Credit Rickard Zerpe on flickr
Like neighbouring Bali the Gili Islands in Indonesia offer world class diving opportunities for all divers from complete beginners through to the moost experienced.
Most dive sites offer the chance to see Green Sea Turtles and Hawksbill Turtles as well as a number of sharks especially whitetip and blacktip reef shark.
The islands, especially Gili Trawangan, have a number of dive schools offering courses as well as leisure dives.
An excellent dive site suitable for all experience levels offering the opportunity to see a wide range of marine life. Many sections of the site are relatively shallow although some sections are as deep as 30 metres.
Lying north-west of Gili Trawangan just 10 minutes boat ride from shore, the site begins with a flat sandy bottom before a series of steep walls that lead to the deeper sections of the site (only suitable for more experienced divers). The site generally has a current which makes it suitable for a drift dive, it can become strong making the site inaccessible every now and then.
Shark Point lives up to its name with blacktip and whitetip reef sharks as well as many green seat turtles, stingray, scorpionfish, octopus, giant trevallies, bluefin trevallies, snappers alongside sea fans, barrel sponges and coral.
Also known as Secret Reef this excellent dive site lies between Gili Air and Gili Meno with a depth between 12 and 35 metres making it suitable for more experienced divers only.
This incredible reef structure is home to some of the most spectacular reef gardens in the Gili area with colourful sea fans, sponges, acropora antler, sponges and soft corals.
An excellent site to discover smaller marine life including glass shrimp and porcelain crab as well as larger solitary and schooling fish including long nose butterflyfish, yellow trumpetfish, pufferfish, snappers, fusiliers, whitetip reef shark, frogfish and blue spotted ribbon tailed rays.
Turtle Heaven / Secret Garden
An excellent dive site for all levels of diver, close to shore and with a main dive area between 5 and 22 metres deep, although there is a deeper section for more advanced divers.
As the name suggests there are plenty of Green Sea Turtle and Hawksbill Turtle here around the two pinnacles where the turtles come to be cleaned by cleaner fish that include various wrassse remora and gobbies. The area also features moray eel, scorpionfish, lionfish, bluefin trevally , spiny devilfish, helmut gurnard and many more.
Located to the southwest of Gili Trawangan with a depth between 5 and 24 metres making it suitable for divers of all levels.
Manta Point is located on the southwest side of Gili Trawangan. It’s a big dive site where you have a chance of spotting whitetip and blacktip reef sharks in the blue. During rainy season when the water is rich in plankton you have a chance of seeing devil rays or even manta rays passing by.
The area has spectacular staghorn coral with bommies with hard and soft coral. Another excellent site to see reef shark, especially juveniles, and turtles. There are also schools of oriental sweetlip and batfish, trevallies, tuna, octopus and shrimp.
With dive options for all levels Air Wall is one of the top dive sites in the area with depths from 5 to 32 metres. Air Wall lies to the east of Gili Air.
There is a gentle sandy bottom that leads to the vertical wall which is an excellent site for macro diving.
Turtles are common and eagle rays can also be seen. There are also white tip reef shark, glassfish, leaf fish, triggerfish, wire coral gobies, sweetlips, pygmy seahorses, orangutan crabs, painted lobster, banded pipefish and butterflyfish.
Not a true wreck dive as it is a collapsed pier on the southwest of Gili Meno, but it is still a very popular dive site that is now covered in hard and soft coral, that helps to give shelter and food for a wide variety of marine life.
The dive site ranges from 10 to 20 metres making it suitable for all levels of divers and is a haven for scorpionfish, stone fish, drummer fish, damsel fish, groupers and sweetlips.
With an average depth of 25 metres and 32 metres at its deepest, Deep Turbo is suitable for more advanced divers. At times there can be strong currents. It lies in a channel between Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno.
The site has a number of sea mounds which are well worth exploring with a sandy bottom in between. There are many types of coral and sea fans. You will see many garden eel alongside barracuda, leopard shark, triggerfish, snapper and spotted eagle ray. There are also opportunities to see giant bumphead parrotfish, batfish, pygmy seahorses and blacktip and whitetip reef shark.
Located further north than most dive sites in the area, it is an excellent site for more experienced divers and is made up of a series of canyons and coral mounds rising up from a sandy bottom at 35 metres.
Currents funnel through the channels which results in large numbers of schooling fish including snappers, trevally and tuna. There are also blue and yellow fusilier, angelfish, parrotfish, triggerfish, sweetlips, pygmy sea horses, green sea turtles and, like most dive sites in the area, whitetip and blacktip reef shark. The variety and colour of the coral is also a sight to be seen.
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