There are currently over 15 dive sites around Hideaway Island that are suitable for all levels of divers. Although many of these sites can be dived to 40 metres, the majority can be limited to 18 metres or less.
Here at Hideaway we adhere to certification levels i.e. Open water 18m (12m for 10/11 year olds), Advanced 30m (21m for 12-14 year olds) and Deep 40m. If you wish to go past your current depth limit why not take the Advanced Open Water course or even Deep Diver Specialty while you are here? We have 2 dive wrecks which were prepared and sunk in 2001 – these sit in around 24-27m of water. Penetration is restricted to certified wreck divers, or divers undergoing wreck training.
All dives are non-decompression dives and safety stops are made on every dive. Our very experienced Divemasters & Instructors lead every dive to ensure you see the best of each site as well as to maintain safety standards.
Directly in front of the dive shop is a huge variety of marine life scattered among an area of sand and silt, like a small Oasis in a desert. A great macro photography site. Glass Fish, Banded Coral Shrimp, Octopus, Crocodile Fish, Lion Fish and the unusual bubble corals. Includes bommies right in front of the jetty – keep an eye out for one of our many resident Mantis Shrimp.
A great site for a Refresher dive, DSD or a night dive.
Max Depth: 30m (12m for DSD)
A selection of very interesting marine life scattered among an area of sand and coral rubble makes this a great macro photography dive. Everything from Shrimp, Octopus and Crocodile Fish to Lion Fish, and Moray Eels. Includes bommies around the World’s First Underwater Post Office – don’t forget to post an Underwater Postcard (available from the Gift Shop)
This site is popular for a Refresher dive, DSD or night dive.
Max Depth: 15m (12m for DSD)
Aloara (Rising Sun)
After many years of service, this Island Trader was sunk in 2001 just a stone’s throw from the beach on the Southern side of Hideaway Island. She now lies in 26m of water on her starboard side.
In calm conditions, the Aloara is a fun penetration dive for wreck certified divers.
A shallow swim back to the mooring line over the Coral Gardens dive site is a great chance to spot Sweetlips, Fusiliers, Snapper, Titan Triggerfish, Star Puffers and the occasional White Tip Reef Shark.
Max Depth: 26m
Sure to impress, this magnificent dive combines the wonders of reef, wreck, marine life, swim-throughs and gullies. The Bonzer, a small tugboat sunk in 2001 sits upright at a depth of 24m and is a mere 5 minute boat ride from our jetty. Full of wonders such as beautiful corals, Pipefish, Banded Shrimp, the resident Spotted Sweetlips and Unicorn Fish making themselves at home in the wheelhouse. Drop down into the large rear hold and be amazed by the thousands of Glassfish surrounding you, but be advised that full penetration of the wreck is for wreck certified divers only.
While the top of the wreck is accessible to Open Water Divers, to get the full effect you need to be certified to dive to 30m. Why not complete your Advanced Open Water or Deep Diver/ Wreck Diver specialties here at Hideaway to get the most out of this beautiful dive site.
This wreck is usually paired up on the same dive with another amazing nearby site, Clown Colony.
Max Depth: 24m
As you descend down the mooring line to 6 metres, you’ll be amazed by the sight of thousands of plate and table corals covering the top of the reef. Swim to the edge of the reef and you’ll find yourself staring into “The Abyss”. With a wall dropping down to around 60 metres, this site can be done as a deep dive to the Gorgonian Fans at 40m, or a nice leisurely dive along the wall at 18m. An occasional shark or moray ell may be seen, and if you’re into macro life, this site is loaded with Nudibranchs and Shrimp. Enjoy your safety stop as you swim back to the mooring line over endless corals and vibrant fish at the top of the reef (5-10m).
Max Depth: 40m
The old ships anchor embedded in the reef gives this site its name.
The top of the reef comes within 6 metres of the surface where numerous plate and staghorn corals, as well as multi-coloured reef fish can be seen as you descend the mooring line.
Visit the anchor at 14m then keep your eyes peeled for Reef Sharks. Look beneath the many plate and table corals and you might get a glimpse of some blue spotted ribbon-tail rays and lionfish hiding underneath.
Max Depth: 22m
If Clownfish are your thing, then this dive site is a must. Usually dived either on the way to or from the nearby Bonzer wreck, Clown Colony sits atop a bommie that steps down from 12-14m. Blanketed with anemones which are home to upwards of 200 gorgeous Clownfish, this site certainly deserves its name. Be sure to have your camera handy to capture all the beauty of this amazing site.
