French Polynesia regularly features on diver's bucket lists - and for good reason. This South Pacific marvel offers spectacular coral reefs, deep dives, ripping currents and all the big-ticket pelagic species. French Polynesia also boasts some of the best wall dives in the world. From the vibrant coral gardens of Moorea to the thrilling currents of the Garuae Pass, these sites offer an adventure like no other.
Beginners can chill in shallow coral gardens, while experienced divers can ride the current like underwater superheroes. Plus, the crystal-clear waters provide up to 60 metres of visibility, ensuring an unforgettable experience. French Polynesia is made up of five archipelagos, 118 islands and dive spots for days. Read on to discover the best wall dives in French Polynesia.
Tumakohua Pass, Fakarava
Tumakohua Pass, otherwise known as the 'Wall of Sharks', is one of the sharkiest dives in the world. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the reef showcases an extrodinary array of marine species, from parrotfish and damselfish to wrasses and groupers. However, the stars of the show are undoubtedly the enormous number of grey reef sharks - sometimes amassing hundreds. Due to the narrowness of the pass, the current is less intense than other dive sites in French Polynesia making it suitable for all levels of divers.
Tiputa Pass, Rangiroa
If you like diving with pelagic fish, Tiputa Pass is the dive for you. One of the most famous dives in the world, this drift dive features a drop-off to the left and deep blue to the right. Open to divers of all levels, the wall of the pass is covered in a healthy reef and an abundance of marine life. But cast your eyes out into the blue and you'll see why this pass is so famous. Here, divers share the current with grey sharks, hammerheads, dolphins, manta rays and leopard rays. Visit between August and October and there's even the possibility of seeing whales migrating through.
Garuae Pass, Fakarava
Another contendor from Fakarava, Garuae Pass is the biggest pass in French Polynesia. The pass is just under a mile wide, and with ripping currents and deep depths, is hailedas one of the best wall dives in French Polynesia for advanced divers. Along the wall, tropical fish swim amongst the colourful fauna, while the blue is a busy highway of hammerheads and grey sharks Currents and tides determine when you can dive this site.
Coral Wall, Moorea
Moorea's fringing reef, with an average depth of 18 metres, makes it a beginner diver's aquatic paradise. And for those keen to explore the best diving in French Polynesia, the Coral Wall, or 'Le Mur de Corail', in Moorea, French Polynesia, is accessible from the shore, making it the perfect introduction for newly certified divers. The site is the underwater equivalent of a dazzling maze, complete with alleys and swim-throughs. It's the kind of place where tropical fish, turtles and even Napoleon wrasse have decided to set up their homes.
Tahuata, Marquesas Islands
Tahuata is the smallest of the inhabited Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia and offers some of the best off-the-beaten-path diving in French Polynesia. There's no coral reef or lagoon here. Instead, the diving is centred around a steep wall with slightly colder water and less visibility than its neighbouring dive sites, and stronger currents. The trade-off? These plankton-rich waters attract huge numbers of hammerheads, manta rays and dolphins - it's a secret underwater meeting place of the ocean's most majestic creatures.
Anau Wall, Bora Bora
Bora Bora might be best known for its luxury hotels and overwater villas, yet this picture-perfect island also offers some incredible wall diving. While the island boasts a huge array of diving, Anau Wall is Bora Bora's most famous dive site for diving with manta rays. Located off the eastern shores of Bora Bora, Anau features a shallow plateau that serves as a cleaning station, where reef manta rays can be seen year-round. The site starts at a shallow coral garden, which at six metres, can be explored by snorkellers and divers alike. This garden then slopes down to a drop-off at 19 metres, and it's this coral-encrusted wall that provides a backdrop to trains of manta rays filing past for their daily clean.