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Dive Destinations

South Pacific | Australia | New Zealand | Asia/Pacific | Indian Ocean | The America's | Europe | Polar diving | Africa

South Pacific:

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Cook Islands

Rarotonga -embrace the warm tropical air and romance of this delightful South Pacific island

Fiji

The bull sharks were big, three metres long and solid muscle, but they looked tiny compared to Scarface. This huge four and a half metre long long tiger shark looked like a miniature submarine as she slowly cruised in to be hand fed.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New guinea was certainly an interesting trip and to experience its history was truly memorable. On arrival we were met at the airport by our dive leader, Jerry, who took us to our accommodation at Rapopo Plantation Resort to have a good breakfast and make ready for our dive.

Solomons

Sometime between 7.45 and 8am on 2 April 2007, the tiny island of Gizo was struck by a massive earthquake. Villagers were jolted from sleep, astonished to find the ocean before them drawing relentlessly back from the shore ... coral reefs were exposed, fish left gasping. For those with an inkling of what this presaged, the instruction was clear: Run for the hills. Run for your lives!

Vanuatu

On the morning of 26 October 1942, the fabulous luxury American liner, the SS President Coolidge, sank in perfect calm creating an embarrassing episode for the US Navy. The giant ship (of some 22,000 tonnes and 201 metres (640 ft in length), with more than 5000 marines aboard, fully laden with arms, supplies, medicine and machinery, struck a 'friendly' mine at the entrance to Luganville and sank within an hour.

Bali

The glittering silver carpet swayed in a seductive dance before my eyes - it was almost mesmerizing! Bang! A huge black hole smashed through the dance as a much smaller black hole peered into my mask.

Rarotonga

The quintessential Rarotongan holiday conjures images of coconut lined beaches, white sand slipping into a turquoise lagoon, cocktails at sunset, the embrace of the warm tropical air and the romance of a delightful South Pacific island.

Cook Islands

Having no expectations is the best attitude, but rest assured you’ll be welcomed by friendly smiles in whatever destination you choose amongst the Cook Islands.

New Caledonia

Modern air travel is so amazing. Here I sit in absolute comfort on a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200, the air minus 56 degrees C outside. I'm being served delicious food and wine, watching the earth roll by like a magic carpet, while travelling at just below the speed of sound as we chase the sun across the planet.

Papua New Guinea - Above and Below the Water

PNG as an all round holiday destination? Yeah right!

Divers are more likely than most to have been to PNG for recreational purposes.

Madang

Madang offers a myriad of dive sites on its outer barrier reef and inner coral lagoon, while the seas north of Madang, offer adrenaline pumping dives, at sites like Encounter Reefs, Kar Kar and Bagabag Islands.

Raja Ampat

Rich in diversity beyond imagination, scientists are constantly breaking records in this back of beyond destination.

Fiji

For someone who didn’t know the area there would have been no chance of finding a way through the inside reef when we cruised over the flat and glassy surface that morning. It seemed to be a silent lake, a huge mirror for the sun.

Fiji: Blues Cruise in Paradise

Diving from a cruise ship (you couldn’t really classify ‘The Blue Lagoon Cruises’ Yasawa Princess as a ‘boat’!) was to be a new experience for me and I was a bit uncertain as to how a luxurious cruise would cater to a dive-aholic, however my reservations were soon laid to rest; this is one cool way to dive!

It’s Normal on Niue

There is nothing new on Niue – isn’t that great?! In a world where everything is changing faster than we could ever imagine, Niue is one of the few places on earth where life is predictable and routine – and what a wonderful routine it is!

Bigger isn't better on Niue

There are places in the world where bigger is better – but Niue isn’t one of them. This remote South Pacific island does everything in a wonderfully small way.

Niue Nursery

It’s not every day you find an abandoned baby on Niue – it’s more likely to be once a week in winter. But considering this youngster measured over six metres in length, he seemed able to fend for himself.

Niue

The flaming orange sunset silhouetted the South Pacific Sunrise as she lay at anchor off Sir Robert’s Wharf in Niue’s Alofi Harbour. The ocean passage from Beveridge Reef had been calm and peaceful. Now it was time to unload our gear and experience the hospitality of the biggest resort in the South Pacific: Niue Island.

French Polynesia Fakarave, Tahiti

Twenty-five years diving around the world and countless hours of research were not enough to prepare me for the experience of diving in the world's second largest "pass".

Tonga: Jewel in the Crown

There is a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean that are the jewels in a royal crown. The Kingdom of Tonga is where time begins, as it straddles the international dateline across a 425 km stretch of the South Pacific ocean.

Tonga: Whales of Tonga

How about swimming with the whales and then diving at unspoiled tropical sites with extraordinary visibility, stunning drop-offs, swim-throughs and tunnels, soft corals, dramatic walls, caves and a harbour wreck?

Samoa by Keith Gordon

With daily flights from New Zealand and Australia, a low currency conversion, and superb natural scenic beauty, the Polynesian islands of Samoa are now a popular tourist destination.

