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Pulau Redang Diving Site

 

Pulau Redang
 

Located about 50 kilometres from Kuala Terengganu and Kuala Besut are the Pulau Redang archipelago of 9 islands, namely Pulau Redang, Pulau Pinang, Pulau Ling, Pulau Ekor Tebu, Pulau Kerangga Besar, Pulau Kerangga Kecil, Pulau Paku Kecil, Pulau Paku Besar and Pulau Lima. Waters up to 7 nautical miles surrounding this group of island were gazetted as a marine park in 1985. The Marine Park Centre based on Pulau Pinang managements the many uses and recreational activities surrounding these islands with the sole purpose of conserving the marine resources.

Big Mount
This oval seamount is completely submerged and is located about 50 metres towards the northern tip of Pulau Lima, The shallowest portion of this reef is at about 20 metres and the boulder terrain drops to 30 metres. Rated highly by local divers, this interesting dive site offers the diver an opportunity to observe macro lifeforms to possible encounters with the huge whale shark. Amidst the soft corals and tunicates, colonies of sea anemone with clownfish, sea cucumbers, starfishes, moray eels, wrasses, squirrelfish, stonefish, groupers and parrotfish, can be encountered. Usually swept by currents, experienced divers can see a variety of pelagics such as tuna, barracudas, fusiliers and black tip sharks. At about 30 metres there is a garden of whip corals swaying in the current with colourful feather stars clinging on. Towards the sandy bottom where the boulder terrain ends you can expect to find large stingrays camouflaged within the sand.


Pulau Lima
This interesting site is situated towards the east of Pulau Redang. The western shore is the only coral sand beach providing an excellent area for snorkellers. Comprising of a cluster of 5 islets, diving is best from the southern, the eastern and the northern site.

Generally, the terrain is a steep slope of boulders dropping to about 30 metres. Hard corals, such as table coral, staghorn coral, fire coral and porites dominate the shallower depths. At depths of about 18 metres soft coral colonies, leathery soft corals and mushroom corals abound. You will see a multitude of different reef fish, damselfish, iridescent wrasses, parrotfish, green chromis, as well as black tip reef sharks cruising around. Leaving the boulders and heading towards the sandy seafloor, watch for moray eels lurking in coral blocks, stingrays, lionfish and pufferfish.


Mini Mount
This popular submerged reef is situated about 100 metres east of Pulau Kerengga Besar and is marked by a mooring buoy by the Fisheries Department. Granite boulders are scattered around the sandy bottom with the deepest portion at about 20 metres. The faces of the boulders are carpeted with a variety of soft corals (Dendronephthya species), tubastrea corals, sea squirts, sponges and stinging hydriods.

Expect to find numerous cowries, spider shells, and large aggregation of colourful christmas tree worms carpeting coral blocks. Damselfish, butterflyfish, chromis, wrasses, rabbitfish, parrotfish and lionfish inhabit the coral garden. The boulder terrain presents itself for exploration; canyons and crevices harbor groupers, moray eels and lobsters.
Mini Mount is a popular choice for night diving. Divers are rewarded with an abundance of night creatures foraging for food around the reef. Plan to dive around 15 metres depth, inspect under the folds of leathery soft corals for cowries with its mantle fully extended, banded shrimps, crabs, sea cucumbers, colourful sea urchins, squids, spiny lobsters and the occasional octopus.

Terumbu Kiri
The southern tip of Pulau Pinang possesses an interesting series of boulders breaking the surface. Outcrops
of tabulated and massive corals are found at shallower depths. The rocky seascape is encrusted with both soft and hard corals at about 15 metres, and slopes down to 20 metres at the sandy bottom. Coral-growth towards the western portion is monospecific, usually of the hard coral genera. The southernmost portion is more interesting with soft corals, whip corals, gorgonians and sponges growing along the step-like slope.

Fishlife includes cardinal fish, damselfish, chromis, snappers, parrotfish, wrasses and soldierfish. While in the openwater you are likely to encounter jacks, fusiliers, yellowtails, batfish and black tip sharks.

Marine Park Centre
An excellent snorkel and dive site, the Marine Park Centre incorporates a visitor centre at Pulau Pinang to provide tourists with necessary information.

The friendly wrasses, sergeant majors and breams swarm about snorkellers as these animals are looking for food handouts. Scuba diving around the park vicinity can be interesting, towards the left (from the park centre looking towards the direction of the sea) is a hard coral garden with porite mounds carpeted by christmas tree worms observed at depths around 10 to 15 metres. Right below the jetty area is an artificial reef at about 3 to 5 metres with abundant marinelife like, moray eels, hatchetfish, soldierfish, groupers, rabbitfish and squids. Towards the right of the jetty is a shipwreck, with several steel structures visible from the topside. The stern of the wreck lies in 15 metres of water, sitting upright. Cup corals, tunicates and sponges carpet the exterior hull of the ship. Located close to the channel between Pulau Redang and Pulau Pinang, currents sweep through the wreck, attracting groupers, jacks, black tip sharks and batfish.

Getting There
During the high season from March to October, boats depart either from Kuala Terengganu or Merang. However, the frequency is not regular and prior arrangements would ensure an enjoyable trip.

The shortest kick-off point to Pulau Lang Tengah and Pulau Redang is from Merang located about 38 kilometres north of Kuala Terengganu. Travel time to these islands via speedboat is about 45 minutes. Kuala Terengganu is accessible from most major towns or cities either by road or by air.

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