10 Places you didn’t know you could dive!


As divers, we love the thrill of finding unique underwater adventures. From seeing an underwater strip club, to exploring an underwater active volcano, we share 10 places you didn’t know you could dive!


1. Dive in a billabong in the Australian rainforest


In Finch Hatton, Mackay, Queensland, Australia you can try freshwater diving in a billabong (aka pond) in the middle of the Australian rainforest. Here you can see: eels, turtles, freshwater shrimp and prawns, and maybe even the elusive platypus! For those of you unfamiliar, a platypus is an Australian animal that looks like a mix between an otter (the body and fur), a beaver (due to the tail), and a duck (due to the bill/beak and it has webbed feet). While it sounds pretty strange it is magical to see a platypus in its natural state, and even if you don’t see one, how many people can say they have been diving in the rainforest?

Suitable for: All levels.

Best time to visit: Year round. While it is rare to see a platypus the best time to see one is at dusk.

Depth: 2m.


2. Dive an active underwater volcano 

The Golden Scope

If you like living on the edge, visit the Sangihe Islands in Indonesia, where you may be lucky enough to dive, which is an underwater active volcano! It hasn’t erupted since 1968, but you can definitely tell it is still active. The water is a steamy 37 degrees Celsius and during the dive, you can hear the volcano rumble and even see it bubble! This dive needs to be done under the instruction of a dive center, so they can ensure it is the right time to dive the volcano and make you wear the right suit protection. 


Suitable for: Depends on the dive center, but generally open water divers and above can dive this site. Note it can only be accessed via a liveaboard.

Best time to visit: March to November, and it is best to dive in the morning to avoid the strong currents.

Depth: 20m.


3. Dive a Japanese underwater pyramid

Sport Diver

A lot of mystery surrounds the Yonaguni Monument in Japan and it is often referred to as an underwater Machu Picchu or Atlantis of the East. Located 100km off the east coast of Taiwan and stretching 75m long and 20m deep, the Yonaguni Monument is a pyramid structure made of sandstone and mud, sitting underneath the water. Was it built by an ancient civilization, or is it a natural formation? No one is really sure, but regardless the site is pretty amazing. It is also a great place to swim with the Hammerhead Sharks which migrate between January and March. 

Suitable for: Advanced divers with a minimum of 100 dives.

Best time to visit: During the winter months (December to March), but the currents can be strong.

Depth: 25m.


4. Dive an Iceberg

Arctic Dream

Seeing an iceberg for the first time above the water is thrilling enough, but imagine seeing one from below the water’s surface! One of the best places to do this is in Greenland at the Sermilik Fjord. Not only will you get to experience an iceberg like few others have, but you can see kelp forests, catfish, sea cucumbers, seals, and even whales (humpback, minke, orca)! Not to mention above the water, Greenland is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights! Note the water here is literally freezing, so you will need to wear a dry suit and use special regulators that won’t freeze.

Suitable for: Different diving centers have different requirements, but generally Open Water certification plus experience with cold water diving in a dry suit (20 logged dives in the last 2 years) is required.

Best time to visit: Year round. 

Depth: 15m.


5. Dive an abandoned Prison Camp

Visit Estonia

If you are looking for a spooky experience, then head to Rummu in Estonia which was a former Soviet prison camp. The prison sat next to a quarry, and when the prison was abandoned in 2012 the water pumping stopped, meaning that the prison and surrounds became submerged, making this a great place for scuba divers to visit. On this dive, you will see well-preserved buildings that still have bars on the windows and lots of loose dangerous items like barbed wire and mining equipment. Note this site is privately owned, so to dive this site you will need to seek permission from the owners, or you can dive through an organized tour.

Suitable for: All levels. You can even do a first-time dive here.

Best time to visit: Winter and midsummer are the best times to visit. Visibility is about 15m.

Depth: 13m max depth.


