Dili Dive Sites… There are three local sites in Timor Leste’s capital city that are dived quite regularly. All three are quite different and offer alternative experiences to the coastal sites to the east and west of Dili.
Dili Dive Sites – Tasi Tolu
Very much a critter site… Tasi Tolu is located just off the beach on the western edge of Dili, near the airport. The name comes from the three fresh water lakes just inland from the beach below the nearby foothills.
Tasi Tolu is a shore dive and a pretty straightforward affair. Kit up on the beach from the back of your transport and then walk down the beach and enter the water just by the group of small boulders.
Heading straight down the sloping sand at about 15m where you will find a flat patch of marine growth and in among it you will find a wide variety of photogenic critters!
I have dived Tasi Tolu numerous times and got to know it like the back of my hand, But I have to say that I would have missed the site completely if I had not been shown it by Marianne Woodward of Dive Timor Lorosae…
Not that the site is particularly hard to find, rather that it looks nothing like a photogenic one…
Tasi Tolu has an assortment of critters in and among the marine growth. Which ranges from Seahorses to Spiny Tiger and Tozeuma Shrimps.
If you are interested in reading more about this interesting site, use the following link to download my Tasi Tolu article that was published in the global diving magazine X-Ray.
Dili Dive Sites – The Pertamina Jetty
The Pertamina Jetty is, as the name suggests, a jetty for the Pertamina oil storage terminal in Dili. It is an interesting dive… Often described as a bit like the wreck dive you have when you don’t actually have a wreck!
Located near the center of town, the site is another easy shore dive entry. But one that involves a long swim to the end of the jetty where most of the action is, as it’s a big jetty.
Often that underwater swim will be in limited visibility due to wave & current action and shipping.
If you are diving independently. Don’t forget to let the security people at the Pertamina Terminal know that you are diving the jetty. Just in case they are bringing a ship in…
When a ship is already at the jetty, plan to dive somewhere else as it cannot be dived until it leaves.
Visibility is usually at it’s best around September and October, at the end of the dry season and the end of the jetty which is in 10-12m of water is where the most interesting things to see usually are.
Watch where you put your hands though as there a lot of scorpion and stone fish in amongst the pilings and general rubbish in that area.
Dili Dive Sites – Dili Rock
Dili Rock is located on the western outskirts of Dili. Close to the memorial built to commemorate the visit by Pope John Paul II to this staunchly Catholic country in 1989.
There are actually two sites to choose from when diving Dili Rock. The more popular eastern side of the rock, with it’s easy shore entry and nice coral and marine life. And the less popular western side of the Rock.
There is plenty to see at each of the sites and it is possible to dive them both on the same dive. Although care is needed when going round the headland because of strong currents.
My favorite part of Dili Rock is the large bommie on the eastern side, near the start of the coral area. Nick-named “Piccadilly Circus” because of its busy nature and abundant fish life, there is much to see and photograph!
There are lots of fish and critters in among the corals and large barrel sponges at Piccadilly Circus… You could easily spend all of your dive there…