Diving In Tenggol
Diving in Tenggol is well-recognized as one of the world’s top dive destinations,
with its coastal waters having a wealth of superb
dive sites hidden within.
Marine Life Highlights in Tenggol
Diving In Tenggol
Tenggol Island or Pulau Tenggol is an isolated and serene island along the east coast of Malaysia. Known for its various diving possibilities, it has over 20 diving spots which made it as the best diving site in Peninsular Malaysia. It takes about an hour and a half drive from Terengganu Malaysia to the mainland of Kuala Dungun and from there, a one hour ferry ride from Dungun Jetty to get to the island of Tenggol. The island is occupied by lush forests with rocky terrain that stretches up to 50 hectares. Pulau Tenggol is located in the southern part of the Terengganu Marine Park along with the group of islands which include Tokong Laut, Tokong Timur, Tokong Burung, Tokong Talang and Pulau Nyireh.
Tropical climate is dominant in Tenggol Island making it just the right temperature for rich eco diversity in plant and animal species. During the day, the average temperature is at 32 degrees Celsius to a cold 25 degree Celsius in the evenings. Diving in Tenggol is more suitable during the annual dry season which is from the month of March to October as harsh weather conditions can be experienced between the months of October to February. It is during the dry season that visibility is at its finest up to 20 metres. Since there is a colourful plethora of dive spots in the island, there is always one that fits every diver, from beginners to advanced and professional divers.
There are dive sites in Tenggol that offer enchanting wrecks and marvelous underwater formations. Wreck diving is available for advanced divers as well as deep diving and drift diving. Macro-life can also be explored and sightings of various hard and soft corals are common to these dive spots. The rock formations and elaborate coral reef of Tenggol houses some of the world’s most diverse species of plant and animal.
Home to different kinds of creatures, Tenggol diving sites shelters Nudibranchs, Sea Turtles, Giant Double-headed Parrotfish, Yellow Fusiliers, and Trevallies. Each dive site is endowed with coral gardens and vibrant marine life. Encounters with large pelagics, Whale Sharks and Manta Rays can be experienced at certain times but common are the Eagle Rays, Black-tipped Reef Sharks and Large Barracudas.
Best Diving Season: March to October
Weather: harsh weather October to February
Water Temperature: 30°C – 25°C
Marine Animal Highlights: Nudibranchs, Sea Turtles, Giant Double-headed Parrotfish, Yellow Fusiliers, and Trevallies
Recommended Thermal Protection: 2.5-5mm
Just as the name says, Coral Garden is known for having an impressive coral canvas encompassing almost the whole surface of the ocean floor. Located West of Tenggol Island, diving condition is moderately calm with a visibility of 10 to 20 metres that is suitable for all levels of diving proficiency. Average depth is from 20 metres and maximum of 35 metres but majority of the site’s features are 10 to 15 metres.
The most common species here are Christmas Tree Worms, Sea Slugs, Sponges, Brain Corals, Elkhorn Corals and Groupers. With pristine hard and soft corals plus a variety of colorful sponges in several shapes, this remarkable site is home to Butterflyfish and Parrotfish, all kinds of Wrasse and Anthias. It is considered to be a favorite spot for coral lovers.
Rajawali Reef is a lively site where the underwater environment is so invigorating. Also called Northeastern Bay, it has an average depth of 15 metres and can reach up to a maximum depth of 32 metres. Currents can be strong yet an uncomplicated dive with a visibility of 10 to 20 metres. It is recommended for Advanced Open Water divers and up.
Best known for Manta Rays and Whale Sharks lurking around the area, Rajawali Reef is also bestowed with plenty of soft corals and a variety of Nudibranchs. Breathtaking rock wall and boulders can also be identified with magnificent seascapes, swim-throughs and passages. Common species here are Yellowtails, Moray Eels, Christmas Tree Worms, Sea Cucumbers and different kinds of Angelfish.
Is labeled as the best dive site in Tenggol Island for having a diverse marine life. The strong currents deliver a ton of nutrients to the corals causing it to grow healthy and as a result, attracting different types of marine species. Averaging a depth of 24 metres and a maximum of 35 metres, Tanjung Pasir is a great drift dive but not recommended for beginners. It has mostly strong currents and a visibility of 10 to 30 metres.
Tanjung Pasir is filled with submerged rocks and some pristine coral formations. Blessed with a natural beauty of underwater landscape, divers will be able to spot Barracudas, Jacks and Tunas lingering the area. Suitable for advanced divers looking for something more than the ordinary.
West of Tenggol Island is Teluk Air Tawar or Freshwater Bay, which consist of a large spread of sloping reef on the rocky wall about 180 metres from the shore. Currents are commonly heavy with a maximum depth of 20 metres and has a visibility of 10 to 20 metres that makes it suitable for advanced divers. It is made up of sandy seabed, Acropora with hard and encrusting corals.
A wonderful picture of garden corals awaits at the bottom having marine species like Batfish and Black Tip Reef Shark. At shallower depths, Lionfish, Fusiliers, Cod and Yellow Snappers flourish. Divers should also be careful as Crown-of-thrones Starfish can be seen on this spot. Teluk Air Tawar is frequently recommended for night dives as the underwater comes to life with the presence of Hump head Parrotfish, giant Stingray, Wrasses, Moray eels, bubble shrimps and schooling Jacks.
Just a few metres away from Teluk Air Tawar is Five Sisters. This dive site consists of 5 wrecks joined together, hence the name. The first wreck is reachable around 24 metres and is small compared to the other four. It is almost completely broken with a carpet of moss and continues down to the other four wrecks that is up to 35 metres deep. One can dive each wreck depending on what the license allows but is only for advanced divers and a dive computer is required for this site.
Though the area lacks corals as it is a wreck, Five Sisters is home to Nudibranchs, Scorpionfish, Stonefish, and Crocodile fish. Currents around the area is a bit strong but it can serve as a training ground for deep dive, wreck dive, and drift dive.
Located a few minutes from Teluk Air Tawar and Five Sisters, is Turtle point. This dive site averages from 15 meters to a maximum depth of 20 meters and visibility is at 10 to 30 meters, that makes it a standard quality dive site. The surface is always calm with hardly any current and is perfect for all levels of diving proficiency. Though the area is easily accessible as it is a common attraction, boat traffic may be experienced here.
Made up of sandy bottom, Turtle point offers a diverse selection of marine life. Dotted with Staghorns and Sponge corals, there are also loads of sea cucumbers too. Also look out for Big Hump head Parrotfish, turtles and Nudibranchs, which is a regular at any dive site. This is a good spot for beginners and divers who want to enhance their diving skills after having a long break from diving.
Tokong Timur is also known as the White Rock because of its rocky terrain and large boulders. Situated at the south of the island, it is a small rock at 300 meters with an average depth of 16 meters and a maximum depth of 21 meters. The current is low in this area and the presents a good visibility of 10 to 30 meters. Underwater, divers are exposed to a vast colorful coral reef which houses hundreds and thousands of interesting marine species.
Common species that can be spotted are Barrel Sponges, Feather Stars and some Damsel Fish. Beginners are only allowed up to 18 metres but experienced divers can go deeper and are rewarded with a school of Barracudas cruising about 35 metres. It is also the best spot to see Dolphins and Whale Sharks which are seasonal, Manta Rays and other large pelagic. At the end of the dive, there are more coral carpeting at the north side of the rock where you can also find Nudibranchs on the safety stop.