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Top Snorkelling & Diving Sites - South Pacific

Home > Pacific Islands > Beaches | Escape the City | Nature | Outdoor | Travel
by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
I love travelling, discovering hidden gems & food. Experience the journey on Instragram! @gypsy_compass. Owner of do check it out for grazing platters and more :)
Published August 7th 2018
The underwater world awaits your visit
The South Pacific features a splatter of dotted islands spread across the world's largest ocean and consists of postcard moments with many different landscapes and culture, it has become one of the most popular paradise escapes in the world.

Underwater you will discover an enchanting world of soft corals, plankton-rich waters and amazing visibility in greater reaches of open water and soft corals so dense they resemble purple and white forests.

If you are a snorkelling and free diving enthusiast, then this list is for you!

The list below features some of the most spectacular and enchanting snorkelling experiences across the South Pacific:

1. Vanuatu
Best known for: Culture, volcanoes, backpackers, wild jungle treks, waterfalls, paradise vibes, hospitality, shipwreck dives, kava, diving and snorkelling (of course).
Language: English and French are widely spoken
Top Snorkelling Spots: Hideaway Island, Top Rock, Mystery Island, Million Dollar Point, Tanna Island, Tranquillity Island Resort (Eco-tourism & turtle sanctuary), Pele Island, Lelepa Island, Champagne Bay, and Pango Cove.

2. Fiji
Best known for: Culture, diving & snorkelling, family getaways, backpackers, resorts, paradise vibes, beach weddings & honeymoons, and kava ceremonies.
Language: English
Top Snorkelling Spots: Rainbow Reef, Navini Island, Namena Marine Reserve, Great Astrolabe Reef (Kaduvu Island), Beqa Island Lagoon, Dravuni Island, Mamanuca Islands, Manta Ray Island, Ono Island, and Somosomo Strait.

3. New Caledonia & Loyalty Islands
Best known for: Beaches, posh culture, Melanesian French culture, food, wind sports, posh resorts, paradise vibes, diving & snorkelling, and underwater trails.
Language: French & English
Top Snorkelling Spots: Duck Island, Lifou, Ilot Maitre, Iles of Pines, Mare, The Pontoon, Amedee Lighthouse, Tenia Inlet, Southern Pleiades, Laregnere Islets, Hienga Island and Tibarama Island.

4. Cook Islands
Best known for: Beaches, family holidays, food, resorts, diving, hospitality, culture, island night experiences, paradise vibes & snorkelling (of course)
Language: English
Top Snorkelling Spots: Aitutiaki Atoll, Rarotonga, Tikioki Marine Reserve, Muri Lagoon, Black Rock, Honeymoon Island and One Foot Island.

5. Tonga
Best known for: Culture, traditional values & strong Christianity influences, beaches, kayaking, whale watching & whale swimming opportunities, surfing, paradise vibes, blue bays, diving & snorkelling.
Language: English
Top Snorkelling Spots: Tongatapu, Vava'u, Ha'apai, and 'Eua.

6. Samoa
Best known for: Beaches, open beach huts, 'untouristy', culture, surfing, peace & quiet, paradise vibes, waterfalls, sapphire seas, lush forests, snorkelling & diving.
Language: English
Top Snorkelling Spots: Double Black Sand Beach, Upolu, Double Forgotten Bay, Double End of the Earth, Savai'i, Lalomanu Beach, Namua Island, Fanuatapu Island, Aleipata Coast Palolo Deep Marine Reserve, The Rock, Apolima Island, Juno, and Matereva.

7. French Polynesia
Best known for: Honeymoons, beaches, over-the-water bungalows, Bora Bora, stunning resorts, culture, surfing, hiking, and diving & snorkelling.
Language: French
Top Snorkelling Spots: Bora Bora, Tahiti, Tuamotu Atolls, Kia Ora Resort in Rangiroa, Blue Lagoon, The Aquarium in Rangiroa, Tiputa Pass, Fakarava (Tumakohua, also known as Tetamanu Pass), Tikehau Atoll, Stingray World, The Coral Garden, Motu Ofetaro, Punaaia, Moorea, and Pearl Farm.

8. Solomon Islands
Best known for: Culture, hiking, surfing, eco-tourism, wild forests, WWII history & historical sites, paradise vibes, relaxation and diving & snorkelling.
Language: English
Top Snorkelling Spots: Munda, Shark Point, The Cave of the Kastom Shark, Mushroom Island, Haipe Reef, Top Shelf, Barry's Breakfast, Susu Hite, Aussie Point, Secret Spot, Bigo Bigo, Patu Gogo, Sanbis Resort, Zipolo Habu Resort, and Roviana Lagoon.

9. Easter Island
Best known for: Pollution free waters, the most isolated inhabited land on the planet, eco-tourism, horseback riding, archaeology including the Giant sober-faced stone statues, hiking, and just being mysterious.
Language: Spanish
Top Snorkelling Spots: Motu Nui, Rapa Nui, Anakena, Playa Ovahe, and Orongo.

A word of warning:

- When planning a diving trip, your last dive should be completed at least 12 hours (ideally 24 hours) before getting on a plane. Reason for this is to minimise the risk of residual nitrogen in the blood causing decompression.

- Know the ocean- Do research on the way the ocean moves, currents, waves and surges. The ocean is akin to a wild jungle and should be treated with the same respect. If you are uncertain if you should snorkel or dive at any of the above spots, ask a local or tour guides/ information centres for advice.

- Respect the environment

Earth is our home, and like all homes, we want to be respected in it, and the same goes for the underwater world. Corals and reefs are delicate living ecosystems that react to every little bit of damage they sustain- Do not touch anything other than sand, water and rock- even with your fins. That also includes standing or sitting.

Coral and reefs may cause cuts, pains and bleeding if touched. Some coral is toxic and can cause death. Once again, for your safety and the environments, do not stand, sit, pat or touch anything other than sand, water and rock!

If you need a break from snorkelling, float on your back. Do not get too close to aquatic wildlife, as even a small scare can have a detrimental effect.

Don't wear sunscreen, perfume, deodorant or any other chemical containing substance unless it is considered a reef-safe biodegradable product.

Lastly, check with locals or guides/ information centres on sacred spots surrounding the snorkelling/ diving areas, the last thing you want to do when enjoying the underwater world is upset and offend locals or even get arrested!
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Why? Explore the underwater world of the South Pacific
When: All year round
Where: South Pacific Islands- see above
Cost: Free
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