The mention of house reef diving conjures up images of getting kitted up at own leisure, set off and explore the reefs at own pace. Our diving travel specialists handpick five of the ultimate house reefs we have on offer where you can experience some of the best diving in the world.
From the Red Sea to the ultimate hike across the world all the way to Fiji, we give you an insight to these house reefs we love and we promise not to disappoint you.
Marsa Shagra’s House Reef Freedom in the Red Sea
The water’s edge is just metres away from the dive shade so you can get kitted up and go diving when you like. The bay is shallow, starting from 1 to10 metres in depth and slowly dropping as you reach the outside walls of 40 to 50 metres in depth. The house reef is divided into North and South of the reef with the middle point being the famous and most beautiful marsa entry right in front of the dive shade, the perfect spot for a check dive!
The diving package here is based on unlimited house reef diving with 2 guided dives so you get an understanding of the entry points and possible diving profiles that can be explored. From this point onwards high performance speedboats are on standby between 6am and 8pm at your request offering the option of up to 6 different dive patterns within the house reef. These dives are unguided which allows for a real sense of exploration and adventure.
Marsa Shagra is one of the richest and most pristine house reefs in the south with a few overhangs and pinnacles. The reefs running north and south are home to an array of colours and reef fish including clouds of anthias, swirls of fusiliers, lots of damsel fish, turtles, blue spotted rays, porcupinefish, trigger fish, masked pufferfish, angel fish, moray eels, octopus, visiting dolphins depending on the conditions, white tip reef sharks, puffer fish, the rare eagle rays and much more as well as a very beautiful selection of hard and soft corals where you will be surprised by a number of critters.
There is a shark nursery right as you enter the reef and head north. This is a protected area and no divers cannot enter for obvious reasons.
Murex Bangka in Indonesia
The explosion of colours and range of soft corals present at the Murex Bangka’s stunning house reef puts this destination right at the top of our list. Here, you can step off the beach and immerse yourself in a world overloaded with pristine reefs teeming with life including pelagic and critters!
Some of the species you can expect to see include dolphins, several species of pygmy seahorse, harlequin and tiger shrimps, frog fish, blue ring, mimic, reef and wonderpus octopus, ghost pipefish, scorpionfish, turtles, reef sharks, eagle rays, tuna, great barracuda and schooling fish including snappers, fusiliers, cardinals and mackerel just to name a few.
Our diving packages include the guided boat dives that will take you to the outer reefs and unlimited unguided house reef dives giving you the flexibility to explore the fringing reefs sloping down from the resort’s doorstep.
Paradise Taveuni in Fiji
Paradise Taveuni offers endless opportunities to explore the amazing underwater life of Fiji. The house reef entry is just a few steps away from the dive shop and in minutes you will find yourself immersed with the abundance of fish life and a multitude of soft corals.
Being the only resort on Taveuni Island offering free shore diving with pre-booked diving packages you have the option to go and explore the house reef when you want to. Here you will come up close and personal with the blue ribbon eels sometimes two eels right next to each other, juvenile black ribbon eels, clouds of glass fish, squamosa clams, octopus as well as the rare reef sharks, rays, turtles, a selection of critters and much more.
Off the Beaten Track Wakatobi Dive Resort in Indonesia
The Wakatobi Dive Resort is located on a remote part of Indonesia creating an adventure just to get there but once you step into the crystal-clear waters it will be well worth the journey! Wakatobi is home to 400 species of coral and 700 species of fish which have been officially recorded in the area alone.
Wakatobi’s house reef simply represents the world's most beautiful natural aquarium. The seascape transitions gradually from knee-deep shallows to a depth of around 3 meters at the edge of the drop off. In between, divers and snorkelers will find the coral growth to be remarkably healthy and quite dense in places. It's something you wouldn't expect so close to a resort.
At the end of the reef shelf, the reef takes a sharp turn downwards plunging all the way down to 76 metres. The slopes and walls that follow are overgrown in a diverse array of soft and hard corals, sponges, gorgonians, reef fish and invertebrates. Some of the species you can expect to see include crocodile fish, anemone fish (seven different species inside a 30-meter circle of the resort’s jetty), pygmy seahorses, cardinal fish, ornate ghost pipefish, turtles and much more.
Magic Moalboal in the Philippines
At the Magic Island Dive Resort’s house reef divers can walk from the dive centre straight into the water at any time, day or night and find an abundance of marine life to including schools of fish and a collection of hard, soft and fan corals.
The water’s edge is shallow, starting from 5 metres in depth and slowly dropping as you reach the outside walls of 55 metres in depth. Some of the species you can expect to see include frogfish, a black, yellow and grey one, turtles, schools of jacks and tuna hunting on the pristine reef and much more. Whale sharks and several white tip reef sharks are also been spotted on house reef occasionally.
A night dive on the house reef will ensure encounters with decorator crabs, cuttlefish, nudibranchs, snake eels and sea snakes to name but a few as well as the famous mandarin fish.