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Your 2016 New Year travel resolutions – Part 2

Clive Wedderburn December 17, 2015

The New Year is just around the corner so it’s time to think about resolutions. You could give up something you love, or you could make the commitment to travel more in 2016. We know which we’d prefer to do.

It’s never too late to take up diving and with the world as your oyster you can pick any destination you please. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite exotic locations where you can finally learn to dive, as well as sites to look forward to when you gain experience.

Bay Ternay Marine Park, Mahé, Seychelles

Pick up your PADI qualification at the Underwater Centre at the Coral Strand and use it to explore some exhilarating reefs. Bay Ternay Marine Park is suitable for divers of all abilities; it has Mahé’s best coral formations, which are visited by the likes of Moray eels, schools of brightly coloured reef fish and frequented by hawksbill turtles.

SS Thistlegorm, Red Sea, Egypt

One of the most popular wreck dives in the world, the SS Thistlegorm was sunk in 1941 on its way to Glasgow from Alexandria, Egypt. Now its cargo of rifles, motorbikes, armoured cars, and boots all sit at the bottom of the ocean. Plunge the depths and dive inside, explore the wreck, and see its rusted machine guns and torpedoes.

Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

A pristine paradise of blue green water and white sand beaches, Brazil’s Fernando de Noronha is a UNESCO World Heritage Site fabled as the long lost Shangri-la. This protected eco-wonderland has warm and pristine emerald waters filled with more than 200 species of fish; five shark species, including lemon shark, nurse shark, and Caribbean reef shark; sea turtles and dolphins.

Maaya Thila, Maldives

One of the most famous sites in the Maldives, Maaya Thila is great for both day and night scuba diving. The reef starts at about six metres and declines to below 30 metres, with several coral outcrops, deep caves, and overhangs. A myriad of tropical fish and marine life make their homes here, including white-tip reef sharks, grey reef sharks, moorfish, great barracuda, clownfish, parrotfish, large turtles, and more.

Gili Trawangan, Gili Islands, Indonesia

More than 3,500 species of marine animal live in the gloriously warm waters off the coast of Lombok. It’s the perfect location for beginners to dive as the waters are calm and clear, which means more opportunity to spot the likes of reef sharks, turtles, pygmy seahorses and many different colours of coral.

Richelieu Rock, Thailand
This is widely regarded as the best dive site in Thailand. This spectacular site is often called ‘whale magnet’ for the amount of whale shark sightings you are likely to see. You will also see manta rays, devil rays, colourful corals, sea fans, and cleaner pipefish. Take a torch and explore the hidden treasures of this site.

Sistema Dos Ojos, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

One of Mexico’s most popular underwater cenotes is this myriad of blue, green, and purple rooms dripping with stalactites. Extending about 50 miles, this freshwater cave is filled with labyrinthine passages called unique names like the Next Generation Passage and Bat Cave. Explore the fascinating shapes, countless marine life, and the beautiful backlit affect from the entrance, all with up to 91 metres visibility. Located near Playa del Carmen, one of the best things is it is easy to get to.

Antilla, Aruba

Aruba’s best diving is its wreck diving, and the Antilla is definitely at the top of the list. The Antilla (Ghost Ship) was a German freighter scuttled in 1940. The ship is shallowly located, making it easy for diving, and the entire surface is covered with coral and giant tube sponges. You will also see lots of angelfish, lobster, eels, and yellowfish swimming around the wreck.  

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Visit our Diving Holidays page or our sister website Austravel to try beginner dives, PADI courses or advanced diving at the largest coral reef on earth, the Great Barrier Reef.