Cook Islands Scuba Destination Info:
GMT -10 hours
Phone Code: +682
The Cook Islands is a friendly, clean and tidy destination. One of very few tropical destinations that haven't been too commercialised.
There are flights to Rarotonga, Cook Islands most days from Auckland, New Zealand (Air New Zealand). Air New Zealand also have a flight from Heathrow via LA on Mondays and Virgin Blue offer a weekly flight from Christchurch, New Zealand too.
Bring suntan lotion and mozzie repellant with you. It's not cheap!
The Cook Islands may not a world class dive destination but it ceratinly has some excellent diving. With visability nearly always 20m+ and often up to 60m the diving in such clear water takes your breath away as you look out over the drop off!
The island of Rarotonga offers the most sites and diversity. Their are four dive operators on the island who offer trips via small boats to the dive sites located around the island. Despite what you may read, all four operators dive the same sites. The North of Rarotonga island has the best coral dives, with sites such as Mushroom forest and Paradise. The East offers some superb drop off's and the West has some nice deeper coral dives. The diving on the South side consists of passages in the reef which can be good for grey reef sharks and eagle rays, but beware, these sites often have very strong current so are only suitable for experienced divers.
There are 3 wreck dives around Rarotonga. (1) The Maitai by Avarua harbour (8m deep) - probably best to snorkel this one - not one of the better dives on the island! (2) The Mataora - North (18m deep) - good for Open Water qualified divers, quite broken up but plenty of Lionfish (3) The Maritime Reefer - West(28m deep) - broken in half, look out for the prop! This wreck is the home for a large moray. Worth a look for more experienced divers.
If you are looking for reliable shark visits try Sand River North East.. or for experienced divers try the Southern passages. You can also see Eagle Rays West at Diana's ridge and South at Papua passage
As with most coral reefs, the coral in the Cook islands has been in better shape. The best coral on Rarotonga tends to be around the north of the island away from the prevailing South east winds. Here you can find sites with approximately 70% coral cover. Deeper around the West too can be good. The East of the island was hit wuite hard by cylones a couple of years ago so the top of the reef is now pretty baron.
Diveing all year round is good. But during July - October you have a good chance of seeing hump backed whales!
Sun tan lotion! You can leave your dive gear at home, most dive operators offer free gear hire anyway!
Big Blue Planet knows about the following locations in Cook Islands:
Rarotonga is a relatively unknown Dive destination, all the diving is shore based boat diving with excellent visibility and great local guides. the preferred diving is on the south side of the island or next best the western side. the northwern or to...
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