Max Depth: 18m
This dive site features a curving wall that steeply drops from 5 metres at the top of the reef, down to 26 metres. Superb variety of corals on the plateau including a large pillar coral, as well as Clownfish, Batfish, Nudibranchs and the occasional Reef Shark. When visibility is particularly good, you may even catch a glimpse of the nearby Aloara wreck.
Max Depth: 26m
East Side Story
Twin sister to West Side Story, this dive starts off nice and shallow in about 8 metres of water and takes you on an extremely relaxing flight over a great variety of branching staghorn and plate corals with the occasional bright soft coral tucked away beneath the numerous ledges. Some beautiful anemones with their resident Clownfish make themselves quite at home on this reef. There is also a great selection of Batfish, Butterflyfish, Angelfish and Damsels.
Max Depth: 20m
Gotham City (Ollie’s Lolly)
Named for its Batfish which accompany you on your dive, Gotham City is a very colourful and popular reef area which rises to within 8m of the surface. A large variety of marine life calls this reef home from Barracuda and Dog Tooth Tuna all the way down to the small reef fish we all know and love. Be sure to look out beyond the reef from time to time, you might spot some Reef Sharks or a Manta Ray passing by.
Many soft corals, Feather Stars and large coral formations decorate the Southern side and top of the reef. The wall bottoms out at around 25m, then slowly drops away deeper. Good visibility of 20m + is normal for this site. Some currents are present during tide changes.
Max Depth: 25m
The final resting place of the Coastal Trader Kathleen, which sat atop the reef until Cyclone Uma rolled her over the edge in 1987. Some traces of the wreck can still be seen, however the wreck itself lies well beyond recreational SCUBA depth limits.
This reef starts at 12m. A fixed line leads down to a large Gorgonian fan at 40m and from there a slow spiraling ascent around the reef will reveal an abundance of marine life including Butterfly Cod, Giant Cuttlefish, Morays, plenty of Nudibranchs and large schools of Moorish Idols.
This dive can be done as a deep dive for experienced divers or as a fantastic dive for those limited to 18m. Some current can be present on this site.
Max Depth: 40m
Do you dare enter the Lion’s Den? This site is located on the North Eastern side of Hideaway Island. A very relaxing sandy bottomed dive with some great little walls to explore and a fantastic selection of marine life. Be prepared to encounter Bull Rays, a host of different Nudibranchs, Eels, Turtles, Butterfly Fish, Bat Fish, and of course, Lion Fish!!
Max Depth: 25m
The mooring lies in 8m of water, bordering the edge of a 90m + drop off. Cruise down the slope and on to the wall where large schools of Unicorn Fish play amongst the ledges. Hidden in the many crevices are beautiful purple, yellow and green soft corals as well as a myriad of Nudibranchs and Flatworms.
For the lucky few, you may even be able to spot a Manta Ray gliding by. Swimming back past the mooring, you can find many large coral formations scattered across the top of the reef.
Max Depth: 25m
Located just off the Southern tidal reef, this dive has Nudibranchs abound, along with a nice selection of tiny lace corals, sponges and some very colourful seasquirts. Although not prolific with hard corals and more of a scattered rocky reef dive, it offers some great macro photo opportunities. Best taken slow with every overhang, nook & cranny explored. Can be done as a drift dive to one of the nearby sites, or a casual dive through the gullies
Max Depth: 20m
Located at the end of the Southern Reef of Hideaway Island, The Wall runs vertically down to a depth of 90m +. It features many fans at different depths and unusual coral formations on top of the reef. This site can be dived in a few different ways: a drift dive back to shore; a deep dive followed by a casual swim back across the top of the reef; or a nice relaxing 18m dive around the upper section of the wall. This site is also great as a Refresher dive. Want to enjoy even more time on top of the reef?? Why not join us on our Snorkel Safari, which departs daily?
Max Depth: 30m+
West Side Story
This reef comes to within 6 metres of the surface. On the East side of the reef, coral rubble bottoms out at about 12m. On the West side however, long fingers stretch out covered in staghorn coral in brilliant blues and green to a depth of 30m. Glide over the seemingly endless field of yellow staghorn on the way to visit the White Tip Reef Shark pups nursing under cover. There are also numerous anemones and reef fish, with the occasional crayfish and moray.
Max Depth: 25m