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Dive Sites

There are many dive sites around Hideaway that are suitable for all levels of divers. Although many of these sites can be dived to 40 metres or deeper the majority can be limited to 18 metres.

Here at Hideaway we adhere to certification levels i.e. Open water 18mtrs  Advanced 30mtrs and Deep 40mtrs if you wish to go past your current depth limit why not take the Advanced course or even Deep while you are here

For added safety, we request that all dives be made as non-decompression dives and that safety stops be made on every dive. Our Dive masters lead every dive to ensure you see the best of each site and to maintain safety standards

Hangover Reef

Hangover Reef

Discovered New Year’s Day 2004 (by the boys) on a revival exploration dive, as no one turned up for that morning’s dive – wonder why?

In Beautiful pristine clear water (30m+ vis) it is a spectacularly colourful reef 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. Another exciting feature is the numerous swim throughs with white sandy bottoms and sunlight streaming through the cracks in the reef above. Truly a photographer’s dream (boat must leave at 8.00am)

Max depth: 20m

Oasis

A selection of very interesting marine life scattered among an area of sand and silt, like a small Oasis in a desert. A great photography dive. Everything from shrimps to octopus, crocodile fish to lionfish and the unusual leaf fish to a large moray eel. Includes bommies right in front of the jetty.
Max depth: 24m

The Wall

The Wall

A vertical wall that drops off to around 90m. Features lots of fans at different depths and an unusual coral formation. Pelagics are occasionally spotted here. The top of the reef is home to a multitude of friendly fish, all waiting for that great photo shot. This dive profile can be as a deep dive over the wall or a relaxing 18m and less dive on the top side of the wall and reef.

Max depth (Hideaway1): 18m
Max depth (The Wall): 30m

 

 

Kathleen Reef

Kathleen Reef

The final resting place of the coastal Trader Kathleen, which sat on top of the reef until Cyclone Uma rolled her over the edge of the reef in 1987. Some traces of the wreck can still be seen today however the wreck herself lies well beyond the limits of recreational diving.

This reef starts at 12 meters. A line will lead you down to a large gorgonian fan at 40 meters and from there a slow ascent up the side of the reef will reveal a multitude of marine life including scorpion leaf fish, butterfly cod. nudibranchs, tube worms and stonefish. Sharks, schools of batfish and Moorish idols are also to be seen at times on this dive.

The dive profile can be as a deep dive for experienced divers. Less experienced divers can elect to stay above 18m. The dive has some current.

Max Depth: 40m

The Abyss

The Abyss

Drop down from the dive boat into 6 meters of coral and reef fish, then swim past the mooring and you are on the edge of the Abyss. A vertical drop down to 60m plus. Usually minimum 20m visibility. A deep dive to the Gorgonian fans at 40m or a leisurely dive at 25 m around the wall. An occasional shark or moray eel may be seen. The top of this reef is excellent with many gutters running at all angles, teeming with coral reef fish.

Max Depth: 25m

 

Anchor Reef

Anchor Reef

An old ship’s anchor embedded in the reef gives this dive site its name. The top of the reef comes to within 6m of the surface. Numerous plate and stag horn coral as well as schools of multi coloured reef fish can be seen as you descend down the mooring line.

Visit the old anchor at 14m then cruise slowly at 20m around the reef and see trigger fish and many anemones with their resident clownfish. A feature of this dive is the white tip shark nursery. Usually 2 – 4 baby white tip sharks can be seen under a large plate coral.

Max Depth: 20m

West Side Story

West Side Story

This reef comes to within 6m of the surface. On the east side of the reef, coral rubble bottoms out at about 12m, however, on the west side, long fingers stretch out covered in stag horn coral in hues of blue, yellow and green to a depth of 30m. There are numerous anemones, occasional crays, morays and sharks – a very relaxing dive.

Max Depth: 25m

 

East Side Story

East Side Story

Twin Sister to West Side Story, this dive starts of nice and shallow in about 8 meters of water and takes you on an extremely relaxing flight over a great variety of branching staghorn and plate hard corals with the occasional bright soft coral tucked away beneath the numerous ledges and ravines. Some beautiful anemones and characteristic clownfish make themselves quite at home on this reef. There is also a great selection of batfish, butterflyfish, angelfish and damsels.  A perfect dive whenever you need to “Chill”

Max Depth: 20m

 

 Malo Tuki

Malo Tuki

An interesting shallow dive with lots of sandy fingers, rocky reef and boulder coral formations to explore.

Unusual rocks and bommies are scattered all over this dive site and are home to some great anemones, shrimp, nudibranchs, clams, christmas tree worms and various other small critters. Angelfish, butterfly
fish and damsels are also found playing amongst the small selection of plate corals.

