Indonesia is the largest island country in the world, comprising more than 17,000 islands of all shapes and sizes. The largest and most developed islands are Sumatra, Java, Borneo (Kalimantan), Sulawesi and New Guinea (Papua). Sulawesi is one of the largest islands and is known for some of the best diving in the world, with spectacular coral reefs and exclusive marine life in famous diving areas such as Bunaken National Park, Togian Islands, Wakatobi National Park and Strait of Lembeh. This huge island still houses some points yet to be discovered by diving tourists. Tanjung Bira beach, & # 39; off the beaten track & # 39 ;, located at the southern tip of Sulawesi, is one of those hidden treasures. Check out our Diving guide in Indonesia to all of our favorite dive sites and islands in Indonesia
The huge island of Sulawesi is home to some of the most famous dive sites in the world. In the south, remote Wakatobi National Park, with Indonesia's largest barrier reef, is known for untouched and untouched coral reefs, teeming with a huge variety of creatures. The rich life of fish and interesting creatures create one of the most biodiverse places in the world. At the Central Sulawesi get ready for incredible island adventures by exploring the spectacular Togean Islands. Dive into the crystal clear waters of Tomini Bay, the calmest bay in the world, meet the famous Badjua people (sea gypsies) and swim in a jellyfish lake full of millions of these beautiful creatures that have lost the ability to burn for centuries . North Sulawesi it is known for the Bunaken National Park, with crystal clear waters and huge walls of breathtaking coral, with more than 2000 species of corals and 400 different species of fish. Not far from Bunaken is the magnificent Lembeh Strait, with some of the best muddy dives in the world. The black volcanic sand is home to a huge variety of unique alien creatures, seen nowhere else in the world.
Pantai Bira – Southern Sulawesi
Known for its white sand beaches, palm trees and crystal clear waters, Tanjung Bira beach is a true tropical paradise. Still on the Indonesian diving tourist trail, at the tip of the large shoals of pelagic fish from Sulawesi and a variety of sharks hunt on the vertical walls full of marine life in ripping currents. In protected areas with less current, you can see pleasant macro life, including a variety of nudibranchs and seahorses.
Diving in some places around Bira, we saw a good marine life; turtles, morays and a wide variety of small creatures, such as mantis shrimp, anemone shrimp, scorpion fish, a variety of nudibranchs. We saw a mix of pelagic fish and reefs and some sharks. Reef fish were the usual suspects in Southeast Asia, such as clown fish, butterfly fish, maidens and even large reef fish, such as butterfly-headed parrot fish. In the pelagic species, there were some trevallies hunting on the reefs and we saw some white and black sharks. Other pelagics that are sometimes seen around Bira are large sharks, hammerheads, tunas, barracudas, giant marble rays, manta rays, sunfish and even whale sharks at the right time of year.
Diving Conditions in Bira
The diving conditions were good with a water temperature of 29 ° C, it varies between 27 and 30 ° C. During our stay, the visibility was decent at 15m, the visibility can be higher than a 30m crystalline dive in Bira.
Bira is a good place to do scuba training with warm water, good visibility and dive sites for all abilities. I liked to dive here with Bira Dive Camp, the dive leader was good, he knew the area, he knew the marine life well and we did long dives for over an hour.
Sulawesi is an amazing island to explore if you like to dive. It is a great place to start a trip around the island and it is definitely worth a dive. In my experience, it was not as good as Indonesia's famous dive sites, like Komodo or Lembeh, and I wouldn't spend a lot of money on flights and trips just here to dive.
To reach diving spots in the south, such as Wakatobi and Bira, fly to Makasar and make your way from here. To reach locations in the north, such as Bunaken and Lembeh, fly to Manado and continue traveling from here.
Dive Locations in Bira
Shark Point – Not far from the port. Drift dive on an inclined bottom, expect a strong current. As the name says, it's a good place for sharks, white-tipped sharks and black-tipped sharks and, if you're lucky, bull sharks. Keep an eye out for turtles, sea snakes and large fish such as tuna and trevallies.
Cape Bira – Some good swims. Beautiful coral reef; Sharks, rays and barracudas are often seen here.
Bira Bay (Tanjung Bira) – a site known for its sharks, great reef sharks are seen here and, if you're lucky, even a hammer.
Wall of the Goats – nice location located between the island of Selayar and Bira. Steep wall falling to 60m. Sometimes strong current. Variety of sharks found on the wall. Schools of pelagic fish such as mackerel, tuna and large trevallies hunt on the wall. Groups of large, big-headed parrot fish usually eat here. Scorpion fish, cuttlefish or octopuses can be seen on corals in shallow waters.
Fish market – advanced diving, underwater sea with many fish; huge groupers, jacks and Napoleon wrasse seen here.
Coral garden – Taking your advanced course? – popular spot for night dives near the port of Bira, turtles, cuttlefish, octopuses, sometimes Spanish dancers!
Go to Bara beach!
The two sister beaches, Bira and Bara and you can walk from one to the other at low tide. The beautiful powder white sand of Bara Beach is fantastic, a long sandy beach ideal for running or spending the day at the beach. With luke warm 30C water, it's great to go for a swim or snorkel on the beach.
Dive from Bira
There is good snorkeling from the beach at Bara beach. Just swim 50 to 100 meters from the coast, a beautiful coral reef, a drop for free diving. You should see some turtles and a variety of other forms of marine life. Liukang Island is a great option for snorkeling trips, located near Bira. There are many turtles, sharks and fish.
Rent a scooter
If you spend a few days here, it is cheap to rent a scooter and it is good to explore the area.
How to Get to Bira
From Makassar, the capital of Sulawesi, to Bira, it is 5 to 6 hours by car. Makasar has an airport accessible by flights from major cities in Indonesia. In Makasar, you can take the public bus or a shared car / minibus from Mallengheri Bus Terminal. Buses depart daily from 9 am to 10 am to the port of Tanjung Bira. Shared vehicles leave whenever they are full. From Bira, I went with a minivan and a bus to Rantepau in Tana Touraja, in the center of Sulawesi. Check here for more cool things to do around Sulawesi.
Diving without insurance is always a risk. If you have a diving accident in a remote location, getting evacuated and adequate medical treatment can be expensive. Consider World Nomads Insurance which covers diving. Get a quote in a minute or 2 here. World Nomadic Diving Insurance
Things to pack
I bring my own mask, camera and dive computer when I travel. I have been diving for a few years with my The Mares Smart computer, good computer for a good price.
Me and Alya dive with Mares Star liquid skin masks, great quality, comfortable mask.
Canon G7x camera in combination with a ikelite housing excellent for quality underwater photography. Unreal quality images you get with the new Go Pro Hero 8 camera, you will also need a dive housing dive more than 10 m with your Go Pro.
Little things to have in your diving bag. The currents can be strong in Bira, it is important to have an SMB.
SMB + REEL | RASH VEST | RASH VEST | ORCA Torch | BUFF | KEY CHAIN O-RING KIT | ANTI FOG | SILICONE SACHETS | SURF HAT | CLEANING KIT FOR MICROFIBER LENSES | POLARIZED FISHING SUNGLASSES | WATERPROOF DIVING LOBOBOOK
Updated July 2020
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