Dive spot or desired destination with diving? That is the alternative for lots of of us when we are flicking by means of journey brochures searching for a getaway to accommodate us and our non-diving associates. Though not as these a dive vacation spot, Rarotonga even now has a whole lot to provide equally the newbie and a lot more professional diver. And, with several dive websites only a limited boat journey absent, you are going to even be back in time to have cocktails on the beach front in the afternoon!
Rarotonga is a volcanic island surrounded by lagoon and fringing reef. Outside the house the reef the terrain drops off in some spots rather steeply, in reality, not too significantly off shore, there is in excess of 1/2km depth of drinking water. The island has over 70 species of fish, which includes, lionfish, anemonefish, butterflyfish, angelfish, puffers, parrotfish, trumpetfish and lots of, lots of far more. There is also a really great prospect of looking at moray eels, reef sharks, turtles, napoleon wrasse and eagle rays. From June to October, we normally see humpback whales and calves meandering by in the course of the area interval.
A further explanation to dive into the tropical waters surrounding the island of Rarotonga is that they present a yr spherical comfy temperature from 23 C to 29 C (73 F to 84 F). Previously mentioned all, Rarotonga has some of the constantly clearest h2o in the South Pacific, with visibility that always takes my breath absent as I glimpse over the fall-off into the blue. The warm temperature and very clear drinking water is conducive to some of the most comfortable and most straightforward diving in the environment.
For experienced divers, there are websites ideal for all stages of coaching and practical experience, from coral gardens to drop-offs, and wreck dives to caves. Dive operators on the island offer guided dives for accredited divers and coaching courses from 1st bubbles. With distinct, heat h2o Rarotonga is a superb locale to find out to dive.
All dives for experienced divers are executed by boat. The bordering reef limits shore diving to the shallow lagoon which is only a pair of meters deep. There are all-around 30 dive web-sites, with places on all sides of the island which are available by boat, exiting by means of the reef at just one of 4 locations. This lets limited boat journeys, in the purchase of 5-20mins. Close to 70% of the diving is carried out close to the prime 50 % of the island. The most important breaks in the reef on this facet are at the major harbour, ‘Avatiu’ and scaled-down ‘Avarua’ harbour. Dives web pages to the south of the island are achieved with a beach launch out of ‘Rutaki passage’ and some dives depart from the generally windswept south jap ‘Avana passage’ on tranquil times.
For most divers viewing Rarotonga, one particular of the a lot of websites all over the north such as ‘Paradise’ and north east of the island, these kinds of as ‘Sand River’, are the most effective selection. Most of these web-sites are acceptable for all amounts of expertise and supply some of the most reliable dive conditions, with tiny or no latest and some of the best coral and wildlife. From this region spherical in the direction of the jap side of the island, with its reef in nearer to land, there some interesting fall-offs. The extra seasoned diver can swim on the edge in 18-24m of water with the bottom dropping off into the depths below. Web-sites these as ‘The Gap’ can offer you some wonderful sights out into the blue wherever more substantial match fish can at times be seen, alongside with the occasional white suggestion reef shark.
Here’s a extra ‘in depth’ description of a pair of preferred dive web sites all around the north and north east:
Sand River ‘A river of sand sloping from the shallows down to as far as you can see, surrounded by reef and interspersed with coral bommies’. No description can do this dive internet site justice. Right after mooring in 12m of drinking water it really is only a brief swim to the edge of the blue. The reef edge is dwelling to a lot of colourful reef fish and also a couple of resident big moray eels. For the skilled diver there is nothing like the watch as you swim out more than the fall-off wherever you can normally see the distant silhouette of sharks deep under.
Paradise If you want to see a lot of vibrant fish and quite coral formations then ‘Paradise’ is the dive internet site for you. A shorter trip from town, this internet site is ideal for all stages of working experience. And with a lot to see at 16-18m, it suggests you can get a great dive time to examine the wonderful reef. The astounding factor about this dive internet site is that the fish below are so helpful. The two major people, ‘Tommy’ and the ingeniously named ‘Son of Tommy’, are regulars at this place. They are incredibly social blue/eco-friendly result in fish and rather generally one particular, or both, follow you round for the entire dive!
Mataora Wreck The Mataora, once a Tongan registered cargo vessel, was 44.25m in duration and 299 Gross Tonnes. She was acquired on the 11th Dec 1990 from Silk and Boyd for the significant sum of $1 to variety an synthetic reef. Her past voyage to the sea bed started off a pair of times later and the wreck now lies in 18m, just off the reef to the north of the island. Not as well lengthy following sinking, the island was strike by a cyclone. The buffeting waves set to operate on the wreck, separating the bow and stern. Now very broken up, the wreck is a haven for lionfish and groupers.
With regard to the relaxation of the island, the west and north western dive sites provide further coral dives concerning 18 and 30m of depth, together with some attention-grabbing volcanic fashioned shallow caves that are secure to dive on actually tranquil times. Also round this aspect is an additional a single of the three wrecks obtainable on the island, the ‘Maritime Reefer’, lying in 26m of h2o. Commonly the fish existence on this side of the island is not very as prolific, but there is a acceptable likelihood of seeing eagle rays at ‘Diana’s Ridge’ and if you are seriously lucky this is the side of the island that hammerhead sharks stop by.
The dive web pages to the south of the island are centered in and all-around the passages wherever there are normal reef breaks. Although there is a fall-off here way too, most of the lifestyle can be identified shallow in these gaps in the reef. However these passages can be a bit unpredictable as far as visibility and the recent is concerned. Typically the existing can be incredibly potent, earning it unachievable to get up the passages securely. In typical these sites are only acceptable for the skilled diver. If you are an seasoned diver and you are hunting for some thing a minimal distinct, these can make interesting dives. On a excellent working day you can see grey reef and white suggestion reef sharks at ‘Avaavaroa’ and ‘Papua’ together with eagle rays.
Variety of dive websites is temperature dependent, but with internet sites all all-around the island, most days there is a relaxed side.
Ideally this has specified you a taste of what is out there on Rarotonga. The Cook Islands could not be a cult diving location, but with my experience of diving distinct areas all around the globe, you could certainly do a lot worse than Rarotonga.