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Diving in Rarotonga
Rarotonga is an underwater wonderland with over 30 dive sites which divers love exploring, whether novice or seasoned. The clear waters, diverse marine life and easy access make diving in Rarotonga a special joy. Enjoy warm waters ranging in temperature from 23°C to 28°C, visibility of up to 60m, steep oceanic drop offs, canyons, caves, wrecks, walls of over 70 types of corals and a plethora of marine life, large and small.
Experienced divers love discovering Rarotonga’s gently sloping volcanic plateau that ‘drops off’ into a 4,500m abyss with an abundance of marine animals. All deep sea diving trips are boat-based and most of the dive sites are just 10 minutes away from the departure point.
Make Your Dive Dream Come True
Always dreamed of learning to scuba dive? Rarotonga’s sheltered lagoons and friendly, experienced dive instructors offer you the perfect opportunity to learn how to dive to international standards – beautiful clear warm waters filled with fish, that is. Compare that with learning in an indoor chlorinated pool back home.
WHY DIVE IN RAROTONGA?
Diversity of Dive Experiences
Discover shallow lagoons that empty into the vast Pacific Ocean through passages in the encircling coral reef. Experience exciting canyon dives alongside turtles, rays, sharks, giant trevally and schools of rainbow-coloured tropical fish. From July to October, Humpback Whales migrate through Rarotonga’s waters close to the reef wall, a memorable highlight for any diver. Dive experiences include night dives, lagoon dives, 1 or 2 tank dives and beginner dives.
For families who enjoy playing and learning together, Rarotonga offers the perfect playground for family diving experiences, as children aged 8 years and over can learn to dive in the island’s safe, clear lagoon waters.
With visibility up to 195 feet (60 metres), 73 types of live coral, and hundreds of fish species, the Cook Islands offers a captivating underwater playground. Paradise for photographers.
Both dive operators and dive locations are easy to access, and dive sites are generally only around 10 minutes’ boat trip from the island. Trips are half-day excursions so after you’ve been for a dive, you’ll still have time to relax on the beach or head out on a land-based adventure.
Dive operators offer a range of courses for beginners through to advanced divers including open water, advanced open water, deep sea diving and boat diving. You can be certified by the end of your holiday.
The Cook Islands’ Marae Moana Act lays the framework for marine protection over 700,000 square miles of ocean area (more than four times the size of California). The legislation also bans large-scale fishing for 50 nautical miles around each of the Cooks’ 15 islands.
Marine-protected areas, including the traditional Rau’i of Aroa Lagoonarium in front of The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium, have been proven to maintain and replenish marine biodiversity.
RAROTONGA’S DIVE OPERATORS
Adventure Cook Islands
Located next to The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium with ready access to Aroa Lagoonarium, Adventure Cook Islands is a PADI Dive Resort, SSI Dive Centre, SDI Dive Resort and TDI Dive Resort catering to highly experienced divers right through to complete beginners.
Their friendly, experienced Dive masters and Instructors are keen to show you some of the best diving Rarotonga has to offer. Their sea adventures include:
- Scuba Dive Trips to Rarotonga's best spots
- Introductory Dives
- Refresher dives
- Recreational Diving Courses through PADI, SSI and SDI
- Technical Diver Training through TDI and SSI XR
- Outer Reef Snorkeling & Freediving Tours
Diving & Snorkeling Tours
Adventure Cook Islands has dive and snorkel sites all around Rarotonga. Whilst their favourite sites are the passages and drop-offs along the south coast, they also dive the north, west and east coasts, depending on sea conditions and diver experience.
Their dive sites offer a variety of interesting terrain, from passages, caverns and swim-throughs to steep drop-offs and broken-up shipwrecks. Dive trips are at either 8am or 12.30pm and all dive trips are guided, with group numbers kept to a maximum of 6 divers.
Boat & Safety
Adventure Cook Islands has a custom-built dive boat which accommodates 6 divers or 7 snorkelers. All boat handlers are experienced and qualified skippers, and boats are equipped with VHF, mobile phone, oxygen, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, lifejackets and flares.
They also hire out a large selection of equipment including bicycles, scooters, kayaks, snorkel gear and bodyboards.
Established more than 20 years ago in Muri, Pacific Divers offers a comprehensive and enjoyable diving service catering to all levels.
Dives include canyons, drop offs, drifts and coral terrain dives. Marine life includes Hawksbill and Green Turtles, White Tip and Grey Reef Sharks, Napoleon Wrasse, Giant Moray, Giant Clams and a myriad of reef fish.
With Pacific Divers you can book the following experiences and courses:
Two Dive excursions
One Dive excursions
- Night Dive trips
- PADI Discover Scuba Diving (ocean or lagoon dive)
- PADI Reactive (refresher)
- Lagoon Refresher
- Divemaster Internship Programme
- Divemaster Apprenticeship Programme
- Master Scuba Diver Certification
- Scuba Refresher including ocean dive
Rarotonga is the perfect place to try diving for the first time, or take a PADI diver certification. Their 5 star PADI dive centre and experienced, friendly instructors help make you feel at ease in the water.
Dive Rarotonga is a safety focused PADI 5* Instructor Development Centre, staffed by qualified and experienced PADI Instructors who are also Cook Island Boat Master and RYA qualified.
Located in Arorangi, they offer every level of PADI training from Discover Scuba Experiences for those with no previous experience through to Instructor levels. They also offer EFR First Aid training to Instructor level too.
Dive Rarotonga has an on-site 3-metre deep training pool and pride themselves on offering premium rental equipment for their courses and trips.
As well as professional training courses, they run guided dive trips for qualified divers 7 days a week, every afternoon, and every morning except Sunday.
All trips are for two dives and are led by one of their experienced Instructors, and they provide return transport from Dive Rarotonga to the harbour.
Dive Rarotonga offers a wide range of all-things-scuba for sale in their retail store (including online) and are the Cook Islands distributors for Suunto, Scubapro, Mares and Atomic Aquatics, along with having an on-site, manufacturer-trained service technician.
They also have hydrostatic cylinder testing facilities on-site and can blend gases.
Dive Rarotonga helped establish a coral transplant and restoration project which is a great training site for five Unique PADI Distinctive Specialties, a special experience of Rarotonga.