Top 10 Dive Sites in the South Pacific
Some of the best diving sites can be found in the South Pacific. You’ll find shipwrecks covered in coral, caves that have been flooded over the years and intriguing Blue Holes. Take a luxurious yacht charter vacation in the Pacific for an unbeatable underwater experience.
An incredible range of marine life live in these waters so get ready for the 10 top most thrilling and popular dive spots in the Pacific.
1. The Solomon Islands
Enjoy a fantastic dive destination when travelling to the Solomon Islands as part of your yacht charter vacation. On the north-east coast of Australia, these islands have over time been shaped by volcanic activity and earthquakes. There are 922 islands in total, all of which provide an exciting diversity for visitors. With sunken aeroplanes and many shipwrecks here, the Solomon Islands act like a magnet to divers.
Watch out for horse-eye jacks which are game fish and pygmy seahorses that have made these artificial reefs their home.
2. Galapagos Islands
With the sea ranging in temperature, many tropical fish and temperate species live here. Divers are attracted not only by these beautiful creatures but sharks and rays too. In May to November the waters entice the melon headed, the pilot and the humpback whale before they migrate to the Ecuador coast. You can also see penguins, turtles and seals when diving off these entrancing islands. What an experience!
Thirteen islands make up the Galapagos Islands covering 1000 km of the Pacific Ocean. Many currents swirl around these islands which creates an environment that’s ideal for the marine life.
3. Samarai Island, Papua New Guinea
A diver’s dream come true, Papua New Guinea also has shallow and deep reefs, atolls, lagoons, coral walls and unbelievable drops. There are submarine, plane and boat wrecks from World War 2 near Samarai Island. Many over time have changed appearance, so now look like living coral reefs where marine life darts in and out.
Papua New Guinea can be found in the Coral Triangle of Asia Pacific. The waters in this region are home to many beautiful, exotic fish and stunning coral. Discover numerous species of fish and underwater creatures off Papua New Guinea which is surrounded by the Bismarck, Solomon and Coral Seas. Samarai Island is a remote, exciting place that offers some of the most incredible dive sites in this part of the world.
4. Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia
This French Polynesian chain of atolls and islands stretch over a land mass of 850 sq km, i.e. 328 square miles. The name means “Distant Islands”.
The Tuamotu Archipelago is quite a remote site which can be found 200 miles north of the Society Islands of French Polynesia. It’s an unspoilt and diverse place that’s inhabited by beautiful marine life, ideal for divers. The chain of atolls here form magnificent lagoons which are surrounded by cliffs that overlook the ocean. Caves, unique flowers, fish and crustaceans are a few things that can be found in this protected UNESCO area.
5. Boracay, Philippines
Boracay is a top destination for holidaymakers to relax, enjoy peace and tranquillity as well as joining in the amazing nightlife.
With over 7100 islands in the Philippines, Boracay is one of the most popular destination hotspots with divers. Its beaches and warm waters are visited by many diving enthusiasts, complete beginners and seasoned pros. Yapak is a specific dive site that has an amazing wall which falls into the water for about 30m. Expect to see brightly coloured coral reefs, maybe a grey or white-tip reef shark, tuna, eagle and manta rays too.
This site has four vertical shafts which open into a cavern that has an exit on the outer reef wall. Divers can enjoy swimming through Blue Holes during outgoing tides, then on to Blue Corner. The cavern and holes were caused by water erosion and are now home to many different species of fish as well as stunning coral reefs.
Known for advanced diving, the seas around Palau can be very unpredictable. These tempestuous conditions often attract sharks to the ridge that juts out into the ocean dropping to many thousands of feet.
7. Chuuk Lagoon, Micronesia
This spectacular lagoon in Micronesia is home to colourful, tropical fish and stunning coral reefs. There are also many World War 2 aeroplanes and ships resting at the bottom of the lagoon, one of which is the Fujikawa Maru. This plane still has fighter planes in the holds, awesome. The Shinkoku Maru, another relic from the war, now has sponges and corals all over its body. With such a range of wrecks all in one area, Chuuk Lagoon is a diver’s paradise.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore another couple of famous wrecks, the Helmet Wreck and the Jake seaplane. Both can be accessed by diving permit holders only.
8. Manta Ray Village, Hawaii
Shore diving is popular along the west coast of the island with Honolua Bay being well known for its spectacular coral reefs. Three miles off the shore there’s the Molokini Crater. Explore the sandy terraces with lots of coral inside. This is Maui’s best diving site which is also ideal for beginners.
Manta Ray Village in Hawaii beckons divers from around the world. They flock here to discover treasures under the sea, arches, lava tubes, craters and big bommies. You’ll find plenty of marine life too like frogfish, schooling sharks and turtles. Manta rays seem to come out at night, so night diving is a must-do to see these amazing creatures.
9. Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands
The lagoon known as Bikini Lagoon is an unofficial marine reserve in the Marshall Islands. Scuba divers have been granted permission during the last ten years or so to dive into sunken war ships, a Japanese submarine and US Navy destroyers.
This area was actually used during World War 2 as an atomic testing site. The shipwrecks that can be found here include the USS Saratoga which was an aircraft carrier longer than the Titanic. Between Honolulu and Australia, the Marshall Islands are perfect if you wish to explore diving sites that haven’t been visited by many divers.
10. Raja Ampat
Known alternatively as Four Kings, Raja Ampat can be found in the coral triangle off the waters of Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands. These eco-regions have many coral reefs just waiting to be explored. The Raja Ampat archipelago has over 1500 islands and cays which surround the main islands of Batanta, Waigeo, Misool and Salawati.
One thing’s for sure, there’s no shortage of places to dive in Raja Ampat.
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