Archive for the ‘Australia and Pacific’ Category

World’s Best Destinations for Beginner Diving

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

Why do the Top 100 Readers Choice Awards, now in their 23rd year, still matter to divers? Because these are your picks, based on thousands of votes from the most experienced dive travelers on the planet. Why do they matter to us? Because every month you hear from our editors on what we think matters in the world of dive travel. For the January/February issue of Scuba Diving we get to listen to you, and we’re taking notes.

Here, we proudly present the No. 1 ranking destinations in the Best Beginner Diving category of the awards. The full list of winning destinations is below.

scuba diving bonaire beginner underwater



Best Beginner Diving in the Caribbean and Atlantic

While shore diving on Bonaire is often touted as being as easy as a walk in the park, truthfully, some of its sites are challenging to enter and exit, what with rocky, ironshore bottoms, broken corals and sea urchins clinging to the shore substrate. Beginners will find all the resort house reefs easy — for one, gear lockers and gear setups are either near to or right on the dock, and ladders aid the enter and exit process. Getting in is usually also possible by giant-striding from a dock and then swimming just a few fin kicks to where the reef begins. Try Buddy Reef at Buddy Dive Resort, 18 Palms at Plaza Beach Resort, Bari Reef at Sand Dollar Resort and Calabas at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort. Easy coastal road spots include Windsock, which has one of the few sandy beaches on the island; Oil Slick Leap, where you can giant-stride in and then use a ladder to get out; and Bachelor’s Beach. Novice divers may also be more comfortable doing their dives from a boat with a divemaster, which all the big dive resorts offer.

Best Beginner Diving in the Caribbean and Atlantic

  1. Bonaire

  2. Dominica

  3. Curaçao

  4. Cayman Islands

  5. Bahamas

florida keys key west largo scuba diving underwater beginner



Best Beginner Diving in North America

Not all the diving in Florida is tailor-made for beginners, but it’s not surprising that readers voted the state No. 1 in its region for beginner diving. In North America there’s nowhere better to go than America’s Caribbean, the Florida Keys. Leave the famous deep wrecks like Spiegel Grove, Vandenberg and Eagle to advanced divers, and hit the shallow reefs to add to your brand-new logbook. Most of the time, you’ll be in the 20- to 35-foot range, which is the perfect depth to build confidence, log tons of bottom time and still see everything this chain is famous for — the only living coral reef in the continental U.S. and reef fish, such as yellowtail snapper, grunts, goatfish and damselfish galore. The notable sites perfect for novices read like a survey course in literature: Christ of the Deep statue in Key Largo in 25 feet of water; French Reef, also off Key Largo, in 15 to 40 feet of water; Islamorada’s Davis Reef in 25 feet; Sombrero Reef off Marathon in the 10- to 25-foot range; Looe Key, a spur-and-groove reef in five to 35 feet of water; and Key West’s Eastern Dry Rocks in about 35 feet of water.

Best Beginner Diving in North America

  1. Florida

  2. California

  3. Washington

hawaii maui scuba diving beginner dive underwater butterflyfish



Best Beginner Diving in the Pacific and Indian Oceans

More visitors flock to the islands of Hawaii than just about any other dive destination in the world. So, it’s probably no surprise that the region’s operators are highly skilled at training new divers. And with shallow, sheltered reefs such as Maui’s Molokini Crater and easily accessible, purpose-sunk wrecks, including Oahu’s Sea Tiger, there’s no shortage of beginner-friendly options to hook rookies right away.

Best Beginner Diving in the Pacific and Indian Oceans

  1. Hawaii

  2. Indonesia

  3. Philippines

  4. Thailand

  5. Red Sea

How We Got the Numbers Thousands of Scuba Diving subscribers and online users rated their experiences at dive destinations in a variety of categories on a scale from one to five. Final scores are an average of the numerical scores awarded. A minimum number of responses was required for a destination to be included in these ratings.

