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DavidG

Diving in Lombok?

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Hi everyone,

In the last couple of months I seen a lots of photos and trip reports from Bali and I was wondering if anyone had the chance to go diving to the neighbor island of Lombok? I saw on the internet that there are few dive centers on the Gili islands that are part of Lombok.

I will be in Bali for almost a month and I know that there are enough good places to dive there but I would like to know if is worth the travel to dive there.

Thanks

 

David

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Hello,

 

I have dived both Bali and the Gilis (off Lombok) but not Lombok itself. My experience has been that they are completely different.

 

The Gilis have much more white sand and the water was very blue and clear. The sad thing is that they have bombed their reefs to (nearly) complete destruction. Most of it is a wasteland of broken coral. It is so bad that the islands are actually washing away! You can see out in the water where trees used to grow, roads have been swallowed up and disappeared on Gili Air. It is one of the most environmentally shocking things I have seen. That being said, there are a suprising number of fish. I have no idea why, but the schools were healthy and the water clear. It just looked like the surface of the moon :blush: If you can choke back the anger then you might enjoy yourself. Topside Lombok and the Gilis are stunning.

 

Bali has blown out areas, but I have seen many stunning reefs that look like rainforests as well. The water is very different and seems much more "aggressive" with cold water and upwellings around. I love Bali, in my opinion there is no comparison.

 

My summary is that diving in the Gilis was very simple and great for beginers. Bali has a wider array of more aggressive and world-class diving.

 

-- Justin

 

Ah, 1 more thing. I just noticed you are from Turks & Caicos. I would say diving the Gilis reminds me very much of the carribean, whereas Bali feels much more Pacific.

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I sorta agree with Justin. The Gilis is sort of like the party backpacker town left over from the 80s in Kuta. However, it is very quiet on Meno and Air. And that could be fun for you. There are a few deeper reefs that they don't do often except for the tech students which have the odd thresher shark or tuna. But you'd have to be tech trained for deep air at least. I know they have EAN and they did supply heliox for the tech divers on one trip.

Also there is a japanese wreck in the channel between Gili Meno and Lombok. It's deep (45m) and difficult to find. The boatmen actually use a rope and hook to find it (which really concerns me since the mines are STILL on the wreck. It was sunk by torpedo and still has .50 cal gun shells, sake bottles and of course, the mines (well they were there in 1997 when I first dived it). Life is pretty decent but it's a small wreck and there's nothing else around. So if you are a WWII wreck fan, it's worth it. If not... errr it's not.

Even if you don't dive in Lombok, the trek to Mt Rimjani and the lake is worth it. Not to mention the Matarese banquet!

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I have dived the Gilis too. Thought that they were nice enough. Worth doing if you are there, but probably not worth headinig their specifically to dive.

 

I would imagine that there are some excellent muck sites around Lombok, but AFAIK nobody is diving them.

 

Alex

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Dear Divers out there!

 

I am planning a trip to Lombok and will be diving with Blue Marlin dive centre. Anyone can give me an idea on when is their Monsoon Season (if any) and what are we expected to see there (so i may prepare on camera setup). I prefer muck diving and doing macro shots, any good dive sites to recommend? I will be staying at Holiday Resort Lombok.

 

Please provide me with some valuable advise.

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I dived the Gillis too in March. Like Alex, I enjoyed it. Incredible visibility, VERY blue water but not a lot of life or underwater features of great interest. I found the occasional small bommie with glass fish or fan coral which made for nice WA shots. Diving is from powered outrigger canoes which, for me, were a novelty and quite fun.

 

I wouldn't make a special journey there just to dive. But Air has a really nice relaxed feel to it; and Trevangen is fun. So it's most certainly worth a dive if you are in the area - and the GilliCat journey from Lombok to Trevangan is quick and easy. Hiring a local boat to hop to the other islands (Meno and Air) is easy and cheap.

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I've found the western side of Lombok to be cooler in the SW monsoon season due to the winds. It doesn't seem to rain as much there as in Bali. Seeing that you're from Singapore, I think your general guide will be the SilkAir website. It's generally a milder climate than Bali from what I remember, but global warming has made the weather more unpredictable.

As for dive sites, from memory I did the wrecks and deeper reefs around the islands. I don't remember much from the northern area although we did dive around there. There were a few nice little islands in the southern bay and one site was very nice for nudies. Marlin will charge extra to go south and will probably sell you a dive on a submerged pinnacle. Just beware that when the current is kicking, that pinnacle has some SERIOUS washing machine effects. But I'll let them tell you what's out there. :unsure:

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Hi everyone,

In the last couple of months I seen a lots of photos and trip reports from Bali and I was wondering if anyone had the chance to go diving to the neighbor island of Lombok? I saw on the internet that there are few dive centers on the Gili islands that are part of Lombok.

I will be in Bali for almost a month and I know that there are enough good places to dive there but I would like to know if is worth the travel to dive there.

Thanks

 

David

 

 

Hi David, I spent a week in South Lombok earlier this year and dived Sekotong Bay, Belongas Bay and the Kuta area. I am in the process of putting an article together and will have some location pages together on my site www.indopacificimages.com soon, but you can view my image gallery from the trip on this link: http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php...lombok-gallery/

 

Glad to answer any questions you may have on South Lombok...

 

Don

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Hi David

 

I dived in the Gilis in March.

 

There are, as you probably know, 3 Gillis. Trawangan is the busiest, Air much quieter (where I stayed). I didn't visit Meno. I dived with an operator, Dream Divers, off Gili Air. Diving was from large canoe-style boats with outriggers. The operation was good, dive briefings simple but sufficient and the guides pretty good. I did think you needed a guide for a number of the sites where quite long drifts across sand ridges were involved. The diving from all three islands was on the same locations. Dive times were all over 60 minutes.

 

Visibility was extremely good - in the 30m range. The water was incredibly blue! Temperature 30C at depth. Marine life was sparse although one or two sites did have reef sharks dozing on the sand. Some had turtles. Of the 7 dives I did, a number of the dives were relatively deep at around 30-35mm. The rest in the 20m range. Reef structures tended to be patch corals on white sand. There were some nice Gorgonians which were good to shoot against starbursts.

 

The diving was enjoyable and Gili Air a very relaxing place to visit. I travelled by ferry from Lombok to the Gilis; and then used a local ferry canoe to get to Trawangan from Air and then the Gili Cat to Bali which was very good and easy.

 

I wouldn't want to make a special journey to dive the Gilis but I was also visiting Tulumben and was working in Lembeh so was in the neighbourhood and, as such, it was well worthwhile. I used a Tokina 10-17mm lens on almost every dive and thought it the right choice.

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