Padang Bai Diving

Padang Bai is an ideal spot for both new divers and experienced underwater photographers. As well as having unusual megafauna and rare macro critters among thriving reefs, Padang Bai is easily accessible for visitors to Bali.


Diving in Padang Bai

On Bali’s east coast lies the small fishing village of Padang Bai, with its alluring underwater world. Most visitors come here to take a ferry to Lombok, Gili's or Nusa Islands and leave without exploring the beautiful reefs and wonderful marine life found while scuba diving in Padang Bai. Famous for easy dive sites, Padang Bai diving is perfect for dive courses and those passionate about underwater photography and macro critters. Yet, there are also a few challenging dive sites with current and the opportunity to spot reef-sharks.
From Padang Bai, you can also easily access Gili Mimpang, Gili Biaha and Gili Tepekong from nearby Candi Dasa where there is the chance to see hammerhead sharks and perhaps even the incredible oceanic sunfish!
Padang Bai has a number of dive centres and dive resorts with excellent guides and instructors, all ready to help you discover the dive sites. Just remember not to overlook the humble Padang Bai, home to excellent macro dive sites with numerous frogfish, nudibranch and ghost pipefish.

Best time to dive

Padang Bai diving is usually possible all year round but it is best to avoid the rainy season from December through to April. Surface run-off can lead to decreased visibility in dive sites close to the shore. The best chance to see a mola mola in Padang Bai is from July until November however they are in the waters all year round but often too deep to see.

Types of diving

The easy and multi-coloured dive sites at the Blue Lagoon and Bias Tugal are popular sites for those participating in dive courses while they are also a great location for macro photography. Due to the calm conditions and array of ‘small stuff’, Padang Bai is suitable for night dives at Tanjung Sari and Blue Lagoon. A small wreck can be found at Tanjung Jepun where you can also search the artificial reef for the fascinating life it now harbours.
Located further out from Padang Bai’s coastline you can find a few dive sites with strong currents and accompanying pelagics. Also with challenging currents, close to shore, is The Channel dive site where you can find yourself gliding across a coral plateau with numerous caves providing shelter to a range of underwater life

What to see

While scuba diving in Padang Bai there is a chance to find unusual megafauna as well as rare macro critters. The sandy seabeds have seen the rare catshark and wobbegong sharks while the cool currents rushing through The Channel invite the oceanic sunfish to visit. Sea turtles and reef sharks are no strangers to Padang Bai’s waters, resting on coral ledges and sandy patches.
At muck diving sites the silty depths are a refuge for an array of frogfish, dragonets, cuttlefish, scorpionfish, stonefish, seahorse, nudibranch and the ghost pipefish. These weird and wonderful creatures entice underwater photographers all over the world to delve into Padang Bai’s waters.

Best places to dive

Great for both novice and experienced divers, the Blue Lagoon is a protected bay with something to offer for everyone. The dive begins on a plateau of sand at around 5-metres depth, from here you have the option to stay shallow and explore coral bommies or to venture down a sandy slope to a depth of 20-metres. The option to stay shallow makes the Blue Lagoon a great option for dive courses. Where the bay ends a fantastic wall begins, coloured with feather stars and a large array of crustaceans. During a night dive at the Blue Lagoon, you are likely to see crabs and shrimps as Spanish Dancers sway in the ocean.
At Tanjung Jepun, descend down onto an intact speed boat wreck. Searching the artificial reef in this dive site you may come upon frogfish, leaf scorpionfish and an array of vibrant nudibranch. Another Padang Bai dive site home to unusual macro creatures is The Jetty. Very much a muck dive, look past the rubbish that covers the sandy bottom to uncover scorpionfish, weedy rhinopias, giant frogfish, warty frogfish, flying gurnards, dragonets, stonefish, bent stick pipefish, and many others - the list really is endless! Explore the gorgonian-covered concrete pillars of the abandoned pier, which now acts as a refuge to these wonderful creatures, as trevallies hunt schools of batfish and bannerfish in the area.
Bias Tugal, is a shallow dive at only 10-metres, creating the perfect space for novice divers to complete dive courses. The calm shallows are full of hard corals and large coral bommies which are great for searching for cuttlefish, octopus, pygmy seahorse and crocodile fish. It is possible for more experienced divers to dive to around 30 to 40-metres but currents can be tricky here. Look around the coral bommies while keeping an eye out to the blue for a passing eagle ray or a turtle cruising by.
For adrenaline seekers, head to The Channel dive site situated just in front of Padang Bai beach. Only two minutes from the beach by boat, descend onto an interesting coral plateau at about 18-metres deep. Dependant on the force of the current, there are numerous small caves you can search where you’ll discover white-tip reef sharks resting during the day. Reef sharks can also be found gliding in the current and if you are very lucky, you may find yourself in the presence of a mola mola basking in the force of the ocean and the nutrient-rich waters it brings.