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Dive Review of Cook Island Divers/Local Lodge in
Cook Islands/Rarotonga

September, 2001, an Instant Reader Report by Tim McKenzie, ACT, Australia
Report Number 83
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
Maldives, Tahiti, Australia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

windy, cloudy  
Water Temp
23   to 24    Celsius  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
10   to 40    Meters  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No restriction once ability demonstrated  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
2 stars    
We Had High hopes for this trip with our Australian Dive club. The viz was
suposed to be spectacular and the diving great. Well....Viz was good :(
Water touted at 26-27 C but was significantly colder and several of us
borrowed/hired additional protection as our 3mm suits were simply not
enough. Bring a 5mm.
The Dive shop was pretty good; Picked us up in the morning (7:45am) and
took us down to the Shop. They have 3 purpose built RIBs that seem more
than adequate for your needs. We had 10 in the group and the RIBs weren't
too crowded. Good Tank racks. Initial equipment set up at the shop (new
compressors are great) then into our suits and down to the dock in their
Van. We must have been a little unlucky because there seemed to be a wind
blowing most days but as the island is small it was always possible to find
the lee side.
Our dive guide MEL was great and helpful but One "guide" to 10
divers meant we all had to load up the boats and help ourselves. Not really
an issue as we were all experienced.
Initial dive was obviously a check out for Mel to see what we were like.
Only dive we were asked to stay at or above a certain depth (25 meters) to
see what we were like. After that essentially free for all, with Mel
leading the group if they wanted to go with him.
The dissapointing thing was the "bio-diversity" - or lack of
it....The corals (almost all hard - few soft) where dull and lifeless
looking. They appeared 'healthy' not bleached, but far from spectactular.
The fish life was also pretty sparse...yes the viz was great - but it
emphasized the lack of critters! On a few occasions we saw small reef
sharks - Mel very excited....Also found a few Helgardia Nudibranchs and one
spanish dancer. There are also a few small wrecks which we dived for
variety but in honesty this is the closest I have come to being bored
There were 2 dives a day and supposedly the option for a night dive but we
didn't bother...
Another island (Aotangi?) in the Cooks may have a better reputation - but
for our money and time, we would not bother returning to Rarotonga to dive.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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