With fast boat transfers and a wide choice of dive operators, divers can easily sample all dive sites in the Mamanucas while staying at a single resort. The islands are a great spot to learn to dive with sheltered lagoons, water temperatures seldom dropping below 24°C and excellent visibility, usually at least 30m.
The dozen or so shallow patch coral dive sites in the northern coral islands are ideal for beginners. More advanced divers come here for the two popular wrecks – a partially intact World War II B26 bomber at 26m; and the 40m-long cruise ship, Salamander, lying at 12–28m and covered in soft corals and anemones. In the southwest of the Mamanucas, the 30km-long Malolo Barrier Reef has several deep drop-offs suitable for experienced divers – turtles, lion fish, rays and large sharks are common. The reef is a fifteen-minute boat ride from Malolo Lailai.
The reefs surrounding Mana have some exceptional sites for beginner to intermediate divers. The most raved about site is “Supermarket”, offering regular shark encounters from white tips to greys, as well as a drift dive along a wall with an abundance of lionfish and moray eels. Other sites include “Gotham City”, named for its abundance of batfish, and “Barrel Head”, a wide bommie where you can drift along a wall with massive sea fans and plenty of turtles. Heading west to the Mamanuca-i-Cake Group, Tokoriki has several interesting sites with gorgonian sea fans featuring prominently at “Sherwood Forest”, along with a fine selection of soft corals, nudibranchs and anemones.