Scuba Diving Trips in Rarotonga

Diving trips in Rarotonga for qualified scuba divers

Your dedicated scuba diving team in Rarotonga

During our scuba diving trips in Rarotonga our dive team of experienced and motivated divemasters and instructors will show you some of the best scuba diving Rarotonga and the Cook Islands has to offer. Our dive guides work hard to make your diving trips in Rarotonga an enjoyable and memorable Cook Islands dive experience – whether you are an experienced scuba diver or only recently certified.

Spotted eagle rays in Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Conditions when scuba diving Rarotonga

With water temperatures between 23°C and 28°C, scuba diving in Rarotonga is easy. The visibility averages between 20 and 30 meters when you dive Rarotonga during the summer months. However, it can reach a spectacular 60+ meters when you scuba dive Rarotonga during the winter months. Most dive sites have little to no current. Even the more advanced dive sites in Rarotonga can be dived by the majority of divers, as long as divers follow our dive guides’ instructions.

All our scuba dive trips in Rarotonga are boat dives and all scuba dives are guided by one of our long term and experienced PADI dive professionals. On our scuba dive trips in Rarotonga you won’t be guided by trainees. We conduct two tank dives or single dives. We will make every effort to accommodate your Cook Islands diving requirements.

Yellow juvenile lionfish on scuba diving trips in Rarotonga

Rarotonga’s coral reef

Rarotonga’s reefs have stunning, healthy hard coral formations. Rarotonga is not a “big fish” destination. Nonetheless, we have reef sharks, turtles, eagle rays, giant moray eels, napoleon maori wrasse, giant trevalleys, tunas, barracudas and hammerhead sharks (in season). You may even see humpback whales, tiger sharks or tahitian stingrays.

Apart for the bigger inhabitants, Rarotonga’s reefs have different types of moray eels, lionfish and scorpion fish, stone fish, flounders, as well as plenty of colourful fish of all the tropical reef fish families. Rarotonga is also home to some of the rarest tropical reef fishes in the world. The Peppermint Angelfish or Narcosis Angelfish live very deep and the best way to see these when scuba diving Rarotonga is on a mixed gas closed circuit rebreather dive (see CCR Tec Diving).

Rainbow runners on drop-off dive in Rarotonga

Dive trip group sizes

You won’t be counting diver fins when you scuba dive in Rarotonga with us!
We keep our dive groups smaller than any other dive centre in Rarotonga or the Cook Islands. This way we can offer you more enjoyable Cook Islands dive trip experiences and more customised scuba diving excursions in Rarotonga. The maximum number of scuba divers per group is 5 plus our guide. However, most of the time our dive groups are smaller. This way we can cater better for the individual needs of our divers. After all – we want to enjoy taking you out too!

Our Dive Sites

Scuba diving trips to Rarotonga’s best dive sites

Yellow leaf scorpionfish in Rarotonga, Cook Islands

We dive Rarotonga’s best dives sites and we really dive all the sites around the island, we do not just say it. Our dive sites are on the north, south, east and west coast of Rarotonga.

Our team decides on the day which sites we dive. This depends mainly on sea conditions, but also on divers experience and preferences. When the wind blows from the North, the South is sheltered. As long as there is no big southerly swell, you will find us launching the boat in the South and diving Rarotonga’s south coast. When it blows from the South, we launch in the North and dive Rarotonga’s north coast. This way we can dive in Rarotonga most days and it keeps the boat rides short, usually between 5 and 15 minutes.

Rarotonga has around 30 dive sites and we always try to get you to different sites. You won’t get bored diving the same sites all the time, even if you are doing lots of dives with us.

Click on the button above for more information and a full list of our Cook Islands dive sites in Rarotonga.

Blue triggerfish on dive in Rarotonga

Dive bottom times

In Rarotonga it is possible to do multilevel dives on most sites. We do not unnecessarily restrict your bottom time as long as everyone stays within table or computer limits.
Ultimately, this means that your dive time is usually only limited by your air supply and how fast you use it. 60 or 70 minute dives with us are not uncommon for experienced divers with low air consumption.

