Dive the best sites in Komodo National Park
Divers will be recommended dive sites to suit their experience. We are keen photographers and understand that a slow meander along the reef is what is required, to enable you to take in the breathtaking beauty that Komodo National Park has to offer, although currents can be present on some sites, we plan the dives to get the most enjoyment for every different level of diver.
North Komodo – Gili lawa Laut Area
Crystal Rock is marked by rocks which just break the surface at high tide, a wonderful dive site with lots of coral of all varieties, a dive to see big and small marine life, white tip reef sharks, Giant trevallys with schools of fusiliers, hawksbill turtles and often an eagle ray can be spotted gliding in the current, a good place to spot many nudibranchs, scorpion fish and octopus, sometimes we get a quick glimpse of dolphins swimming in the current and checking us out.
Full Moon further north is a submerged sea mound. This site is covered in many varieties of hard corals, heading down, bat fish will come to greet you and try to swim between your fins and catch your bubbles as you exhale, you find Hawksbill turtles and processions of bright luminous blue fusiliers, it’s not a surprise to see white and Black tip sharks checking out the action for their next meal, a couple of big grey sharks hang out deep on this site and sometimes come into the shallower depths, dolphins again have been seen here, good place to see blue ribbon eels and Crocodile fish.
Lighthouse Reef A couple of Huge Napoleon wrasse make their home here, designated as a Coral Trout aggregation area there are certainly some huge specimens patrolling the waters, a huge underwater rock is the entry point of the dive going down to the depths, we swim along the wall and gradually make our way up into the shallows with groups of red tooth triggerfish and Palette Surgeons, often Mantas come into the shallows to be cleaned, you find a comfortable spot, then wait for the procession to begin.
The Cauldron as the name might suggest to you, it is really something to see when the current is running, it looks like the top of a boiling pot, once the current abates, we drop down into the centre of the cauldron onto a sandy bottom at 24mts the edges of the cauldron are rock faces with huge ledges gouged into them covered in every colour of hard and soft corals you can imagine, Black and White tip sharks play here, with huge giant, big eye and blue fin trevallys stalking us and glaring at us with their grumpy faces.
Stingray City again the name suggests lots of blue spotted mask rays and blue spotted fan tail rays, a big group of bumphead parrot fish live here and 2 giant frog fish, off the steeper slopes we often see white tip reef sharks, lots of anemones with their colourful clown fish, sometimes Mantas feeding in the shallow water.
Coral Garden Steep wall turning into a slope of coral then up to a sandy ledge with big coral heads leading up to a wonderful coral garden in the shallows, we often see white tips sleeping in the sand with many varieties of rays including jenkins whip rays, porcupine rays, blue spotted and of course everyones favourite the Manta. Good place to find crocodile fish and leaf scorpion fish.
Aquarium a ledge at 5 mts shelters us from the current we stay a while and watch the fusiliers feed, we’ve often had manta moments here with them staying most of the dive and feeding in the current then swooping in to take a look at you, we spent one dive in the same place here for 105 mins, never moved and only went up as we were running low on air; but if it’s quiet, we swim over into the current and take a ride to end up in a sandy plateau at about 12mts and spend the dive searching the coral heads for leaf fish and critters of every variety, white tips sleep in the sand with the smaller ones hiding under table corals, bumphead parrot fish always seen here, hawksbill turtles, pipe fish and garden eels popping up from the sand like a field of wheat.
Gold passage a drift dive starting in the shelter of the bay with slope leading to a steep wall, then moving along to catch the current which sweeps us along at some rate of knots passing giant trevallys, bumphead parrot fish, schools of fusilers to end up on a sheltered coral slope to look for the crocodile fish, leaf fish and any other little critters that catch our eye.
East of Komodo Island
Sebayur kecil walls and slopes of every kind of coral you can imagine, with a wide variety of marine life to be seen at this site, a great place for macro photography with leaf scorpion, Ornate ghost pipe fish, robust pipe fish, banded pipe fish, blue ringed octopus, crocodile fish to name a few.
Orange Grove a gentle slope runs the length of this dive site with an orange soft coral garden changing to hard coral along towards the end of the slope, lots of schooling fusiliers, usual to see a lot of Hawksbill turtles and white tip reef sharks, lots of Mantas in the rainy season and a huge variety of beautiful coloured nudibranchs.
Manta Corner another nice coral covered slope with the hope of spotting mantas in the rainy season, nice coral with leaf scorpion fish, blue ribbon eels, turtles, white tips and lots of nice coral heads in the shallow to check out the smaller critters.
a small island that is in an area that gets a lot of current in Komodo so not an easy site, but it’s another that is among one of the many world class sites here, schools of pelagic fish patrol the waters, a huge school of bat fish live here near a coral encrusted overhang, Napoleon wrasse, bumphead parrot fish with nurse sharks and bamboo sharks found hiding in cracks and crevices in the coral encrusted boulders, the shallows again are a vibrant colourful picture of hard corals that hide the sea snakes, coral file fish and baby sharks.
A small rock outcrop with a hole through it is the surface mark of another world class site, these giant slabs of rock which disappear into the depths are an amazing sight to see, covered with every form of marine life and patrolled by giant trevally, Napoleon Wrasse, sharks and turtles with many pelagics sweeping in to check out the divers.
Siaba Kecil Beautiful coral slope with currents along the edges which bring in the bigger fish, lots of life, water is sometimes chilly here, black tips, white tips, barracudas and a host of nudibranchs and flat worms.
Airstrip the strangest dive site in the park! a very long stone rubble road stretching forever along the East coast of Komodo, it gently slopes off and has big coral heads at intervals along the road, we tuck in behind these to hide from the current and to check out the marine life there, then take off in the current again, often seeing manta rays, white and black tip sharks, nurse sharks and bamboo sharks under coral ledges and one sighting of a leopard shark, dugongs have also been seen here, it is a manta cleaning and feeding station, bumphead parrot fish like the area and many strange nudibranchs can be found.
HALFWAY DOWN EAST KOMODO
3 huge rocks in the middle of the strait between Rinca and Komodo island marks the spot of this site, current swept, it offers the chance to see everything from tiny pygmy sea horses to sharks and barracudas, not a site to be taken lightly and sometimes totally un-diveable, but well worth it if you can get in, the topography of the site is really amazing to see and covered in short encrusting coral, no other coral could take the currents, this I think is the most challenging site to dive in park, situated in the strait between Komodo, Padar and Rinca it gets water movement hitting it from many different angles. Two huge fish eagles have their home on the rocks.
Nidihang A coral covered steep slope, Napoleons like to hang here, many scorpion and nudibranchs amongst the coral, bamboo and nurse sharks hide in the rock crevacies, one of our sightings of a Dugong was at this site in the beautiful shallows, another site that has very strong, strange currents.
Penga Dead mans island. Stunning coral covers the reefs of this small island, sea snakes, turtles, frog fish, Leaf fish, nudibranchs, long nose hawk fish, octopus sometimes Eagle rays and a wide variety of the usual reef fish.
Wainilu Critter hunt special at this sandy slope, frog fish, seahorses, juvenile Zebra bat fish, mandarin fish, picture dragonets, ghost pipe fish, ribbon eels, zebra crabs, fire urchins, you never know what will pop up;o)