Advanced Diving in French Polynesia

French Polynesia, located in the most remote corners of the world, requires an epic journey for northern Europeans seeking to reach its shores. Yet adrenaline junkies and shark enthusiasts are drawn to this South Pacific paradise, enticed by its current-strewn, shark-infused passes and idyllic white-sand beaches. While the 118 scattered islands offer spectacular diving for every level of diver, there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy advanced diving in French Polynesia. The territory boasts a prolific shark population below the waves, and both the gentler lagoon dives and high-adrenaline pass dives allow for unbelievable up-close-and-personal shark encounters. ..


Not only is Rangiroa is the largest atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago, it's also one of the largest in the world. Myriad shallow channels connect the ocean to the lagoon, and when the inner lagoon empties and fills with the tides, its passes fill with grey reef sharks and silvertips. Aside from sharks, manta rays and hammerheads will occasionally make appearances, while curious dolphins often come to play with the divers. The currents in the passes can be strong, making the dives among the more advanced diving in French Polynesia. Suitably certified divers can also venture a little deeper (35 metres or more) in search of the bigger sharks, while less-experienced divers can enjoy the calmer waters of the inner lagoon.


Rangiroa's neighbouring atoll, Tikehau, also boasts impressive, fast-paced drift dives through its pass. Tuheiva Pass, the atoll's sole pass, has become the underwater muster point for the big boys. The furrowed pass is not strictly off-limits for the less experienced diver, but those experienced enough to enjoy the more advanced diving in French Polynesia can enjoy the currents to the fullest. While grey reef, blacktip and whitetip reef sharks are virtually guaranteed, there are also good chances of manta rays and plenty of silvery predators - dogtooth tuna and jacks - darting to-and-fro in search of a snack.


An island-hopping adventure across French Polynesia allows you to head to one of the world's most vaunted shark diving locations: Fakarava. Located in the western reaches of the Tuamotu group, divers can see blacktip, whitetip and grey reef sharks, lemon sharks and hammerheads in the atoll's two passes.

To the north, Garuae Pass is the widest navigable pass in the country and home to an impressively large number of sharks. The pass is wide enough that it can be a struggle to see both sides at once, and as such, the currents can be a little easier. If you're after the more advanced diving in French Polynesia, the atoll's other pass dive, Tumakohua Pass, features a narrower section known as the Shark Hole, where divers can experience adrenaline-inducing, shark-infused drifts.

With French Polynesia being half the world away from the UK and northern Europe, making the most of your time there can be tricky. Our team of dive travel experts have travelled extensively this vast archipelago and are on hand to help you iron out your itinerary to ensure you get to enjoy the very best of the advanced diving in French Polynesia with hassle-free connections and the most luxurious resorts to boot.

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Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are our 'Advanced Diving in French Polynesia' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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