• Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

The Best Scuba Diving Sites For Coral Reefs

ByKyle Henderson

Jul 20, 2021
Scuba diver and Moon Jellyfish.Scuba diver and Moon Jellyfish.

From sloping walls to soft coral gardens, shipwrecks and huge populations of fish, these amazing destinations are home to a plethora of marine creatures.

Some of the best scuba diving sites are found in Indonesia with hundreds of different species of coral to explore. Some include elkhorn, sheet, mushroom, lace, cabbage, fire, stony, plate, cactus, sea fans and sponges.

  1. Le Jardin d’Eden

If you’re looking to explore the stunning landscapes of Provence, then Le Jardin d’Eden is the perfect place for you. Set on the outskirts of historic St-Remy-de-Provence, this unique country house boasts some of the most spectacular formal gardens you can find anywhere.

The garden climbs steeply uphill, offering breathtaking views of the town and the river below. This is an ideal location for a family or group of friends to stay.

This beautiful villa features an outdoor pool and a garden, as well as free WiFi throughout the property. Guests can also enjoy a hot tub and a 24-hour front desk.

This is an incredible area to see some of the world’s most amazing coral reefs. You’ll find hundreds of different types of corals including stony, elkhorn, blue, moon, lace, cauliflower, cactus, plate, and sea fans.

  1. Gorgone Reef

Almost every diver craves warm, colorful coral reefs. They’re homes to millions of creatures, great and small, and the sight of them crowding together in schools is an invigorating sight.

They also provide a home for thousands of animals, including shellfish, juvenile fishes and snails. The polyps they have on their skeletons represent an important food source for some of these animals.

Their structures often involve stems, branches and branchlets that can sway back and forth in the current to maximize plankton-filtering opportunities along reef crests, walls and channels, for example. Gorgonians also have a flexible skeleton that allows them to bend within the currents for maximum efficiency.

Gorgonians and their relatives, Se Fans (order Alcyonacea), make up a diverse group of 500 or so species. While not as pretty as hard corals, they add to the beauty and diversity of reefs by providing shelter, hiding places and feeding areas for a wide range of creatures.

  1. Japanese Garden

A Japanese garden is an ideal place to meditate or simply relax. The design of these gardens is unique and often reflects the history of the area where it was created.

In the Nara period, gardens were primarily sanctified zones receptive to the spirits of the gods and goddesses believed to be beyond the reach of human perception. These spaces, marked by emptying and marking, were conceived of as places for contemplation of a world of poetry and philosophy.

These sanctified areas were filled with rock groupings, plants and islands that served both as functional and symbolic elements. A tortoise-shaped island, for example, symbolized long life.

  1. Circus

The circus is a traveling show that features many spectacular acts, including acrobatics on a tightrope, trapeze, or horseback; frolicking clowns; and performing animals. They have been popular forms of entertainment for centuries.

In the 20th century, a number of outsiders, all with creative flair, helped redefine the image of the circus by introducing innovative new shows that broke the mold of traditional acts. These innovators included Guy Caron, founder of the Ecole Nationale de Cirque in Canada; and Cirque du Soleil, created by Frenchman Guy Laliberte.

The best scuba diving sites for coral reefs include Le Jardin d’Eden on Isle of Pines; Gorgone Reef on Lifou; and Owen’s Reef on Tranquillity Island. The latter has a vast amount of hard and soft coral species along with some impressive staghorn coral gardens. It also has a vertical wall that drops to 115 feet (35 m) deep. The best part? It’s also one of the most enjoyable scuba dives you will ever do.

  1. Ollies Lolli

Papua New Guinea’s Kimbe Bay is one of the best scuba diving hotspots in the world. Its pristine coral reefs and sheltered wrecks make it an ideal place to explore, while the great visibility and a lack of other divers means it’s perfect for beginners.

There are a number of excellent scuba diving sites around Papua New Guinea. One of the most impressive is North Emma Reef, which is home to a coral bridge covered with gorgonian sea fans and staghorn corals.

Another top scuba diving site in Papua New Guinea is Farallon, a giant coral mountain with 4 separate tunnels. The dive site is known for a wealth of wildlife and boasts many sharks, turtles and other marine life.

You’ll find a number of spectacular dive sites throughout the Maldives Southern Atolls, which offer healthy reefs and few other divers. You can find huge schools of fish and vibrant reefs teeming with colourful soft corals at Laamu Atoll, and see eagle rays, mantas and grey reef sharks at Meemu Atoll.

  1. Owen’s Reef

If you’re a scuba diver, then you know the incredible beauty of coral reefs. Those living coral systems, formed by millions of coral polyps, are an underwater ecosystem that support 25% of all marine life.

Healthy corals are a coalescence of colors unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Sickly corals, which are usually a result of increased water temperatures or pollution, tend to turn a grayish white.

The best way to see the amazing diversity of corals is to dive a reef. The most popular destinations for coral reef diving include the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vanuatu.

  1. Mele Reef

Coral reefs are the world’s most diverse and colorful habitats. They are home to more than 25% of all marine life, but they are under threat from climate change.

Despite the threats, there are still some stunning coral reefs around the world that are well worth a visit. Many of these destinations feature thriving coral gardens, stunning macrolife and spectacular wreck dives.

Mele Reef: This huge reef rises in the middle of Mele Bay and is full of great diving spots. The sheer wall and two ‘bombora’ formations riddled with grottos are alive with welcoming fish. Depth from 10 metres on top of the reef to 24 m over the drop-off.

Fila Island Reef: Just 15 minutes from the dive base this site features live coral and small tropical fish. The sandy bottom has a series of interlocking caves and swim-through tunnels honeycombing it with a variety of fish and rays.

Lacksands Reef and Caves: Explore a series of interlocking caves on the sandy bottom of this reef and discover lots of small fish.

  1. Fish Bowl

If you’re looking for an easy scuba diving experience with lots of variety, Fish Bowl is the perfect site for you. Made up of ledges and overhangs, this site is full of coral and is home to many octopuses and lobster.

It’s also a great place to spot Sting Rays and Turtles as well as a few tropical reef fish! This is a good beginners’ dive and makes for a fun snorkel as well.

The site is a mix of staghorn coral gardens, pinnacles and sea fans with lots of soft and hard corals in depths to 18 metres. You’ll see a variety of fish here including octopuses, sharks, eagle rays and more!

There are several different wrecks at this location, but one of the most popular is La Renee. Located between the eastern coast of St. Maarten and Tintamarre, this sunken tugboat offers a thrilling underwater exploration experience.

  1. Fakarava Atoll

In the heart of the Tuamotu Archipelago and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Fakarava Atoll is known for its exceptional underwater life and stunning coral reefs. A scuba diving paradise, this atoll is home to huge coral heads, schools of fish by the thousands, “walls” of sharks (grey reef sharks, black & white tip sharks, silky sharks, hammerheads) and great macro life.

With so much to see, it’s no wonder that the dives are incredibly rewarding and unforgettable. Between your dives, bike across the beautiful village with its gorgeous flower-lined roads and bright coral churches, admire the infinite shades of blue lagoon that inspired Matisse, or toast to spectacular sunsets from the beach.

A 1 hour and 5 minute flight east of Tahiti, Fakarava is one of the most popular scuba diving destinations in French Polynesia. It is a dream come true for any diver looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and discover something truly unique in the Pacific.