|Site Type:||Scenic hard coral reef|
|Depth:||Top: 12MMedian: 22MBottom: 28M|
|Location:||A dive site on the north east of Rarotonga|
The Tupapa Sandriver is a great river of sand that runs from the coast down to the drop-off like some underwater scene from Sinbad where the desert flows to the very near horizon and disappears off the edge of the world into the abyss below. Only the Tupapa Sandriver runs along the ocean bed in 10m to 25m of crystal clear water.
The sand is clean sand, and with the rest of the reef being hard coral, the water is crystal clear.
The dive starts in about 12m and follows the edge of the river of sand to the edge of the drop-off.
Not that you need to go over the edge as there’s plenty to see on the reef top, and with the vis of 30+ metres and bright sunlight above it means that even at 25 m there are plenty of reef fish on colourful display.
Freckled Hawkfish will observe you carefully as you pass by.
A long nose butterflyfish eats hydroids, fish eggs, and small crustaceans that may have accidentally exposed themselves.
Parrotfish can be heard grazing on any algae they find; the scratch marks evidence of slim pickings on the pristine reef.
Humbugs hover above the coral until you approach, when they dip quietly between the coral fingers.
Flame Angelfish will be hiding in their caves by the time you get close.
A hard coral reef has a lot more life than appears at first sight. Tread carefully, and use a slighter longer lens.