Caradonna’s Deal to Dive the Great Astrolabe Barrier Reef in Fiji

Friday, February 26th, 2016
Matava Eco Resort

Courtesy of Matava Eco Resort

Matava Eco Resort

Find your spirit of adventure at Matava Eco Resort, as you experience the magnificent beauty of a remote unspoilt tropical Fijian Island. Plunging volcanic rainforest slopes meet azure coral lagoons and the Great Astrolabe Barrier Reef, a rare untouched slice of nature unfolds before your eyes. No roads, no noise, no stress. Traditional thatched Fijian Bures hug the jungle fringes. Private sun decks gaze over turquoise lagoons. Solar powered lighting, solar hot water and no carbon footprint.


Package includes:
7 nights oceanview bure accommodations
5 days of 2-tank boat dives
Unlimited shore diving
Welcome head and neck massage
All meals including tea and coffee
Traditional Lovo Feast and Kava Ceremony
Hotel tax and service charges
Travel 4/1/16-3/31/17

Price $1,712 pp/dbl (FJD3,500)

Package Validity – Start Date Apr 1st, 2016

Package Validity – End Date Mar 31st, 2017

Travel must be booked by Mar 17th, 2017


Booking Email Address

Booking Telephone 1.800.329.9989

Fish ‘n Fins and Palau Pacific Resort Dream Deal

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016
Soft Coral Arch Palau

Anonio Husadel

Soft Coral Arch Palau

Dive with Fish ‘n Fins Dive shop and stay at Palau Pacific Resort at incredible SPECIAL rate of $1650 per person!

5 days diving of 2 tanks per day (option to add more dives) with Fish ‘n Fins dive shop.

7 nights stay at Palau Pacific Resort, double occupancy, including breakfast and room tax.

Airport transfers included, pick up by van or by boat at the dock. Weights, tanks, lunch and drinks are included.

Price $1650

Package Validity – Start Date Apr 1st, 2016

Package Validity – End Date Jul 15th, 2016

Travel must be booked by Jul 5th, 2016


Booking Email Address

Booking Telephone +680-488-2637

32% Off Anniversary Sale – Fleetwide

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016
32% Off Anniversary Sale - Fleetwide

32% Off Anniversary Sale – Fleetwide

Celebrate our anniversary and save 32% for travel from now until Dec. 31, 2016.

32% Off Anniversary Sale – Fleetwide

One Fleet … 32 Years…32% Off Anniversary Sale
Celebrate our anniversary and save 32% for travel from now until Dec. 31, 2016.
– For NEW reservations made from Feb 15 – March 2, 2016.
– Travel must be completed by Dec 31, 2016.
– Deposits must be received no later than March 2, 2016.
– Rsv. may be made online through our website.
– Special does not include existing reservations.
– Money saving specials, other promotions & DWC weeks do not apply.
– Includes Jim Church Photography charters, excluding class fee.
– Does not apply to Aggressor Safari Lodge or Cuba Travel Program.

Package Validity – Start Date Feb 15th, 2016

Package Validity – End Date Dec 31st, 2016

Travel must be booked by Mar 2nd, 2016


Booking Email Address

Booking Telephone 800-348-2628

Hawaiian Rafting Adventures Inc. / Dive Maui

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

We offer a full range of tours and services to all divers, pro’s and novices alike! Whether you want to go on your very first ‘Intro Dive’ or you want to go on a Nitrox or night dive – we can show you the best Maui has to offer. Want to get certified, but don’t want to spend your whole vacation doing it? Ask about our 2 day certification course!

When it comes to diving, we offer choices! We have two High-Speed Rafts as-well-as access to shore dives! Whether you want to visit the ‘Cathedrals’ off Lana’i, ‘5 caves’ at Makena, or go on our exciting Manta Ray dive, we can take you there!

Come visit our full-service Dive Shop in Lahaina, “Dive Maui”. We offer a wide range of gear and have great rental equipment. Our shop is conveniently located on Front Street (1223 Front St).


Information: 1223 Front Street Lahaina, HI 96761
Phone: 866-529-2544
Request Info: