates and advanced divers. It is also a wreck divers paradise as there’s not only a shipwreck at this dive site, but also a plane wreck. Most dives start at the shipwreck, which begins at 13m below the surface and goes down to 25m. The best thing about this wreck is the fact you can swim straight through it, observing the jumbled up wires, collapsed beams and pipes. The wooden hull has mostly rotted away over the years, leaving a surprisingly eerie skeleton, surrounded by schools of fish. The other top attraction at this dive site is the vintage world war two Catalina flying boat that was scuttled in 1964. When diving around this wreck you’ll see Clownfish and numerous anemones.
Tahiti is such a special dive resort and should not be missed. If you know of any top dive sites that have not been mentioned in this article, please let us know in the comments below.