Diving and Snorkeling

Biorock Structures

A community-driven reef restoration and conservation project started in 2000 that has changed not only the reef itself, but also the attitudes, livelihoods and economy of the entire region.

Bio-Rock is a technology that uses low voltage electrical current on artificial underwater structures to encourage growth of Corals and other reef life. Experiments with the technology worldwide have shown that it can help counteract some of the difficult environmental factors affecting coral growth.

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In the past Pemuteran reefs have suffered greatly from damage by destructive fishing and the El Nino effect. Pemuteran village residents have taken action to prevent use of these destructive methods in their reefs, whether by locals or by outsiders.

Coral nurseries were built using the Electrolytic Mineral Accretion Technology, which provide unique advantages for restoring coral reefs. Corals grown on mineral accretion are exceptionally brightly coloured and rapidly growing, and support dense fish populations. The coral nursery structures are made of welded construction steel bars, of around 1 centimetre diameter. They are built in a variety of shapes. The success of these structures in stimulating rapid coral growth was apparent within months, leading to requests to greatly expand the project. All structures are charged by power supplies located on the adjacent land.

More than 60 Biorock coral nursery structures have been installed since June 2000 in Pemuteran Village. With a total length of 300 metres situated in an area of 2 hectares: this is the largest Biorock coral reef nursery and restoration project worldwide.

These structures are located in an area parallel to the shore, about 50-100 metres from the coastline, in waters ranging from about 3 to 7 metres deep. They are roughly lined up, forming a natural snorkelling and diving trail. Komang Astika of the Biorock Centre is in charge of maintaining the structures, he is the guardian of the reef, go by and have a talk with him. He will inform you on the status of different projects.


Pemuteran Reefs

1.TEMPLE GARDEN

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This location consists of a small temple complex starting a 30m and works its way back to the Temple Wall. Statues of Buddha, Ganesha, Turtles are gathered behind an ornate Balinese gateway. Behind the central statue is an interesting little bommie with Buddha heads covered in cleaning shrimps. Up the wall and in the crevices behind you can find electric clamps, sparking away. Then at 15m you come to an area with statue heads sitting in communion.

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2. PURA TEMBOK , TEMPLE WALL

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This small wall which is close to shore which some times makes for poor visibility, but is an interesting dive with a good selection of crustaceans. Coral cover and sponges proliferate along the far end where the wall sharply curves into the Bay beyond. The wall bottom ranges from 16 to 35mtrs and crosses into the deep where a fascinating maze configuration heads out across the next bay. This second deep dive offers some large Gorgonians and a spooky dive experience. A very good night dive location but can be tricky if the tides are running. Good snorkelling location.Just lately at this dive spot - a temple itself became reality. At 30 meters of depth you are diving through a temple door which is looked after the common god statues at the sides. You will first reach the smaller temple where you are eye to eye with the elephant-god. This temple wall is looked after on both sides by turtles out of stone. Right after that you can finally surround the big Buddha at the wall at the back.The whole area is grown over by beautiful gorgonians. At the right light it almost got a mystic atmosphere around it.

Marine Life: usual, Snapper, Sweet lips, blue spotted Rays, Painted Lobsters, Squat Lobsters and Fusiliers.

Unusual stuff: Frogfish, Pipefish, interesting Nude branches, Scorpion fish, Stone fish, Electric clams, octopus.

Occasional stuff: cuttlefish, rays.

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3. CANYON WRECK

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The second of the three Bali Reef Foundation/Australian Aid funded projects, with the local dive centers, Canyon Wreck a 30m long traditional motorsailer sits in an unusual valley. With its stern up against a wall which juts out at the open end of the valley.
She rests in 30+m of water. Her bow point into the valley and swimming out over her portside brings you to a steep slope which continues into one of the densest areas of hard Coral cover anywhere in Indonesia.

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4. KUBURAN KAPAL

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The last of the three BRF/Aus Aid funded projects with the local dive centers.
Marked by a floating pontoon Kuburan Kapal consists of nine wrecks ranging from a 30m traditional motorsailer to a canoe.
The largest rests at the base of a sandy slope and has become home to many small fish who like to hide within. At the top is the 'Biowreck', part of an ongoing Coral restoration project which utilizes electricity to stimulate Coral growth. Huge (largest in Bali) Coral bommie, consisting of a single colony stands next to the 'Biowreck'.

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5. KEBUN CHRIS (Chris's Garden)

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Named after Chris Brown, a local divecentre owner, eco warrior and dive pioneer in this area. This site is located in front of his dive centre and Turtle hatchery.
This shallow dive site has a depth of 10-12m and has a great mixture of hard and soft Corals, with a lot of colour.
Lots of little stuff, Pipefishes in different varieties, Seamoths, Seahorses and Mandarin fish can all be found here and with the site being so shallow you have lots of time to look.

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6. PEMUTERAN HOUSE REEF (Biorock)

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Kebun Batu or Rock Garden is in front of the Karang Lestari Coral project, just off the beach in front of the local hotels and is clearly marked with a very prominent white buoy.
The Rock itself rises from a sandy bottom no deeper than 18m as a pinnacle or Coral with a flat top at the 4m mark. The base of the rock on the shore side rises in a small Coral mound to 8m.

The surrounding sand slopes gently up to the beach. The rock itself is an interesting dive during the day offering a lot of critters and small fish. But it really comes alive during the night with small Lobster, Shrimps and Crabs.

The metal frames from the 'Bio reef project' are a nursing ground for fish, which have come to regard them as homes. Frogfishes can often be found on Sponge covering areas of the structures.

