Coral Gardens in Bora Bora That You Can't Miss | GarimaShares

Photo of Coral Gardens in Bora Bora That You Can't Miss | GarimaShares 1/1 by Garima Bhaskar

Bora Bora is a small South Pacific island northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia. It is best known for its coral reef and sea life which attracts scuba divers and snorkelers from all around the world.

The Island features an extinct volcano at its centre which rises to two peaks called Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu.

The largest island in French Polynesia in Tahiti that is 140 miles southwest of Bora Bora.

Photo of Tahiti, French Polynesia by Garima Bhaskar

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Coral Reef in Bora Bora

The coral reef in Bora Bora is the barrier reef type. A barrier coral reef exists separately from the landmass. A beautiful turquoise deep lagoon separates the landmass of the island from the barrier reef.

Inside the lagoon, there are coral heads, outcroppings of coral but they can't be called reefs.

Corals are living things and they serve as the base for a diverse ecosystem underwater. Cauliflower, Elkhorn and finger corals are the most common types of corals found in Bora Bora.

A wide variety of small fish live off the algae that grow on the corals, and these fish attract the bigger fish and other sea creatures that divers flock to Bora Bora to see. These include grey, black-tip and white-tip reef sharks; schools of barracuda; rays; sea turtles; and dolphins.

The health of the coral reef

The coral reef is healthy with an overall rating of 64%, as described by the Planetary Coral Reef Foundation in their study in 2004. The corals were disease-free and suffered from only 2.2% bleaching. By way of contrast, Lembongan Island off of the northwest coast of Bali is a popular scuba diving area and was rated as only 45.8% healthy and had bleaching at 15.9%.

High Visibility

High visibility not only attracts scuba divers but it is also beneficial to the corals because they need clean water and sunlight in abundance. Visibility inside the lagoon is roughly 80 feet and outside the lagoon is routinely above 100 feet. Corals also need water in a band between roughly 74 and 84 Fahrenheit to grow, with 75 Fahrenheit being ideal. The average water temperature inside Bora Bora's lagoon is 77 Fahrenheit.