Drift Diving in French Polynesia

If there’s anywhere in the world that screams ‘dream destination’, it’s French Polynesia. Made up of over 100 idyllic islands strewn across the Pacific Ocean, this remote archipelago is the perfect choice for both adventure-seekers and honeymooners looking for thrilling dives, world-class beaches and rich culture. From the big names like Bora Bora to lesser-known Tikehau, there are plenty of choices for drift diving in French Polynesia. Here are some of our personal favourites:

Teavanui Pass, Bora Bora

As one of the most well-known islands in the Pacific, Bora Bora is a top choice for diving and particularly drift diving in French Polynesia. The island's infrastructure makes it a great choice for couples and families, and there is a range of dive sites for mixed-ability groups.

Teavanui Pass is an exhilarating drift dive through the island's only pass and a wonderful opportunity to see large pelagic species. The dive has a depth between five and 40 metres and is subject to strong currents, making it more suitable for advanced divers. Divers will have the opportunity to float by a stunning coral wall, inundated with colourful reef fish and large schools of barracudas and jacks. Black tip reef shark sightings are common, with occasional visits from manta rays and eagle rays.

Tiputa Pass, Rangiroa

Diving the Tiputa Pass is one of the top things to do in Rangiroa, the largest atoll in French Polynesia. The pass is one of the best places for drift diving in French Polynesia thanks to the variety of wildlife divers can encounter, which varies from dive to dive.

Divers are swept up by the inbound current, which carries them through the pass and into Rangiroa's stunning lagoon, ending the dive in a vibrant coral garden. On the dive, it's not unusual to spot black tip reef sharks, grey sharks, rays and even dolphins. Between January and March, there are also hammerhead sharks in the area.

Tuheiava Pass, Tikehau

Tuheiava Pass is Tikehau's only opening to the Pacific Ocean. It's a relatively shallow dive with a moderate current, making it an ideal spot for drift diving in French Polynesia. It's a wonderful choice for beginners and advanced divers, with plenty of pelagic species on show. Beginner drift divers can enjoy the site when the current is inbound, whereas advanced divers might want to experience the challenging conditions when the current is outgoing.

During the dive, there's everything from dolphins, turtles and leopard rays, to napoleon wrasse, triggerfish and schools of jacks. The pass is also a hotspot for sharks, with frequent sightings of white tip and black tip sharks, and rare encounters with tiger sharks and hammerheads.

There are plenty of opportunities for drift diving in French Polynesia, whether you choose to visit breath-taking Bora Bora or take the path less travelled to Tikehau. Whichever you decide, our Original Diving team can help you put together your dream French Polynesia itinerary, taking care of all the extra little details.

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

Call us on 1-800-652-1972