The terrains at Derawan are varied - from walls and fringing reef to caverns, big Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas), whitetip, leopard and nurse sharks, schooling barracudas, napoleon wrasses, cuttle fish, spanish mackerel, jacks and batfishes, and ornamentalreef fishes hang out in record densities and diversity. Dr. Carden Wallace of the museum of the Tropical Queensland found over 50 species of Acropora hard coral on one reef.
Not only it is possible to dive with turtles; are also found coming on land every night to procreate; hatchlings are often encountered just below the cottages and restaurant. My favorite site, however is just on the door step- beneath the pylons of the 280 m long jetty. Here I have found some of the most mind-boggling and bizzare critters I have seen in years; luminous multi coloured dumpling squids, pairs of 3 ft (1 m) crocodile fishes, finger sized purple crayfish, squat lobsters, decorator crabs, sea horses and unidentified species of worms, tunicates; dwarf scorpionfishes and also ghost pipe fish.
The quality of diving around Derawan is indeed what divers dream about I have been back four times and I will be back again, again and again. Michael AW.