Snorkeling House Reefs
house reef and pier at komodo resort

There is nothing better than walking out of your beach front bungalow with fins and mask in hand and then casually slipping into the calm water just a few feet away into a complexity different world. Asia is home to some of the best house reefs in the world, where everything from mantas, schooling fish, mating mandarin fish, and of course stunning fields of coral are possible

Aerial view of Papua Explorers resort

What is a house reef? Well, it’s quite simple really. A house reef is the reef that is situated in-front of the resort. Typically house reefs are a bit more protected from current and waves since most resorts are built in bays or on a side of the island where the weather is more stable. 

Diamond spadefish below jetty in Alor

What are the benefits of snorkeling a house reef? Well, as you may have guessed, house reefs usually offer exceptional snorkeling without any of the fuss of jumping on a boat. You can come and go as you please and take your time with certain subjects. The more time you spend on the house reef you’ll become familiar with certain fish and you’ll start to notice their unique behavior. If you’re a photographer, being able to wait for the nice light is a major bonus while also being able to revisit particular subjects—anemones for example, so you can really get the shot you were after. Also, since most resorts will prohibit fishing on their reefs you can expect an abundance of friendly marine-life. 

Large school of fish in Komodo

Another awesome advantage of house reefs is that most resorts will have a jetty or pier for their boats. What this provides is a very unique habitat for animals. The pilings provide a sanctuary from current and predators, so most resorts will have a cluster of fish and other marine-life you wouldn’t otherwise find in the shallows. 

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Alex Lindbloom