Situated in the heart of the Pacific Ocean the Tuamoto archipelago is home to some of the most wondrous dive sites, where hundreds of hungry sharks gather in schools to be joined by manta rays and bottle-nosed dolphins.
Diving Rangiroa’s reefs and channels you can expect to many different sharks cruising the reef, hunting on schools of snapper and fusiliers. Around the full moon in July we will witnes thousands of marbled Groupers which attract many other species as well.
For our snorkelers there are plenty of coral gardens to discover, where currents are less intense and many smaller creatures can be found.
Our itinerary takes you through the Tuamotu Island chain, with a 10 of 07 night loop from Rangiroa to Fakarava, which maximises the time spent in this area.
Dive sites are typically channel or “Pass” dives and the route planning for each trip is highly dependent upon the incoming and out-going tides for each island. We dive the optimum tide for each site to bring you the ultimate in pelagic fish action. Strong currents to be expected and it is therefore recommended divers have experience beyond beginner level to ensure maximum enjoyment.
Tiputa Pass - Dropping in at the outer edge divers can hook in to the reef wall and watch the amazing shark display. Hammerheads, tiger shark and huge schools of grey reef shark are the main draw. Drift on the incoming tide through The Canyons, where schools of big eyes hang out and mantas can be seen hanging in the cross current. End the dive at Shark Cave where white tips typically come to rest. Other common fish species are grouper and Napoleon wrasse.
Tiputa Reef - On the ocean side of the pass the reef plateaus out at 20m into a magnificent coral garden. Schools of barracuda, turtles, white tip sharks, small wrasse and many colourful reef fish species can be seen. Mantas put in an occasional appearance, bottle nose dolphins too.
Deep Blue - Or simply ‘‘The Blue’’ is the deep water on the ocean side of Tiputa Pass. Here we drop divers directly from the boat to descend to 20m and hang in the blue as the sharks are tempted up to the shallower depths by dropping stones. Expect to see grey reef, silky and silver tip sharks as well as bottlenose dolphins.
Nuhi Nuhi - A shallow coral garden where angel fish, butterfly fish, anthias and all manner of small creatures can be spotted. Look out for leaf fish.
Mypristis - The coral reef acts as a nursery for grey reef sharks in season. Typically divers can see large numbers of marbled grouper and many anemones with resident clown fish.
Tehere Pass - The strong currents through the pass mean divers can literally hang like a flag in the breeze! Reef hooks are essential if you want to stay and enjoy the hundreds of grey reef sharks hunting on fusiliers. Tuna, dolphins and swordfish can also be seen. The seabed and wall is more rubble than coral reef so simply drift in the current and enjoy the large pelagics.
Pakaka Pass - A more gentle drift than the Tehere Pass brings you through a pristine coral garden with table and staghorn corals. Silver tip and black tip reef sharks are seen darting in about the shallow corals, whilst numerous eagle rays are frequently sighted.
Otugi Pass - The 400m wide channel is best dived on an incoming tide for the schools of grey reef sharks and silvertips.
Teahuroa - The outer reef wall is where huge schools of snapper congregate. Reef sharks, Napoleon wrasse, barracuda, surgeon fish and big eyes join them, whilst manta ray sightings are possible too.
Garaue Pass - The northernmost channel of Fakarava Island and arguable the best site in the region for consistent shark sightings. The pass itself is 1600mwide and should only be dived at slack water due to the very strong currents. Starting at the outer wall we encounter the huge ‘‘wall of sharks’’ where hundreds of greys congregate. Black tip, white tip, hammerhead, tiger, silky and oceanic white tip are amongst the other species seen. Napoleon wrasse, surgeon fish and the typical schools of big eyes and yellow snapper swarm over the reefs, joined by turtles, morays and lionfish. In June and July, large numbers of grouper aggregate to spawn, a truly spectacular sight. Manta rays also visit.
Maiuru - A submerged plateau on the outer edge of the pass, levels out at 18m into a lovely hard coral garden. At the ‘drop off ’ you can encounter shark activity, whilst over the reef paddletail snapper and barracuda form large schools. Manta rays and eagle rays come by for cleaning and a quick meal and there are plenty of smaller creatures including nudibranchs and crabs to spot amongst the corals and sponges.
Ohutu - The second plateau starts at 12m and drops to 30m with vibrant corals this is a superb place to watch manta rays.
Avaturo Pass - Strong currents are to be expected but bring forth a wide range of pelagic species from reef sharks to tuna and the occasional sailfish.
Restaurant Pier - This shallow site is perfect for an afternoon dive where schools of snapper, black tip reef sharks and Napoleon wrasse are common with a stunning atmosphere for photography.