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View Full Version : Looking for a place to go diving in the south pacific


EnderG60
12/23/2014, 08:28 AM
So Ive been to New Zealand, Aus and Fiji and fell in love with the islands. Im now looking to take a week long trip to another island in the south pacific.

My problem is I have no idea how to choose. Im trying to contact a travel agent but none of them are available till after the new year.

Ive been looking at Bali, Bora Bora, venuatu, marshal islands and so on. GF of course wants some place with a great resort(rooms on stilts in the water is a huge plus for that) I simply care about diving, good food and not crowded beaches.

Anyone have any advice?

Paul B
12/23/2014, 08:42 AM
I have also dove all over the place and my favorite, with out a doubt is Bora Bora. You really need to take a boat around the Islands as their is really almost nothing to do on land. Bora Bora doesn't really even have land, it is a very steep mountain with a road around it mostly on stilts in the sea because there is not enough land to put a road. We took the Windstar ship and it was my best trip. It also has a dive shop aboard.
All the resorts on Bora Bora are on stilts on the water because of lack of land. There is one bar, Bloody Mary's.
Windstar
http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh270/urchsearch/tahiti0400081.jpg (http://s258.photobucket.com/user/urchsearch/media/tahiti0400081.jpg.html)

Bora Bora
http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh270/urchsearch/Guppies.jpg (http://s258.photobucket.com/user/urchsearch/media/Guppies.jpg.html)

Harbor in Bora Bora with our ship in the center. They filmed "Mutiny on the Bounty" here

http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh270/urchsearch/CopyofTahiti047.jpg (http://s258.photobucket.com/user/urchsearch/media/CopyofTahiti047.jpg.html)

The bar. Bloody Mary's
http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh270/urchsearch/Tahiti032.jpg (http://s258.photobucket.com/user/urchsearch/media/Tahiti032.jpg.html)

EnderG60
12/23/2014, 09:22 AM
My aunt was talking about bora bora alot as well. Although Im not a big fan of being on a boat with loads of other people for extended periods. Small live aboards are great though.

Is there any hiking through the forests? Need one or two things to do that dont involve diving just in case.

ace_92101
12/23/2014, 11:12 AM
Paul might have a point. I've dove a lot of the Pacific, but not French Polynesia. Your girlfriend should be able to enjoy some top notch resorts. It's also a non stop flight from LAX. The Marshall Islands have some excellent diving, but tourist infrastructure is fairly limited. Something to consider for your girlfriend. It's also a bit of trek in terms of airline connections. Bali is very developed, many say too developed. Indonesia has many other locations, some with even better diving.

EnderG60
12/23/2014, 11:52 AM
Good point. Thats exactly what Im trying to find out.

Im not worried about the flights but easier is always better when considering spending 24 hours on a plane each way.

What spots in Indonesia have better diving? Cant leave me hanging like that!

Paul B
12/23/2014, 12:00 PM
Im not a big fan of being on a boat with loads of other people for extended periods. Small live aboards are great though.


The Windstar carries less than 200 people, there are no forests on Bora Bora as it is a very steep mountain top that just extends out of the sea, straight up. Too steep to hike. Some of the other Tahitian Islands can be hiked.

socent33
12/24/2014, 08:44 PM
Bunaken marine park off Manado in North Sulawesi is my favorite diving destination. Connect to Manado through Singapore, Bali or Jakarta. 98% coral cover on wall dives and some fringing reefs. There are your choice of 3-4 star resorts on island.

snorvich
12/25/2014, 02:12 PM
What spots in Indonesia have better diving? Cant leave me hanging like that!

What, exactly, would you like to see? Corals? Critters? Large pelagics?

ace_92101
12/25/2014, 05:09 PM
Good point. Thats exactly what Im trying to find out.

Im not worried about the flights but easier is always better when considering spending 24 hours on a plane each way.

What spots in Indonesia have better diving? Cant leave me hanging like that!

Sulawesi and Raja Ampat are truly world class. They'd top my list. Bali does have some very good sites, but it's not in the same class. And travel distances can be long as it's a big island. If you're willing to go further north in the Coral Triangle, the Philippines also has some amazing diving.

EnderG60
12/26/2014, 03:27 PM
Im open to anything. We are simply looking for a place with great beaches, great diving and great resorts in a place we havent been to yet.

r-balljunkie
12/27/2014, 05:05 AM
GF of course wants some place with a great resort(rooms on stilts in the water is a huge plus for that)

Ace summed up your options nicely. It seems your girlfriend wants the "total" resort feel to her trip, day spa, massages, guided tours etc. you can scratch a lot of places off your list. Like Ace stated, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia (Pohnpei, Chuuck, Kosrae etc) doesn't have the infrastructure in place to support western style tourism. You come out here because of adventurism and hardcore diving, not western style tourism.

If stilted and air conditioned rooms are a need, of course thats Bora Bora and the Maldives all day, but be prepared to pull out your wallet.


If the south pacific is a must, Yap is the place to go.

I simply care about diving, good food and not crowded beaches.

