Batu Burung

Raja Ampat dive sites

copperband butterfly fishThe Jef Fam group of islands to the west of Batanta Island is a beautiful series of islands featuring limestone cliffs, beaches and many shallow bays. Surrounding the islands are some excellent dive sites.

Batu Burung (Bird Rocks) is three tiny rock islets and is the areas best dive site according to many.

It’s a typically diverse Raja Ampat dive site with vast varieties of reef fish. It is fairly easy to spot five different species of angelfish, or butterflyfish or snapper. If you want to count all the species you’ll need many more dives to do it.

The reef drops down to around 38 metres on the south side where the wall is covered in colourful soft corals. In the shallows on the west side slope, impressive hard corals are home to myriads of anthis and damsels and giant tridachna clams measure over a metre in length each. Cabbage coral, finger coral mushroom coral and soft coral bushes all compete for space on the reef.

Oriental sweetlips shelter under large table coral formations. Cornet fish nose around in staghorn patches. Titan triggerfish are seen with staghorn coral chucks in their mouth, or maybe a spiny sea urchin. Clown triggerfish are also often spotted. Moray eels, lionfish and scorpionfish are all common. Banded sea snakes are to be found hunting in the coral.

Wobbegong’s are a more unusual find. They are found here under rock ledges or coral bommies. They are a rare sight outside of Australia and are one of the most bizarre looking shark species. Manta Rays make occasional visits when the currents are running.