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tahiti diving

Absorb the spirited atmosphere of Papeete.
- Learn the history tales of the sunken WWII battleships.
- Gangs of frolicking Black-tip Reef Sharks.
- Plunging walls thriving with vibrant corals and fish.


Papeete Diving , French Polynesia: An Introduction

papeete diving holidaysWith Tahiti usually being the first port of call for all visitors to French Polynesia it is well worth spending a day or two exploring the many dive destinations and soaking up the spirited atmosphere of the capital Papeete. The city of Papeete is situated on the north west coast with a harbour sheltered by reefs. You will see impressive water falls and discover mysterious grottoes and Archaeological sites steeped in legend. The rocky coastline to the west has spectacular views and long black sandy beaches swept by world renowned surfing waves. It was this backdrop of majestic breadfruit trees, birds of paradise and bougainvillea that formed the backdrop for the movie 'Mutiny on the Bounty'.

Most dive destinations are situated along the western coast of Tahiti where the vast peninsula that lies south of the island protects the reef; this peninsula acts as a divider between the calm seas and the deep ocean. These reefs offer a rich and colourful underwater landscape, adorned with a multitude of hard and soft corals that are home to a great diversity of marine life. History tales are told from the WWII ships that came to rest here and through time these wrecks have become marine habitats of their own. Great underwater walls plunge to astounding depths where numerous pelagic species can be encountered. Dive with turtles, dolphins and giant wrasses, potentially experience the exhilarating sight of the Humpback Whale if diving between July and October.

The majority of dives are taken along the Tahiti Wall which descends steeply to vast depths. The reef wall is covered in thousands of tiny gorgonian corals and often Green Moray Eels can be seen swimming freely amongst the throngs. Large trevally and wrasse often come close and divers should keep an eye out for the Titan Triggerfish should it be provoked. A highlight of diving the Tahiti Wall is that gangs of pretty Black tip Reef Sharks often hang about at a depth of approximately 5 metres. They can be seen on most descents and ascents frolicking frantically in the shallows of the reef.


Diving in Papeete, French Polynesia

Tahiti, the largest of the isles in French Polynesia is a place for beginners or rusty divers who wish to brush up on their skills. Tahiti's dive sites offer an average of 30 metres visibility along with masses of coloured fish life,

French Polynesia is not well known in the scuba world, but that is what you will enjoy about it. With fewer divers it is easier to preserve this little paradise...just for you.
Actually, French Polynesia is the ideal spot for all levels of scuba divers. There are dive locations for the beginner inside the lagoon and more technical ones outside the reef. The visibility is very good in all locations ; however as anywhere else it is dependent on factors outside our control such as weather and currents.

Diving is excellent year round which means that there is no "best" season for scuba diving in French Polynesia. We have both a dry and a rainy season. The rainy season is during the Tahitian summer which lasts from December until February, and typically involves rain in the morning with sun in the afternoon.

What You'll See

If you enjoy seeing big fish this is the place to be. Sharks, sharks, and more sharks.

Tahiti was rated shark capital of the Pacific by Skin Diver magazine and it definitely lives up to its rating. Lemon, grey, black tip, white tip, and hammerhead sharks all make the waters around Tahiti their home.

The waters of Bora Bora are also home to the graceful manta rays. We are very lucky here, as we can see them inside the lagoon which means the dive location is perfect for divers with little experience, as the maximum depth is 60 feet.

To get the most enjoyment out of diving with the big fish it is important to not touch or swim towards them. Instead, when you see one swimming towards you, stay calm, keep your arms close to your body and try to make as few movements and bubbles as possible. You should try to stay out of their direct path so that they don't have to swim around you. If you are careful you can follow them after they have passed, but they are fast and you will rapidly run out of breath if you try to keep up for too long.



Accommodation at Papeete, French Polynesia

The Beachcomber Resort, just 1.5 miles from the airport, is set amongst 30 acres of lush tropical gardens, and is landscaped around private exotic white sand beaches and lagoons where utter seclusion can be discovered. Magnificent views of the Society Islands can be seen, in particular Moorea, from the west facing balconies of the 178 luxury rooms.

Alternatively you can sleep above the water in one of the 32 overwater bungalows, all traditionally built with pandanus roofing and Polynesian décor. From waking up enjoy the exhilaration of being able to step from your terrace into the warm lagoon waters before enjoying a refreshing and fulfilling breakfast in either of the two restaurants.

The resort features two freshwater 'infinity' pools, cascades and jacuzzis, for the more active guests tennis and volleyball courts are available and of course the pleasure of snorkelling the lagoonarium. There are endless activities to enjoy, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, sunset cruises and water skiing are amongst the many water sports or you can just relax on the sundecks around the pools soaking up the outstanding beauty of Tahiti.

