The Best of Bali Underwater
Many thanks to guest author Spike Caldwell.
For those looking for a convenient escape from the cold Aussie winter, look no further than Bali. With its mouth-watering food, beautiful accommodation options and vast range of cultural activities all available at an affordable price, Bali is a popular holiday destination with Aussies, particularly those based in the Western Australian region.
The beauty of Bali is even more apparent below the surface, so book your Bali vacation package, throw on your swimmers, pack your dive mask or your snorkel and check out some of the best underwater worlds that Bali has to offer.
The home of the majestic Manta Rays, Manta Point is located at the southern end of Bali. The conditions however, can be difficult, with strong currents generally reaching 4+ knots, making this a site suitable for experienced divers only and an extremely dangerous area for snorkelers. Those who have racked up enough on their dive logs should definitely give it a go, as it makes for amazing diving. The visibility is good at 10 – 25 metres, and explorers will be rewarded with amazing marine life, including nurse sharks, reef fish and Manta rays, which range in size from about 1 – 4 metres long.
Located in just eight kilometres northwest of Bali, Menjangan Island is one of Bali’s more renowned dive sites. With its flat conditions, high visibility and lack of currents, the island makes for relaxing diving and wonderful snorkelling. Much of what you can see diving, you will be able to see snorkelling, as the highlights of Menjangan Island lie in its stunning reef and diverse reef life. There are three popular dives around the island: the Eel Garden, literally a garden of eels, Pos II, a drift dive covering lots of ground, and, for the more experienced, a 40m dive to Anker Wreck, a shipwreck over 150 years old.
About a 2.5-hour drive from the tourist hub of the southeast, Puri Jati is located on Bali’s north coast. It makes for easy shore diving, where you can walk out straight from the beach and then swim to the drop-off located 200 metres off-shore. The area is home to some really unique marine life that thrives in its sandy dunes. With various species of octopus, including the famed mimic octopus, alongside scorpion fish, frogfish and crocodile fish, it’s worth bringing your underwater camera. The downside is visibility can be tough at times, so monitor the conditions closely and time your dive well.
Tepekong means “Chinese Temple”, and Gili means “Little island” in the Indonesian language. Although the spot is easy to reach by boat or car (one hour from Sanur), it is an advanced dive due to its unforgiving currents. It is home to The Canyon, an underwater canyon filled with wonderful marine life, including the Mola mola sunfish, large batfish, angelfish, parrotfish and blue lobster. Just be wary of the cave-dwelling gray reef sharks!
An easy option close to all tourist facilities and attractions, Sanur is made up of three main dive sites: Channel Point, Penjor Reef and Jeladi Wilis. There are options here for beginner to experienced divers, depending on current conditions. Jeladi Wilis is a beginner dive site where divers can choose a depth between 3-20 metres. The coral is beautiful and the marine life is in abundance, meaning it is great for snorkellers too. Channel Point makes for quick and easy diving, as it’s usually used for diving training. This is great if you are snorkelling or just time-poor and want to catch a few critters and see some interesting coral. Penjor Reef is just a quick five-minute boat trip from Sanur. It’s an amazing reef with an abundance of stunning macro life. Many divers note this as one of their favourite dive spots, right up there with the more renowned Bali dive sites.
About the Author: A dive instructor, competitive wakeboarder and enthusiastic sailor, Spike Caldwell is a water-sport fanatic and counts Bali as one of his top holiday destinations.