Lifestyle

Things to do in the South Pacific: Swimming with sharks in Tahiti and Fiji with Asia Pacific Superyachts

Asia Pacific Superyachts introduces French Polynesian destinations for the chance to catch sight of tiger and bull sharks, and learn about local culture through homestays

Mar 20, 2017 | By Angela Teo
Kokomo Island Resort in Fiji.

Kokomo Island Resort in Fiji.

It does not matter whether you just had your first dive or have been able to skillfully maneuver your way through shipwrecks for some time. Divers arguably seek adventure, and Asia Pacific Superyachts has called our attention to some French Polynesian destinations in the South Pacific for just that, including one newly discovered shark watching spot in Tahiti. Superyacht cruising is a great way to visit the extensive collection of islands in the French Polynesia. Ride your superyacht to Tahiti, Mo’orea, and a new private island Kokomo in Fiji, and observe the commonly seen blacktip reef sharks, fascinating bull sharks and near threatened tiger sharks while swimming at a safe distance.

Tahiti and Mo’orea

The archipelago of Tahiti is the heart of the economy. Tahiti is not just a stopover but also offers exciting experiences for tourists entering the country. Visitors can stroll through two-storey Le Marché with its array of Tahitian goods like local tahitian oil. They can also visit the black sand beach — yes, black sand, and it is beautiful — at Pointe Venus Lighthouse which is a local favourite. Additionally, they can now watch and swim amongst sharks in a new destination uncovered by Asia Pacific Superyachts near French Polynesian capital city Papeete in Tahiti.

French Polynesian waters are renowned for being home to various underwater creatures, including multiple species of sharks. In particular, the Great Astrolabe Reef in Fiji which we explore below. However, diving enthusiasts can delight at the fact that they can now see tiger sharks at a new site, in close proximity to the facilities and attractions at Papeete. A 25-metre visibility at the site offers a clear view of the predators, known for their non-selective diets and the stripes on their bodies that fade as they age.

Just 20 kilometres from Tahiti is Mo’orea, where you can dock at to swim with sharks — Mo’orea is a choice island in the country for just that — feed rays, jet ski, whale watch with resident biologist Dr. Michael Poole, and pursue land activities like hiking and a 4×4 off-road tour.

Fiji

In Fiji, we shine the spotlight on a new private island and resort, Kokomo, situated at the edge of the Kavadu Island Group, which houses one of the world’s largest reefs. A five-star PADI resort, Kokomo is a choice spot from which to venture to see the Great Astrolabe Reef and its inhabitants. Species you might spot among hard and soft corals include the tiera bat-fish, giant trevally, Maori wrasse, mahi-mahi, eagle rays and sweet-tempered manta rays. Besides diving, the Kadavu Group of islands offer activities from outrigger-canoeing to interacting with local culture through homestays, school visits and culinary workshops. The sustainable tourism destination is a 50-minute flight away from Fiji’s main city, Suva. Your tour might introduce you to turtle callers — turtles are said to come up to the surface when they sing out to them. You might also wonder who the warriors, builders and messengers in Kadavu’s villages are, even if these roles are primarily emblematic today.

Beqa is a further prime destination to anchor at. The Shark Reef Marine Reserve of Beqa, the point of inception of a shark tagging project to learn about sharks’ behaviour, is another gem in Fiji for those wishing to swim with the creatures. After observing sharks in the water of Beqa Islands, enter the land of Beqa for a medicinal nature walk, go bat-watching, and discover firewalking.

 
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