Freediving is all about taking a deep breath and aiming deep to explore the wonderful wildlife of the underwater world. Many professional freedivers have a favourite location to practise while others are always on the lookout for their next ocean adventure. Whether you’re a pro or eager to master the sport, here’s our pick of the 5 most visually stunning locations to explore the deep:
1. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
One of the Natural Wonders of the World and home to more than 1,200 miles of beautiful underwater environments, The Great Barrier reef takes first position on our list (of course). There’s more than anyone could ever wish to explore amongst the world’s largest structure of living organisms which is comprised of nearly 2900 reefs.
Keen beginners or experts can take to the waters as there are plenty of creatures to discover, both in the shallows and away from the shore. Freedivers can investigate the eerie wrecks or take to the challenging walls and drop-offs to find swarms of colourful creatures, including clownfish, parrotfish, hammerheads and turtles.
2. The Maldives
The bright white sand and gorgeous tropical sun might be more than enough to enjoy but go underwater and there’s much more magnificence to be discovered. The reef is home to such a variety of species that no matter how many times you take to the deep, you’re likely to come across a creature you haven’t seen. Witness schools of parrot fish, sweetlips and sponges while you keep an eye out for those nippy Barracudas on the hunt.
3. The Great Blue Hole, Belize
This sinkhole off the Belize coast in Mexico is an extraordinary sight from above but an even more magical experience underwater. The 480ft deep spot of deep blue water is home to some of the most amazing limestone formations in the world. If you’re feeling brave, you could take a dive to meander between the huge stalactites and pass ways with the odd Hammerhead Shark lurking in the dark.
For a brighter and more colourful experience, stay in the shallows to explore the Lighthouse reef that surrounds the sinkhole. The area is full of cleaning shrimp and neon gobies while angelfish and butterfly fish are also likely to make a visit.
4. Red Sea Reef, Egypt
Stretching 1,000 miles between the African and Asian shores, the Red Sea is the dwelling place for thousands of species. Amongst the vast reefs, pinnacle, coral gardens and shipwrecks, divers can experience excellent visibility and huge swarms of creatures. El Gouna, Sharm el Sheik and Marsa Alam are some of the most popular places to dive off the coast of Egypt.
5. Bunaken, Indonesia
Where better to go freediving than a spot where you have the chance to see up to 70% of all the fish species in the Western Pacific Ocean? The reefs off the coast of Bunaken are lively with various species and divers can even enter the protected area of Bunaken’s Marine Park, to witness some of the most distinctive fish in the world.
Bunaken is well-known for its dramatic drop-off walls that are rich in corals and swarming with Butterflyfish. You’ll also have a good chance of spending some time with turtles, seahorses and scorpion fish.
If you’re itching to get on the next plane to experience all the wonders of the deep then what are you waiting for? Get your freediving equipment, get trained up and get in the water.