If you’ve never had the pleasure of scuba diving, you’re missing out. The underwater world is one of the most fascinating places you will ever go on this planet. It’s also the last unexplored territory in the world. We know less about the oceans than we do about outer space. Its a terrifyingly large word out there, but it’s yours to explore! We’ve been on our fair share of dives during our travels. It’s one of our favourite things to do while on the road. Every ocean is different; every coral reef a new experience.
There many beautiful and grandiose places to dive on the big, blue planet. Most of the best locations are to be found in the Pacific ocean. However, there are a few hidden gems scattered around the other continents too. So, where are the very best dive sites? We all know that Australia has the Great Barrier Reef. Dubai has crystal clear waters, and Hawaii has volcanic coral waiting to be discovered. But, let’s talk specifics. What reefs, shipwrecks, and locations are the very best?
We pooled together our favourite dive sites from across the world. We’ve been to most of them, but we had to trust our expert dive colleagues for one or two extras. They’re going straight on our bucket list. And, they should be at the top of yours! Without further ado let’s (ahem) dive in.
Great Blue Hole, Belize
The Great Blue Hole is, without doubt, the most wonderful place we have ever explored. Simply looking at it from above is a breathtaking experience. Getting your scuba gear on and diving right in is even better. Not only is it awe-inspiring in its beauty, it’s a scientific marvel. About 20m below the surface, the saltwater changes and turns to freshwater. The result is a quick change in wildlife. Here you’ll find the most dazzling display of fish in the pristine fresh water. Right at the bottom of the hole, you’ll discover the wonderful cave structures. It is simply incredible. There’s a reason why National Geographic included it in the top ten most amazing sites on earth.
The Yongala, Australia
Your first time diving at a shipwreck is always a strange experience. The atmosphere is eerie and otherworldly. We were lucky enough to experience our first shipwreck in Australia, namely, The Yongala. Many regard it the best shipwreck dive in the world. It is certainly a sight to behold! The structural integrity of the ship has been maintained. It’s one of the rare shipwrecks that hasn’t been torn apart by currents and structural damage. It has preserved a moment in time, and you really feel that when diving here. It’s not just the shipwreck that attracts attention though. The fish here are fantastic, and you regularly find enormous manta rays accompanying you on the dive!
Manta ray night dive, Hawaii
Hawaii is a hotspot for diving; mostly thanks to the volcanic formations. It creates a wonderful series of volcanic coral. It’s an entire world of beautiful colours and shapes. There are plenty of great diving spots in Hawaii, but none quite as amazing as the manta ray night dive. It’s not the deepest dive, but the ocean floor is fitted with spotlights to illuminate the underwater world. Of course, this attracts thousands of fish who gather to eat. It’s a feeding frenzy, and you’ll be right in the middle of it all!
Yolanda reef, Egypt
Outside of Australia, the Pacific, and Hawaii, Egypt’s Red Sea is the most popular diving spot. Part of the reason is the sheer volume of shipwrecks. The area was a busy shipping pass for cargo and military ships throughout history. But, it’s not just the shipwrecks that make the Red Sea special, it’s the coral. It’s the best place on earth to learn about the coral reef food web, and see it all in action. The beautiful colours attract the strangest fish, both big and small. There’s always something new to see in Egypt! The best thing about Yolanda Reef is the huge drop off wall and the heavy current. It means you can simply let yourself drift along the wall, and bask in the wonder as it passes by.
Navy Pier, Australia
So far, we’ve described some pretty advanced diving. Deep shipwrecks, sinkholes, and heavy currents are not ideal for the first-timer! That’s where Navy Pier comes in. It regularly features in the top five dive sites in Australia, and for good reason. It’s only 14m deep, and it’s easily accessible (from the pier). Despite the close proximity to land, it’s home to some of the best array of fish in Australia. The area is teeming with beautiful colours and wonderful fish species.
Back to the Red Sea for the region’s best shipwreck. In fact, it may well be the best shipwreck on the planet. This fascinating spot is home to a British Ship, the Thistlegorm. It was war vessel, carrying supplies through the Middle East waters. Much of the ship is still in tact, with military vehicles and bicycles all frozen in time by the ocean. It’s one of the eeriest wrecks around, and that makes it one of our favourites.
Liberty is the best spot in the world for fish lovers! Here you’ll swim among thousands of fish. The locals and divers have been actively feeding the species here, so they’re very friendly. There’s nowhere else on the planet to experience so many swimmers in this close proximity. This site proves, once again, that the Pacific ocean is the finest in the world for divers.
President Coolidge, Vanuatu
We’ll leave you with one last shipwreck. This time it’s the SS President Coolidge in Vanuatu. It was a luxury American cruise liner turned battleship. Unfortunately, it was sunk by its very own American mines. The strange mix of luxury features and military paraphernalia are an odd sight. And even stranger underwater.
And so we come to the end of our breath-taking list of dive sites. There is so much to explore in our deep, vast oceans. Have we missed your favourite dive site? Let us know!