Divers love the water clarity and diverse marine life that call our little paradise home. Temperatures from 23°C to 28°C, visibility up to 60m, steep oceanic drop offs, canyons, caves, a rainbow of colourful fish and walls of coral. With over 73 types of live coral and hundreds of fish species, it’s an underwater playground.
Diving in Rarotonga and Aitutaki
Rarotonga is a volcanic gently sloping plateau that ‘drops off’ into a 4,500m abyss with an abundance of coral formations and no soft corals. All deep sea diving trips are boat-based and most of the dive sites are just ten minutes from the departure point.
With over 30 dive sites, there are plenty of options for the beginner to advanced.
Divers searching for caves, colourful marine life and turtles will not be disappointed in Aitutaki, where a large number of dive sites are on offer, including night dives.
- Shallow lagoons that empty into the ocean by passages, offering exciting canyon dives with sharks, rays and turtles.
- Drop offs, artificial shipwreck reefs and coral gardens.
- Night dives, lagoon dives, 1 or 2 tank dives, beginner dives and a range of courses from open water, advanced open water, deep sea diving, boat diving and many more.
- Family diving experiences – children aged 8 years and over can learn to dive in the safe, clear waters of the lagoon.
- Some of the most rare fish in the world – paradise for a macro photographer.
5 reasons to dive in the Cook Islands
- Easy access
Dive operators and spots are easy to access considering all of the Cook Islands are small and navigable. Trips are half-day excursions so after you’ve been for a dive, you’ll still have time to do other activities or relax on the beach.
- Crystal-clear waters
With visibility up to 195 feet (60 meters), 73 types of live coral, and hundreds of fish species, the Cook Islands offers a captivating underwater playground.
- Opportunities to get certified
Dive operators offer courses for beginners and advanced divers. You can be safely and properly certified by the time your vacation is over.
- Marine protection under Marae Moana
The Cook Islands’ Marae Moana Act lays the framework for marine protection over 700,000 square miles of ocean area, which is more than four times the size of California. The legislation also bans large-scale fishing for 50 nautical miles around each island. Marine-protected areas have been proven to maintain and replenish biodiversity in the sea.
- Diversity of dive experiences
Discover shallow lagoons that empty into the ocean through passages. Experience exciting canyon dives alongside sharks, rays, turtles, Giant Trevally, and schools of colourful fish. Between July and October, look out for Humpback Whales.