18 Jan The diversity of dive sites in Padang Bai, Bali.
Only a 50 minutes drive from Joe’s Gone Diving in Sanur to this small coastal village called Padang Bai.
Everything is this town breaths diving, so if your not waiting with your backpack for the ferry to one of the Gili islands or Lombok, your only reason to be here is for diving.Padangbai is your starting point to do some amazing diving around Bali, no matter what your level is from open water to instructor, or what your interests are, would you like to see a Mola or a rare nudibranch? With very different dive sites to choose from there is something here for everyone.
The main beach of Padangbai is where all the traditional boats, sampan or jukungs, are waiting to take the divers to there favourite dive site. All the divers gather at the beach to set up there gear, while the porters carry all the equipment to the boat. Once everything is on board, you are good to go. And depending on where you want to dive, the boat ride takes up to 5 minutes to nearest dive site Blue Lagoon or a maximum of 30 minutes to the small islands Gili Tepekong or Gili Mimpang. Some of the “must do” dive sites are:
This dive site with its white sand beach and shallow clear blue waters sure lives up to his name. The great visibility makes this an excellent site for both snorkelers and divers. Big healthy coral bommies teaming with life and a great diversity of hard and soft corals can be encountered underwater. When you entered the water in the Blue Lagoon you have different options where to head off to. If you go north you will find a stretch of wall going as deep as 30 m, overgrown with soft corals and an amazing variety of marine species. If you go the opposite direction, you will encounter big bommies and gardens of table and soft coral. At 18 meters dept are coral blocks which serve as cleaning stations for the fish and eels, the life around these stations is always plentiful. When diving Blue Lagoon in Padangbai you have a big chance to see white tip and black tip reef sharks, sometimes even a wobbegong shark, turtles, cuttle fish, giant frog fish, ghost pipe fish, moray eels, seahorses, mantis shrimp, clown fish, banner fis and so much more. This dive site is a treasure-trove of marine life, where you will spot something new on every dive.
5 years ago they built this pier as a docking station for big cruise ships. Once finished they realised the pier was to short in length and therefore never used as such. This expensive pier is now used by local fishermen to fish from and by divers to dive around the pillars of the pier for some amazing macro and muck diving. Unlike the crystal clear waters of the Blue Lagoon, the water here is usually murky and dark and there is a lot of debris and fishing lines, but the fish don’t seem to mind. In the contrary, the conditions attract some of the most interesting marine life that you cannot find elsewhere that easy. In the 5 years since the pier was built the pillars have been covered by soft coral and are the nursery for a lot of juvenile fish, such as catfish. Since recently a school of up to 300 porcupine fish are hiding under the Jetty. When you swim through these schools look out for leaf scorpion fishes, wasp fish, rhinopias, cuttle fish, sepias, loads of octopus, frogfishes and nudibranchs.
When diving at the Jetty, you are sure to find a surprise behind every pillar and you will encounter a lot of species of marine life that you didn’t even know existed.
On this dive site you will look out for the wreck of a 12 metres long speed boat, sitting upright on the sandy sea floor and still intact. This wreck is now a hideaway for blue spotted stingrays and moray eels. Swim a few metres away from the wreck and you will find and artificial reef revealing some amazing creatures such as the frog fish, harlequin shrimp, ghost pipe fishes, leaf scorpion fish etc. And if this is not enough excitement for you, wait till the mini submarine, the odyssey, glides through the water only a few metres away from you. That is a sight you don’t see every day!! Don’t forget to wave at the many tourist it carries, they love waving back.
Gili Tepekong and Gili Mimpang
A 20 minute boat ride away from padangbai, situated close to Candidasa, you will find Gili Tepekong and Mimpang, the “must do” dive for the more experienced divers. The walls of these two islands come straight up from the bottom of the sea. Therefor you can expect currents most of the time which makes this dive a real challenge. These currents not only give these dive sites a nice visibility, it is also responsible for the nice and healthy reef and it’s many reef fish. But the main reason you want to go diving in these conditions is because it is ideal for seeing deep-sea pelagic, like the mola (seasonal), tuna, black tip reef sharks, white tip reef sharks, barracuda’s and rays. On this dive anything may happen and you never know what may show up out of the blue.
If you can’t wait to dive one of these amazing dive sites in Bali, all you have to do is book a trip with Joe’s Gone Diving. You can even explore more then one of these dive sites on one day with one of our experienced dive guides. So you can swim with sharks on one dive and between the pillars of the Jetty on the next. Ask our dive center about the possibility’s and hopefully we get to show you our amazing underwater world very soon. (For all the dive sites in Padangbai, check our fundives on this website)