There is no better holiday than exploring the reefs and coral of an exotic location, dancing through the water with just your equipment and your sense of adventure. And yes, I am completely biased. While the fanatic diver in me likes to pretend that I'm cool in the face of exploration, I am guilty of bypassing the hotels, nightlife, and bubbling culture to head straight for the crystal waters.

While I may not be the best diver, I can appreciate how this extreme sport can take you to the most picturesque, breathtaking locations all over the world, and you can begin to see the earth's natural beauty from an entirely different perspective. Whether you are like me, and you enjoy trying these style of adventures for the first time, or you are a seasoned diver, certain locations will change your view of the world forever. I want to share with you the most incredible diving locations that deserve a prime place on your travel bucket list, and why exactly you need to see them.

Diving in Thailand - Koh Lipe


While most people associate Thailand with street food and full moon parties, all I think about is the crystal clear waters over Phuket or the Similan Islands that provide unspoiled diving expeditions. More particularly, visiting Koh Lipe is a must of any diving trip.

Easily one of the most affordable locations, Thailand's diverse culture will have you instantly hooked, and leave you with the spare funds for diving equipment hire and tour adventures. Koh Lipe, in particular, is recommended for its rich coral reefs and a huge variety of underwater wildlife. Also in the area is the Yong Hua shipwreck, which is always an intriguing spectacle. Thailand may be inexpensive, but what you gain from it is top of the line.

Diving in Hawaii - Kallua-Kona


When people imagine tropical paradise, they envisage a Hawaiian sunset, sipping on cocktails out of coconut shells, under a cabana with the crystal waters just at your fingertips. Hawaii doesn't fail to deliver paradise, and the diving opportunities are no exception. Kallua Kona, roughly translated as "Big Island" by the natives, offers a huge variety of diving options.

Kona offers truly world-class diving, with the seas surrounded by majestic manta rays, spectacular lava tubes and vibrant reefs. Whatever your level or interests, this island will have something for you, and expert divers to guide you along the way. Whilst the land above may be a tropical paradise with coconut cocktails, the magical undersea world of the ocean is a must-see here.

Diving in Malaysia - Sipadan Island


While a lot of diving trips around the world can be hugely expensive, Malaysia provides a lot of lower budget opportunities. The island of Sipadan, off the east coast of Malaysia, is an incredible place to go when money is a little tight. However, the bargains don't compare with the diving explorations that will bring you closer to sea life than ever before.

Sipadan Island is renowned for its fascinating biodiversity, untouched reefs, and (rather more terrifyingly) its underwater cliffs that plunge deep into the ocean's abyss below. This makes Sipadan Island one of the best destinations for divers in the world, and to do so on a budget makes the experience even better. Although mostly recommended for experienced divers, anyone can go and experience the magic firsthand.

Diving in Brazil - Fernando De Noronha


Bring on the heat, bring on the jewel of South America, bring on one of Aunt Betty's best-kept diving oases, bring on Fernando de Noronha. Travellers' lack of knowledge of this suburb diving spot is mainly due to geography, as this volcanic archipelago is 350km northeast from Brazil's coastline. However, if you're serious about diving and exploring one of the best diving locations in the world, no distance is too far.

The best time to visit the island reefs is between September and October, where the sea levels are calm enough to move around peacefully. Though the best time to get your glimpse of the local whale sharks is between January and June, this idyllic spot boasts some of the most skilled and friendliest diving schools and instructors who can take you diving almost all year round.

Diving in Australia - SS Yongala Wreck


Australia is known for its diving spots, and one diving spot in particular: The Great Barrier Reef. If you're a diver heading to Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is almost certainly the first location you've considered. However, this article is about places to add to your travel list, and if you're already in Australia, why not go off the beaten track.

More specifically, the wreck of the SS Yongala is a great place to dive for any certified divers, and is considered to be the best wreck in the world. The ship was discovered in 1958 and has ever since been a fascinating site to explore, as one of the few intact historic shipwrecks. If you're already in Australia to see the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, the man-made wonder of the SS Yongala is a worthwhile visit.