Top Travel Tips for a Diving Adventure in OceaniaFebruary 20, 2022
If you are thinking of planning a diving trip any time soon, there is no better place to venture than Oceania. Oceania is a continent full of excellent diving locations and opportunities from the most experienced divers to the ones who are trying it out for the first time. So, check out the handy guide below to ensure that your next diving adventure is one to remember.
1. Plan ahead to ensure you are prepared.
To have the best possible diving adventure abroad, it is important to do research ahead of time. This includes the location, dive shops, what to pack, and how to be properly prepared for every aspect of your trip. That is why we have created a helpful guide to ensure that you are well prepared for an amazing diving experience in Oceania!
Research dive shops & book early.
It is very important to research the different dive shops in the location where you want to dive. Doing research ahead of time will enable you to discover what the dive center has to offer and if it aligns with what you are looking for. You can start by examining all of your options and narrowing them down to the shops that best suit your needs.
Check your dive certifications.
It is important to ensure that you have all the necessary dive requirements and that your certifications are on MySSI before the start of your diving adventure. It is important to have this all in order before you depart in case there are any delays or unforeseen issues.
Are you getting a scuba certification during your trip? Have a chat with your dive instructor before your trip to find out what studying you can do so you do not spend any vacation time reviewing your scuba knowledge.
Additionally, if you need other documents or papers for your travel, such as a doctor’s signature for your dive medical forms, you should take care of this early, with enough time to spare.
Get dive and travel insurance.
Going scuba diving in another country without dive and travel insurance is risky. There are many policies out there to help protect you from any unexpected expenses that may arise should things go wrong during your trip. It is important to ensure that this policy includes emergency medical coverage, including diving accidents, cancellation and trip interruption coverage.
Refresh your dive skills.
If it has been a while since you have been diving, you might want to consider taking a refresher, or continuing education course from your local SSI training center before the start of your vacation. This is also a great time to check that your dive kit is fully serviced and functioning properly.
2. Pack efficiently.
When it comes to packing, things can get a bit confusing! It is hard to decide whether or not to bring your own equipment, what type of luggage to bring, and other essential things you might forget to bring when packing for your diving adventure.
Below is a guide that can help you answer any questions that you may have when it comes to packing for your scuba diving trip.
Packing your scuba gear.
While many dive shops and companies offer dive gear rental, many divers prefer to take their own dive kit on vacation. If you are only looking to do a few dives during your holiday, renting is a great idea. If you plan on doing a lot of diving, consider taking your own dive kit instead.
Before you go:
- Make sure your dive gear is compatible with that at the dive shop you will be going to.
- Talk to the dive shop about your options and the equipment that they provide as a backup. Will they have all you need?
- Get your gear serviced well in advance of your trip. If it is new, then try it out in a pool to ensure everything works.
- Consider upgrading your equipment with new lighter models to save on airline baggage fees.
Additional items to pack.
There are lots of items to bring with you on a scuba diving adventure, and it is tempting to bring everything you could possibly need. Below is a list of some items to bring that might not be the first thing on your list but are very important!
- First aid kit.
- Reusable/compostable Ziplock bags to keep your stuff dry.
- Raincoat/poncho - tropical climates can have lots of rain!
- Anti-nausea medicine for seasickness.
- A travel towel.
- Reef-safe sunscreen.
- A reusable metal water bottle to keep hydrated between dives.
- Travel locks to keep your valuables safe whilst diving.
3. Pick a location.
Choose from our top 6 places to do giving in Oceania:
Australia is mainly famous among divers for the Great Barrier Reef, but there are so many more locations where you can discover the underwater bliss of an Australian diving adventure.
One of the main attractions for scuba divers along the east coast is the friendly grey nurse sharks and marble rays. In the cooler waters of the south, some sites have rare and unusual critters such as striped pyjama squid and leafy sea dragons.
Western Australia hosts plentiful large marine life with many types of sharks, humpback whales, manta rays and even dugongs.
Three great locations for an Australian diving adventure:
Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
The Great Barrier Reef and surrounding waters are home to countless species and underwater sites. It is the world’s largest reef and has a plethora of dive spots, from beginner dives to thrilling experienced dives. There are also many areas with shallow water that are filled with colorful flora and fauna, making it a perfect destination for snorkeling.
Rottnest Island, Western Australia.
Situated not far from Perth, the beautiful Rottnest Island is full of amazing marine life. With an array of great dive and snorkeling sites, you can be assured that you will have an amazing dive adventure there.
Heron Island, Queensland, Australia.
This dive spot is located just off the Queensland coast and has beautiful clear waters that are perfect for diving. It also has lovely white sand beaches with a variety of great snorkeling spots.
New Zealand is a country with stunning landscapes, not only above water but also beneath it as well. The North Island provides some unique sites where divers can be surrounded by thousands of maomao fish, plus explore famous shipwrecks that have created thriving artificial reefs covered in pink jewel anemones.
The South Island also has great diving spots and wonderful things to explore. Highlights include diving with rare black corals in Fiordland and the chance to see sperm whales and dolphins at Kaikoura.
Top locations to go diving in New Zealand include:
Poor Knights Islands.
The Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve is one of the world’s top ten diving sites. This dive area is New Zealand’s most popular, known for its clear waters, huge shoals of fish, stingrays and a dazzling array of colorful nudibranchs.
Kaikoura’s lush kelp forests are busy with marine life, including wild New Zealand fur seals. The nearby continental shelf has created a biodiversity hotspot, where whales, dolphins, sharks and fish life thrive.
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Papua New Guinea.