Samoa

‘The colours of the fishes and corals glow against the black lava rocks,’ Patrick describes his favourite dive site . Behind us the sea was cobalt blue, turning to near purple in the depths below.

Samoa - A New Frontier

It’s the Treasure Island of Robert Louis Stevenson and sometime home of James A Michrner. A place that is underestimated (and still largely unknown) in diving circles. The islands of Samoa.

Solomons: Exploring the Toa Maru

Through the grapevine, we had heard many stories about the Toa Maru wreck before setting foot in Gizo, and none of them were bad. Being a couple of metal heads we were looking forward to getting to know her.

Solomons: Matiana Caves

Some of my most interesting adventures have not been planned, they have just … happened. Matiana cave, near Munda was one such event. It began in Jervis Bay, Australia, a friend told my wife Lyn and I of a cave he had heard about on his recent trip to Munda in the Solomon Islands.

Solomons: Gizo

We could see the outline of the massive ship clearly from the surface. At 134 metres and 6,700 tons, and only seven metres below the surface she was hard to miss.

Pitcairn Island

Is that a flicker of white?
It’s hard to tell, just a gentle sea breeze, barely enough to fill any flapping canvas. The horizon and the sea seem as one - no line separating the two.

Vanuatu’s Wreck diving paradise

For the avid wreck diver or for anyone with the slightest interest in diving on wrecks you can’t look past Vanuatu. The “President Coolidge” is synonymous with wreck diving in Vanuatu and overshadows the other great wrecks in the archipelago. Efate itself offers the largest selection of wrecks, scuttled vessels and even sunken planes.

Vanuatu: Diving the President Coolidge

The President Coolidge in Santo is by far one of the best wreck dives I have done. With this trip being my third to her, I was just as excited as our other tour party members!

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Australia:

Cocklebiddy

Swimming through cobalt blue-white passageways with vision limited only by the power of our dive lights, the expanse of tunnel disappears ahead into a liquid infinity.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Flying in to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, you could be forgiven for thinking that you were about to land somewhere else.

Jervis Bay

Jervis Bay, approximately 250 kilometres south of Sydney, Australia, abounds in sub-tropical marine life, especially in spring and summer, when warm east coast currents push down Australia’s east coast.

Gold Coast

The Seaway is one of Queensland’s best kept diving secrets, and it was surprisingly created by man.

Nelson Bay

Your natural beauty and ease of access to dive sites Australia’s Nelson Bay is hard to beat. But what really makes it stand out is its interesting inhabitants. We discovered this during a brief stop there while returning to Sydney from a visit to South West Rocks.

Ningaloo

The name Ningaloo comes from the local Aboriginal tribe, the Gnulli, and means promontory, which perfectly describes the projection of land Ningaloo Reef skirts around.

Freediving the Coolooli

Freediving the Coolooli

Lying on its side at 48 metres, the Coolooli was hardly a deep excursion for members of this technical diving team. Their credits included a 111m dive on the Peak of Sydney wreck, a 97m dive on the Cumberland wreck, and a nine hour dive in the Cocklebiddy Cave system under the Nullabor Plains.

Queensland - The Capricorn and Bunker Group

The Capricorn and Bunker Group of islands and reefs are located at the southern most end of the Great Barrier Reef. The group consists of eight reefs and coral cays, all of which offer fabulous reef diving.

Lady Elliot Island - Australia

Lady Elliot Island

There is no question that at some times of the year the winds at Lady Elliot Island do more than just rustle a tune through the She oak needles. It’s the most southern island cay on the Great Barrier Reef.


PRO DIVE CAIRNS

Prodive Cairns offers the highest quality, best value dive education and dive adventure trips aboard our 3 purpose built liveaboard dive vessels.

DEAP SEA DIVERS DEN

Deep Sea Divers Den - your guide to the finest Great Barrier Reef Scuba Diving and Snorkelling off Cairns Tropical Queensland, Australia.

SUNDIVE SCUBA DIVING

Go Scuba Diving in the Byron Bay Marine Park with the friendly team from Sundive. Byron's only Padi 5 star school.

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New Zealand: (see also 'dive articles' section 'diving in new zealand' for more)

From Wreck to Reef in 200 Days

In a flash of pyrotechnics on 3 November 2007, the ex-HMNZS Canterbury slipped swiftly below the sea, taking up residence in Deep Water Cove in the Bay of Islands on the North Island of New Zealand.

Vodka on the Rocks (Lermontov)

In February of 1986 a harbour pilot made a fatal and un-explainable error taking the Russian passenger liner Mikhail Lermontov to the seabed.

Diving the 36

The fertile waters between Slipper Island and the Aldermen Island group yield many a trophy catch to fishermen who know their business. However, no-one has ever laid eyes on just what’s down there.

Pearse Resurgence

Twelve months ago I joined Dave Apperley, Craig Howell and Rick Stanton on the trip of a lifetime to explore the Pearse Resurgence in New Zealand’s South Island.

Freediving the Coolooli

Mikhail Lermontov celebrates her 20th birthday

I slowly turned and glanced back to where we had come from - utter blackness! A blackness that you rarely see - there is normally always some light coming from somewhere - this blanket of complete darkness could smother you.

