PADI 5 star dive resort
Pacific Divers PADI 5 star dive resort

Site Map and Site Descriptions

We have many sites located around Rarotonga. Due to the size of the island we are able to relocate our dive vessel so we are diving on the lee side of the island.


Rarotonga is great diving Ednas anchor Smurf city Mataora wreck Sand river The Gap Matavera Wall Sunrise Ta'akoka Bella Beach The Abyss Dead mans gultch Papua passage Rutaki drops Rutaki passage Rarotongan The Pinnacle Arorangi drops The plateau Sunset reef and swim throughs Maritime Reefer wreck Nikau tunnels Eds mistake Tangaroas rocks

Ednas Anchor. A wide sand channel falling over the drop like a ski slope is flanked by coral formed terrain with recovering hard corals (Favids, Pocillopora and Acropora species most common) found in depths shallower than 14m. Out deeper between 15 and 22 metres Porites and Montipora dominate with several small fish finding refuge amongst the coral. At 22 metres lies an anchor, it's chain can still be seen draped over the neighboring coral bommie. The site has 2 other anchors, from the days of Rarotonga being frequented by whaling ships. At the drop off this site can be quite spectacular with a vertical drop to 70 metres from the top of a feature at 28m. A swim out into the blue can be inviting, but watch that dive computer! Depth range 8m to 45m+, suitable for all levels of experience. Top^

Smurf City. Don't expect to see any little blue people here, but the ancient Porites coral bommies form a sea scape that looks like a field of giant mushrooms. This site on the North coast is a favorite for friendly fish and has some of the best coral cover on Rarotonga. It provides easy diving and is enjoyed by all. This is a favorite site for photographers and discover scuba's due to the friendly fish life encountered up close. Depth range 10m to 22m, suitable for beginners, junior divers and fish lovers. Top^

Coral Garden. This site is similar to Smurf City but has some of it's own distinctive characteristics. There are vast Montipora colonies at 16m to 18m which give this site it's name. Other hard corals are well represented here also and at 20m there are some nice open swim through's that sometimes have white tip reef sharks hidden inside. Depth range 14m to 22m, suitable for all certified divers. Top^

Mataora wreck. The Miss Mataora was sunk for diving about 20 years ago. She lies in 12m to 18m and has been well broken up by cyclones that batter this coast from time to time. The coral terrain around the wreck, especially out deeper, is quite nice and a good dive at this site will cover both the coral terrain and the wreck. Clear fin and Spot fin Lion fish are often found on the wreck. Depth range 12m to 25m, suitable for all divers and courses. Top^

Sand river. A broad sandy feature running out over the reef. Interestingly this underwater passage does not originate from a channel or stream from the island. At 25m there are overhangs and bommies that often have white tip reef sharks lazing in them. There is the opportunity to swim out into the blue or traverse across the drop off to a ridge on the other side of the channel. Napoleon Wrasse are sometimes found here and in the right season, large schools of bluefin trevally can be seen hunting juvenile surgeon fish on the reef. Depth range 14m to 50m+, suitable for all certified divers and technical deep dives. Top^

The gap. Accessed from the same mooring site as Sand river, the gap is a sloping bottom of sand and coral bommies with lots of overhangs and tight swim through's. The drop off can be observed as you swim along the coral terrain at about 20m before coming over a ridge to the gap. The dive is a more casual approach to the sand river site and is more suitable for those less experienced divers who are not comfortable with a swim out over deep water. Depth range 10m to 30m, suitable for all certified divers. Top^

Matavera wall. Accessed from the beautiful Avana harbour, Matavera wall and drop off offers a sanctuary from rough weather from the NW. The wall starts reasonable shallow at 18m and drops to about 50m before sloping out again to another drop at about 80m. There are some interesting features up shallow and some sand pools at about 8m make this a god site for course dives as well. Depth range 8m to 30m+, suitable for all divers and courses. Top^

Ngatangiia school. A good site for training and novice divers. The drop off starts to slope off at around 20m and coral bommies on the drop off top out at 16m so it is a site where a new diver can see into the abyss and still be within reasonable depth limits. A feature of this site is a giant coral bommie that has been tipped completely upside down by a cyclone and rests on the edge of the drop off. The underside, now the top, is flat and resembles a pavement. We call it the table top. Depth range 10m to 25m, suitable for all divers and courses. Top^

Sunrise. Coral bommies, sponges and reef fish make this site fairly colourful although it is limited in it's extent. Used mainly as a training site, occasionally eagle rays can be seen cruising past at the drop off. Depth range 10m to 25m, suitable for all divers and courses. Top^

Avana passage. This site is extensive enough to require 3 dives to fully dive it. You can start inside the lagoon and drift out to the broad sandy passage with large coral formations rising up. An ancient Porites bommie sits tilted to 45 deg, still growing. The broad, sandy, steep drop off is very good for deep dives and has two separate channels to explore. An underwater ridge runs out about 100m, the ridge line between 30m and 45m deep. The steep walls drop off to the blue and sharks can be seen cruising the area. Between 15m and 18m this site has a multitude of interesting features. Depth range 14m to 45m+, suitable for all certified divers and experienced or tec divers. Top^

