Best Diving in The Pacific

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We’ve divided the Pacific Ocean into three areas: Cocos and Galapagos Islands, CookFiji and Solomon Islands and the French Polynesia. Each region has it’s jewels to the global diver.


Micronesia covers 7.8 million square km of ocean punctuated by atolls and archipelagos. Micronesia boasts great wreck diving at Truk Lagoon, where the largest aggregation of boats located at routine depths in warm water is located. The wrecks are Japanese supply boats sunk by American aerial bombardment in 1944. Best know from Micronesia is Truk Lagoon, Bikini Atoll, and Palau. Micronesia also boasts sheer walls, caverns, blue holes, and coral gardens for the diving traveller.

  • Climate: Humid & warm, frequent showers
  • Wreck Diving, Wall Diving, Reef Diving
  • Best Time to Dive: Oct-Jun
  • Water Temp: 27-29°C

Papua New Guinea Overview

Papua New Guinea is considered by some as the Pacific’s ultimate dive destination. Due to a small population living over a large area, marine reefs have not been over fished like many other reefs have been. It is quite common to see rare species such as ghost pipefish, mandarin fish, etc… Most of the serious diving is done from the liveaboard boats which operate in Papua New Guinea, and are capable of visiting all the best sites.

  • Climate: Tropical
  • Reef Diving
  • Best Time to Dive: Oct-Jun
  • Water Temp: 26-29°C

Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands are located east of Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific and contain something for every diver. Big walls, wrecks all around the islands and vibrant coral reefs, with many large pelagics to be seen. The Solomon islands are spread out and the best selection of sites are covered by liveaboards, but there are several well setup land based operations and remote dive resorts.

The islands of Uepi and Gizo are outstanding with lots of wrecks from WWII, pristine reefs and walls, and of course, plenty of fish.

  • Climate: 24-37°C
  • Reef Diving, Wreck Diving, Wall Diving
  • Best Time to Dive: Year Round
  • Water Temp: 26-29°C

Fiji Islands

Fiji is located south east of the Solomons in the Western Pacific, part of French Polynesia, and offers a rocket ride in eight knot currents through shark-filled passes.

Fiji is considered “The Soft Coral Capitol of the World” – need we say more?

Much of the better-known dive sites are close together and done as day trips, but while these sites are good, sensational diving can be had in the more remote locations. These locations are accessed by liveaboard boats.

  • Climate: 21°C min to warm in summer
  • Reef Diving, Wall Diving
  • Best Time to Dive: Year Round
  • Water Temp: 23-28°C

Barrier Reef & Coral Sea

The Great Barrier Reef stretches over 2000 km from near Papua New Guinea to Rockhampton on the Australian coast. Listed as a world heritage site, the reefs offer endless exploration for interested parties. Further east of the Barrier Reef lies the Coral Sea where atolls rise from depths of 1000 meters to the surface. These reefs which are only visited by the occasional divers have huge wall dives, untouched coral reefs and the largest examples each species has to offer. (Although not the same prolific numbers as at other reefs).

  • Climate: 24-28°C
  • Reef Diving, Wall Diving
  • Best Time to Dive: Oct-Nov
  • Water Temp: 24-27°C


The Galapagos, Malpelo, and Cocos islands are known as the golden triangle. These three islands are volcanic rock islands rising straight out of the depths of the ocean and continually being swept by strong cold water currents. The nutrient rich currents and ocean isolation have developed a unique marine environment where large schools of marine life swarm everywhere. Many species that are unique to the islands can be seen while diving. Also, the northern Galapagos Islands frequently have large schools of migrating hammer head sharks passing by.

  • Climate: Dry & Warm (Strong winds in summer)
  • Reef Diving, Wall Diving
  • Best Time to Dive: Oct-Nov
  • Water Temp: 18-27°C

New Zealand

New Zealand offers unique diving at the Poor Knight Islands. The islands were created 10 million years ago by a volcano bursting through the earth’s crust. The cooling of the lava and the subsequent erosion of the islands by the changing seas has left a vast labyrinth of archways, caverns, and tunnels. Diving at poor knights islands is spectacular with the unexpected capable of happening, such as a chance encounter with a giant salp – a transparent open ended barrel that can be large enough for a diver to swim into and around. A larger variety of marine fishes exist here than in any other part of New Zealand.

  • Climate: Warm & Temperate
  • Type Cave Diving
  • Best Time to Dive: Dec-May
  • Water Temp: 14-23°C


Vanuatu located east of Australia offers the world’s largest wreck to dive on in accessible depths. (President Coolidge sunk in WW2) Most divers coming to Vanuatu head straight for Santo to dive on the Coolidge, but Vanuatu has much more to offer, unexplored freshwater cave systems, coral reefs, and many other wrecks.

