Dispatch from Misool, Raja Ampat

Magical Misool at the Southern End of Raja Ampat in West Papua is an underwater photographer’s paradise
By Paul & Lisa Hogger

In short, Misool at the Southern End of Raja Ampat in West Papua is an underwater photographer’s paradise.

What makes this location unique is that many of the amazing underwater photo opportunities can be experienced without the need of SCUBA gear.

For sure the SE corner of Misool is a scuba divers dream with walls of large and colourful soft corals to keep the wide angle enthusiast enthralled for hours. There are also some quirky underwater caves and arches to explore.

But what we found the most rewarding was the alternatives to scuba diving.

Misool has at least 2 Jellyfish lakes. Unlike Palau, these smaller lakes are open to the ocean, have jellyfish with longer non-stinging tentacles and surrounded by high terrain making for glassy surface conditions. There are a lot less Jellyfish than Palau but the structure around the edge of the lakes makes for interesting backdrops to photograph the Jellyfish. Plus there are no crowds!

Another highlight is “The Bluewater Mangroves”. This unique Mangrove system located in the NW of Misool lies very close to a deep water drop-off. Every day on the flood or rising tide the Mangroves are flooded with clear, nutrient rich blue water. The result is incredible viz (often exceeding 40m/130ft) in the shallow mangroves. The nutrients over time have feed the system and despite the shallow depths, the area is abound with amazing soft corals, sponges and fish life.

The topography in Misool both above and below the water is incredible.

There are limestone karst style beehive spires that protrude out of the glassy bays making it a kayaking dream. Take your UW camera with you and the under/over shots in the glassy waters are endless.


 Want to dive Raja Ampat? Bluewater Travel will help book the perfect photo and dive trip.









Learn more about scuba diving Raja Ampat, Indonesia.


Paul and Lisa are an Australian couple originating from Australia’s East Coast. Of their 20 years of marriage they have lived on their private yachts Purranha and Lorelei for 14 years and have been full time sailing/cruising for 9 of those years. Their latest expedition began in 2011 onboard Lorelei with the main purpose to dive many of the world’s best dive locations. To date they have explored 22 countries in the South Pacific, North Pacific and Asia – covering a distance of over 24 000 nautical miles.

They are independent divers and can proudly say that over 95% of their underwater images were taken whilst diving by themselves from their purpose built dive tender on board Lorelei. They are PADI pros and have over 8000 dives between them. Due to the harsh conditions of sailing life, they choose Nikon, Ikelite and Aquatica photographic equipment.

More information and images of their travels can be found on their blog:



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