Looking for ideas for your next diving holiday? Here are our top bucket list diving experiences to inspire your next diving adventure with Original Diving.
Diving with sharks in French Polynesia
If it's sharks that you're after, head for French Polynesia. Rangiroa's Tiputa Pass is often touted as one of the best dive sites in the world thanks to its huge concentration of sharks - including white, black and silver tip - as well as turtles, rays and dolphins. While you're here, make the 150-mile jump south-east to Fakarava and you'll be rewarded with two enticing passes to dive, where you can see even more sharks, including grey reef sharks in sometimes huge numbers, living alongside an amazingly healthy reef that's home to a massive number of fish.
Diving with giant mantas off Revillagigedos, Mexico
Head towards the wonderfully remote UNESCO-listed Revillagigedos archipelago (it's a whopping 290 miles from the tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula) for giant manta territory. Our divemaster friends who work and play here have a harmonious relationship with these gentle beasts, so chances of having a close encounter are extremely high! Combine this with a trip inland to dive the cenotes dotted on the Yucatan Peninsula, and you've quickly got a two-for-one bucket list diving holiday.
Exploring Indonesia on a liveaboard
If there's one place that's consistently on divers' bucket lists, it's Indonesia, and there's no better way to make the most of this complex archipelago than on a liveaboard. You can dive, sleep, repeat as you journey from Raja Ampat to Alor and Komodo, all at the heart of the Coral Triangle.
Silver Bank, between Turks & Caicos and Dominican Republic
Many places in the world give you the opportunity to see the whales. One, only one, will give you the chance to snorkel with them. Every year between January and March, the humpback whales travel to the Silver Bank to mate, give birth and raise their offspring. Witnessing this is definitely a once in a lifetime experience. The T&C Aggressor II is one of the best boats for this but gets full very quickly so you better start planning…
Diving Kimbe Bay, the ‘Coral Capital of the World’, Papua New Guinea
Combine over 900 species of fish, 413 species of hard coral (that's half the planet's total known species) and a famous sea mount where pelagic fish congregate, and you've got yourself a bucket list diving destination at Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea.
Diving the Aldabra Atoll, the Seychelles
You may have noticed by now that this diving bucket list is chock full of remote islands and dive sites, but as the rule goes - the more remote a place, the 'fishier' it is. Never is this truer than with the Aldabra Atoll. Sitting around 700 miles from the Seychelles' capital, Mahe, this is the second largest coral atoll in the world and is a remote paradise for divers in search of dense and diverse marine life. Among the incredible coral colonies you can expect to see anthias, wahoo, dorado and sailfish, plus barracuda and dogtooth tuna, but if you're really lucky you could also spot thresher or hammerhead sharks, humpback whales and more.
Experiencing red snappers spawning at full moon, Palau
We love Palau for it's incredible array of fish and coral life, and its numerous sites suitable for everybody from snorkellers to divemasters, but for that extra special bucket list trip, we recommend timing your trip with a full moon to experience the red snappers spawning. Tens of thousands of these amazing fish rise from the deep to mate, changing colour from red to white as they do. The spectacle also attracts numerous shark species, including bull, blacktip and hammerhead, so you've got a good chance of seeing these beauties hunt.
Underwater Museum of Isla Mujeres, Mexico
If you are after something different, this is the right spot for you. This initiative started in 2009 from a British artist specialising in underwater sculptures which over time develop into artificial coral reefs which will turn a traditional dive in crystal clear water into an excursion to an absolutely amazing underwater museum. Many people come back here every year to see how the coral has grown and how much those living sculptures have changed. Mexico also has bull sharks, whale sharks and humpback whales at the right time of year.
Manta Reef in Tofo, Mozambique
There must be a Manta Reef in every country by now but the one in Mozambique - in Tofo to be precise - hosts the giant mantas! Different from the ones you can see in the Maldives for example, they are bigger, much bigger. This dive spot is getting more and more famous since the BBC movie "Queen of the Manta". Icing on the cake, there is a spot close by called Giant Castle hosting one of the rarest rays: the small eyed stingray. If you are a ray fanatic, head to Tofo!
Solomon Islands Liveaboard
Another experience that's firmly on our bucket list is exploring the Solomon Islands by liveaboard. Perfectly placed in the Coral Triangle - the world's centre of marine biodiversity - the Solomon Islands have treasures aplenty to be discovered, from coral gardens and caves to wrecks and muck sites.
Weird creatures in Sydney, Australia
In my opinion, there are a many species that are worth travelling far for. The weedy sea dragon and the wobbegong are definitely amongst them. Both of them can be found in a small beach in Manly, Australia. It is a great destination to combine good diving and city activities. Far indeed but well worth it!
Whale sharks in the Mafia Island, Tanzania
You have already seen one whale shark in Thailand or in Ningaloo Reef. Maybe two or three in the Maldives. What about six or seven at the same time? I personally stopped counting after six. Between October and March they are just everywhere at Mafia Island, Tanzania.
Inspired? Get in touch with one of our diving experts to book your next bucket list diving adventure.