Diving in Raja Ampat Islands

* CAPE KRI * MIKE'S POINT * THE PASSAGE * WAI ISLAND * MISOOL ISLAND

Diving in Papua

Raja Ampat Islands

The Raja Ampat, or " Four Kings; " archipelago encompasses more than 9.8 million acres of land and sea off the Northwestern tip of Indonesia's West Papua Province. Located in the Coral Triangle, the heart of the world's coral reef biodiversity, the seas around Raja Ampat possibly hold the richest variety of species in the world. With four large islands of Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, and Misool, plus hundreds of smaller islands area are known as the Bird's Head functional seascape, which also contains Cenderawasih Bay, the largest marine national park in Indonesia. Located off the Northwest tip of Bird's Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, Raja Ampat or the Four Kings is an archipelago comprising over 1 ,500 small islands and encompasses more than 9.8 million acres (40,000 km2) of land and sea.

Panorama Raja Ampat Islands

Panorama Raja Ampat Islands

Entitled as the richest diving site in the world, Raja Ampat has area's massive coral colonies show that its reefs are resistant to threats like coral bleaching and disease - threats that now jeopardize the survival of corals around the world. In addition to replenish other reef ecosystems, Raja Ampat's strong ocean currents sweep coral larvae across the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Its coral diversity, resilience, and ability to replenish reefs make it a global priority for marine protection. The Bird's Head Peninsula at the Western ends of New Guinea Island is the epicenter of marine biodiversity, according to the scientists who is found 52 new species in Indonesia recently. There are 1 ,223 species of fish and 600 types of corals. Till this very day the area is virtually unexplored and unknown due to its size. This area still has many remnants of World War Il, covering about 1 8,000 sq km (6,950 miles), it has a greater concentration of species than Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef, covering an area 10 times bigger has slightly more types of fish (1 ,464 species) but just 40s species of corals. And the bigger Caribbean Sea has fewer than 1,000 species of fish and just 58 of types of coral.

Raja Ampat Dive Sites

CAPE KRI   |   MIKE'S POINT   |   THE PASSAGE   |   WAI ISLAND   |   MISOOL ISLAND

Cape Kri Dive Site

Cape Kri Dive Site

CAPE KRI

If you crave for the sense of being surrounded by fish you're going to love this Raja Ampat diving site. Normally you will no sooner have deflated your BCD than the spectacle begins. A tremendous variety of fish will come into view, dominated, in terms of biomass by dogtooth tuna, giant trevallies and chevron barracuda. Add to this the likely presence of large Napoleon wrasses, white tip reef sharks and giant groupers, as well as innumerable fusiliers and snappers, and you will wish your logbook pages were longer. The very fortunate may even get a look at the five gigantic Queensland groupers, reputed to be as big as small cars, which are sometimes seen on this dive.

To dive here is to drift effortlessly with the current past these great numbers of fish. However that is not the entire site has to offer, as the coral growth is equally diverse. In and around the coral you can look out for nudibranchs and scorpion fish as your air supply decreases at the end of what tends to be a most rewarding and always entertaining dive.   Back to top

Mike's Point Dive Site

Mike's Point Dive Site

MIKE'S POINT

This rocky outcrop just off Cape Kri was bombed during WW ll. From the air it was mistaken for a Japanese ship due to its size and the wake left by speeding currents. Walls surrounding the islet drop to over 40 meters and attract huge schools of sweet lips, snappers and fusiliers. A dazzling array of giant sea tans on a shelf at 27 meters can be explored for pygmy seahorses and the walls and coral crevaces home all manner of reef life. Mike's point is named after pioneer Max Ammer's son.

Papua diving provides another highlight in the shape of the bizarre looking wobbegongs that lurk underneath table corals. Raja Ampat is one of the very few places outside of Australia that you can see these creatures. These strange looking tassled sharks make for a great photo opportunity as do the pygmy seahorses that you might find clinging to one of the huge gorgonians. At times the current discourages any notions you may have of lingering in•the one spot for that perfect snap, so if you really want these shots you may have to dive here again. Given the site's quality, it is no surprise that many divers choose to do just that.   Back to top

The Passage Dive Site

One of the Wonder Dive Sites in Papua

THE PASSAGE

The passage lies between the islands of Gam and Waigeo.It is Only-about 25 meters wide and looks more like a river from the surface. A jumble of rocks marks the entrance to this enchanting looking dive Site; the coral almost grows to the surface here. There is not much choice but to drop in and drift down the channel, pausing in bays where the current is more forgiving. Plenty of life can be found here including octopus, flatworms and cuttlefish, even the Wobbegong shark can be spotted on occasion. Schools of bigger fish wait out in the current such as jacks, tuna, barracuda and sharks. Caves and arches also make up some of the topography here.   Back to top

WAI ISLAND

This spot is famed for its visiting manta rays and a couple of WWII aircraft wrecks. However it is also popular for night diving in the secluded bay. All manner of creatures emerge to feed including octopus, stonefish, epaulette sharks, wobbegongs, squid, pipefish and many rare nudibranchs.   Back to top

MISOOL ISLAND

This is one of the larger islands in the archipelago. The stunning reefs around Misool offer a breathtaking kaleidoscope of color, which offers a nice contrast to all the big stuff on other dive sites. Sloping walls are carpeted with soft corals of every color imaginable housing all manner of critters from ghost pipefish to harlequin shrimp to pygmy seahorses.   Back to top

Raja Ampat Islands

Beauty Underwater on Misool Island