Next time you’re thinking of luxury trips and lazing at a five star resort, why not combine it with an exhilarating dive holiday? To give you some destination ideas here are our tips for the top 10 diving experiences around the world.
1. Yongala, Australia
The Yongala Wreck lies off the coast of Cape Bowling Green, 90 kilometres south of Townsville in Queensland. After sinking during a 1911 cyclone, the Yongala is now protected by the Historic Shipwrecks Act and is now well-known for its incredible abundance of marine life. Divers can expect to see a range of spectacular marine species including bull and tiger sharks, manta rays, octopuses, turtles and a host of colourful reef fish and coral.
2. Palau, Micronesia
With wall dives, blue holes and underwater caverns, Palau in Micronesia is another world-renowned dive site. The Blue Corner Wall is one of the most popular spots, where reef sharks are known to gather to feed in current. Many divers hook themselves to the wall while they take in the sheer beauty of the range of curious barracuda, sharks, cuttlefish, wrasses, turtles, orcas, shellfish, tuna and anemones.
3. Egyptian Red Sea, Egypt
There are many spots that are well worth diving at throughout the Egyptian Red Sea, including Thistlegorm, a large British wreck located in the Strait of Gobal, which is known for its strong currents. Shark and Yolanda Reef are nearby and recommended for drift diving. The Elphinstone Reef is also in this area and is home to spectacular soft corals and an abundance of marine life.
4. The Maldives
The Maldives are the perfect spot to enjoy a luxury dive holiday. Imagine spending your days swimming with manta rays and turtles during the day and then staying at an exquisite over-water-bungalow of a night. The best dive sites in the Maldives are the North Male atoll and South Ari atoll.
5. Bismarck Sea, Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea’s amazing dive sites are growing in popularity as word spreads as to their magnificence. With a range of shallow reefs, deep drops, atolls, wrecks and lagoons, divers are sure to marvel at the rich diversity of this area. Dive with dolphins, sharks and sperm whales, and perhaps even orcas. Night diving on the sea mounts is an experience not to be missed.
6. Blue Hole and Cave Caulker, Belize
Belize is popular for diving year round, with dive spots generally unaffected during the rainy season. Divers in Belize enjoy discovering the extraordinary amount of marine life with various dive sites for all levels of experience.
Fiji is well known for its tranquil beaches and friendly locals, and the local dive sites are just as inviting. From underwater canyons to massive coral heads and strong currents, sites off Somosomo Strait, Kadavu Island and Taveuni Island are full of dazzling marine life.
8. The Bahamas
Just hearing the name, ?Bahamas’ conjures up wonderful imagery of sun-drenched beaches and absolute tranquillity. The dive sites around the Bahamas are just as alluring. Some of the most amazing sites include Nassau, Bimini and the Blue Holes of Andros. Along with the mesmerising underwater life you may be lucky enough to see sharks feeding of swim with the friendly local dolphins.
9. Rocktail Bay and Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
Diving in the delightful, although a little cool, waters in the Maputaland Marine Reserve is an amazing experience. Along with whale sharks, tiger sharks and manta rays, there is an abundance of smaller reef fish. Many people report seeing dolphins and humpback whales in nearby waters.
10. Sipadan Island, Malaysian Borneo
Located in the South China Sea, Sipadan is highly recommended for more experienced divers as it has strong currents that can prove too strong for beginners. This site is rich in species like barracuda, horse-eye jacks and sharks, as well as green turtles and hawksbill turtles. Two other nearby reefs that are worth visiting are Kapalai and Mabul reefs.
There’s no doubt that there are many wonderful dive sites around the world. The hardest part of your next luxury dive holiday will be deciding where to go.