The Meridien Hotel is a luxurious and modern hotel located 6 miles from the airport near Punaaauia on a private white sand beach of the west coast. The hotel boasts 130 rooms, 8 suites and 12 overwater bungalows featuring glass floor panels from which the lagoon underwater activity can be observed. All rooms and suites have balconies with panoramic views of the crystal clear lagoon, an idyllic setting for relaxing with an exotic cocktail to watch the magnificent glow of the setting sun.

The hotel amenities include a swimming pool and tennis court for the more restless guest and two restaurants and bars with happy hours for those more inclined to relax in the tranquil setting. The restaurants offer a variation of cuisine, La Plantation restaurant specialises in French cuisine with an infusion of Polynesian flavours, whereas Le Fare Te Moana beach restaurant offers a broad selection of grilled fish and meat cooked to your taste. From the beach front of The Meridien guests can participate in a wide range of water activities, pedal boats, outrigger canoes and snorkelling gear are available at no cost, deep sea fishing, scuba diving, parasailing, water skiing and jet skis are all available for guests to enjoy at a minimal charge.

The Sheraton Hotel Tahiti is a magnificent structure that allies modern design and Polynesian architecture perfectly. It overlooks the calmness of the lagoon and is conveniently located nearby the cultural centre of Papeete. Guests may choose to have a view of the luxuriant hotel gardens or the Pacific Ocean with the island Moorea in the forefront from the room terraces. All rooms come with the modern conveniences and services that a traveller or business guest readily expects from the Sheraton Group.

Dining can be enjoyed in one of two restaurants; the Moeval is the main restaurant, its name in Tahitian means 'quiet water', and is perfectly situated on stilts above the lagoon. The gastronomic cuisine is largely seafood with Polynesian flavours. The second restaurant, He'Epeenui Terrace, is situated in the hotel gardens overlooking the swimming pool and lagoon and offers a range of international cuisine throughout the day and early evening.

Activities from the hotel include horse-riding and hiking through the lush tropical island flora, golf and tennis and a multitude of water sports. In being within such close proximity of Papeete it is easy to walk to the many cultural sights, including the Paul Gauguin museum where Polynesian history can be discovered, the botanical gardens and the colourful markets.






A choice of luxury accommodation in 4* and 5* hotels

Prices include flights, transfers, airport taxes, accommodation, FB and diving. Non-diver packages available

Boat diving. Diving World prides itself by offering boat diving packages that have access to lagoons and more elaborate dive sites.

Please contact us for a quote. We can arrange land only based holidays and those which include flights as well.



The water temperature ranges from 77 degrees during the winter to 86 degrees during the summer. Many divers here dive without a wet suit, but we suggest you dive with one to keep from getting chilly (a 3mm short wet suit should keep you plenty warm).


Air New Zealand B747

Depart: Heathrow/Manchester Wed/Fri/Sun PM

Return: Heathrow/Manchester

Mon/Thu/Sat AM Flight time approx 20 hours

Economy Class Seat pitch 34 inches

Flight requires change of aircraft at Los Angeles
Domestic flights on Air Tahiti & Air Moorea
Departures also available from Heathrow on Virgin Atlantic connecting.


Only French citizens can enter French Polynesia without a passport and the visa requirements are much the same as for France itself. Western European, Scandinavian and Australian citizens are allowed to stay for up to three months without a visa.

Liveaboard prices quoted at the bottom of this page. For land based packages and flight prices, please contact us and we will compose a price for the holiday.
TIKI Point
Ocean dive
Max depth: 20 m - 25 meters for exploration
Sharks and fishes; good spot for whales or dolphins watching.

Taotoi Pass
Drift only dive 2 min.
Moorage depth: No moorage
Max depth: 20 meters
A chance to see something new on each dive, this is a remarkable dive site..

The White Valley
Ocean dive - Drift dive
Max depth: 25 meters

Papetoai Ocean

Ocean dive
Max depth: 25 meters

The Rays Corridor
Lagoon dive - Drift dive
Max depth: 5 to 20 m.
Ideal spot for young children, beginners, lessons or for refresher dives. Beautiful coral, reef fish and much more...

Opunohu Canyons
Ocean dive
Max depth: 27 meters

Opunohu Ocean
Ocean dive
Max depth: 25 meters
Lemon sharks, tropical reef fish and a popular shark feeding area.

The Rose Garden
Ocean dive - Drift dive
Max depth: 40 meters
For the experienced diver only...big corals...big sharks and totally unique.

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