Exploring the world beneath the waves
by Alanna Magri
You may not know it, but you have found yourself surrounded by some of the most exciting, diverse and bountiful dive locations in the world.
Between the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Bay of Islands in New Zealand, and Fiji, known as the “Soft coral capital of the world,” divers of all classes are smiling at the amount of opportunities and variety that surround them.
Travellers from all over the world flock to New Zealand, Australia and Fiji to experience all the sun, sand and beautiful scenery the South Pacific has to offer. While many are contempt with sticking strictly to land and sailing tours, others have taken the plunge into the great oceans and seas to experience the hidden underwater world that awaits them. Tunnels, underwater caverns and wrecks keep even the most experienced diver interested time after time.
These waters are home to a variety of sea life including, but certainly not limited to, wrasse, angelfish, lionfish, cuttlefish, anemone fish (clown fish), eels, turtles, reef sharks and you may even be lucky enough to spot a dolphin or whale. What will undoubtedly take your breath away are the vibrant colours and intricate designs of the coral. Believe it or not, but there are only two types of coral, soft and hard, and is actually classified as an animal.
The underwater world gets even stranger when you partake in unique diving situations. Grab a torch and dive into complete darkness at night to see predators searching for their next meal. With the right training, you can even don a dry suit and jump into icy water to view exciting ice forms. No matter which type of dive situation and site you choose, each one will come with new experiences and new memories.
Beginners don’t fear, being uncertified doesn’t mean you’re unable to dive. There are many dive centres that offer introductory dives to novices who are dying to see the world living beneath the waves. An Open Water Dive course is highly suggested for those that know they want to make diving a hobby. After a few classroom sessions, and four open water dives you will be certified to independently explore to a depth of eighteen meters. You won’t be throwing your notes out after this educational course! For those beginners who want to further their skills, the Advanced Dive Course is the perfect solution.
Diving is a highly rewarding and memorable activity that gets more interesting with each time you dive. One of the many specialty courses available is sure to spark your interest. In addition to the highly popular Deep Diver, Wreck Diver and Underwater Photographer courses, there are also specialty courses for the adventurous such as Cavern Diver, Ice Diver, Search and Recovery Diver, Night Diver and Dry Suit Diver, for those extremely cold sites.
If by chance you find yourself leaving the South Pacific with a new found love of diving, it is suggested to buy your own equipment, locate and join your nearest Dive Centre, participate in a dive trip, and continue your education until you become a Master Scuba Diver, the highest non-professional level of scuba diving. In addition, there is always the option of turning your passion into a career. But most importantly, just remember… everything is better underwater!