Dive site flexibility

Giant moray eel close-up on scuba dive in Rarotonga

We are flexible in choosing the best dive sites for the day because we keep our boat on the trailer. As we launch the boat close to the dive sites, we can access all dive sites around Rarotonga within a few minutes boat ride. There are five boat passages (gaps in the reef) on Rarotonga. We use three of the passages regularly: Avatiu in the North (main harbour of Rarotonga), Rutaki in the South and Avana in the East.

Our dive boat and safety

Our dive boat is extremely durable and stable. It is a New Zealand made custom built 5.5 metre Stabi-Craft aluminium pontoon boat and handles even very rough sea conditions. The vessel is equipped with two Yamaha 50 HP outboards for extra safety and power when needed. Our dive boat carries oxygen, first aid kit, life jackets, flares, radio and mobile phone, as well as drinking water on all our Cook Islands dive trips.

Adventure Cook Islands dive boat in lagoon in Rarotonga

To enter the water we use back roll entries. We take off the gear in the water before getting back into the boat. This means you do not have to climb up with the gear on and we lift the gear into the boat for you. Getting back into the boat is done either over the side, or, for the lazy ones, the boat has a ladder at the stern.

All our staff members are experienced and qualified skippers as well as experienced divemasters or instructors.

Most of the time we conduct a surface interval of around 60 minutes. However, we adjust surface interval times depending on the depth and duration of the dives.

Our rental scuba dive equipment

Cressi Sub logo

We use quality scuba dive gear from different manufacturers. Our BCD’s are Cressi Sub Aquapro 5 and our regulators are Cressi AC2 XS2. Our fins are Mares, Seac Sub, Technisub and Gull. We use different mask models from IST, Scubapro, Mares, Seac Sub and Atlantis. We have different wetsuits – 3 mm shorties and 5 mm shorties, as well as some 3 mm and 5 mm long wetsuits (if you are visiting Rarotonga over the winter months and you know you get cold easily, you may want to bring your own long, thicker wetsuit).

Lionfish on Rarotonga reef

Our dive tanks are aluminium Catalina 80 cft (11.1 litre) cylinders with either INT or DIN valves. Adventure Cook Islands is a hydrostatic cylinder testing facility and our dive cylinders are tested and in date. We use a Coltri MCH-13 compressor to fill our scuba cylinders to 200 bar (2900 PSI). All our dive gear is serviced regularly and kept in very good condition. In addition, our qualified service technicians can service dive gear from most major equipment manufacturers.


When we scuba dive Rarotonga

We conduct Cook Islands dive trips in Rarotonga weekdays at 8:00 am or 12:30 pm. We always meet 20 minutes before these times at our dive centre in Aroa. Most of the time we conduct two dives per trip (2 tank dive); however we also do single dive trips. Dive trip duration is around 4.5 hours for a two tank dive or 2.5 hours for a single dive trip.

Cancellations of scuba diving trips

Cancellations of our scuba diving trips in Rarotonga due to rough sea conditions are very rare. We access dive sites around the island by launching the boat at different locations. Normally there is always one side of the island that is sheltered, meaning we hardly ever have to cancel a scuba dive trip. However, if sea conditions are too rough all around Rarotonga, we will cancel the trip.

Rarotonga is situated in the tropics. This means that it is normal that it rains frequently. Having said this, rain does not usually effect scuba diving. For this reason our scuba diving trips go ahead rain or shine.

What you need to bring on your dive trip

  • Dive certification
  • Logbook
  • Any personal dive gear you would like to use
  • Towel (1 per person – for the car seat after the boat trip)
  • Have you got your dive insurance yet? If not, JOIN DAN and get Worldwide Emergency Evacuation Coverage as well as optional Dive Injury Insurance.
  • Drinking water
  • Any snacks you may want
  • Hat and/ or sun glasses
  • Seasickness medication (if needed)
  • Windbreaker jacket or similar for cooler winter days


  • We keep our groups smaller than any other dive center on Rarotonga
  • Our dive guides are some of the most experienced guides on the island and we do not use trainees
  • Your dive bottom times are not limited to 50 minutes providing you stay within table limits
  • We also dive the interesting drop-off sites around the island
  • Our boat is kept on the trailer to be more flexible in choosing dive sites
  • We really dive all the sites around Rarotonga, including the south coast passages and drop-offs
  • We always try to get you to different dive sites when you do multiple trips with us
  • After many years of scuba diving Rarotonga’s reef, we still love what we do – we even dive when we have a day off!
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