Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Sunset Ridge
The western side of Rarotonga, the main island of the Cook Islands, has numerous tourist resorts. One of these is Sunset Resort. This is near the location called Black Rock.
These rocks are (as far as I can see) the only major outcrop of rocks on the shore's edge of the whole 34 kilometres of the island's circumference. This site is about ten minutes from Avatui Harbour.
The anchoring spot is 30 to 50 metres off the fringing reef.
This site consists of a ridge running parallel to the shore. and gullies. The depth at the anchoring spot is above seven metres and there is a gully right next to it is about 12 metres. As you go west the reef drops gradually to 25 metres. surface.
|Moorish idol||Threadfin butterflyfish|
The coral here is not very good. I estimated that there was only about 15% live coral. I also saw no sponges at all and not even a tiny gorgonia (let alone a huge one like seen in many South Pacific Ocean countries). There were some blue, yellow and pink Christmas tree worms in the coral, one of only a few locations that we saw them. There were a few giant clams, although not too huge. Fishlife was also sparce. We saw two barracudas and a few bluefin trevally as well as a nice Guineafowl puffer. There were a few surgeonfish and trevally, some different butterflyfish (threadfin, longnose) and a few Moorish idols. That is about it except for heaps of black sea cucumbers.
The one good thing about this dive was the visibility, in excess of 40 metres. Water temperature in June was 24.0° and air temperature 23-25°.
For more information about the Cook Islands, especially Rarotonga, see my Cook Islands General Information Page.