ScubaEarth New Featured Destinations: East Timor, Germany and Oman

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If you’re looking for ideas for your next dive trip then our list of ScubaEarth’s Featured Destinations for April is a great place to get inspired. Click on the title of any destination to get top tips on dive sites, marine life and diver reviews.

Germany

This cold water destination offers plentiful opportunities for dry suit and ice diving. Spring is fish spawning season followed by warmer months between May-September. The underwater landscape includes hundreds of sites, from shallow to deep and bustling dive hubs to secret spots; expect to find Pike, Carp, Trout, Perch, Catfish and even Seahorses.  Check out the picturesque sunken forests of Bavarian mountain lakes, the World War II bunker at Dorniermole Friedrichsafen, the Baltic Sea and the submerged structures of the former open cast mine at Kreidesee Hemmoor. At Lake Constance ‘Devil’s Table’ and the Jura wreck offer a treat for experienced divers. Above water, Germany is well known for food, drink and local festivals to liven up post-dive entertainment.

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East Timor

A fairly new diving destination, East Timor sits between Australia and Indonesia. Offering year-round diving (dry season June-October) it biodiverse corals and plenty of must-see residents including dolphins, turtles, nudibranch, pipefish, seahorses, whales and dugongs. Visit Atauro Island for renowned visibility and spectacular sites including Franks Crack and an impressive wall that’s full of life. Secret Spot/Sacred Garden offers the chance to dive from the shore and see sharks, lobsters and large clams. East Timor has a friendly culture – check out the local markets and stunning views from the mountains, plus, if you’re visiting during April, look out for the “Carnival de Timor”.

Oman

With more than 2,000 kilometres/1200 miles of coastline, Oman enjoys good conditions all year-round. With dramatic drop-offs, pristine reefs are home to an abundance of colourful corals, turtles, moray eels, barracuda, octopus, squid, cuttlefish, crocodile fish and lionfish. Between June and October, lucky divers may even spot a whale shark or dolphins passing by. Clive Rock is the only place to see carpet soft coral, whilst Junn Island’s currents make it a popular choice for drift dives. The Aquarium is one of the most rewarding dive sites to visit but with strong currents, PADI Underwater Navigators will enjoy the challenge. On night dives, try switching off your dive light to see a mesmerising display of phosphorescence. Take time out to enjoy treks and off-road dessert excursions too!

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New Zealand

With 30 marine reserves and year-round diving, New Zealand is breath-takingly diverse, from Port Pegasus’s seals, sea lions and seahorses, or Goat Island’s topography, from rocky shores to underwater cliffs and sandy flats. Between June and November, migrating humpback whales pass by, whilst January to March sees hatchling Turtles emerge on sandy beaches. Keep a look out for the wobbegong shark, giant crayfish, sperm whale and dusky dolphin, as well as species only seen in New Zealand or Australia, including Moki, Tarahiki, Yellow Moray, Blue Mao Mao and Lord Howe Coral Fish. The popular wrecks of warship HMNZS Canterbury and Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior are a true penetration opportunity for PADI Wreck Divers. Back on the surface make sure you check out the locally-led Maori adventures and Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

Thailand

Thailand is a top destination for macro life as well as plenty of reef critters including banded sea snakes, parrotfish, sweetlips and frogfish, but Manta Rays and Whale Sharks are known to stop by too. The best times to visit are May to September (Gulf of Thailand) and October to April (Andaman Sea). The islands of Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui offer spectacular pinnacles, whilst in Phuket you can dive with elephants (the underwater statues of Siam Bay that is!). Those seeking adventure should dive the HTMS Chang – the biggest wreck in Thailand (100m), as well as the stunning caves, caverns and swim throughs in Ko Ha and Elephant’s Head Rock. Make sure you save time to experience Thailand’s friendly culture too – including the famous nightlife and beautiful temples.

Feeling inspired? Visit padi.com to start planning your trip or contact your local PADI Dive Shop.