Go South for Scuba

Go South for Scuba

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Christmas Island: photo by Kara Murphy

If you’re a scuba diving enthusiast, your daydreams may feature a yacht, land-based luxury, racing fish-filled currents, calmer conditions, staggering depths, sunlight-filled shallows, inquisitive marine life or probably some combination of all of these. Whatever your preferred base and dive profile, add these six diving locations in the Southern  Hemisphere to your underwater bucket list.

Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Off Indonesia’s West Papua province, the 15,000-square-mile Raja Ampat archipelago has tremendous marine biodiversity: more than 75 percent of the world’s hard coral species, half of the world’s soft corals, 1,500 fish species, and 700 mollusk species.
Another heartwarming feature is its status as Indonesia’s first shark sanctuary; sea turtles, rays and dugongs are also protected.

While scuba sites are superb throughout the archipelago, Misool in the south has some of the best. Explore swim-throughs and say hello to Papuan scorpionfish at the Dunia Kecil (“small world”) site. Become mesmerized by otherworldly soft coral gardens at Whale Rock, and meet multitudes of fish—barracuda, Spanish mackerel and more—flying through Karang  Bayangan’s currents. Between dives, ease into a lake filled with ethereal jellyfish, their sting so mild it’s undetectable.

WHEN TO GO
October – April

DIVE CHARTER
Beautifully crafted, 167-foot Dunia Baru has seven ensuite cabins and is an ideal base for remote dive adventures. duniabaru.com