  • Climate: Avg 28°C
  • Reef Diving, Wreck Diving, Cave Diving
  • Best Time to Dive: May-Nov
  • Water Temp: 21-25°C


The Hawaii archipelago is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is the most remote archipelago in the world, consisting of islands that are the tips of a large underwater mountain range. The remoteness of Hawaii has given rise to Hawaii having a lower marine diversity than most places in the world but has also given rise to Hawaii having a large number of endemic marine life species (marine life only found in Hawaii). What Hawaii lacks in diversity, it makes up for a sheer abundance of marine life. The dive industry is well developed in Hawaii, with diving on many of the islands, including, Hawaii (big island), Maui, O’ahu, Kauai and also dive excursions to the smaller islands such as Ni’ihau (where some of Hawaii’s best diving is to be had).

  • Reef Diving, Wall Diving
  • Best Time to Dive: Summer (Large surf/swell during winter)

Cocos Island

Cocos Island in the East Pacific is the largest uninhabited island in the world, it’s remote, wild and excellent for diving. Cocos is located 300+ miles west of Costa Rica, accessible only by boat. Cocos has no hotels and no accommodations and doesn’t need them – Cocos Island is only for the determined diver. But with determination comes rewards.

When to Visit the Pacific

Cocos Island lies in an Intertropical Convergence Zone. This zone is where the weather patterns of the two hemispheres converge near the equator. Here North and Southeast trade winds meet with the north and south equatorial currents.rainy season) and about 66°F the rest of the year.

The Cook Islands experience little fluctuation in climate and have moderate temperatures and humidity. It does rain, however, with the rainy season beginning in December and running through March.

Water temperature varies from a mean of 81°F in December to 78°F during their winter in August. Whale season is September – October. Fiji’s weather presents a real mixed bag. The choice is often between good visibility and cool water or warm water and calmer seas with less visibility.

The Solomons are hot and humid year-round, with the most rain falling between December and March. Rangiroa is diveable year-round, with water temperatures of 79¬83°F. See each region’s sections for more details concerning seasons.

Dive Sites Reviews in The Pacific

The Shark Reef Marine Reserve was created by Beqa Adventure Divers (BAD) and is where their shark dive is held. ...

This dive site is a sheer vertical wall running along the whole side of Ngemelis Island. It is a drift ...

Enjoy a touch of underwater elegance in the Chandelier Cave, a unique cave made up of several rooms joined by ...

One of the most visited wreck sites in Palau, this dive site is often called Lionfish wreck due to the ...

Famous amongst divers for providing regular sightings of majestic eagle rays, mantas and reef sharks, German Channel is a good ...

This Japanese army cargo ship is named Helmet Wreck because of the rows of helmet stacks in the wreck that ...

The Iro is probably the most famous of all the wrecks in Palau and is a fantastic wreck dive; the ...

Jellyfish Lake is one of the top diving experiences in Palau. These famous golden jellyfish have lost their sting and ...

This vibrant and vivid dive site is a section of the vertical wall that runs around Ngemelis Island. Found west ...

This dive site features a spectacular vertical wall with a plateau that drops down to about 10 metres. Found west ...

Liveaboard Reviews in The Pacific

Coming in at a whopping 58 meters, the SS Thorfinn is a luxury liveaboard which can accommodate as many as ...

Some of the best French Polynesian dive sites can be visited from the comfort of the recently built French Polynesia ...

Jambo liveaboard articles goes here. Cabins On-board the Jambo, guests can choose from 4 different staterooms as outlined below: 1 Master cabin (no 1) The ...

The Chertan is a 60ft yacht offering a safe, comfortable journey for up to 10 passengers. Recently renovated to a ...

Luxury liveaboard in Papua New Guinea.

The M/V Discovery Adventure recently underwent a huge refurbishment and redesign in 2016, and is now fully operational to take ...

Prepare to be amazed by our stunning liveaboard vessel Naia Fiji, as you explore one of the healthiest and most ...

Island Dancer II is an intimate yacht for ten discerning passengers, who enjoy cruising in smaller groups. It offers carefully ...

The S/Y Fiji Siren is a Siren Fleet member and one of the newest liveaboards traveling to the most desirable ...

Climb aboard the M/V Reef Endeavour and visit many of Fiji’s most popular diving destinations while travelling in style and ...

Bruce Paul February 25, 2019

Guam has some great sites as well…. the Cormoran/Tokai Maru is the only known site where a military ship (Cormoran) from WWI lies keel to keel with a military ship (Tokai Maru) from WWII… the Blue Hole is another great dive… just too many to list. Guam is also a great base for Palau and Truk.


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