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The Best “House” Reef

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I'm looking for the penultimate house reef. You know the kind of secluded house, or hotel, reef where all you have to do is grab a tank and just step off the dock or slide into the water with a minimum of hoopla and immediately become thrilled with your ultimate reef. A clean, simple, no fuss, no muss, quiet little dive that knocks your socks off each and every time you dive it.

 

I'm still searching for such a place, and I know it exists out there somewhere. If you know the place I'm speaking of, I'd be interested in hearing the who, what, where, when, and especially why, the site is your most favourite among favourites.

 

Thanks

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So why do you want to know what the second-best reef is?

 

As to the ultimate house reef, though, the Liberty Wreck in Bali is walking distance to a number of resorts (plus your gear is carried for you, so a short walk is no big deal). I could spend a month diving it and still come back for more. I know someone who did just that, actually...

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In the Red Sea http://www.redsea-divingsafari.com/index.php?p=61 ticks all the boxes for me. You'll find more info here http://www.oonasdivers.com/dive-tours-red-...-villages.shtml and here http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/redsea.divingsafari?__a=1

Edited by Timmoranuk

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If I had to choose one house reef, it would be Wakatobi.

 

In the Caribbean, it would be Habitat, Curacao.

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I was told by many people that the Wakatobi house reef is phenomenal....it was definitely good, but I didn't think it lived up to the hype. I am not particularly a huge fan of the Sipaden experience BUT the second house reef (Paradise 2) of Sipaden Water Village is excellent. My wife and I did many of our afternoon dives on this house reef, even skipping some of the boat dives. The viz is not super BUT we saw everything from a MASSIVE green turtle, to a blue ring octopus, batfish, needlefish, to a variety of schooling fish, etc, etc, and many varieties of hard corals. I am not sure I would specifically go to Sipaden for this experience, but if you are there, I highly recommend Paradise 2.

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So why do you want to know what the second-best reef is?

 

As to the ultimate house reef, though, the Liberty Wreck in Bali is walking distance to a number of resorts (plus your gear is carried for you, so a short walk is no big deal). I could spend a month diving it and still come back for more. I know someone who did just that, actually...

 

 

Totally agree..cant beat this site.

 

Diggy

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The Sorido resort in Raja Ampat is supposedly one of the best in the world, this is the site where the record number of fish species was recorded on one single dive, 256 I think. My good friend has dived here and just said it is the best, as far as reefs are concerned it does not get any better.

 

Cheers

 

Fontaine

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Thanks to all who have replied. I have been to Curacao a few times but never at the Habitat – I will have to try the Habitat the next time I go to Curacao.

 

I have just returned from a excellent liveaboard trip out of Sharm El Sheikh at the Red Sea. Thanks for the information on the shore based sites around the Red Sea. The thought of using a tent with all the modern conveniences is intriguing. I will have to investigate the shore based suggestions more closely.

 

Bali, Wakatobi, and Raja Ampat have all been on my more exotic location list for quite a while. I am sure the information provided on these locations will help me to make the right choice when it comes time to book my trips to these locations.

 

I have bookmarked all the travel suggestions for future reference.

 

And again, thanks to all for replying with such great suggestions.

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I second Paradise 2 at Sipadan Water Village...I have more great images from dives done there than another other "House Reef"!

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I'd have to vote for Wakatobi, especially since you're looking for a secluded place. I've done the liberty wreck a few times and think it way overrated. Unless you're the first group in the water, you are going to see lots of divers and not much else.

 

With the Wakatobi house reef, you have a variety of ways to dive it, there is both W/A and macro, and it takes several dives just to see the whole thing. As an example, I did one night dive where we stayed in 2nd gully until it got to 10pm, and we only got out of water cause at 10 they close up the equipment area.

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Sipadan Water Village's house reef, Paradise 1 & 2, but especially 2 gets my vote.

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The Amanwana Sea Wall on Moyo Island (east of Bali). During the day it's a good dive (slightly above average for the region), at night it's one of the best night dives we've ever done (liked it so much we repeated it all week).

 

We had Bobtail squids in the sand, sleeping turtles, nudibranchs, sea hares, (many) hunting lion fish, lobsters, and tons of other critters...

 

Incredibly easy dive - sit on the dock and roll forward...

Edited by oneyellowtang

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Thanks to all who have replied. I have been to Curacao a few times but never at the Habitat – I will have to try the Habitat the next time I go to Curacao.

 

One more vote for the Habitat (I know kind of late to the party :B): ) Really enjoyed it. Did some boat dives and lots off the dock. Low key and pleasent, with a house reef that is easy to navigate.

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Best is so subjective it's not even funny. What kind of diving are you looking for? Coral, critters, macro, WA?

The most accessible house reef is probably Twin Rocks in Anilao, right in front of Planet Dive. It has macro, schooling trevally, soft and hard corals, a small wreck and even bangka boats for silhouette shots. Best of all it's not very crowded (but can be on weekends)

Tulamben is pretty similar but it's REALLY crowded at times. I spent 15 minutes trying to get a shot of a wunderpus CFWA but there was always some diver in the background and then people would hover waiting for me to finish and kick up crud. And this was at 8am in the morning! Still it's a nice area to dive if you get great conditions and few people. Corals, critters and bigger fish frequent the wreck and the black sand on either side, coral garden etc are also very nice. I dislike walking on the rocky beach with camera.

I'll agree with Oneyellowtang about the Aman Wana being a nice place to stay. I personally don't go to the Aman for just diving since it's hit or miss (especially the wall). However, I've only hit the wall in 4 different stays so it's tough to say if I hit it at the right time in all my visits. Having 10 dives over say 10 years at one site isn't going to give an accurate report on the area.

And yes that's the other problem about house reefs. Everything is in cycles and if someone goes there at the right time, it's wonderful etc. Then someone goes on the recommendation and hits the bottom of the cycle, well the site will get dumped on for bad viz, low creature count etc. I've spent an equivalent of 2 months on Twin Rocks and too many dives in Tulamben on the wreck over the last 18 years. I still get caught in the cycles now and then.

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Worst house reef, anyone? :B):

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