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Your Guide to Diving French Polynesia
Including Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea and Rangiroa

All of Undercurrent's information on diving French Polynesia, including articles, reader reports, Chapbook sections, ...

Diving French Polynesia Overview

Several archipelagos that cover an area bigger than Western Europe, the capital island of Tahiti and its sister Moorea are everyone's dream of the South Pacific, and despite their pricey resorts and food, these French-speaking islands are now attracting North American divers to join in the plentiful reef shark action. There is a range of accommodations and restaurants, some reef diving, and plenty of great scenery. Also in the Society island chain, Bora Bora, looks like a Hollywood set, it's so perfect! French is the dominant language.
However, dramatic diving is found in the channels of the Tua Motus, two hours flying time from Papeete with Rangiroa, Apataki and Fakarava thick with sharks and other marine life.
If you want reliably to dive with whales, Rurutu is the most northern island in the Austral archipelago.

French Polynesia Seasonal Dive Planner

The Society Islands (Tahiti, etc.) and the Tua Motus, such as Rangiroa, are diveable year-round, with water temperatures of 79-83°F (26-28°C). There are really only three seasons of interest to the traveling diver: the manta ray season, from early September through mid-October; the hammerhead shark season, January and February; and the rest of the year, during which an assortment of fishes may be seen, with the exception of the two just mentioned. If you are particular about land weather conditions, you should know that the rainy season is November through December, and the windy season is July and August.

Featured Links from Our Sponsors
Interested in becoming a sponsor?
Reef & Rainforest, Let our experience be your guide -- Reef and Rainforest
Reef & Rainforest
is an agency for travelers that scuba dive. Want to see sharks, tropical islands, overwater bungalows? We specialize in planning adventures to French Polynesia.
True Tahiti Vacation
True Tahiti Vacation
was founded by an American Divemaster who lived 20 years in Tahiti. We specialize in highly curated dive vacations to the Islands of Tahiti.

Diving French Polynesia Reader Reports and Feature Articles

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Latest Reader Reports from French Polynesia

from the serious divers who read Undercurrent

All Reader Reports from French Polynesia

All 10,000+
TOPdive/Maitai Rangiroa Report in French Polynesia/Rangiroa
"Great Advanced Diving Destination"
filed Mar 21, 2023 by Gail King (Experience: Over 1000 dives, 26 reports, Sr. Contributor )
5 stars

Wish we'd started going here years ago. French Polynesia was promoted for the sharks which are there but it offers so much more that wa... ... Read more

Hemisphere Sub/M/S Paul Gauguin Report in French Polynesia/Raiatea Island
"Great Wall Diving in Raiatea, French Polynesia"
filed Nov 30, 2022 by John Yavorsky (Experience: Over 1000 dives, 28 reports, Sr. Contributor )
5 stars

Did 2 drift dives with Hemisphere Sub on wall at Raiatea, French Polynesia. Drift diving along wall. Black tip reef sharks and white ti... ... Read more Photos available

Blue Velvet / The 6 Passenger/Kia Ora Resort Report in French Polynesia/Rangiroa
"Incredible, Respectful Diving"
filed Nov 26, 2022 by William J Marlow (Experience: Over 1000 dives, 3 reports, Reviewer )
5 stars

We were diving with Blue Velvet / The 6 Passenger Diving! Great people who were astonished at our experience and ease in the water. We ... ... Read more

TOPdive/Hotel Mai Tai Report in French Polynesia/Rangiroa
"Beyond expectations trip to Rangiroa"
filed Nov 18, 2022 by Luz Cobarrubias (Experience: Over 1000 dives)
5 stars

Review of Rangiroa Rangiroa has been on our list of must dive locations for over a decade and we finally made it there! Although we ... ... Read more

Bluewater Travel/Photo/Kavaka Hotel Report in French Polynesia/Moorea
"Bucket List- Snorkeling with Humpback whales!"
filed Nov 15, 2022 by David C Kinney (Experience: Over 1000 dives, 6 reports, Reviewer )
5 stars

Hello fellow divers, because i had an ear issue (surgery) I could not SCUBA dive for a while so I decided to go on a Humpback Whale sno... ... Read more

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Complete Articles Available to Undercurrent Online Members; Some Publicly Available as Indicated

Diving French Polynesia Articles - Liveaboards

Raja Ampat, St. Lucia, Rangiroa, Vancouver Island, some great diving, some questionable characters, 11/22

Available to the Public
Caymans, Cuba, French Polynesia . . ., plus hurricanes, shark dives and two remote sites worth the trip, 11/18
Out-of-Practice, but I Want to Dive French Polynesia, 7/17
Why You Can Dive with 700 Sharks in Fakarava, 9/16
Bahamas, French Polynesia, St. Vincent, and two great places for underwater photo classes, 2/16
Windstar’s French Polynesia:, — a pearl of a trip for divers and nondivers, 5/05
The Tahiti Aggressor, in search of the pearls of French Polynesia, 5/03

