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French Polynesia

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Hi

I have been told that French Polynesia 'sucks' as a scuba destination. This seems at odds with the videos I have seen on youtube. Anyone like to give their opinion on this 'advice'.

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I dived in Moorea (sister island to Tahiti) some years ago and really enjoyed it. Not the most interesting underwater topography, mainly low corals, but lots of marine life - reef sharks especially. I thought it was fun and it certainly didnt suck.

 

Having said that, I couldnt recommend traveling, what is a very long way from Europe, just to dive there. And it was fiendishly expensive for hotels and restaurants.

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Were hoping to travel to Fakarava next year for some diving. It looks like excellent diving but very different from the typical coral triangle type diving. Lots of sharks/current and excellent visibility. Macro gear will be staying at home for this trip.

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I dived in Moorea (sister island to Tahiti) some years ago and really enjoyed it. Not the most interesting underwater topography, mainly low corals, but lots of marine life - reef sharks especially. I thought it was fun and it certainly didnt suck.

 

Having said that, I couldnt recommend traveling, what is a very long way from Europe, just to dive there. And it was fiendishly expensive for hotels and restaurants.

 

 

Were hoping to travel to Fakarava next year for some diving. It looks like excellent diving but very different from the typical coral triangle type diving. Lots of sharks/current and excellent visibility. Macro gear will be staying at home for this trip.

 

I am hoping to go with my wife August 2020. I'm looking at 3 weeks in FP and 7-10 days in NZ.

I have to book by Nov/Dec this year to get these prices: £500 each to NZ from Vietnam RTN. £500 each NZ to Tahiti RTN, £500 each for a multi island hop flight tickets, £550 for a parcel of 10 dives, AirBNB for the accommodation, about £40-50 a night, lots of dry noodles and tins in the luggage, shopping at the markets to try and reduce food costs. I am hoping the trip will cost about £8,000 all in.

What I NEED is some really good advice on dive locations. I already know not to use Top Dive, but there are plenty of others. I tried another site, but all I got there was, 'it sucks', come on one of our trips. When I asked them to elaborate on, 'it sucks' I was met with a wall of silence.

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Hi

I have been told that French Polynesia 'sucks' as a scuba destination. This seems at odds with the videos I have seen on youtube. Anyone like to give their opinion on this 'advice'.

 

"Sucks" is maybe a bit harsh. But we were there last summer and were definitely disappointed. Yes, the "wall of Sharks" in Fakarava South is something very special you're unlikely to see anywhere else in the world. If you're lucky enough to be there during Grouper spawning - thats quite something. We were too late in the season. But apart from that? Not much. a couple of friendly dolphins in Rangiroa. A manta here and there if you are lucky, more sharks at other dive spots. Super strong currents on most dives. Had to leave camera behind on some, as it was impossible to get reasonably stable footage in those currents anyway. Yes, visibility is really good most of the time. But does not help if there's little to see....

 

As has beens said, the reefs are no-where near comparable to what you see in the coral triangle (Indonesia / Philippines etc.) Many are bleeched or totally dead.

 

The huge expense of getting and staying there is worth considering. We were on the French Polynesian Master, which did not meet our expectations at all.

 

PM me if you need more.

Edited by bubffm

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hi

I was in french polynesia last october, and in 2015

You don't go there for macro, but most of time for sharks (for example, i saw 5 kind of sharks on the same dive !! )

There's not soft coral there, then, if you usualy dive in other place like Indonesia, there's not of colors !

September and october, it's time for whales !

Dives located most of time in Tuamotu, Rangiroa ( a family of dolphins lives there, lot of sharks , school of barracudas/jackfish...) sometimes whale shark, mantas, eagle ray...

Fakarava : for me, the must , the place to dive there. You can dive with o2Fakarava. They are on the north of the atoll, but they bring you to dive on the south. I saw lots of sharks, mantas ( you have to ask, because you can see them only in one way of tide), schools of diffrent kind of fish, lots of tunas, barracudas, napoleonfish...

If you want to see some pictures, on my website : http://www.plongeuse.eu/PhotoFlo/Polyn%C3%A9sie%202018%2C%20le%20retour%20%21/index.htmlfor 2018 and http://www.plongeuse.eu/PhotoFlo/Polyn%C3%A9sie%20en%20plong%C3%A9e/index.html for 2015.

 

 

 

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hi,

 

i spent 5 days at the north and 5 days at the south pass of Fakarava and dived both with Top Dive.

I choosed Top Dive mainly because they offer Nitrox. I was really happy to dive with them in the south, because the divers from Tetamanu finished the dive in the channel at their ressort and missed so up to three groups of reef sharks! The Top Dive Group were swept with the current in a small lagoon.

 

I met many other divers which did island hopping. All were pretty disappointed from Rangiroa, Mooera and some other islands. They also said Fakarava was the best on their trips. I heard good stories from Tikehau. i was happy with my decision to spent 10 days at Fakarava. You might get a better idea if you watch the two videos on my vimeo channel.

Edited by benedika

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I dived Moorea & Bora Bora 20+ years ago, then again 10 years ago... for most people neither location would be outstanding, but the Lemon Sharks in Moorea are cool to hang out with, and being able to find Mantas at Bora Bora consistently makes it an interesting location... (and the fact it's likely the most picturesque island in the world above water doesn't hurt).

The Tuamotus offer much better diving, with Fakarava offering the wall(s) of sharks, but Rangiroa still can offer some of most unique animals drifting through the pass with you (I've done it with Molas, Great Hammerheads, and even a pilot whale). Manihi has at least 2 active manta cleaning stations, and Tikehau has mantas, sharks, and good fish life.

Off the beaten path a bit more - Rurutu (in the Austral Islands) was some of the wildest diving we've ever done (I'm not even sure there is still a dive operator on the island anymore). Different kind of u/w geography, large schools of fish, sharks, sailfish, and humpbacks...

Last summer we also spent a few days on Tetiaroa - the diving was surprisingly good. Across 6 dives we saw 4 kinds of sharks, mantas, turtles, and some decent sized schools of fish. The coral is in really good shape (the island is completely protected), and we were able to get in the water with humpbacks on two of the afternoons.

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