Papua New Guinea has not received as many tourists as other diving locations, which means that the waters around the islands have had minimal damage from divers and overcrowding. You can dive in Papua New Guinea all year round because of the extremely warm waters. In addition, marine life is truly exceptional, with about five times as many species as the Caribbean. When going on a Papua New Guinea diving adventure, you can expect to see barrier reefs and World War II wrecks, surrounded by plenty of colorful marine life.
Some of the best diving sites in Papua New Guinea include:
This dive spot is home to some of the most incredible species in the animal kingdom. Divers can spend many days exploring this destination, with the possibility of spotting octopi, lionfish, seahorses and a variety of other species. The beautiful reefs and coral gardens also hold many wrecks from the World Wars and can sometimes host rare marine animals.
This dive location is truly special. It has been documented as hosting over half of the world’s species of coral. This is a great spot for divers to explore the reefs and swim among barracuda, tuna and a range of shark species.
Diving in Fiji is renowned for having some of the world’s most colorful soft corals and a range of vibrant reef life, plus plenty of manta rays, and a world-famous bull shark dive at Pacific Harbor.
Top Fiji dive destinations:
Fiji’s Cannibal Islands are a perfect place for divers, from beginners to more advanced individuals. This spot has a few deep-water sites where large marine life can be spotted. In addition, there are also shallow reefs and calm beaches, which makes it a perfect place for snorkeling.
Closer to the shore at Savusavu Bay are lots of sites for beginner divers that are fascinating and full of marine life. Further away from the shore, the dives become more and more difficult as there are intense currents that sweep up through the Somosomo Strait, which can dramatically increase the intensity of the dive.
One specific spot, called Barracuda Point, is a very popular dive site for all. At this spot, you can find countless schools of fish, sharks and other large sea creatures.
Taveuni is known for having excellent dive options to see the Rainbow Reef. There are lots of soft corals as well as plentiful reef sharks. This location is also near the Somosomo Strait and can have strong currents, making it a dive location for more skilled and experienced divers.
French Polynesia is a great location for those who are interested in shark diving. There are blacktip reef sharks, tiger sharks, silver tips, lemon sharks and grey reef sharks. The most famous islands for diving in French Polynesia are Tahiti and Bora Bora. It is also an excellent place for lagoon dives, deep dives and encounters with friendly stingrays, mantas, and even humpback whales. It is a perfect place for divers of all levels.
The best spots for a diving adventure in French Polynesia include:
The Aquarium, Tahiti.
This site is probably the single most famous dive site of Tahiti and certainly the most visited. Whilst it is not the best highlight of diving in French Polynesia, its interest comes from having three wrecks, two schooners and a Cessna, that allow beginner divers to discover wreck diving.
Tiputa Pass, Rangiroa.
Tiputa Pass is located in Rangiroa and is one of the best places to go diving in the world. It has many different diving sites where divers can explore thriving reefs, caves and canyons, and encounter walls of gray reef sharks. This location is also known for its incredible visibility, which can reach up to 60 meters.
Tapu, Bora Bora.
This dive site is more for beginner or intermediate divers and not so much for advanced divers. Tapu is located at the west end of Bora Bora and is said to host over 10 different species of sharks, including lemon sharks.
Last on the list is Palau, which is regarded as one of the most famous countries for scuba diving. Divers come from all over the world to go diving in Palau and explore its 200 plus islands. It is best known for its incredible visibility, diverse diving, beautiful reefs and abundant marine life.
Some of the most mind-blowing spots to dive in Palau:
Blue Corner is by far the most popular dive site in Palau and is known worldwide. This natural corner in the ocean is washed by strong currents and visited by numerous pelagics. It is suitable for advanced divers only.
Peleliu Wall has the deepest wall dive in all of Palau. Here you can find deep canyons and crevices, lots of fish, and steep walls that are covered with beautiful soft corals. This site is located off the island of Peleliu, which is the furthest island from Palau. This spot is also perfect for viewing larger animals such as orcas, silvertip sharks and other large sea creatures.
The Chandelier Cave is a must-do experience if you go diving in Palau. It consists of five small interconnected caves that are easily accessible. The fifth cave is harder to get to and for more advanced divers. Inside these caves, you can see limestone formations that resemble chandeliers, plus shrimps, crabs, and fish. It is important to note that this dive is not for those who do not like enclosed spaces, are claustrophobic, or are inexperienced with diving in the dark.
4. Decide When to Go.
Diving in Oceania is a dream for many and is very popular year-round. With the excellent water temperatures and abundant marine life, it is a must for many divers. Of course, there are certain times of the year that are better for diving than others.
The best time to dive in Oceania.
The best time to go on an Oceania diving adventure varies depending on which country you visit but this broad guide to timing will help you plan your trip.
During April and May, water temperatures are generally mild and there is little chance of rain. The water is often clear, making it easy to witness the beautiful coral reefs and fish that inhabit Oceania’s waters.
Diving in Oceania is often at its best during June to September/October, especially at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Although the water is a bit colder at this time of year, the waters are as clear as they get. It is important to keep in mind that it is also a very popular time to go diving and snorkeling in Oceania, so book your trip early. Also, do not forget to bring a wetsuit so that you can enjoy the water without getting too cold.
November to March is the rainy season at some of the Pacific Islands but it is still a good time to go diving if you do not mind the rain. You can enjoy fewer crowds, cheaper prices, and seasonal highlights such as hammerhead shark season at French Polynesia. Just make sure you check your preferred destination for any cyclone season or particularly stormy months.
5. Have a Great Dive!
By now, you should be all set and ready to embark on your diving adventure. Be sure to remember all of the tips in this article to make sure your trip is amazing. Stay safe and happy diving!
This article was written by Sarah Sheedy, a writer for Flyparks.com.au. You can use Flyparks to book cheap parking at airports across Australia and New Zealand. With only the highest-rated car parks on offer and excellent customer service, you can’t do better than Flyparks.