Indonesia is an area with a lot of magnificent scuba diving opportunities for those divers who are just beginning, as well as those who are far more advanced in their knowledge of diving. In fact, there are more than seventeen thousand islands that comprise the entirety of the country of Indonesia. There are plenty of options for divers, including areas that are uninhabited by humans so the waters are virtually untouched and their pristine beauty attracts many each year. The reefs surrounding Indonesia are dazzling and are teeming with an abundance of marine life.
Map of Indonesia
In fact, nearly twenty five percent of all the world’s reefs are found in Indonesia and there are approximately three thousand five hundred different types of marine life to be found in the area, so you will not be disappointed by the variety of sea creatures and fish that you will see in the area. While there are many areas that are pristine, there are also areas that have been damaged due to pollution and a procedure known as dynamite fishing, but overall many of the sites are in near perfect condition. There are also a few wreck dives that will help liven up the diving expeditions.
You may wonder how you will choose where to dive with such a vast expanse of diving options available to you. Many people in the area like to dive near on the northern part of Indonesia, in the region of Bali, Lombok and Sulawesi and this is because this is the home of wonderful coral reefs. Where ever it is that you decide to go, there are plenty of dive operators in the area that will help to accommodate your needs and show you all of the best diving locations. Also, before you go make sure that you check there isn’t any political instability in the area. Indonesia is infamous for having such problems and you do not want to get caught up in anything that could cause you difficulties on your diving holiday.
Wreck Diving in Indonesia
A great wreck to explore is the Anchor Wreck. This wreck was originally a wooden boat, but it got its name from the large anchor that is approximately eight meters underwater. Once you find the anchor you can easily follow the chain that is still attached and after a little while the coral on the floor will turn into a sandy bottom. Here, another anchor can be found, covered over with coral and other marine life, and next to it are some wooden beams sitting on the white sandy bottom. There are also pieces of the cargo in the area like copper and ceramic items that are situated in loose piles.
A steel freighter wreck can be found on Bali at Lipah Bay. The wreck is approximately twenty meters long and sits near a reef in the area. It is covered in a variety of marine life, with gorgonian fans and black coral bushes being good examples. There is also a wide range of fish species in the area and you will most probably see some species you have never encountered before.
The Liberty Wreck can be found on the north-eastern coast of Bali. In January of 1942 it was carrying materials for the war and was travelling from Australia. However, during its journey it was sighted by a Japanese submarine and torpedoed. The ship did not sink and after the attack and they attempted to tow it so that it could be repaired, but it had sustained too much damage and was beached. Then, during an earthquake in 1963, The Liberty actually rolled over and slid into deeper waters, breaking her apart at the bow and stern. It is a relatively easy dive and is highly recommended for both novice and experienced divers.
The Liberty Wreck
Best Time to Dive in Indonesia
If you are thinking about using Indonesia as a diving location, you can consider going there at any time of the year because of the relatively warm weather that the island experiences. The best time to go, however, is during the dry season from June to October as Bali is usually free of the rain that plagues it during the monsoon months of December to February.
Notable Dive Sites in Indonesia
In Lombok there is a diving location known as Shark Point. This area is frequently praised by divers because of the ability to spot white tip reef sharks. The sharks are often seen and sometimes even choose to swim close to the divers, although it should be noted that you are not guaranteed to see any sharks; nevertheless, they are often in the area. The sharks are the main attraction as the reefs in this location have sustained some damage. There are still a variety of other marine life and fish that you can spot while on the dive so you should not worry at all about not being able to see much.
Mimpang is an interesting diving location as it is an underground cluster of four rocks that follow a ridgeline. This provides the area with a unique underwater topography complete with areas of reef, walls, and the rocks themselves that are covered in coral and fans. It is also a good location to catch a glimpse of sharks and other types of fish that frequent the area.
The dive site at Toya Pakeh is considered to be one of the best in Bali. The position of Toya Pekah on the northwest point of the island provides divers with shelter from the current and this makes for a rich abundance of coral growth and crystal clear waters. There are also plenty of fish and marine life, including interesting coral formations, sponges, midnight snappers, big eyed jacks, and even the white tip sharks.
Manta Point is a limestone rock near the area of Nusa Penida where the cliffs drop straight into the waters. It’s recommended that divers go early in the morning because of the high swell. The main reason that people dive in the area outside of the majestic limestone surroundings are the large mantas, up to four metres in length. There are no guarantees of being able to spot the mantas, but it is a chance that some people enjoy taking as the sight can be spectacular. However, if the mantas are not there, the underwater scenery is sparse.
Rocks at Manta Point
There is an interesting dive location found in an area known as Teluk Gilimanuk called Secret Bay. The area is a very shallow dive site that is just five metres deep. It’s said that the best time for you to visit this site is during the high tide at night. This is because the night dive actually offers you the opportunity to see a variety of fish species that you wouldn’t normally be able to see in daylight conditions. Be warned, the water in this area can be colder than it is in other areas and if the sandy bottom is stirred up it can reduce the visibility.
Types of Marine Life you can See in Indonesia
There are more than three thousand different types of marine life you can expect to get a glimpse of when you go scuba diving in Indonesia. We cannot begin to list all of the species you might encounter but here is a sample list of what you might be able to see. sponges, coral, gorgonian fans, nudis, egg cowries, cuttlefish, dolphins, octopus, scorpion fish, pipefish, leaf fish, angelfish, sharks, crinoids (sea feathers), turtles, manta rays, seahorses, dragonets, gobies, batfish, ocean sunfish, moray eels, nudibranches, barracuda, and many, many, more.
Indonesia Diving Fact Sheet:
Average Air Temperature: 29°C – 33°C
Average Water Temperature: 27°C – 29°C
Recommended Exposure Protection: You should use a 3mm to a full length suit.
Average Visibility: Anywhere from 10 to 50 meters.
Coldest Times: July to December
Hottest Times: February to March
Best Times to Dive: The climate in Indonesia is reasonably warm year round, with colder water temperatures around 29°C. You can dive there year round without having to worry about the colder months. The dry season in Indonesia lasts from June through October.
Worst Times to Dive: The rain that plagues it during the monsoon months of December to February can make the water murky even though it cannot prevent actual dives.
Diving in Indonesia Video