Spot

The Coral Garden


The coral garden is the most renowned snorkeling spot of Tahaa. This crystal clear water channel, which separates two motus, is located in an idyllic setting in the middle of one of the largest lagoons of Polynesia. While let yourself drift over colorful and preserved corals, you will observe alternately school of butterflyfish, lionfish, brightly colored wrasse, clownfish huddled in their anemones and great giant clams sunbathing right under the surface of the sea.
How to get there?

Unless you stay at Taha’a Island Resort and Spa, installed on the motu Tautau (which runs along the spot), the easiest way to explore the Coral garden is to participate to a Tahaa boat tour. Either your accommodation is in Raiatea or Tahaa, you can book easily this day tour, including generally a snorkeling stop at the Coral Garden, visit a pearl farm and a vanilla plantation, as well as a lunch on a motu. It costs approximately €100 all included per person for the day.

Water entrance

The coral garden is traversed by an East-West current (from the coral reef to the inner lagoon), relatively strong. The exploration of the spot is to be drifted gently by the current along the channel. Once the boat moored at the output of the channel, you will have to walk about 300m along the beach to reach your point of departure to then let you drift in the opposite direction. It is imperative to wear water shoes or sandals, because sometimes, the seabed is covered by sharp coral debris.

Aerial view

Exploration

The area to explore covers the narrow and shallow channel (1-1,5m) separating the two motus. You can discover the coral garden by being gently drifted by the mainstream. The seabed is made of colored and healthy coral, what is less common on the main islands of French Polynesia.

Slowly “flying over" these spectacular underwater landscapes have something magical. Electric blue giant clams, clownfish playing between the tentacles of their sea anemone, schools of convict tang fleeing above the reef, bright yellow lemonpeel angelfish… The show is intense. In the quieter areas, where you can set foot on the sand, you'll soon find yourself surrounded by hundreds of double saddle butterflyfish, one of the symbols of the lagoons of French Polynesia.

Coral Garden Tahaa Snorkeling
Snorkelers in the Coral Garden, Tahaa

If on this spot the current is generally not strong enough to destabilize a person knowing how to swim, it is important to follow carefully the instructions of your guide. It is recommended not to wear swimfins in the coral garden, to avoid damaging the coral by swimming over the reef.

Restaurants and accommodation

If you take part to a Tahaa day tour, it generally includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day. You can confirm this at the time of booking. The only accommodation located near the spot is the Taha’a Island Resort and Spa, but you need a substantial budget to stay there.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Type of spot
  • Level of difficulty
    All level
  • Maximum depth
    3-6 ft./1-1.5m
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential Dangers
    Currents
  • Lifeguard
    No
  • Visitor numbers
    Medium
  • Access costs
    Snorkeling tour price (approx. $100/pers.)
  • Restaurants nearby
    Yes, high prices
  • Public toilets & showers
    No

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

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