If you want a combo trip that'll keep the GF happy, you could expand out to the more traditional "coral triangle", which will have a different look and feel to the south pacific.

It'll be cheaper as well. there's more flights going to manila than to majuro. you can fly from ATL to MNL for half the price.

Bali is a bit overrated IMO, but might fit the bill for your needs....everything seems crowded to me, but then again, i live on an island with a thousand people. Theres touristy stuff to do like temple tours in the day, nightlife and bar hopping at night.

Thailand is a total blast. Bangkok is a fun cultural place, plenty to see, eat and do. Head down to Patong, and its the wild wild west (for fun..), plus you can sneak away for a day trip diving while the GF hangs out. Its very easy to make friends while you are there.

You could also do the Phils. Boracay is the party central island. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the diving was considering how developed the tourism was on this one island.

There's tons of other islands to consider with a lot of natural beauty like bohol, palawan etc. the flights into Manila are cheap, and the local island hopper flights are cheap as well.

Just some food for thought if you decide to expand your search a bit further.

Good luck and good diving!

snorvich
12/27/2014, 04:15 PM
Ace summed up your options nicely. It seems your girlfriend wants the "total" resort feel to her trip, day spa, massages, guided tours etc. you can scratch a lot of places off your list. Like Ace stated, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia (Pohnpei, Chuuck, Kosrae etc) doesn't have the infrastructure in place to support western style tourism. You come out here because of adventurism and hardcore diving, not western style tourism.

If stilted and air conditioned rooms are a need, of course thats Bora Bora and the Maldives all day, but be prepared to pull out your wallet.


If the south pacific is a must, Yap is the place to go.



If you want a combo trip that'll keep the GF happy, you could expand out to the more traditional "coral triangle", which will have a different look and feel to the south pacific.

It'll be cheaper as well. there's more flights going to manila than to majuro. you can fly from ATL to MNL for half the price.

Bali is a bit overrated IMO, but might fit the bill for your needs....everything seems crowded to me, but then again, i live on an island with a thousand people. Theres touristy stuff to do like temple tours in the day, nightlife and bar hopping at night.

Thailand is a total blast. Bangkok is a fun cultural place, plenty to see, eat and do. Head down to Patong, and its the wild wild west (for fun..), plus you can sneak away for a day trip diving while the GF hangs out. Its very easy to make friends while you are there.

You could also do the Phils. Boracay is the party central island. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the diving was considering how developed the tourism was on this one island.

There's tons of other islands to consider with a lot of natural beauty like bohol, palawan etc. the flights into Manila are cheap, and the local island hopper flights are cheap as well.

Just some food for thought if you decide to expand your search a bit further.

Good luck and good diving!

Good advice above. In the Philippines, while a bit on the "primitive side", I loved Batangas where I got a room, board, private boat with guide for a very moderate price. But definitely not fancy, it is where the natives go so there was lots of fun interaction. North Sulawesi is world class. Thailand is a hoot, but more fun on a live aboard than land based (diving, that is)

EnderG60
12/29/2014, 06:44 AM
Great advice!

Yeah Im all for doing a small live aboard or a backpacker resort if it means I get better diving. But the GF is getting certified in 2 months and likes nicer places and good food so Im going to compromise until I can get her more hooked on diving.

We have been looking more closely at bora bora but Sulawesi and Raja Ampat look amazing!

I say south pacific simply because I have been to Fiji and it was the best diving I had ever seen, people were way to nice, everything was pretty cheap and I wanted more of that!

I dont get off much on touring cities, shopping or fine dining. Im more for quite beaches, diving, hiking and the like. I want to go places most people dont go, get out in nature and take great pictures. I can experience different people, cultures and foods from around the world in a 20 minute drive around Atlanta.

Im gonna check more into Sulawesi and Raja Ampat when I get home.

JuanSchezuan
01/02/2015, 06:46 PM
May I suggest a wonderful place called Port Douglas in Australia?

The beaches here are very untouched and the town is magical. The dive boats are nice and can range from smaller to larger, depending on what you like. We loved PD so much we ended up moving from CO to Australia and lived in PD for 6 years. Cairns is also close for additional diving.

You can find my diving videos of PD reefs here https://www.youtube.com/user/CoralSeaVideo I'm not the best video taker and most were on borrowed cameras.

Here's some images of 4 mile beach, which is one of the loveliest most untouched beaches I've been to, but with services near. Note, marine stingers (Jellyfish) are present for part of the year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Douglas,_Queensland#mediaviewer/File:Port_douglas_qld_australia.jpg

http://portdouglasresort.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/four_mile_beach.jpg

EnderG60
01/02/2015, 09:12 PM
Already all over the east coast of Oz and up and down New Zealand. Loved Frasier Island the best and went diving off Cairns . Diving in both was great but nothing compared to Fiji.

We are investigating one more place in Indonesia but Im pretty sure we are going to do Bora Bora. Im just checking out if I can dive in the other islands of tahiti while im there.

Nihoa
01/17/2015, 07:36 PM
Solomons! https://vimeo.com/84939070