Diving In Miri
Diving in Miri is blessed with a diverse coral life. Most of its dive sites are adorned with different kinds of corals and some even 2 metres big.
Marine Life Highlights in Miri
Yellow Tail Fussiliers
Dive Sites In Miri
Atago Maru Wreck
A 105-metre Japanese merchant ship, the Atago Maru Wreck was sunk while at anchor just off the coast of Lutong in 1944 during World War II. Presently, it sits upright with the top deck at 9 metres from the surface covered with encrusting corals and sponges and its hull with cave corals. Visibility is typically low caused by silt and ranges from 5 to 10 metres with low currents.
In the hull, a Giant Grouper has been an inhabitant, while large Barracudas and Trevallies hunt smaller fish over the wreck. The Atago Maru Wreck is accessible by boat and suitable for all divers as it is a shallow dive with its average depth at 9 metres.
Eve’s Garden is a spectacular dive site that has a variety of colourful and healthy corals that appear everywhere along with vibrant marine life living within it. The reefs are large which measures about 6 to 18 metres and 15 other shallow reef formations can be found in this site with soft corals as the most abundant such as Elephant’s Ear, Leather Corals, and Dead Man’s Fingers.
Adding up to its beauty are Giant Anemones, Nudibranchs, Sea Slugs, Clown Fishes, large Angelfishes, and school of Yellowtail Fusiliers. Visibility is good ranging from 10 to 30 metres with low currents and depth of 10 to 18 metres. Reachable by a 20-minute boat ride, Eve’s Garden recommended for all divers.
Having great visibility among all Miri’s dive sites, Santak Point is shaped like a dog’s bone and features a wonderful sight with huge Gorgonian fans as wide as 2 metres being the main attraction. One dive is not enough to explore this site as a number of the reefs measure up to 800 metres long and 100 metres wide.
With big reefs surely comes more fish as Fusiliers, Butterfly Fish, schooling Batfish and Snappers, Angelfish and Tangs are the residents of this dive site. Average visibility is 30 metres with some currents and depth is from 21 to 35 metres. Santak Point can be accessed by boat and is only suitable for Advanced to Experienced divers.
Sri Gadong Wreck
Located south of Miri, Sri Gadong Wreck is a 30-metre steel cargo vessel along with two barges and a bow of an unknown ship which seemingly looks like an oil tanker that sunk during World War II. The main wreck sits upright at 18 metres on a sandy bottom and is the farthest among the dive sites in Miri.
Corals adorn the whole wreck and swarms of Yellow Grunts, Barracudas, Batfish, and Jacks swirl around while the large cargo holds have giant Groupers as regular visitors. Visibility varies from 20 to 40 metres with low currents depending on weather conditions and average depth of 20 metres. Suitable for Advanced divers Sri Gadong Wreck is accessible by a 60-minute boat ride.
Lying just a short distance from Sri Gadong Wreck, Grouper Patch, as the name speaks of, is a reef patch that is home to a several large Groupers. The top of this rock formation can be seen above the water’s surface with hard and soft corals decorating the whole reef.
Aside from Groupers, there are also schooling Snappers and Fusiliers, Spiny Lobsters and Yellow-Tails as common species roaming the area. Maximum depth is 18 metres with visibility of 10 to 30 metres and low currents. Access to Grouper Patch is by a 60-minute boat ride and is open to all divers.
Tukau Drop-off is a vertical wall bedecked with chromatic long strips of corals and sponges that drops from 20 to 40 metres. This site experiences strong currents where the corals get the nutrients it needs for a healthy reef which results to a diverse marine life. Nudibranchs and crustaceans can be spotted on the wall with numerous reef fishes of all colors such as Yellow-tail Fusiliers, big Groupers, Napoleons, Trumpetfish, and schooling Mackerels.
Other sightings that are often seen are Rays, Turtles, Reef Sharks, and Barracudas. Tukau Drop-off can be reached by a 40-minute boat ride with typical visibility of 10 to 30 metres and open to Advanced divers.
A decommissioned oil rig, Kenyalang or Tyre Reef is the first artificial reef in Malaysia built by the Malaysian Fisheries Department. The oil platform was formerly called Baram 8 and is now teeming with marine life as colonies of corals have spread on the rig’s legs along with Oysters. Soft corals also abound other areas making a scene perfect for photography with Cardinal fishes, large Lionfish, Batfish, Blue-Ringed Angelfish and small reef fishes swimming back and forth.
And if that’s not enough, Sweetlips, Damsel Fish, Fusiliers, Coral Trout, Porcupine fish, Juvenile Jacks and Bannerfish also join the scene with rare occurrences of Bamboo Sharks. Visibility in Kenyalang Reef is 10 to 30 metres with depths of 14 to 20 metres, accessible by boat and open to all divers.
Diving In Miri
Miri is situated in northeastern Sarawak, Malaysia on the island of Borneo and near the border of Brunei. It is a coastal city named after its earliest settlers, “Jatti Meirek” or “Mirek/Miriek” where European explorers mispronounced it as “Miri” and the name has stuck and used until today. Miri diving only started in the 1990’s with the discovery of its reefs that makes them still mostly untouched likened to the reefs in Papua New Guinea and Maldives. It is featured in a book Underwater Jungles: Sarawak by renowned Singaporean photographer and publisher Michael Aw.
Having a tropical rainforest climate, Miri has a dry season during the months of April to September and a wet season from October to March. Temperature falls between 23 to 32 degrees Celsius all year round but lowers during the months of November to January. Best time to dive Miri is from April to September having a clear visibility up to 30 metres and has little to no currents. Most dive sites are shallow with depths ranging from 7 to 30 metres.
Gaining recognition because of its reefs, Miri is blessed with a diverse coral life. Most of its dive sites are adorned with different kinds of corals and some even 2 metres big. Its is a palette full of colors and a healthy ecosystem covered by hard and soft corals. Sea whips, Crinoids, Sponges, Anemones and Gorgonian fans embellish the scene making it perfect for underwater photography and a home for a myriad of marine species.
Due to its lively reefs, most of the inhabitants of Miri’s waters are reef fishes. Parrotfish, Fusiliers, Butterflyfish, Angelfish, Wrasses, Groupers and Stingrays are the common sightings while Cuttlefish, Lionfish and Whale Sharks also often steal the scene. And to make the scenery more picturesque, more than 50 species of Nudibranchs have been spotted in these waters. Access to Miri is by a flight from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur and other Malaysian hubs to Miri International Airport.
|Best Diving Season:||April to September|
|Weather:||April to September (Dry Season) October to March (Wet Season)|
|Water Temperature:||23°C – 32°C|
|Marine Animal Highlights:||Yellow Fins Fussiliers, Clownfish, Napoleon Wrasse, Marble Ray, Leopard Shark|
|Recommended Thermal Protection:||–|
|Water Visibility:|| 30m
|Transportation:||-Flight from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur|