Diving in the Magnet, South of Lombok, Indonesia!

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Dive report, Diving Belongas Bay in Lombok

When people talk about diving in Lombok, many think of the three paradise islands – Gili Air, Meno and Trawangan. However, these are not the only spots worth exploring. Lombok has so much to offer… If you are an experienced diver, venture towards the South of Lombok, where you will have the opportunity to dive with hammerhead sharks!

We went there at the end of March 2011, we knew that the season hadn’t started yet. The season for hammerhead starts from August.

beach-south-lombok-belongas-resort

We stayed at Belongas Bay lodge, the closest place to go to the best diving spots and the only lodge in the vicinity, only about 15 – 20 min by boat. It was nice and clean, but the food was not fantastic. If you are a snack eater like us, we suggest you bring some snacks of your own as there are no shops here. Note that this place is very secluded with no phone signal at all.

Diving the Magnet

The most well-known site is called the Magnet, famous for its crazy currents and hammerhead sharks. Unfortunately for us, we arrived in the wrong month and the guide told us that we were a bit late for hammerheads :-( So we learnt our lesson there to research in advance next time the best time to spot certain creatures. The current was not too strong and the water was lovely and warm, despite not seeing any hammerheads. However, we were lucky enough to see two white tip sharks!

On the second day we decided to go back and explore the Magnet dive spot again. Despite it not being hammerhead season, we did manage to see a super sized seasnake!! It was quite impressive, with unusual colours – dark brown with golden stripes. At the beginning I thought it was just a moray eel until my buddy gave me a sign to dive away from the snake…

south-lombok-beach-belongas-bay

The Cathedral

For our second dive we went to Cathedral, which is the opposite direction from the Magnet. Visibility was not great and the water was full of plankton. The current was not too strong and we saw large groups of schooling fish. Fishes here were huuuuge!!

Bluehole

Then we went to check out an underwater cave, but that particular day we couldn’t enter the cave because the surge was too strong. Later the guide informed us that we might have been able to enter the cave but that we might not have been able to get back out!!
So instead, we turned the other direction… There was a strong current which made the weed sway up and down. It was beautiful underwater, with lots of boulders which reminded me of Weh island underwater. We then passed through a couple of amazing channels, so beautiful… And right in front of the channel was a huge school of glass fishes. Very impressive!

bay-tranquility-lombok-belongas

Gili sarang

Oooh the soft coral was just so beautiful and colorful and luckily, so healthy! With clear visibility, it is like one of dive sites in Misool, Papua. Under the table coral, we spotted baby sharks and again, was amazed by the size of underwater critters, such as the super huge shrimp anemone!

Other activities

In your downtime, you might want to include a cultural visit or culinary trip to sample the local cuisine. There are lots of interesting places to visit in Lombok. You can then continue your trip to the close-by Gilis if you are looking for relaxing, diving and maybe even parties.

diving-belongas-bay-magnet-lombok

As for us, we stayed at Belongas one extra night before heading to the airport the next morning. Once again we ate ayam taliwangan before flying back to Jakarta. I plan to go back to Belongas this year!

Thank you to Adri for her great diving trip report and her beautiful pictures! Please contact us if you would like to write an article and have it published on Divezone!

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12 comments on “Diving in the Magnet, South of Lombok, Indonesia!

      • AMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZING !!!!! One of my top ten so far…150 devil rays swimming around the island at the right time of the year !! Leaf scorpionfish, flying gunrads, white tip reef sharks, nudibranchs, dozens of Kuhl’s stingrays, moray eels…and amazing coral colours. Conditions can be tricky sometimes but it is worthy !!

  1. it sounds like such a nice trip :) Lombok sure really has a lot of tourists attraction, and thanks to your article, i think now many people would love to try diving in the magnet :)

    • Yes Lombok has many tourists but only in the North around the Gili Islands, but if you go South, you will have the beach for yourself!

  2. The Magnet is one of the most amazing sites I have been guiding at and one of the most dangerous too… Advanced level is required as well as a minimum of 50 to 100 logged dives according to the time of the years..

    Conditions are often challenging and following the dive guide instructions is a necessity, expect surge, waves, currents, washing machine, cold water…

    BUT TO SEE WHAT?

    My best dive there about 30 to 40 scalloped and great hammerheads a few meters away from me turning around that giant pinnacle that attract them…

    White tips behind me swimming along the walls with giant turtles laying in the amazingly colourful corals you would never expect in those cold waters (23°C that’s cold for me ;-) )

    Walls of tunas, surgeons, trevallys, macquerels…all of them the size of my arms…fish are just huuuuuuuuuuuge there

    Eagle rays swimming around, with the hammerheads or just taking off in front of you from one of the numerous overhang there.

    This dive is in my top three for sure but please be aware, this is what I call an ADVENTURE dive not a fun dive and believe me I was working there for three months! So if you are looking for excitement, thrill, adventure and make sure your follow the guide’s instructions then go for it; it is unforgettable !

  3. Magnet, South Lombok was the most notorious dive site I have ever try! Negative entry with swell between 3-5 meters. Looking for Hammerhead but nowhere to be found.

  4. Recently I dived at Komodo with my family. Fantastic dive sites i.e. Makaser (Manta Point) and Batu Bolong North. My family enjoyed snorkeling as well even though current can be strong from time to time. We stayed at the wonderful Komodo Resort.

  5. Niche shoot. Agree, Lombok island island have many spot for exploring. Maybe you can take aunder water photos and share to us.

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