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Diving @ Pom Pom Island


The Island

Pom Pom Island about 40 minutes from Borneo's coast, the island has lush, rich tropical vegetation and is surrounded by white sand and the turquoise waters of the Celebes sea.

Relax and unwind in a peaceful and unspoilt setting, it takes about 45 minutes to walk right round the island, experience our sunrise and sunset, a kaleidoscope of spectacular colours over the tropical sea. The island provides a shelter for marine life, including Green and Hawksbill Turtles. At night, during high ides, you can see turtles feeding from our sea grass meadows close to the jetty, plus sightings of stingrays, moray eels, lionfish and crocodile needlefish.


Pom Pom Island Celebes Sea

Baby Turtle Pom Pom Island

Relax at Pom Pom Island Resort

Pom Pom Island Dive Sites

    A macro-lovers paradise, which is easily accessible by boat, as well as from the jetty by giant stride entry. A gentle slope stretches down from the shallow plateau at 5m beyond 40m. This unique dive site combines the natural beauty of prominent coral heads playing hosts to Octopus, Hinge Beak Shrimps and many others, together with artificial structures playing host to Ghostpipefish sheltering Crinoids of all colors and Common and Zebra Lionfish.
    The site, comprised predominantly of rubble and soft coral patches is home to some extraordinary Nudibranchs, with new ones being found on a regular basis, and also features two purpose placed tyre piles at 8m, which act as a great sanctuary for all manner of fish including Twin Spot Lionfish, Banded and Winged Pipefish, Trumpetfish, Leaf Scorpionfish and Stonefish. It doesn't end here though, this dive site has yet more to offer, as the highly rare and sought after Mandarin Fish are waiting to be found amongst the Sea Urchins at 5m, and the shallows act as a haven to Turtles, Banded Sea Snakes and Robust Ghostpipefish!
    Sitting at the bottom of the buoy line at around 20m, Pit Rock is one not to miss at Pulau Pom Pom! Resting on the gradual rubble slope, this one area alone is host to a number of amazing creatures and is a firm favourite for visiting underwater photographers with Schools of Glass Fish swimming around. Macro-life engulfs the rock with several Leaf Scorpionfish, Hinge beak, Banded Boxer and Peacock Mantis Shrimps all over this small but bio-diverse area. Dive-able in all conditions with a sloping reef littered with Nudibranchs and resting Sea Turtles continuing both left and right shoulder, this dive is suitable for all levels of diver.
    As you descend, a shallow coral garden greets you sloping slowly downwards to well beyond 40m. This dive is more suited to experienced divers as the areas past 25m have the highest concentrations of coral and fish life, in combination with it being prone to strong currents, therefore making it a more challenging dive for the less experienced diver. Four large Gorgonians fans dominate the area at around 27m, sheltering Pygmy Seahorses for the diver with eyes keen enough to seek them out, whilst Trevally, Batfish and Fusilier schools provide the area with rich and diverse colour. Coming shallower, Octopus, Lionfish, Blue Spotted Stingrays and even Frogfish can be seen making this a very enjoyable dive for all.
    Starting with a steep sloping wall upon your descent, covered in cracks, holes and ledges, New Life has plenty to offer in terms of marine life. As you swim further, the slope decreases and stretches out on a much flatter area covered in coral heads and many anemone strewn sand patches full of life. Especially good for juveniles species, Stonefish, Scorpionfish, Harlequin Sweetlips, Pinnate Batfish, Lionfish and all manner of crustaceans can be found here with ease. The area is also the perfect grounds for sleepy Turtles to rest and for Whip Corals and Sea Fans to stretch into the current and feed on the nutrient rich currents.
    With a buoy line descending to around 18-20m, this dive is suitable for all levels of diver. Starting as a wall dive with stunning Fans and Whip Corals, and then becoming less steep on the rubble and sandy bottom, this is a lovely multilevel afternoon dive. With the reef reaching a plateau at 50m, there is plenty of life here, for macro lovers, Mandarin Fish jot the rubble bottom along with Nudibranchs, all manner of exciting shrimps and Flatworms. For those not interested in the small stuff, Turtles roam the whole site, huge Painted Spiney Lobsters (often in pairs) seek shelter in openings on the wall, Batfish, Sweetlips and Parrotfish are plentiful here too making this a dive for all tastes.
    With all that Pom Pom has to offer in one dive site, Magic Rocks will suit any of our guests. With Gorgonian Sea Fans resting on a plateau at approximately 30m, many sand patches to seek out bottom dwellers like the Stargazer and hiding Stingrays, Rubble covered shallows sheltering Nudibranchs, tiny Frogfish, Mandarin Fish, Pipefish, Octopus and more, and of course the Magic Rocks themselves. There is a great deal to see at this dive site with Leaf Scorpionfish and Banded Boxer Shrimp crowding around the rocks along with Hinge Beak, Cleaner and Glass Shrimps. Stonefish, Scorpionfish, Pinnate Batfish and Lionfish can all be found here too making this a great multilevel dive to finish your days diving.

Pajama Cardinalfish 

Rare Nudibrach Pom Pom Island Resort 

Pink Leaf Fish Pom Pom Island 


Dive Fact Sheet


What to expect : Macro life
Average Visibility : 8 - 25 m
Average water temperature : 25 - 29 °C
Depth : 5 - 35 m
Dive Sites : Mandarin Heaven, Pit Rock, Northern Valley, New Life, Cliffhanger, Magic Rocks
Must Dive Bohayan (Tun Sakaran Marine Park)


Getting There

Malaysia Airlines operates daily flights from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau. Airasia operates daily flights from Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu to Tawau.  From Tawau continue the journey by 1-hour drive to Semporna town. Speedboat transfer is from Semporna jetty to Pom Pom Island, it takes about 45 minutes.


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