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The hugely popular Indonesian island of Java is a land of misty mountainsides and towering temples. Scuba diving here is a joy, where crystal clear waters await.

Diving in Java

Quick facts

The volcanic nature of the islands led to some incredible underwater formations, discoverable only by donning scuba diving gear and taking a dip in the crystalline waters. There are dozens of dive sites to explore, each with its own compilation of excellent diversity.

To the west is the mighty Krakatoa, a notoriously active volcano. The lava rocks are otherworldly, seemingly transporting you to a fantastical new dimension.

Just south is Ujung Kulon, a national park that boasts virgin beaches and pristine reefs. On these islands are the last white Javan rhinos. Underwater caverns can be discovered on the northwest point of the island.

Many scattered islands are ripe for scuba diving off the northern shore of Java, archipelagos of tiny isles. Karimunjawa is an especially nice archipelago, with lovely, protected corals and several shipwrecks.

When to go

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Papa Theo Wreck – This steel cargo ship remains relatively intact on the sandy sea floor. The Papa Theo lays in 32 metres / 104 feet of water at its deepest point and around 15 metres / 50 feet at its shallowest. The sides and deck of the wreck are encrusted in corals including lace corals and long sea whips. Common sightings here include groupers, boxfish, moray eels, stingrays and occasional passing turtles and reef sharks. Poso Wreck – Located close to Pulau Karang Congkak the Poso wreck site is a sloping patchy coral reef down to a flat sand bottom. The wreck attracts a variety of marine life including small schools of fusiliers, barracuda, groupers and batfish which hover in the shaded sections. Critter life here is good and a variety of shrimps, nudibranch and blennies have made the wreck their home. Passing turtles and stingrays burying in the sand are a highlight. Kotok House Reef – This is an easy sloping site with an artificial reef and reasonable fish life. The rubble patches here are good for hunting for critters including nudibranch and moray eels. Visibility can be limited but on clear days when the sun is shining this is a very pleasant dive. Usual sightings here include butterflyfish, anemonefish, damsels, gobies and occasional blue spotted stingrays. Tabularasa Wreck – Located just off Pramuka Island the KM Tabularasa is a popular wreck dive. Whilst visibility can be limited to 10 meters it’s usually possible to make out the fusiliers schooling above the deck. Since sinking in 1997 the Tabularusa has remained much in tact and a mix of hard and soft corals have begun to develop attracting a wide range of reef fishes. Pulau Bulat – This white sand beach island is home to a stretch of sloped, fringing reef. In the shallows the coral coverage is patchy but as you descend you’ll find that whilst still not dense, there is a good mix of healthy hard and soft species. The reef attracts passing turtles, moray eels, fusiliers, snapper, butterflyfish, anemonefish and a range of other small to medium sized indo-pacific species.

What to see

The biodiversity is sublime on Java, as it is all throughout Indonesia. Barracuda teem around darkened corners, and turtles and rays are easily approached in the shallows. Marine parks make ideal homes for endangered and rare species, making your chance of spotting some much better. Rare crocodile fish and leafy scorpionfish can be found on small islands off northern Java.


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Java is the most populous island on Earth, boasting a mind boggling population of 150 million. More than half of the inhabitants of Indonesia live here, which is astounding in a nation that is made up of over 17,000 islands and stretched over 740,000 miles (1,919,000 km). Java is no little island, though. With an area of 49,536 square miles (128,297 square kilometers), Java gives its millions of inhabitants a little room to breathe. Many of Indonesia’s huge cultural events throughout history have taken place on Java. Influential Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic empires reigned here over time, and even the Dutch colonists dipped their fingers in the pot. In the 1930’s and 40’s, independence was fought for and won on the island, maintaining Java as the centerpiece of Indonesia. Indonesia’s capital city and one of the most populous in the world. Jakarta is now considered an upcoming metropolitan city in Asia with 5 star hotels, glamorous shopping malls and no shortage of places to eat. Jakarta is constantly evolving but you’ll still find shanty settlements, roadside warungs and street vendors across the city. When in Jakarta always expect the unexpected and when the traffic gets too much, a diving trip to the nearby Thousand Islands is the perfect weekend getaway.

Other attractions

Massive Jakarta could easy soak up a week of your time. This is one of the epicenters of Southeast Asia, with excellent cuisine and crazy nightlife. A little ways out, go to Yogyakarta to see the tremendous temples and to enjoy the mountain air.

Getting there

Once you fly in, public transportation is your best friend. Get around towns by taxi or bicycle. Getting from town to town is best accomplished by bus or train.


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230 V

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Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.

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