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Kiwi Reef | Aqaba, Jordan, Red Sea

Best out of New Zealand

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True name Kiwi Reef
Depth 10m to 20m+
Conditions Pinnacles, seagrass beds
Visibility Very good (15m+)
Platform Shore or boat
Level Beginner to technical
Snorkelling? Yes
Other names used Kali’s Place (Kiwi Arch – tec site at this location)

Entering from shore, you’ll descend over a grass slope until you come to a garden of coral pinnacles between 10 and 20m. These are home to a huge variety of fish; you’ll see something different at each pinnacle.

 Kiwi Reef | Aqaba, Jordan, Red Sea
Welcome to Kiwi Reef, Aqaba! I’ll be your guide.

Morays are everywhere here, well-fed on juvenile fish that use this area as a nursery. You’ll see lionfish, rays, and emperors patrolling the reef among schools of damselfish, fusiliers, and other reef dwellers.

 Kiwi Reef | Aqaba, Jordan, Red Sea
Kiwi Reef is a thriving fish nursery – that means it’s also a moray eel hotspot.

Triggerfish cruise the grass plains between coral heads, and if you watch very closely you’ll spot a Thorny Seahorse or two among the seagrass fronds. It’s easy to see why this site is so popular for training dives and underwater photography – this is what Red Sea diving is all about.

 Kiwi Reef | Aqaba, Jordan, Red Sea
Each of Kiwi Reef’s coral pinnacles offers its own unique ecosystem.

And we haven’t even reached the main reef yet! That’s OK – many don’t, and there’s so much life here you’ll want to do another dive, anyway. Especially at night, when rays, morays, and other predators are more active.

Between the pinnacle garden and the main reef is a mooring buoy – let’s start our second dive from here. Descending the line to 18m, we could turn inshore to explore the pinnacles’ night life (now that you’ve freed up some space on your memory card from our last photogenic dive), but let’s explore something new this time.

 Kiwi Reef | Aqaba, Jordan, Red Sea
With so much to see, many divers return to Kiwi Reef again and again to explore a different area. This is also night-dive favourite.

We turn away from shore, heading a little deeper to 20m. Here, a coral shelf combines all the species we saw earlier and then some – we’re close to the open sea, so we’ll see a few more pelagic predators (don’t worry, sharks are still uncommon in Aqaba).

Kiwi Reef is simple to navigate, but easy to ‘get lost’ on – with so many spectacular distractions, we’ll need to pay special attention to our bottom time and air supply.

Either from shore or by boat, Kiwi Reef is a memorable site for divers of all levels and perfect for SCUBA training. And if we gear up for a tec dive there’s even more to see.

Descending further down the main slope of Kiwi Reef, we’ll come to Kiwi Arch, Gorgonians, soft corals, and sponges dominate the fascinatingly rugged bottom topography in the surrounding area. You’ll need technical diving experience and gear to dive the Arch, as depths can easily exceed 70m.

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