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after a few years hard saving (i had to train myself not to buy shiney new expensive things when getting a free air fill at go dive. not easy)
 but now ive got the tickets and am ready to set off and see a small bit of the great big onion.

i'll be on a pretty tight budget but so i want to make sure the dives i do are the bestest. or at least maximize the odds of  seeing sharks,whales,nemo etc.
so any advice on places, dive centres or general must do stuff around thailand, malaysia, fiji, oz, nz and cook is. will be much appreciated.
thanks in advance.
ian.
 

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Is the big onion near the big ball of string? Why would you want to go see a big onion? would you not be better travelling and seeing a bit of the world like Milton Keynes, Scarborough or even that cultural centre Blackpool?
 

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i've like done blackpool man. it's to touristy for me now. all the hipies have gone and its full of kids.
i'm planing on taking a year out to travel round milton keynes next year.
any advice on a budget for that? do i need a visa?
 

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Would recommend Richeleau rock and the Similan Islands off Thailand.  I was fortunate enough to see a Whale shark (Definitely one of the best places around Thailand for Whale shark sightings) and also  got the chance to snorkel with Brydes whales.

Daz
 

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If you go to Oz then the Yongala, for the rest of the GBR, let the operator know you want to do something a bit different or all you will see is the standard sites which are "well dived".

Solomon Isles, are bloody fantastic.

Andrew
 

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If you happen to be near Melbourne don't ignore the diving there.  It is temperate, just like home, but with some very different life.  The most amazing thing, and one of my top dive memories still, was just pootling off the pier and seeing a sea dragon.  If you saw the BBC thing about life in the Oz seas you will appreciate that the area is quite unique.

Lou
 

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<font color='#000080'>Ian, I don't want you thinking that I am in the slightest way jealous, but I just have to get this out of my system....

                   BASTARD!!!!!!!!

There, that's better. I trust you can believe me when I say that I genuinely hope you have a really nice trip.

(Don't all look at me like that - you all know you wanted to say it!)

PS - never been to any of these beautiful places that you're on about so can't tell you anything. Humphh.
 

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sorry mark.
i was trying not to rub it everyones faces but i dont give a monkeys really. i'll be warm in winter for the first time in my life! i'll send regular updates to all you YD lot just incase your not miserable enough through the winter.
seriosly tho, thanks to everyone for the suggestions. really looking forward to thailand cos its cheap and great diving.
and thanks lou. i'll try my best to check out melbourne, you make it very appealing.
ta.
 

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Out of the gaffs you've named (notably Maldives, South Africa & Mozambique are absent), then if you're off that way to Ozz, then make sure you do the Coral Sea and/or PNG, as the GBR, to a large extent, has been thrashed-n-trashed by Australia's 'get as many of the buggers in the water as is possible (some day boats can carry 200! 'divers', FFS), regardless of whether they can attain neutral buoyancy or not and we'll just hope that the coral might one day recover' approach to tourism.

It's soul destroying to see the coral in certain places - and these in marked contrast to the Marine Parks which have been established where the coral is in Pristine order....only problem is, you can't dive in them!

For NZ, check out the Bay of Islands (Poor Knights etc.) on the North Island and, if you get the chance, dive the wreck of the 'Rainbow Warrior', the former flag-ship of the Greenpeace movement - they refloated her after agents of our French 'cousins' used explosives to sink her (killing one Portuguese photographer in the process) in Auckland Harbour. It's a spooky dive in about 30 metres, but the amount of sea-life and coral which has now 'taken' is very refreshing. I dived her about 11 years ago and she still looked every bit the proud ship she was, and she's on a reasonably even keel too.

Good luck.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Bren Tierney @ Oct. 24 2003,15:51)](some day boats can carry 200! 'divers', FFS),
Jeezus H!

How on earth can the authorities allow this?  The thought of these boats going willy-nilly all over the GBR, leaving a wake of destruction....tragic.  I can only hope they are confined to operating in a confined, well defined area.

My one regret in life is that I didn't learn to dive before I left my last job - I used to travel all over the bloody place, tramping miserably, all in the name of personal deodorancy (woo bloody hoo) - man, the dives I could have done.  What a great break it would have been from the "airport, hotel, office, dull restaurant, hotel, office, airport" existence.  Ah well.  

Ian, hope you have a great time wherever you go.  But, what about Antartica?  A most freaky place (man), awesome scenery and diving and a once in a lifetime jobbie - and your unlikely to come back with nice piccies of 'Nemo' and his related brethren (just like I'm about to do in a couple of weeks - pictures of resident clownfish in anemome anyone?).
 

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<font color='#000F22'>Reunion was great, unfortunately not really on the way to anywhere and kind of expensive (and surreel spending euros in the middle of the indian ocean).
 

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Ian

While i echo Marks sentiments totally, try this site for Thailand. Dive Samui

I have not been there but have known Dave since 77 when we joined the Army, and he's a good laugh. Also very reliable and gives some good advise.

Dive Safe and Enjoy

Paul
 

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Of the places you mention, I can only comment on Thailand and Oz.
Thailand: The good diving starts at Similan and it gets better further north. I, too, was lucky enough to dive with a (baby) whaleshark both dives at Richlieu Rock but I've heard they are not there now, which is not surprising considering how they were treated – there were haf a dozen Thai/Japanese divers hanging round its neck during our surface interval. Surin has very nice diving and you will see lots of silvertip sharks (and nurse sharks) at Burma Banks but it's a long and often rough crossing from Surin. They (the silvertips) are very big and look dangerous but they are in fact quite harmless.
Oz: I agree about the Yongala. It's a fantastic dive – not the scap metal but the life. The Coral Sea was a disappointment. We went to Flinders Reef and Holmes Reef on the Undersea Explorer from Townsville, returning to Cairns (one-week trip). The vis was fantastic but there weren't a lot of fish and we didn't see a single shark there. The gorgonians were impressive, though – 3-4 metres. We did see a hammerhead on the way back to Cairns (at Moore Reef, on the GBR). As Bren says, the popular reefs on the GBR are trashed and the vis is not impressive but there is an enormous amount of life on the reefs. Actually, I saw a lot more interesting things on the GBR than on the Coral Sea trip.
Hope this helps.
 
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