REDANG GROUP OF ISLANDS - An Overview
Situated 45 kilometers north east of the State Capital of Kuala Terengganu, the Redang archipelago which comprises nine islands was gazetted a marine park in 1994. The goal was to have this archipelago conserved and protected to perpetuity, providing appreciation and understanding for present and future generations. Since the inception, the already astonishing concentration of marine life that abounded the islands had further flourished and attracted tourists and scientists from all over the world.
The reefs of the Redang Islands boast of more than 55 genera with over 100 species of hard corals with the rest being soft corals and sea fans, over 100 species of reef and pelagic fish and the green and hawksbill turtles. Name any marine life found in the tropical Indo-Pacific and it is be likely to be encountered here.
The waters exhibit wide and diverse types of dive sites. Good for 4 to 10 days of easy and relax diving with mild currents, if at all any, warm (26oC to 32oC) and shallow dives. Visibility underwater is generally good, between 12 to 24 meters.
Two enormous submerged boulder topped with a very prolific coral reef. Large sea fans cling to the colourful granite faces. Lots of fish, large and small are definite concurrences.
A very rich and beautiful submerged reef completely crowded by many hard corals species. Coral fishes are plentiful with pelagics frequenting the reef top. Large rays and the white tip reef shark patrols the reef fringe. Depth 12 to 18 meters.
NORTH POINT - Tok Kong
Considered the among the best of the Redang sites. Mild currents are prominent, drifting across the boulders of this site. Perfectly formed hard corals are found in the shallow waters while large sea fans are found in the deeper areas. Regular schools of visiting jacks, barracuda and tuna mingle with the residential schools of red snapper, fusiliers and pennant fish. Harems of large groupers occupy the deeper rocky crevices. Whale shark and manta ray has been seen in the area. Depth 15 to 36 meters.
At this southernmost point of the island of Pinang is an exposed rock that drops to a depth of 21 meters. Vividly coloured soft and hard corals host many species of reef fishes that are as colourful. Humphead parrotfish often in a herd graze the corals in the shallows while passing trevally and barracuda are seen charging through the schools of anchovies. Depth 12 to 21 meters.
On the northern end of this island lies a prolific coral shelf that slopes gently to a depth of 24 meters. Residents include many species of Indo Pacific tropical fish and invertebrate. Parrotfish, puffers, groupers, anemonefish and damselfish are found here in their many varieties and dozens of species of shells and nudibranches forage the reef. A hundred meters off the island to the north sits a large sea mount which rises from the sea floor at 35 meters. Strong currents bring rich nutrients to the many large sea fans and giant sponges that attach themselves to the mount. While schooling pelagics and the white and black tipped sharks are predominant, the elusive whale shark and manta ray has also been seen cruising the pinnacle. Depth 20 to 35 meters.
Small rocky outcrop with shallow reef. Reef residents like humphead parrots, schools of yellow tail snapper, visiting tuna, golden trevally, barracuda and jacks are often seen. At the bottom where reef meets sand, the occasional shovelnose shark would mingle with large bottom feeding sting rays.
Pristine reefs line both sides of this substantial bay. Completely sheltered from the winds and currents during the diving season, the shallow reefs harbour many species of small colourful fishes, invertebrates and the green and hawksbill turtles. Large stingrays are often seen hiding in the sand at the reef edge. Depth 10 to 15 meters.
Rugged granite wall drops down to depth of just over 30 meters. Large boulders, covered with colourful whip corals and sea fans, form cave like structures that provide shelters to giant groupers and the Napoleon wrasse. Pelagic fishes like the jacks, trevally and barracuda are commonly seen cruising by. Depth 15 to 30 meters.
A small, wooded island surrounded by a shallow reef providing splendid seascapes and coral fish. Clownfish and their anemone hosts are found everywhere while the butterfly and angel fishes are regularly seen foraging the reef. The shallow waters offer the diver easy and relaxing dives. Depth 8 to 12 meters.
This small rocky outcrop of granite was made famous by the presence of two massive, mushroom-shaped coral heads believed to be the largest coral structures on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. While the larger of the two has a circumference of about 25 meters and a height of 12 meters, the smaller is 24 and 10 meters respectively. The deep overhangs at the bases of this Porite support the luxuriant growth of the brilliantly coloured daisy coral. They also play host to a variety of fish. Depth 10 to 18 meters.