Diving French Polynesia Articles - Land Based

Rangiroa, BVI, Guanaja, Bermuda, Maui and More, great diving, unsafe liveaboard, 7/23
Tough Punishment for an Unauthorized Dive Boat Buoy Line, 6/22

Available to the Public
Bora Bora and Tikehau, French Polynesia, ... not for your scuba bucket list, 8/17
Top Dive, French Polynesia: Part I, exciting diving for the experienced, 7/17
Touch Me Not! Leave the Dolphins Alone, 7/17
Topdive, Bora Bora and Rangiroa, French Polynesia, fantastic diving - - if you can afford it, 1/12
Cheaper Ways to Dive French Polynesia, 1/12
Moorea, French Polynesia, a South Pacific dive gem, or paradise lost?, 1/09
Rangiroa and Fakarava, French Polynesia, paradise for pelagic fanatics, 6/07
Oceaneers, Kaloa Beach Hotel, Haiti, Can the Witch Doctors Bring Fish to the Reef?, 4/76

French Polynesia Sections from Our Travelin' Diver's Chapbooks

Reader Reports filed for that year

French Polynesia Liveaboards

For Members Only

For Public

2020 2019 2018 2010 2009 2007 2006 2005
2004 2002            

Land Based Dive Resorts in French Polynesia

For Members Only

2023 2022            

For Public

2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
2004 2003 2002 2001        

Editor's Book Picks for Scuba Diving French Polynesia
Including Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea and Rangiroa

The books below are my favorites about diving in this part of the world All books are available at a significant discount from; just follow the links. -- BD

Reef Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific Reef Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific
by Paul Humann and Ned Deloach

Paul Humann and Ned Deloach have done it again, releasing a definitive identification guide to 1600 extraordinary reef creatures of the Tropical Pacific. with this 500+ page softbound guide, you get upwards of 2000 exceptional photos of shrimp and crabs and stars and worms and lobsters and nudibranchs and slugs and squid and bivalves . . . well, all those invertebrates that move along the reefs of this region without fining, so it seems. There are several photos of some creatures to help you identify them during different life stages, and about ten percent of the book is descriptive copy so you can tie down your identification. Even if you have no plans to go to the tropical Pacific, just to thumb through the pages, gawk at the complexity and uniqueness of these animals, and read a thumbnail sketch will give any serious diver vicarious thrills for endless hours.

Click here to buy it at Amazon.

Reef Fish ID Reef Fish Identification: Tropical Pacific
by Gerald Allen, Rodger Steene, Paul Humann, & Ned Deloach

At last, here's a comprehensive fish ID guide covering the reefs of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The generous 500-page text, displaying 2,500 underwater photographs of 2,000 species, identifies the myriad fishes that inhabit the warm tropical seas between Thailand and Tahiti. The concise text accompanying each species portrait includes the fish's common, scientific and family names, size, description, visually distinctive features, preferred habitat, typical behavior, depth range, and geographical distribution. This is an essential book for every diver traveling westward. 6x9 inches.

Click here to buy it at Amazon.

Dive Sites of the Great Barrier Reef Dive Sites of the Great Barrier Reef
by Neville Coleman.

With 2900 reefs in 220,000 square miles, the enormous Great Barrier Reef has incredible dives -- and some very ordinary ones. If you're contemplating a trip, Neville Coleman's Dive Sites of the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea will help you ensure you pick the best. This 176 page book, with good maps and scores of colorful photos, describes the significant sites, the topography and the critters, then rates and ranks them so you can pick the best. Don't even consider a trip to Australia without consulting this. $24.95

Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide
by Gerald R. Allen, Roger Steene.

I was trying to pack light for a change. Surely the Solomon Sea would have good identification books aboard. Not so; the only book on the boat belonged to a fellow passenger. It was one that I had not seen before, the Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide, by two of the best fish guys around, Gerry Allen and Roger Steene. The problem was this fellow passenger kept it in a plastic baggie most of the trip and I had to beg to see it. Great book, good traveling size, and it covers everything from fish, shells, marine plants, mammals, corals, and invertebrates to sea birds and more. Now I've got my own, and it won't do you any good to beg me to borrow it. This is one of two books that I will not travel to the Pacific without. Good for travel to the Red Sea, East Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldives, Andaman Sea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, Micronesia, Polynesia, and Hawaii, it has 1,800 color illustrations in a 6x8 1/2 paperback format with 378 pages. $39.95.

Diving Southeast Asia There's a Cockroach in My Regulator
by Undercurrent

The Best of Undercurrent: Bizarre and Brilliant True Diving Tales from Thirty Years of Undercurrent.

Shipping now is our brand new, 240-page book filled with the best of the unusual, the entertaining, and the jaw dropping stories Undercurrent has published. They’re true, often unbelievable, and always fascinating. We’re offering it to you now for the special price of just $14.95.

Click here to order.

You might find some other books of interest in our Editor's Book Picks section.


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