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7. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS

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A large three sided reef, two of which are very diveable the last is one big sandy slope. Situated two kilometers offshore the Reef has steep sloping sides coming up to a flat top, with ranges from 12mtrs at the far end to 3-4mtrs at the shallow. The slopes themselves start to level off to a gentle sandy bottom at 25-30mtrs. Currents on all the house reefs tend to be nominal to none existent, unless we are getting the bigger tides with short intervals between. The coral cover along the slopes is a good mix of hard and soft covering; the east side is particularly good with many little nooks 'n' crannies, healthy sponges, providing many hiding places for interesting life.

Marine Life: usual, schooling snapper, trevally, batfish, sweetlips, angelfish, and fusiliers.
Unusual stuff: frogfish, crocodilefish, pipefish, many interesting nudis, scorpionfish, Octopus and leaf scorpions.

Occasional stuff: Shark, Tuna, Bumphead Parrotfish and large Rays

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8. GEDE REEF

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You drop into the water and will encounter the reef which rises up from a depth of 40 - 50m. The shallowest point is at 13m, this reef is full of marine life and dense Coral formations.
This pristine little reef makes for a fun blue water rush, with a large area of excellent Coral covering which is surprisingly full of critters. Many interesting and unusual Nudibranchs have been seen here and a large two metres high bright yellow Gorgonian at 24m.

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9. DEEP REEF

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With the GPS as reference you drop into the open blue ocean before seeing the reef rising to meet you at the twenty metre mark. Bottoming out at the 40-50mtr mark with the shallowest point at 13mtr, this reef lives up to ist name. Plenty of dense coral formation on this pristine little reef makes for a fun blue water rush.

Marine Life: usual, snapper, trevally, batfish, sweetlips, angelfish and fusiliers.
Unusual stuff: frogfish, crocodilefish, pipefish, many interesting nudis, scorpionfish, and octopus.

Occasional stuff: shark, bumphead parrotfish and rays.

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10. NAPOLEON REEF

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Two kilometers offshore, a flat topped gently sloping reef but with a small wall on one side, depth range same as Close Encounters. Napoleon has shown a tremendous amount of recovery since El Nino, and is again home to a healthy variety of coral and marine life. The soft coral garden towards the west is particularly pretty; offering a nice range of gorgonians. The deep end Napoleon offers the usual and unusual fish from Close Encounters plus a better chance of rays and cuttlefish. Napoleon is also a night dive spot, offering a wide variety of night critters plus cat shark. Good snorkeling location.

Marine Life: usual, snapper, trevally, batfish, sweet lips, angelfish, blue spotted Rays, squid and fusiliers.

Unusual stuff: frogfish, crocodile fish, pipefish, many interesting Nude branches, scorpion fish, Octopus and leaf scorpions.

Occasional stuff: Shark, Bump head Parrotfish and Eagle Rays (more chance of seeing Cuttlefish)

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11. PULAKI REEF 

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Situated in front of the temple baring the same name, the local dive operators are still exploring this site. Until now they found a great wall, but the top of the reef is less interesting.

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Not on the map: GONDOL REEF 

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Location which is good for big fish. The northern end has a very nice wall the eastern end dropping into the blue. Local fishermen claim tiger shark can be found in this location. This reef is good until 10mtrs then becomes patchy with large sand areas interspersed with small clumps of coral.

Marine Life: usual, snapper, trevally, batfish, sweet lips, angelfish and fusiliers.
Unusual stuff: frogfish, pipefish, many interesting nude branches, scorpion fish and octopus.

Occasional stuff: Big rays, shark, (in rainy season a whale shark was spotted, April 2004 saw a pair whale out in this direction chasing the seasonal influx of small shoaling fish).

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Not on the map: TANKAD JARAN 

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A diving spot located between Pura Tembok and Close Encounters. Translated, Tankad Jaran means “Ships Graveyard”. The ships lie at depths between 14 and 17m. More ships are planned, so that in the foreseeable future a type of under water wrack course will evolve. It is planned to supply a weak current from a type of fibreglass pontoon similar to that on our artificial reef, to stimulate the coral growth. A few beautiful red fire fish have already moved in to this diving spot.

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Menjangan Island

Just off the northwest coast of Bali lies the tiny island Pulau Menjangan (Deer Island), an uninhabited island 8 km wide, surrounded by hectares of excellent coral reef. The island is situated in the protected marine reserve of the Bali Barat National Park and has a very diverse eco biology. Most visitors rate this as the best snorkeling spot in Bali, and divers place it high on their list too.

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Many snorkelers head to Labuan Lalang, the access port for Menjangan, and club together with other tourists to hire a boat. As the island comes under the jurisdiction of the national park, hiring a guide is essential, but both the guide and boat transport can be arranged at the jetty in Labuan Lalang without first checking in at the Cekik headquarters.

To reach Menjangan island it takes 30-40 min by boat.

Permits and Guides

Permits and obligatory guides are available at the PHPA office in Labuhan Lalang.

The Marine reserve includes the cape shores and several sanctuary islands, a haunt for seabirds, on the island of Menjangan and the excellent coral reefs surrounding it. The good drop-offs on Menjangan's south side are only surpassed by the particularly superb reefs on its northern shores. There are no dangerous currents to contend with in this area.

The sea biota inhabiting the waters around Menjangan Island and Tanjung Gelap comprise some 45 species of coral; 32 species of fish including Pinnate Batfish, Rabbitfish and Barracuda; and nine species of sea mollusc.