Max Depth: 20m

 

Pink panther

Pink Panther

Named for its extremely unusual fluorescent pink anemone. This anemone has been the subject of much attention during the annual Hideaway Dive Festival, and has featured in many highly acclaimed awards by outstanding overseas photographers.

The mooring is in 8m, with a drop off to 90m +. Cruise around the wall at 25m where large schools of fish abound. The pink anemone is at 12m. There is also a very large area of anemones nearby. Yellow and blue anemones are also to be found on this reef. This dive has excellent coral formations. The occasional sailfish have even been spotted here.

Max Depth: 25m

 

Gotham City

Gotham City

Named for its batfish which accompany you on your dive, a very colourful and popular reef area which rises to within 6m of the surface. A large variety of marine life abounds from sharks, barracuda, and dog tooth tuna to the occasional turtle and manta ray.

On the southern side of the reef, colourful soft coral grow. Many feather stars and coral formations decorate the top of the reef. Numerous small coral fish add to the enjoyment of this dive. The wall bottoms out at 25m, then drops slowly away to deeper depths. Good visibility at 20m + is normal for this dive. There are some currents during certain tides.
Max Depth: 25m

 

Lions Den

Lions Den

Do you dare to enter the Lions Den? This dive is situated 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 wildlife. Be prepared to encounter big bull rays, a host of different nudibranchs, butterflyfish, batfish, a beautiful array of soft corals and of course, lionfish, lionfish and more lionfish Max

Depth   20M

The Pinnacals

The Pinnacals

Located a short ride from the southern tidal reef, this dive has Nudibranchs abound, along with a nice selection of tiny lace corals, sponges and some very colorful seasquirts. Although not prolific with hard corals and more of a scattered rocky reef dive, it still offers some great macro photo opportunities. Best taken slow and every overhang and underhang explored.

Max Depth  20M

 

Ghost Train

Ghost Train

And now for something completely different! We snuggle up nice and close to shore for this one and take you on a  journey through a naturally formed volcanic tunnel.

When the light reappears get ready for some fantastically beautiful soft coral life as we explore the “Blacksands” Walls. Nudibranchs, Ghost pipefish, Goby shrimps, sponges and sea squirts make this colorful playground home.

This dive is about a 20 trip from the island and needs to be done as an 8.00am dive before wind and swell build up (Boat must leave at 8.00am sharp).

With the proximity to shore and predominately sandy bottom, visibility does tend to average around 4 – 6 meters, so best done with no swell or recent rainfall.

Max Depth 22M

Emperors Garden

Emperors Garden

A very colorful coral slope with well cultivated gardens fit for royalty.

Plate, table, staghorn, elkhorn and lace corals cascade down the slope in a plethora of color and shapes. There is a wide selection of reef fish, but numbers are a little bit lower than some of the other reefs, as locals do fish from shore. The true feature of this dive is the hot spring bubbling up from the ocean floor. Look for the brown patches in the sand and move your hands above them very slowly for a remarkable experience.

The slope bottoms out at around 22m and then drops slowly away to deeper depths. A chance to try and spot some white tip reef sharks, tuna and blue spotted trevally.

We often do this dive as a slow drift and incorporate the Teura Cave as a part of the journey. The boat heads down the reef a little way and picks you up as you surface at Rockpools Reef.

This dive is about a 20 minute trip from the island and needs to be done as an 8.00am dive, before wind and swell build up. (Boat must leave at 8.00am sharp). Strong wind or heavy swell will prevent us from doing this dive as it can compromise safety and enjoyment. Max Depth 20M


Wreck Dives

Aloara (Rising Sun)

An island trader purchased by the people of Tongariki in 1990 to work for the island. After carrying cargo from Vila to all the islands, Aloara was laid up in 1999. In November 2001, after being prepared for sinking by the Hideaway staff, Aloara was sunk as a diving wreck off Hideaway Island. She now lies on her starboard side in 26m of water. In calm conditions Aloara is an excellent penetration dive for experienced divers. Excellent pre-Coolidge diving.

This dive is usually combined with an extra 15 mins on top of the nearby reef.
Max depth: 26m

Bonzer (Clown Colony)

Clown Colony

A small tug boat which had been left abandoned at Havana Harbour for 6 years. Towed to Port Vila in 2001, cleaned and sunk 2001 at Hideaway Island near a dive site called Clown Colony, named so for its large bommie covered in anemones and their resident clownfish. Bonzer sits upright in 24m of water and is a good wreck for experienced and novice wreck divers alike, featuring easy swim-throughs. A large number of banded shrimp have made the Bonzer their home. A shallow swim back to the mooring completes this interesting dive.
Max depth: 24m

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