Far from the usual tourist paths, Raiatea is a destination of choice. Its nature is largely preserved and the Taputapuatea Marae underlines the cultural importance of the island. There is a lot of things to do on Raiatea. However, there is one that one does not systematically think of: the discovery of the sea bed. Diving in Raiatea has a few surprises in store and the calm waters are ideal for youngsters and novices.
Top Dive Sites in Raiatea
Drift Dives of Teavapiti & Miri Miri
Located in the northeast, the Te Ava Piti pass is the most important and widest of the atoll. Therefore, the probability of seeing “big” fish is very high. Indeed, expect to meet many black and white tip sharks, grey sharks, and even schools of barracudas. Predators are not the only inhabitants of the pass. Carried by the current, you will see napoleon fish, jacks, and if you are lucky, sometimes even leopard rays or mantas.
On the western side of the island, sheltered from strong winds, the Miri Miri pass is narrower. The aquatic fauna is therefore less imposing. This slow and contemplative pace, as well as a better visibility, gives divers the opportunity to observe and appreciate the underwater activity.
The coral reefs may seem disappointing. Fortunately, the aquatic fauna will capture your full attention. Diving is accessible to certified level 1 divers.
Nordby: Atypical Experience in Raiatea
On August 22, 1900, a famous three-masted ship ran aground in the lagoon of Raiatea. The one called “the Nordby” sank to a depth of about 20 meters. A century later, the wreck is still there. With more than 50 meters long and 8 meters wide, it is especially imposing.
Accessible to level 1 divers, the exploration of the wreck will make the happiness of freshwater explorers. Lying on its side, the Nordby is still very well preserved with two of its three masts. The wooden deck has completely disappeared, thus allowing to visit the interior up to the holds.
The proximity of the shoreline and a river make visibility around the wreck quite blurry. Fortunately, the main interest is elsewhere. Hundreds of fish have taken up residence in this ghost ship. Discover surgeon fish, jacks, angelfish and a multitude of nudibranchs, colorful mollusks in an aquatic wonderland.
Because of its excellent state of preservation, Nordby is a must for diving in Raiatea. For an even more exciting experience, we recommend that you experience this exploration by night.
Dive Centers in Raiatea
Two main centers share the world of diving in Raiatea. Hemisphere Sub at Apooiti marina offers total diving, offering unusual, demanding and sometimes nocturnal excursions. Te Mara Nui at Uturoa marina has a more eclectic offer including diving and other activities to better discover Raiatea. Both of them share a long experience of diving in general and of the sea bed in Raiatea in particular.
You will be in the presence of human-sized structures, almost family. Expect a direct and frank contact, as well as a real interaction with your instructor. This proximity makes it easy to get a first dive or a refresher course.
Experience the Tranquility of Diving in Raiatea
Diving in Raiatea explores the sea floor full of life, without being selective or exclusive. As such, it is an excellent destination for a first experience. A lighter approach would be to discover the aquatic activity by snorkeling from the beaches in Raiatea. Contact us for organizing your stay in French Polynesia.
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