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INDONESIAWakatobi House ReefWakatobi’s House Reef has been named ‘The World’s Best Shore Dive’. This site is a favourite with both divers and snorkellers, as it is easily accessed from the resort beach or pier and includes expansive shallows comprised of seagrass meadows and coral formations brimming with marine life, as well as a wall that extends to the north and south of the resort’s jetty.“ Some 73 metres from the beach, the contours of the House Reef make an abrupt transition to steep slopes and walls that begin just two meters below the surface and drop to depths of more than 91m ”The shallows close to shore are prime hunting grounds for a cornucopia of marine life that includes frogfish, crocodilefish, stonefish, octopus, moray eels, cuttlefish, blue-spotted stingrays, ghost pipefish, jawfish, pygmy seahorses, shrimp and goby pairs, turtles out and about, and a plethora of nudibranchs.
Clear waters and an abundance of sunlight provide photographers with an ideal underwater studio. The well-lit seabed also allows snorkellers to enjoy an up-close look at marine life.
Some 73 metres from the beach, the contours of the House Reef make an abrupt transition to steep slopes and walls that begin just two meters below the surface and drop to depths of more than 91m. This underwater rampart is riddled with numerous overhangs and crevices, and is covered in a thriving array of sponges, hard and soft corals. Water clarity in the 30-metre-plus range allows ample ambient light to filter down into the depths, adding to the visual drama of the walls and undercut slopes.
The resort jetty at Wakatobi extends to the outer edge of the House Reef, a convenient access point to both the dropoff and reef shallows. The pier is also a noteworthy dive in itself, as the pilings create shelter and shade for schooling fish and a wealth of macro subjects. Here, more than a half dozen species of anemone fish shelter in their hosts’ tentacles, and species of pygmy seahorse and pygmy pipehorse have been found within a few yards of the pier.
The House Reef spans to the north and south of the jetty. To help divers reach more distant sections of the wall, Wakatobi provides taxi boat services. These five-metre outboard-powered skiffs can comfortably carry five divers or snorkellers. Depending on which way the water is moving, taxi boats will drop divers well north or south of the resort for an extended drift dive that ends at the jetty stairs. To make drifts that last 90 minutes more, divers can request high-volume tanks from the dive centre to ensure an ample gas supply.
The House Reef is available to Wakatobi guests day and night. For some, sunset is the best time to visit. As the light fades, creatures active during the day begin to seek shelter, with some like broadclub cuttlefish performing colour changes that blend into the deepening shadows.
After spending the day hidden in the coral, leaf scorpionfish begin to emerge a couple hours before dusk to hunt. With the setting sun, octopus come out to find food or a mate. Dive lights reveal eels slithering through the corals with squadrons of squid jetting through the shadows.
Over the reef’s edges turtles are often found bedded down for the night beneath overhangs on the wall.
Did you know?If you’re a fan of sea turtles, don’t miss your chance to visit this UNESCO Marine Biosphere Reserve and immerse yourself in the wonderful world of sea turtles!Did you know?The name ‘Wakatobi’ is an acronym of four large populated islands! WA referring to Wangi- Wangi (WAnci) which is also the regency’s capital since its inauguration in 2003. KA = KAledupa, TO = TOmia, and BI = BInongko.Essential informationLocation: Wakatobi, Indonesia Depth: 1m-30m+ Diver level: Beginner to advanced “ Every dive you do you will spot something you hadn’t seen on previous excursions, and as well as the rich cargo to keep you captivated, there is plenty of marine life that calls the holds home ”Who to dive with Wakatobi Resort www.wakatobi.com