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The Pacific Islands are renowned for glistening sand beaches, swaying palms, warm weather and smiling, welcoming locals. Venture a few feet into the water and it gets even better. Beneath the clear aqua seas lies a snorkeller’s paradise of unbelievable underwater visibility, a stunning array of marine life, bright coral and dramatic caverns.
There’s plenty of wonderful snorkelling spots around the South Pacific; here’s a few of our favourite ones:
The alluring Fiji archipelago is renowned for the beauty and variety of its snorkelling sites. Some of the best include Mana Island, Vomo, Tokoriki, Bega Lagoon, Taveuni and the Yasawa Islands.
> More water fun in Fiji
Rarotonga’s classically gorgeous tropical beaches and mountainous forest clad interior is perfect for visitors looking for a little adventure. The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, facing out to the Aro’a Marine reserve is a fabulous place to snorkel. Grab some custom-fit snorkel gear and a snorkelling map from the activities centre and you’ll be amazed by the clear visibility, wide variety of marine life and a healthy population of sea creatures. Relax and take your time snorkelling because your patience will be rewarded, as new and different sea life come out to welcome you.
For something different, grab a torch and join one of the experienced snorkel guides for a night snorkel. Your first step into the dark lagoon may be a bit of apprehensive, but once the torches are on you will be surrounded by amazing sea life, who are as inquisitive about you as you are of them. Prepare to see a whole new set of sea creatures that only come out after sunset. A fun, unique, and educational experience for all.
The Lagoon opposite ‘Fruits of Rarotonga’ is also a great place to snorkel. While you’re there, there’s a little shop that serves up great smoothies, cakes and fruit juices. Alternatively, hire a motor scooter or bike, pack up your gear and go exploring to find a snorkelling spot just for you – there’s plenty of them around the island!
Vanuatu is the adventure capital of the Pacific and home to some of the best dive sites in the world and the snorkelling is great too. Check out the perfectly named Snorkellers Cove, tucked in behind Iririki Island Resort for some of the best snorkelling on the main island of Efate. There’s a shop there that hires out gear and serves up snacks and drinks.
> More about diving in Vanuatu
Duck Island and Amedee Lighthouse are a must for snorkel-lovers in Noumea. Duck Island, accessible by water taxi from Anse Vata Bay, is a tiny paradise with rich underwater fauna and flora. The 140-year-old Amedee Lighthouse is located within a natural Marine Reserve and home to a large variety of coloured tropical fish.
It’s not hard to find an amazing snorkelling spot in Niue. Just explore the many chasms and coves around its coastline and see for yourself – and the chances are you may be the only person there! The water clarity ranks amongst the best in the world and if you’re there between July through to October you may even see a humpback whale.
Waters around Tongatapu teem with colourful, fascinating underwater life and the waters generally make for excellent viewing. For the best snorkelling on Tongatapu, be sure to check out Heilala Holiday Lodge, located on the gorgeous sandy beaches of Haʻatafu and Kanokupolu. Make sure you hang around, as Heilala has incredible sunsets too.
Just 30 minute drive from Waikiki Beach on O’ahu is the marine reserve of Hanauma Bay. Try and go early in the morning when the water clarity is at its best. You can do a tour or hire snorkels there. Turtle Town on Maui is a great spot for seeing turtles.
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