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Pacific scuba and snorkelling hotspots – 4 places to ‘wet’ your appetite

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One of the best things about holidaying in the Pacific Islands is that the world looks just as beautiful beneath the surface of those turquoise waters. Both experienced and complete novice divers rave about the diversity of experiences and sights across the region. From wreck diving through to gentle snorkelling in calm bays, here are four Pacific diving spots to ‘wet’ your appetite.

Noumea, New Caledonia

New Caledonia has the world’s second biggest coral reef, so there’s plenty of stunning underwater wilderness to explore.

One of the best spots is Boulari Pass where a teeming array of tropical fish, including huge tuna and triggerfish, along with other great fodder for your holiday adventure tales – tortoises, black tipped and white tipped sharks – swim amongst the bright corals.

The resort-like Nouvata Hotel Noumea is positioned right on the beach. Deluxe rooms are the pick for stunning views over Anse Vata Bay.

See more great Noumea hotel deals.

Rarotonga and Aitutaki, Cook Islands

One of many great things about the Cook Islands is that it has year round warm water with excellent visibility. The island shape also means you can go out in almost any weather and be sheltered from rough waves.

From Rarotonga, expert divers can reef drop-off 40 metres and explore WWII wrecks in relative privacy from other divers.

Aitutaki has a huge central lagoon that is perfect for gentle snorkelling around the giant clam farm. And when it’s time for a break, you just rest on the white sand, drinking from a coconut and enjoying a bbq.

Other favourite spots include Ngatangiia Swimthroughs, the Matavera Drop-Off, the Papua Canyon, the Sand River and the Koromiri Coral Garden.

With 73 types of live coral features, hundreds of fish species, giant turtles, eagle rays and reef sharks you won’t want to forget your underwater camera.

Puaikura Reef Lodges Rarotonga Hotel provides free snorkelling gear, which you can use on the nearby white fine sand snorkelling and swimming beach.

See more great Rarotonga hotel deals.


Port Vila, Vanuatu
Vanuatu is actually a chain of 83 tropical islands in the South West Pacific, with a semi-tropical climate. Most diving operators run out of the capital Port Vila.

One must-do dive site rests off the island of Espiritu Santo – the wreck of the S.S President Coolidge, a luxury liner used to carry troops during World War II.

There’s also protected crystal clear waters in the marine sanctuary with shallow reefs and deeper drop-offs to explore other sunken wrecks, such as the 1874 Star of Russia and a ‘flying’ boat.

Chantilly’s On The Bay Hotel Fatumaru Bay in Port Vila is all about pleasure. You can relax after you sub-mariner exploits with a treatment from the beauty spa, and enjoy the 180 degree views of the bay from your room.

See more great Port Vila hotel deals.


Apia, Samoa
Despite some areas being damaged by aggressive fishing, many parts of Samoan waters that are still very beautiful and make for great diving and snorkelling.

At the Sinalei Reef Resort on the south coast of Upolu, the calmer seas make it easier to see the fish, especially in the reef channels on an incoming tide.

Nu’usafe’e Island, just off Poutasi, has amazing wavy coral. Here you can hand-feed fish and marvel at the many lava chutes that open into clear water.

The Tanoa Tusitala Hotel Apia is surrounded by lush tropical gardens, and every room has a balcony or patio to take it all in. You can have a hit of tennis or relax at the bar while the kids whoop it up in the children’s pool and play area.

See more great Apia hotel deals.


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