6 Best Night Dives for a Spooky Halloween

Halloween is coming up, so why not trick or treat yourself to a spooky night dive?

Glow in the dark bioluminescence, sharks looking for prey, nudibranchs dancing in the moonlight… all this and so much more can be spotted on night dives. So if you are brave enough, grab your flashlight, and let’s dive into the darkness!

Here are our top 6 night dives for a spooky Halloween.

1.Kona - Hawaii

Kona has arguably the best night dive in the world. The main attraction? …Dancing manta rays!

Renowned for its excellent visibility, Kona is home to the famous manta ray night dive that divers flock from all corners of the world to come and experience. It was discovered that flashlight beams attract plankton: a manta ray’s favorite meal! So when divers gather together and shine their lights, they are able to witness manta rays circling and feasting around them. It is truly spectacular to see.

Kona offers great diving in the daytime too, with year-round visits from sharks, as well as swim-throughs, arches, and caves to explore. You can visit Kona year-round to experience the manta ray night dive.

Want to learn about manta rays before you go? Check out the SSI Manta and Ray Ecology specialty.

2. Sail Rock - Thailand

Sail Rock is a pinnacle that reaches up out of the water, about an hour out to sea from the islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao in the gulf of Thailand. This pinnacle delivers some excellent night diving.

A night dive at Sail Rock brings a whole different experience to the daytime. Creatures are on the hunt and much more active at night. You will see things like barracuda, trevally, batfish, and if you are lucky, perhaps even a whale shark. Sailing out to Sail Rock at sunset offers stunning seascapes and relaxing vibes. After surfacing you will enjoy some star gazing on your journey back to shore.

Sail Rock has world class scuba diving year-round, both at night time and daytime. Head there for colorful corals, and marine life big and small.

3. Great Barrier Reef - Australia

We are sure you have heard of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Home to the world’s largest reef system and some fascinating night diving.

The reef runs 1400 miles down the coast, so there are many dive sites to choose from on the Great Barrier Reef. Many liveaboards give divers the opportunity to experience a few of them at night time. You are likely to spot various types of sharks, as well as manta rays, turtles, clown fish, and potato groupers. Do not forget to look up after the dive to witness the star-filled, twinkling sky above you.

You can dive the Great Barrier Reef all year-round, but the best time is said to be between June and October for the most comfortable water temperatures.

4. Lighthouse Reef - Egypt

Lighthouse Reef is a dive site in the small Bedouin town of Dahab in Egypt’s south Sinai region. It offers great diving all times of day and night, that is suitable for beginners and more advanced scuba divers, as well as freedivers (yes, freedivers can nightdive, too!)

The reef is on the edge of a sheltered bay, making conditions for diving perfect almost all year. Night diving Lighthouse Reef brings with it giant moray eels, sleeping turtles, sting rays, shrimp, and an array of nudibranchs including the beautiful spanish dancer. At the end of the dive, you can turn off your flashlight and wave your hands around to watch the bioluminesce sparkle around you. 

This dive site is divable year-round but the winter months of December - April can be chilly!

5. Kilsby Sinkhole - Australia

You can find Kilsby Sinkhole just a short drive from Mount Gambier in south Australia and it definitely delivers a very unique night diving experience. The sinkhole goes down to around 60m deep (although diving is only permitted to 40m), and is a cave-like, overhead environment. 

Said to be one of the best freshwater dive sites in the world, stunning light rays shine down through the depths of Kilsby Sinkhole in the daytime. It has limestone walls, swim-throughs, and is most famous for its crystal clear visibility. This dive site attracts scuba divers and freedivers year-round, but is not for the faint-hearted.

This dive site is only recommended for more advanced divers, with experience of overhead environments. We would suggest diving there in the daytime first, before going to explore in the dark.

6. Bonaire Marine Park - Bonaire

Bonaire is world famous for its night diving. Why? Because in the Bonaire Marine Park, divers can use UV lights and mask filters which causes the coral reef to glow in the dark!

The UV light creates a glowing, fluorescent, party-like ambiance which allows you to see corals and marine creatures in a whole new way. Nudibranchs, shrimp, and eels appear in bright purples, pinks, and greens to make you feel like you are in an underwater nightclub. Bonaire was a pioneer for this cutting edge technology and divers flock from all over the world for this unique experience.

Night diving in Bonaire is fantastic all year round.

Top Tips For Night Diving

Night diving can be tricky for even the most confident of scuba divers. There are a lot more factors to consider than with a daytime dive. Here are our top tips for keeping safe and comfortable on a night dive, while having as much fun as possible.

  • Prepare your equipment early on
  • Double check all equipment before jumping into the water
  • Discuss a detailed plan of action for in case you lose your buddy or dive group
  • Familiarize yourself with the dive site before the dive
  • Know your exit point / where the boat will be
  • Carry a spare flashlight in case your primary one breaks or you lose it
  • Carry a whistle for if you get separated from your buddy or dive group on the surface and cannot see the boat or dive site exit
  • Stay closer to your dive buddy than you usually would
  • Do not wander off from the group during the dive
  • Perfect your buoyancy before signing up for a night dive. Darkness can make buoyancy control trickier, and it is important not to kick up sand or damage habitats
  • Do not shine your flashlight directly into the eyes of marine life or your dive buddies