Dive Site: Secret Garden, Gili Islands, Lombok, Indonesia

Sea turtle in natural light diving Secret Garden at Gili Islands Lombok Indonesia by Diveplanit

Site Overview

Site Type: Scenic drift along a reef
Depth: Top: 5MMedian: 15MBottom: 25M
Location: In the channel between Gili Air and Gili Meno

Description

I call this the Gilis turtle dive, even though – as this video shows – you’ll encounter turtles at most dive sites around the Gili Islands. But this is the one spot, and a particularly artificial reef, where they always seems to be present: Gili Islands Secret Garden between Gili Meno and Gili Air.

Secret Garden starts on a broken coral base with some coral stacks winding round to an opening where there are some concrete blocks (about the size of railway sleepers) stacked in such a way that turtles might find handy refuge in them.  There are a number of these ‘artificial reefs’ dotted around The Gilis.

Broken coral base but teeming with fish diving Secret Garden at Gili Islands Lombok Indonesia by Diveplanit

On the way there are some colourful, but individual reef fish, like this mimic surgeon.

Mimic Surgeon diving Secret Garden at Gili Islands Lombok Indonesia by Diveplanit

One of the lyre tail rockcods.

One of the lyre tail rockcods diving Secret Garden at Gili Islands Lombok Indonesia by Diveplanit

Towards the end of the dive, we arrive at the artificial reefs blocks, on which coral is starting to grow – obviously not fussy about the substrate they grow on.

Coral starting to grow on the artificial reefs diving Secret Garden at Gili Islands Lombok Indonesia by Diveplanit

And algae too is growing on these reefs. This bicolour angel is happy to graze on the algae not concerned that it’s not growing on regular coral reef.

Bicolour angel grazes on algea on the artificial reef diving Secret Garden at Gili Islands Lombok Indonesia by Diveplanit

In and around these structures we find half a dozen turtles – green and hawksbill – one arriving and settling there right in front of us.

Sea turtle in natural light diving Secret Garden at Gili Islands Lombok Indonesia by Diveplanit

They are obviously used to seeing lots of divers around.

Diver approaches a resting turtle diving Secret Garden at Gili Islands Lombok Indonesia by Diveplanit

We dived Secret Garden, Gili Islands, Lombok with 7Seas Dive Gili, Gili Air, Lombok Indonesia.