6. Dive an Underwater Museum 

Amusing Planet

In recent years there has been an emergence of underwater museums in places such as Mexico, Grenada, and Florida, but did you know that there is an underwater museum at Cape Tarkhankut, Crimea that was created back in 1992? It was just after the collapse of the Soviet Union and there were a lot of statues of Soviet Leaders that were going to landfill. Diver Vladmimir Borumenski put a Lenin statue on the bank of Cape Tarkhankut and found later it had been desecrated, so he decided to put the statue underwater. Other divers started to join in and populated the underwater area with statues of other former soviet leaders such as Marx and Stalin. There are now more than 50 sculptures underwater and the collection has expanded to include world-famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and London Bridge as well as statues of famous musicians and artists and has been named “Alley of Leaders”.

Suitable for: All levels.

Best time to visit: Year round. Visibility is about 10m. 

Depth: 12m.


7. Dive an underwater forest 

Visit Norway

Imagine diving into crystal clear water, and seeing an entire forest beneath you! That’s what you will experience if you dive Lygnstoylsvatnet which is a lake in Norway. Known as Norway’s Atlantis, Lygnstoylsvatnet lake was formed in 1908 when a nearby mountain (Keipen) experienced an avalanche and the rocks crashed down to form a dam over a village of farmyards. Over time the area became flooded and turned it into the lake it is today. What you will see diving Lygnstoylsvatnet is the old farmyard houses in various states of decomposition, stone fences, and bridges, as well as the old apple trees that create the feeling of an underwater forest.

Suitable for: All levels.

Best time to visit: The best visibility is in April and May, but late August you can see the beautiful mossy green colored floor (which makes it look like grass has covered the forest floor) but visibility isn’t great.

Depth: 5-13m.


8. Dive an underwater strip club 


A few meters under the red sea in Eliat, Israel, lies the Nymphas Show Bar which used to be a restaurant/bar/strip club and was abandoned in 2012. Rediscovered recently by Diver Gil Koplovitz, it is now gaining popularity amongst divers. On your dive, you can take a peek through the large windows, and see the podiums and stripper poles left intact. And while there aren’t any dancers anymore, it still makes for an interesting and unique dive!

Suitable for: All levels.

Best time to visit: Year round.

Depth: Only a couple of meters below the surface.


9. Dive a sunken pirate city

Compare Caribbean

Port Royal in Jamaica was once known as the most wicked city in the world, due to its pirates, prostitutes, and drinking. In 1962 an earthquake/tsunami hit, which caused the city to slide into the sea. It was thought that the 2000 people that died were being punished for their wickedness. You can dive the site today, but only with special permission from the government. A lot of the artifacts have been excavated and stored in museums in Jamaica, but there are still some shallow shipwrecks, colorful fish and coral as well as the city ruins that can be explored.

Suitable for: Advanced divers.

Best time to visit: December to April. Visibility can be poor at around 1-2m.

Depth: 12m.


10. Dive an underwater Egyptian palace

This is Africa

Dated at 300BC and built by Alexander the Great, Cleopatra’s Palace in Alexandria is an interesting dive site. What was once on land is now in the sea, due to an earthquake/tsunami. Although a lot of the pieces have been excavated and placed in museums around the world, you can still see sphinx statues, massive roman columns, carvings and there is even an old WWII plane inside the ruins! And for something extra special, you can even get married in Cleopatra’s Palace underwater!

Suitable for: All levels. You can even do an intro dive here.

Best time to visit: No known best time. The water is murky and visibility can be poor between 1m-5m. 

Depth: 5-12m.


And if you are looking for more unique dive spots to add to your bucket list, then check out our article on 10 unique dive experiences to cross off your bucket list!

About the Author

Amanda and her husband Dean have been certified divers since 2009. Amanda has her advanced open water and Dean is a dive master. They have travelled the world and dived many sites in Australia, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean.

Amanda and Dean have a travel blog called Scatabout which details the fun and unique experiences they have had on their world travels. You can find them doing something adventurous like scuba diving, hiking or something strange like running down the side of a building.

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