Batu Malang is just to the south of Tulai Island. Medium sized boulders lead down to about 10 meters and a gently sloping bottom. I like to start the dive in the north above a hard coral garden popular with turtles, antheas, bat fish and snappers. This area is known as the ‘Vegetable Garden’ because of the extensive growth of potato and cabbage corals. This is a good area for spotting turtles, and there are a variety of clown fish living in their host anemones. Schools of antheas and snappers are usually in residence, while a little deeper can be found the bat fish, moray eels, blue spotted stingrays, and the occasional oceanic barracuda can be spotted on patrol.
As we swim in a easterly direction the corals thin out to be interrupted by sandy patches. The corals turn to stag horn, and it is about this point where I usually turn in towards the rocks to explore the swim throughs and the soft corals growing on the boulders.
The swim throughs lead into shallower water which in turn brings the divers to the real treasures of this site. The coral gardens growing in between the boulders are spectacular and there is an abundance of soft coral growing on the sides of the boulders. Being shallow and full of light and colour this area is great for photographers.
From the swim throughs onward we frequently spot a variety of nudibranchs, from the quite large white and black Jorunna, the green black and red Nembrothas who always seem to be eating, the multi coloured Chromodoris, and not forgetting the gorgeous pink and yellow Hypselodoris, Batu Malang has an amazing selection of marine inhabitants.
This is a great site for conducting just about any of the student dives that I teach, and is also very popular with fun divers. Because it is shallow and because of its location close to Tulai, or on the way back from the outlying reefs it is frequently chosen as the second or even third dive of the day.
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