Go night diving and you’ll see the ocean in an entirely different way as your torch beam lights up reefs busy with activity. Different marine life come out at night and predators such as lionfish and sharks become much more active. It’s a great type of diving for renewing your interest in familiar dive sites and makes you pay attention to one small dive site area at a time.
Don’t miss it. Here are our top night dives to try around the world…
Image: Aggressor AdventuresHawaii is renowned for its exceptional night diving with manta rays. Go night diving off Kona and you can watch manta rays barrel-roll and feed in the light of your torch. Suitable for snorkelers and divers alike, it’s one of the best night dive experiences in the world.
The Kona Aggressor II offers manta night dives as part of their Hawaii liveaboard safaris.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
There are a variety of fun options for night diving at the Great Barrier Reef.
The OceanQuest liveaboard offers outer reef Shark in the Dark night dives, giving you a chance to swim with numerous reef sharks at night. You can also try Fluoro Night Diving with this liveaboard. Specialist torches and mask filters are used to bring fluorescent underwater landscapes to life.
For a real spectacle, visit the Great Barrier Reef during a mass coral spawning event. These events are witnessed by few people and occurs at the reef between November and December each year. Flynn Reef has a great variety of corals and is known for its spawning events. You can see this during night dives with the Pro Dive Cairns fleet.
Maldives scuba diving is famed for diverse diving amidst idyllic atolls. Don’t miss a liveaboard safari to Felidhoo Atoll for a real Maldivian highlight. You can go night diving with huge numbers of nurse sharks and stingrays at Felidhoo’s Alimatha Jetty dive site.
Coming close to divers, the sharks and rays provide great photographic opportunities against the dark waters.
The Scubaspa fleet and Duke of York offer safaris that include this special dive.
Costa Rica is paradise for shark diving during the day and doesn’t disappoint at night either. Be sure to take a dive at Manuelita Coral Garden for the chance to dive with numerous hunting whitetip sharks. Emerging to hunt fish, crustaceans and octopi, these flexible and fast-paced sharks are fascinating to watch in action when the sun goes down.
Myanmar is still relatively off the radar for most divers and yet it offers diverse marine ecosystems and hundreds of unexplored islands, just perfect for liveaboard cruises. Great Swinton Island is a good spot for coral reef night dives and bioluminescence.
Shark Cave offers night diving along a wall and rocky outcrops with plenty of marine life. Look carefully and you might spot decorated sponge crabs, plus Durban dancing and mantis shrimps.
Egypt’s Red Sea
Both Tiran in the north and Elphinstone in the south offer great Egypt night diving. Dive in and you can explore dramatic walls and reefs as you watch lionfish hunt in the light of your torch. For an eerie experience, try night diving the huge Thistlegorm wreck. Impressive during the day, this wreck is even more so at night.
Teeming with life, thanks to its position in the Coral Triangle, the Philippines Visayas islands offers exceptional diving both day and night. If you’re a fan of muck diving, make sure you go muck night diving in the Visayas. The light from your torch will bring the colours of critters to life, making excellent photographs.
Another great spot for night diving, the Lembeh Strait is known as the ‘muck diving capital of the world’. Home to an array of weird and wonderful critters it is not to be missed. Many of the critters are very active at night, making Lembeh Strait even better at night than during the day.
This is especially so at Nudi Falls. This wall drops down to a coral field and sandy bottom, where you can spot cuttlefish, rare nudibranchs and more.
You can try your hand at wreck night diving at the Cayman Islands. The USS Kittiwake is ideal for night dives as she has spacious corridors and clear waters, making her easy to navigate. You can also night dive the Balboa and Ore Verde wrecks. The Cayman Aggressor V offers safaris that include wreck night dives.
Papua New Guinea
To truly get away from it all, go long-haul and explore the pristine waters of Papua New Guinea. Seemingly left behind by the modern world, the islands of PNG have untouched dive sites busy with marine life. Go night diving and you can explore PNG’s crystal-clear lagoons, enjoying the diverse macro and reef life found there. With few other divers around, it’s like exploring a whole new world.
What Night Diving gear do you need?
You’ll need a good dive torch for night dives. It’s a good idea to take a spare torch and attach a marker to your BCD or tank so you can be seen easily by your buddy and guide.
What diving skills do night divers need?
- The most important skill you need is the ability to stay calm
- It can be unnerving diving in the dark at first, so relax and stay close to your buddy and dive group
- It’s worth practising the signals you’ll use during your night dive, as torch signals are often used in place of hand signals
- Set up and check your equipment during the day, or under adequate lighting, so you don’t miss something
This article was written by divers and writers at LiveAboard.com