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, Beqa Lagoon, Taveuni and the Yasawa Islands.
While there’s excellent snorkelling near many of the island’s resorts, one of our favourite places in Rarotonga is a gorgeous lagoon just across from the cafe ‘Fruits of Rarotonga.’ While you’re there, pop in for a fruit smoothie, slice of cake or fresh fruit juice. Alternatively, hire a motor scooter or bike, grab your gear and go exploring to find a snorkelling spot — there’s plenty of them around the island. And for something really different, grab a torch and join a guided night snorkelling trip with an experienced snorkel guide. You’ll spot a whole new set of sea creatures!
Vanuatu is the adventure capital of the Pacific and home to some of the best dive sites in the world — like the protected SS President Coolidge wreck located in Espiritu Santo. Not only is this area famous for diving, you will often find stunning reefs right off the beach. Snorkellers will love the perfectly named Snorkellers Cove, tucked behind Iririki Island Resort & Spa on the main island of Efate packed with loads of small fish, & it’s a great swimming spot too.
This tiny nation is brimming with incredible snorkelling spots. In Noumea, we especially love Duck Island and Amedee Lighthouse: Duck Island, reachable by water taxi from Anse Vata Bay, is a registered marine reserve and its well-marked underwater trail is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the same coast you’ll find Amedee Lighthouse, which is set within a marine reserve that boasts a huge variety of brilliant tropical fish — and even sea turtles. Serious snorkelers also won’t want to miss Oro natural swimming pool on the Isle of Pines. The clear waters of this natural pool are home to a stunning array of coral and sea life.
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.