Ta'akoka. The terrain on the SE side of the island was severely degraded in tropical cyclone some years back and has not recovered. This site is only dived with weather restricts diving at other locations. The bottom is quite flat, sloping gently to the drop off at about 25m. Often tuna and other oceanic fish can be seen on this coast. Depth range 10m to 25m, suitable for all divers and courses. Top^

Bella Beach. A steep drop off from 18m this site can be dived like a wall. The reef flat has a couple of small channels and the water is usually very clear. Quite a relaxing site to dive, slow pace, can be susceptible to surge. Depth range 10m to 30m, suitable for all divers. Top^

The Abyss. A complex of sand channels finger their way out to the drop off. The eastern most channels down to a narrow gorge likely formed thousands of years ago when a lower sea level had the reef exposed. The wall is very steep and it is easy to swim out off the reef with the bottomless abyss below. Adventuring around the sand fingers is pleasurable with occasional sharks, eagle rays and turtles. Parrot fish often congregate here also for spawning. Depth range 12m to 40m+, suitable for all divers. Top^

Dead mans gultch. This site is located at the same place as The Abyss but is directed in through the reef passage. Fairly specific conditions are required for this site and it is one of the most advanced dives on the island. Swimming through a cavern and steep canyons brings you inside the reef where a deep (25m) bowl is home to many predatory animals feeding in the current. Often seen are White Tip Reef sharks, Gray Reef sharks, Eagle rays, turtles, Giant Trevally, schools of lesser trevally and other reef fish. To see these creatures a moderate current must be present making the dive quite challenging. Depth range 10m to 35m, suitable for advanced divers. Top^


Papua passage. A wonderful second dive and a must do for south side diving. Papua passage is a pretty and easy dive with depths no greater than 17m and a good chance of seeing Eagle rays and turtles. Difficulty can be increased by swimming further up into the passage for a drift dive on the way back out but equally as interesting, this dive is great for a look around and easy dive. Depth range 12m to 17m, suitable for all divers and courses. Top^

Rutaki drops. Rutaki passage leads out to a nice sand channel that extends out over the drop off. This dive is similar to The Abyss but is more easily dived due to less surface current in swelly conditions. A scenic dive with an opportunity to swim out into the blue. Often a school of barracuda is seen, with turtles and white tip reef sharks also common. Depth range 15m to 40m+, suitable for all divers except beginners. Top^

Rutaki passage. This passage can be dived as a drift starting inside the reef or from the outside and swimming back into the bowl. Some nice canyons and caverns the large schools of snapper. Vertical walls meet a white sand bottom at about 18m. Depth range 10m to 20m, suitable for all divers. Top^

Rarotongan. The point off the Rarotongan forms a convergence of currents from two sides of the island. Variable diving but can be an exciting place to see pelagic fish and sharks. Depth range 15m to 30m, suitable for advanced divers. Top^

The Pinnacle. The southern half of the west coast is characterized by a moderately flat and sloping reef out to the drop off at 25 - 30m. The pinnacle is a coral bommie feature situated on the drop off making it the most significant feature on this coast. A current is often present. Depth range 12m to 30m, suitable for advanced divers. Top^

Arorangi drops. Situated in the centre of the western coast is the Arorangi pass, a small pass emptying the lagoon that is not navigable by boat. Some interesting terrain exists around this area with some good sized Porites bommies scattered about. Schooling eagle rays have been spotted here. A nice spot to begin a drift dive. Depth range 15m to 30m, suitable for all divers. Top^

The plateau. A flat feature located at 28m, this large plateau extends out to a sloping a drop off. A good site for a deep dive however the coral is degraded at this site leaving the physical attributes of the site the more impressive. Depth range 15m to 30m+, suitable for advanced divers. Top^

Sunset reef and swim through's. Located on the North West coast the pleasant dive site offers a great deal of experiences on a single dive. Nice coral terrain surrounds a shallow (5m) out crop that has a warren of swim though's on its southern side. A good second dive to accompany any of the other western sites, this dive is enjoyed by all. Depth range 5m to 25m, suitable for all divers. Top^

Maritime Reefer wreck. One of three wrecks, this fishing boat was sunk some time ago and lies well broken up in about 25m of water. The stern, rudder and propeller are still visible but the bow section is less recognizable. Home to Lion Fish and Giant moray, this site is pretty nice for photographers. The occasional shark is seen cruising the area. Depth range 14m to 30m, suitable for all divers. Top^

Nikau tunnels. This shallow site is an interesting exploration up into some wide caverns in the reef. This site is suitable for novice divers or dives exploring caverns and canyons for the first time. There are some optional tight swim through's but this is generally an easy, safe site. Depth range 8m to 15m, suitable for beginners. Top^

Eds mistake. This site, also known as the graveyard, is often dived by western dive companies only diving the North or West. It is characterized by small coral boulders turning to rubble at the drop off. Usually used when we are restricted due to weather and previous sites dived. Depth range 15m to 30m, suitable for occasional dives. Top^

Tangaroas rocks. This site has large coral formations rising up to 8 metres off the bottom. Plenty of small caverns and swim through's make this an interesting site for the adventure while the varied terrain and fish life is just as interesting for the spectator diver cruising along. Often turtles are seen up close and the occasional reef shark can cruise past. Depth range 12m to 30m, suitable for all divers. Top^

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