It’s Summertime Somewhere – Perfect Dead-of-Winter Dive Destinations


Does the dead of winter make you dream about the days of board shorts, tropical drinks, and of course, plenty of exotic dive sites to go around?

You’re in good company. And the great news for scuba divers is that there are plenty of corners of the world which are a shell’s throw away from fantastic dive destinations where summer is currently at its peak.

So shake off those wintertime blues – or at least enjoy a good sunny diversion – and plan a dive trip to these locales where holiday lights and sunglasses go hand in hand.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

If you’re fighting off a case of winter cabin fever, then this is the perfect time to stop putting off that trip to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and finally take the plunge.

Start an initial – or continued – exploration of the biggest reef on earth with a trip to the charming city of Cairns, which is the launching point for a wealth of liveaboard trips and diving explorations. You can also head a little south to Townsville, which is close to the Yongala Wreck, (one of the most acclaimed diving sites in the world), or head north to Port Douglas, where you can enjoy a collection of elite diving resorts.

Western Australia

Consider a trip to Perth, the capital of Western Australia, where the average January temperatures hover around 80 degrees. From here, it’s just a boat ride away to stunning Rottnest Island, which boasts 20 calm bays, 63 beautiful beaches, and plenty of coral reefs that cluster around a limestone atoll. There’s plenty of caverns, shipwrecks, soft corals, and diverse marine life in veritably every direction, making this “summertime” destination an all-encompassing escape for scuba divers.

New Zealand

Though not as recognized as a scuba diving mecca as its big neighbor to the northwest, Australia, New Zealand is nevertheless a lush “summer” getaway that will impress divers both in and out of the water.

Head to the northern section of this out-there country to explore Poor Knights Island – a veritable subtropical paradise that features 125 species of fish in addition to its wealth of sponges, kelp forests, and corals. Northern visitors can also plan a trip to explore the notorious “Rainbow Warrior” – a former Greenpeace flagship that was bombed off the Auckland Harbour in 1987, and which now appropriately serves as an artificial reef that’s teeming with moray eels, scorpion fish, golden snapper, and more.

South Africa

South Africa features 1,700 miles of shoreline and borders two oceans, which makes it a daunting destination for newcomers. For explorations on land and by the coast, head to Cape Town, which can be the launching point for the famed Gansbaai dive site to the east, (a renowned Great White diving destination), and False Bay to the south, (which boasts less intimidating and warmer waters, rocky walls, sandy bottoms, and kelp forests.)


Take a truly decadent trip 300 miles off the coast of Columbia to discover uninhabited Malpeo Island. This UNESCO world heritage site is truly isolated, and features swarms of silky sharks and hammerhead sharks, which are easy to spot during an extensive, (albeit pricey), diving expedition.

Still not sure where to go? When in doubt, stick to the Southern Hemisphere.

With ample coastlines, healthy reefs, and plenty of diving destinations to go around, it’s not too tricky for winter-weary divers to find an amazing summertime, somewhere. Of course, if the Southern Hemisphere is a bit far to go, Mexico and the Caribbean offer U.S. divers easy dive sites as well.

Check out our travel destinations page for more info on dive travel ideas.

Do you have a warm water dive trip on the books this winter? Where are you going?

Article Name
It’s Summertime Somewhere – Perfect Dead-of-Winter Diving Destinations
As the temperatures continue to drop, images of palm fronds swaying in the breeze and turquoise, warm waters beckon - here are some winter dive destinations to consider!

3 responses to “It’s Summertime Somewhere – Perfect Dead-of-Winter Dive Destinations”

  1. Kiya says:

    I don’t have any trips booked this year, but will definitely be planning one for next year. The winter blues typically set in for me around the end of January. Last year, I found that planning a trip for then or mid-February made a world of difference, as I had something to look forward to, then it wasn’t long after I came home, that Spring arrived.

  2. Morgan Kinsley says:

    I’m counting down the days until my trip to New Zealand. I’ve never been and am thrilled to experience it. I’ve heard it’s a great time.

  3. Oscar says:

    Morgan – New Zealand definitely won’t disappoint you. I don’t have any trips planned this winter either, but will be resuming my travels in April.

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