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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
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