Finding Nemo -The World’s Top Diving Spots
POSTED BY Mavy | July 14, 2015
Label: Travel Tips
If you could dive anywhere in the world, where would you go? With so many breath-taking diving sites to choose from, picking which destinations to explore first can be quite a challenge. People dive for different reasons: to see marine wildlife, to uncover fascinating shipwrecks, to see geological wonders, etc.
Listed below are six spectacular dive sites that all deserve a place on your diving holiday bucket list for different reasons. Not matter what type of dive you enjoy - whether you prefer open water dives or descending from the shore - you will enjoy several of the dive sites listed below. Here are six of the best diving spots in the world.
1. Crystal Bay, Nusa Lembongan, Bali
At Crystal Bay in Bali there are over 15 diving sites, which means there’s something for everyone. Beginners should take a dive at Nusa Lembongan, it provides a great introduction to diving because it has a depth of 10 metres and the waters are calmer here.
At Lembongan Bay you will find mostly smaller species of fish and stunning coral bommies. You should see some Unicorn Fish, Moral Eels, Frog Fish and Silversides as well as lots of other little fish.
Other sites in this area are only for more experienced divers, due to the current. For example, Blue Corner is only for advanced divers. It has some dramatic topography and drops to 50 metres. Here you have to be care of the current at around 20 metres. It’s a good spot to try and catch a glimpse of the rare Mola Mola or Ocean Sunfish as well as Tuna, Eagle Rays and sometimes even sharks.
The water in this area is usually quite cold, at times it can drop to under 22 degrees so a 5mm wetsuit is recommended. However, if you are happy to dive in the cooler waters you will be rewarded with fantastic visibility.
2. Richelieu Rock, Thailand
Richelieu Rock is without a doubt the best dive site in Thailand. One of the reasons for this is its amazing diversity of marine life, the isolation of the site means it attracts a huge selection of different fish. The waters are very clear but the visibility can change quite dramatically in a number of minutes. The visibility is best when the tides are weak.
Richelieu Rock is a pinnacle out in the open sea, it has a centre rock that rises 50 metres and impressive limestone boulders. This type of structure is ideal for attracting marine life. The water temperature is between 26 and 29 degrees and this site is best for intermediate to advanced divers because the currents change constantly. Descents are also mostly done off the back of boats.
A lot of divers head to Richelieu Rock to try and catch a glimpse of a Whale Shark and also see the Manta Rays. Other marine life you will see here include seahorses, Barracuda, Groupers, Clown Fish, Moray Eels, Octopus, Cuttlefish and Ghost Pipefish. There are also some stunning corals to admire at Richelieu. This site can only be visited by liveaboards and speedboats. There isn’t any shelter for boats out in the open sea so day trips can be cancelled if the weather deteriorates.
3. Magnetic Island, Australia
Magnetic Island is located within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which is a World Heritage listed site. It’s one of the best dive sites in Australia for a number of reasons. The water here is clear and warm, reaching 28 degrees in the height of the summer.
This diving area is ideal for all types of divers, beginners can dive from the shore and experienced divers can explore the SS Yongala wreck. This famous wreck is now a wonderful dive site with a variety of marine life and coral. The SS Yongala sank in 1911 due to a cyclone but it wasn’t discovered until the 1950’s. Here you can see Groupers, Rays and lots of different reef fish.
There are also a few other shipwrecks to uncover in the area. Visibility is pretty good most of the time and beginners will easily be able to descend the gentle slopes from the sheltered beaches. Magnetic Island is Great Barrier Reef diving at its best.
4. Siifra, Iceland
Another location that should be on your diving bucket list is Siifra in Iceland. This very unique dive site is located about an hour’s drive from Reykjavik. The visibility exceeds 100 metres, these are some of the clearest waters in the world. It’s also the only place where you can dive between two continental plates (American and Eurasian) and even touch both continents simultaneously in some spots.
The underwater scenery here is one of a kind, divers are mesmerised by the geological features and beauty of this spectacular dive site. The water here is naturally very cold (between 2 and 4 degrees all year round) and it is so clean and pristine that you can actually drink the water. Although the water is very cold it never freezes over because of the gentle current.
5. Thistlegorm, Egypt
The Red Sea is always mentioned on top diving lists, because it has many wonderful dive sites including Thistlegorm. Thistlegorm is a large wreck from a British vessel that sunk in 1941. It was carrying war supplies and was attacked from the air.
Located 40 kilometres from Sharm El Sheik, this is probably the best known place to go scuba diving in the Red Sea, making it one of the most frequently dived sites in the world. The water temperature here is around 22 to 28 degrees and Thistlegorm is around 30 metres in depth.
People don’t just dive here to see the marine life, but fascinating cargo left behind on the ship. You can dive around the motorcycles, trucks, boots rifles and Bristol Blenheim bomber tail planes. Here you can get a fascinating insight into the past and uncover a spectacular shipwreck. Divers looking to admire the marine life will see Barracuda, Lionfish, Stonefish, Tuna, Scorpionfish and Sea Turtles. This site is best suited to intermediate and advanced divers.
6. The Great Blue Hole, Belize
This is an ideal dive site for those who have an appreciation for geographical phenomenon. The Great Blue Hole was formed as a limestone cave system during the ice age, however the caves flooded and roof collapsed when the sea levels began to rise.
The hole is about 60 miles from the mainland and is 124 metres at its deepest point. It’s known for having crystal-clear waters, tropical fish and impressive coral formations. The hole was named as one of the top ten best scuba diving sites in the world by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, a French naval officer, explorer and filmmaker.
Expect to see many different species of fish such as Midnight Parrotfish as well as a few species of shark if you are lucky including Bull Sharks and Hammerheads.
Most people dive this site via a day trip with one of the numerous tour operators. It takes around three hours to get there by boat. You can also spend the day snorkelling around the hole if you want to see more of the reefs. Due to its depth, the Great Blue Hole is best suited to experienced divers.