Goat Island

I am, at my very heart, a flag waving Kiwi. When I am overseas it is not uncommon to find me preaching the good news from the land of the long white cloud – adventure, scenery, secret out-of-the-way places, friendly people and good times for all.

Poor Knights

Despite the spring sunshine I felt chilled to the bone. The coffee cup I held was suffering its own mini earthquake as my hands shivered and shook, slopping the contents over the deck while I clung to its heat desperate to warm up after the last dive.

Port Kembla wreck dive

When the First World War broke out in 1914 it didn’t take long to clear the Germans out of the Pacific, New Zealand invaded German Samoa, Australia took New Guinea and the Japanese took Tsingtao and the Marshall and Caroline Islands.

Waikato River

The dive briefing was cut short by a long scream terminated by a loud splash. At a bend in the river a small boat was recovering the source of the scream, untangling the bungee from the jumpers’ ankles before ferrying them to the pontoon.

Reotahi – wild and beautiful

Several years ago during a boat trip to the Poor Knights Islands I asked a Whangarei local, Warren Farrelly, about good options for shore diving. He told me...

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Asia / Pacific:

Bikini Atoll

The distinctive shape of a flight deck terializes as I descend to 30m. I imagine a fighter plane returning - mission complete.

Philippines

Dropping onto the stern of the American Landing Craft Utility (LCU) which was scuttled in Subic Bay after World War II, we found the craft lying at an angle in 24m.

Norfolk Island

If you’ve never tried sub-tropical diving before - and even if you have - Norfolk Island is the perfect place to give it a go. Less than two hours from Auckland, New Zealand Norfolk Island is home to more than 30 year-round dive sites ranging from reef-protected coral-infested coves to spectacular ocean diving amongst pelagic species.

South China Sea Treasure

It was like following a diver who, for the first time in his life, knew there was a massive treasure trove at the end of the rainbow. He was bloody hard to keep up with, his jet fins pumping as if connected to a Melbourne Cup winner.

Malaysia

Modern air travel is so amazing. Here I sit in absolute comfort on a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200, the air minus 56 degrees C outside. I'm being served delicious food and wine, watching the earth roll by like a magic carpet, while travelling at just below the speed of sound as we chase the sun across the planet.

The Munsoms

The warm water Tsushima Current that flows off the Chinese coast bathes the south facing coast of Jeju island. This warm water can raise the south coast water temperatures to 28oCelsius. The underwater ecosystem created by the Tsushima Current is distinct from anywhere else on the island or the Korean peninsula.

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Indian Ocean:

Southern Thailand... an Adventurer's Paradise

The array of gorgeous soft corals and comb-like red whip corals filled my viewfinder as I moved into the entrance of a gaping cave, eaten out of the vertical reef face. The brown wall moved! Lifting my viewfinder away from my mask, I stared in disbelief.

Living in the Wake

As the weeks pass by, the news media has turned the focus away from the Tsunami in search of the latest political bites and back stabbings. It is a sad note on our society that the news thinks that, for the most part, we have a three-week attention span for a story as horrific as the death of 266,000 people.

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The America's:

La Jolla

It is hard to imagine a bigger contrast in habitats. On the shore at La Jolla, a trendy suburb of San Diego, California, crowds of tourists watch a hundred seals as they lie basking in the sun.

The Cayman Islands

Imagine a place where nearly every day is like a tropical version of that movie Ground Hog Day, when you open your front door and the sun streams through to welcome yet another perfect day.

ROCKY POINT RESERVATIONS

Rocky Point Reservations is the official reservation company for the best vacation resorts in Puerto Penasco Rocky Point Mexico.

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Europe:

Cyprus

Cyprus, a new member of the EU, is located in the far east of the Mediterranean with crystal clear waters.

Sir Peter Blake: Visiting the Caspian Sea with the Cousteau Society

You've just completed a voyage with the Cousteau Society to the Caspian Sea area. How did that come about, and what were you doing there?

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Polar Diving:

Antarctica - Crossing the Last Frontier

Antarctica – the white continent which beckons scientists and explorers. A landscape unlike this world and myths of the extreme captivated the author and prompted a diving expedition.

Antarctic Explorer

Antarctic Explorer is the Cousteau Society’s latest vessel. She was built in 1989 by the company SFCN at their yard in Villeneuve la Garenne (France) for Jean-Louis Etienne, a French explorer who did polar treks and various Arctic and Antarctic expeditions.

One day in Antarctica

It was sort of orange in a weird, wrinkly way, clinging to a seaweed-carpeted ledge. The latest in vacuum cleaners … maybe! With forty five plus arms it would have the average house cleaned ‘Antarctic white’ in one minute!

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Africa:

The Greatest Shoal On Earth

Every year a gigantic animal migration takes place on the Indian Ocean coast of South Africa. From June to August vast shoals of sardines move up the coast from the Agulhas banks south of the cape of Good Hope as far North as Durban, where they seem to move offshore and find their way back to southern waters.

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