Cook Islands Diving

An amazing underwater world awaits just over the edge of the Rarotonga’s reef. Underwater, Rarotonga stays very steep, starting off with a gentle gradient which slopes gradually all the way down to the drop off. Each side of the island – north, south, east and west – offers a distinct dive environment with 3D terrains, plunging walls, and shallow outcrops all within easy distance. What this means for the diver is a huge variety of dive sites to choose from and the opportunity to dive every day. This is one of the benefits of coming to Rarotonga because when the conditions are bad on one side, dive sites on the other side will be sheltered and calm.

Visibility and Marinelife
Rarotonga’s main claim to great diving is the visibility, which has to be seen to be believed. It is rare not to see the surface on any dive (unless you're in a cave) and visibility can range from 25m on a bad day, right up to 60 or 70m. The naturalist will see a huge variety of fishlife including colourful parrot fish, wrasses, lionfish, grouper, angelfish, surgeons and more. Sharks, turtles and rays frequent particular sites and, for those who are lucky enough, humpback whales may cruise overhead or be seen breaching the surface of the water.

Rarotonga offers caverns and swimthroughs, while dives offer a good chance to search for lionfish and giant moray. When available, the southern passages offer a fascinating experience – huge gashes in the reef between the lagoon and the outer ocean can be up to a few metres wide and over 20m deep. And for those who love the feeling of being on the edge of the world, Rarotonga offers epic drop offs from 30m. Night diving couldn’t be easier with great visibility, no currents and smooth surfaces – all you have to do is shine the torch and let the search begin.

Learning to Dive
If you’ve been wondering where to learn to dive, Rarotonga provides the perfect place to begin your diving adventure. Whether you choose to complete Discover SCUBA or the PADI Open Water Diver Course, your first dive experience will be among friendly people in easy conditions. For those looking to get to the next level you can obtain specialty and advanced training at one of the Cook Islands' four dive training establishments. There are plenty of adventure dives just a short boat ride away, including wrecks, caverns, deep terrain and night diving spots. Training is also available up to the rescue and leadership levels with just a little study.

Dive Operators
There are five dive operators in Rarotonga: The Dive Centre, Cook Island Divers, Dive Rarotonga, Pacific Divers and Reef To See - Adventure Cook Islands. Because of the competition you can be assured of good prices as well as a high standard of service. Two dive trips a day, morning and afternoon, is standard and you can choose either a single dive or double dive trip with pick-ups and drop-offs included. All operators dive from boats and access dive sites right around the island, with the boat ride ranging from 2 to 25 minutes. All employ industry professionals to lead and teach diving, so come and meet the different operators and find out who suits your needs.

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