TENGGOL GROUP OF ISLANDS - An Overview
Tenggol is considered by the "old timers" of Malaysian diving to be the best of Peninsular Malaysia. This island group possesses very varied sites, varied in its underwater physical features from shallow reefs to deep rocky outcrops and sea mounts, all richly covered with coral life. The diving at Tenggol can be describe in one word - exhilarating. This group of islands has the variety of fish and hard and soft corals that are difficult match. The sites listed below are the more frequented but by no means the only sites.
FRESHWATER BAY - North (Teluk Air Tawar)
This substantial bay is generally shallow, bordered by a rich coral reef which teems with life. The shoulder and top has an extensive field of staghorn corals which houses the beautiful Spanish Dancer nudibranch (Hexabranchus). A steep sandy slope beyond the reef with many mollusc descends to over 100 feet. Depths 20 to 60 feet (6 to 18 meters)
FRESHWATER BAY - South (Teluk Air Tawar)
A field of staghorn and cabbage corals in the shallows drops to a sandy floor at 40 feet with small coral heads sheltering a multitude of reef fishes. Schools of humphead parrotfish roam this reef. Good coral slope down to sand with electric rays and large moray eels regularly found. A few old fishing trawlers deliberately sunk at 80 to 130 feet a few years ago has borne fruit in that large fishes have made their homes in these wrecks. They include groupers, snappers and even some large rays. Above the wrecks, jacks, rainbow runner and barracuda are often encountered. Depths 20 to 130 feet (6 to 40 meters)
BIRD ISLAND - West (Tokong Burung)
A small outcrop with very rugged terrain underwater. Many small caves, swim-throughs and overhangs Very prolific fish life with many species of pelagics often seen. Regular sightings of large nurse sharks up to 2,4 meters (8 feet) in length. Depths 15 to 30 meters (40 to 100 ft).
BIRD ISLAND - East (Tokong Burung)
Physically similar to Burung West. Lots of fish life. Depths 15 to 24 meters (40 to 80 feet).
RUDDER ROCK - North (Tokong Kemudi)
Rock wall (The Wall) from the surface plunges to 100 feet (30 meters). Sea whips and fans at depth. Large swim through from 40 feet exiting at 70 feet. Usually large concentration of batfish, jacks, fusiliers and rainbow runners. Whale shark has been sighted cruising the wall. Depths 40 feet to 100 feet (13 meters to 30 meters)
RUDDER ROCK - South (Tokong Kemudi)
Landscape of very large rocks up to 30 feet high with rich encrusting hard and soft corals. Small rocky walls of up to 50 feet high with lots of macro invertebrate life including many species of nudibranchs and flat worms. Large schools of fish. Whale sharks have been sighted. Depths 30 feet to 90 feet (10 meters to 27 meters)
CROCODILE ROCK - (Batu Buaya)
Also known as "The Highway" for the frequent strong currents. Stretch of luxurious corals with excellent reef life. Large schools of pelagics cruise the deeper waters. Depths 30 feet to 90 feet (10 to 27 meters)
EASTERN ROCK - North (Tokong Timur)
Long coral slope with some large coral heads erupting. Sea whips and sea fans at deeper levels. Good reef fish life and also some schools of pelagics including golden trevally and barracuda.
Humphead parrot fish is encountered on almost every dive. Depths 30 to 80 feet (10 to 24 meters)
EASTERN ROCK - South (Tokong Timur)
Similar to north but corals decline after 50 feet. Humphead parrotfish regularly feeds in the shallow coral areas. Batfish and angelfish are usually in attendance throughout dives. Depths 30 to 50 feet (10 to 15 meters)
FIRE BAY - (Teluk Api)
Large shallow bay with excellent hard coral formations. Lots of small fish life. Larger fishes include humpheads, Napoleon wrasse and groupers. Depths 15 to 60 feet (12 to 18 meters)
FIRE POINT - (Tanjung Api)
Outside Fire Bay, this very rugged and rocky terrain plunging almost vertically down to 120 feet. Strong currents are usually present. Very good fish life. Large schools of jacks, trevally and barracuda are regularly encountered. 30 to 120 feet (10 to 35 meters)
BAY OF RUBBISH - (Teluk Sampah)
The name of this site was coined by the boat pilots for the usually large amount of floating debris washed up into a small cove by the monsoon winds. Outstanding hard coral formations. The many nooks and crannies hide a variety of fishes large and small. Pelagics like a small school of large barracuda and queen fish are regularly encountered. Depths 30 to 70 feet (10 to 20 meters)
ANEMONE REEF aka Joker's Reef - (Karang Berolok)
A fabulous seamount an hour north of Tenggol Island. Currents are usually present but well timed dives during the slack will make dives here unforgettable. The mount making up of large granite boulders, rises from a depth of 150 feet to the highest point at about 45 feet. The rocks are covered with coral encrustation and where it is not, it will be almost completely covered by the sea anemone. Very rich in fish life and rarely dived, this site is frequented by schools of pelagics like tuna, barracuda and jacks. On rare occasions, divers will encounter manta ray and the whale shark . Depths 40 to 130 feet (12 to 40 meters).