For the New Years Break this year (28 December – 4 January ), Abyss Scuba Diving have booked out Hideaway Island in Vanuatu for a tropical holiday. Hideaway is the perfect escape for both divers and their non-diving friends. There are 21 great diving sites around Hideaway, here is just a few of them.
This dive was discovered New Year’s Day 2004 (by the boys) on a post New Year’s Eve revival exploration dive. The reef is spectacularly colourful and sits in crystal clear water featuring an abundance of large intact table corals, clams, sponges, clusters of multi coloured Stag and Elkhorn corals and a variety of bright encrusting corals. There are numerous swim throughs with sunlight streaming through the cracks in the reef above reflecting light off the white sandy bottom. Max depth: 20 metres
Not only is there a magnificent array of intact plates that will rival any place in the world for colour and condition, but, as the name suggests, there is a huge anemone the size of a family car as well. The vast arrays of different varieties of resident clown fish are an added bonus. The dive starts in just 6 metres so good buoyancy is a must. A wonderful dive, and very popular amongst photographers and divers alike. A small tug boat named Bonzer was sunk near the clown colony down the reef wall in 2001. The Bonzer sits upright in 24 metres and is a fantastic wreck for experienced and novice wreck divers alike, with easy swim-throughs and great penetration points through its hull and pipe seahorses roaming its decks.
A very colourful coral area like a well-cultivated garden fit for royalty. Plate, stag horn and lace coral cascade along the side of the reef amongst others in a plethora of colour and shapes. A great photography dive. Volcanic thermal patches bubble up from the ocean floor provides a very unique dive for all. There are natural volcanic formed caves, caverns and swim throughs with natural light shining through making this a more advanced dive for divers and offers some incredible photography opportunities. Max depth: 18m
Named for the resident batfish that meet you on arrival, Gotham City is a sea mound where the batfish are the jokers!! Have no fear, both adults and juveniles will accompany you through the whole dive pestering you for a feed and posing to have their photos taken. It’s not uncommon to see reef sharks and barracuda schooling around this area, which, together with some enormous plate corals and the occasional manta ray and large yellow fin tuna cruising through, make this dive well worth a look. Max depth: 25 metres
Aside from the absolutely exquisite coral formations and oodles of reef fish, this site also plays host to some very rare anemones. Exciting enough is a blue tipped specimen with resident clownfish, but without doubt, the piece de resistance is another anemone just around the corner. A deep red in the summer, it turns an almost fluorescent pink during the winter months. If that’s not enough, there’s also a stunning wall on this site that drops to over 100m, featuring masses of hard coral plates and stag horns, as well as a vast array of fish life.
Max depth 25m.
M.V. Aloara Wreck
The MV Aloara, a 30 metre retired island trader was successfully sunk in 2001 close to the very popular snorkelling and dive site “Coral Gardens”. She now lies on her starboard side in 27 metres of water and can be penetrated by experienced divers. Inside the wreck, natural light streams through along the sand line and divers are able to view the bubble cave inside and can yell hello so everyone outside or over at nearby Coral Gardens can hear them. The wreck has been extremely popular with divers since the sinking with large schools of fish and resident bull rays now gathering here.
Hideaway Island, Vanuatu is a nice easy, quick, inexpressive escape and is perfect for divers and non-divers. With just a short 3 hour flight to arrive to warm clear water, easy diving it is a popular destination. For our New Years dive trip, Abyss Scuba Diving have booked the island so there will be a heap of cool people to dive with and explore these great dive sites.