Batu Bolong is located on a sanded bay in the southern part of Rinca Island, being one of the most famous dive sites in the Komodo National Park. Batu Bolong is an attraction known for its untouched state, mainly due to its rock’s topography and strong currents. Most fishermen would not opt to venture to this area to carry out their fishing activity hence, giving visitors the privilege of a peaceful and less crowded environment. On the sand, visitors can be greeted by creatures that are only local to the dive site, including the nudibranchs and the flatworms. When venturing to Batu Bolong, it is worth noting that water temperatures can be lower than in other places, and the conditions of the sea can be quite rough. Aside from that, the panoramic views above and underwater are more than enough to make Batu Bolong a worthy one.
Also known as “Hollow Rock,” Batu Bolong place is a world-class, sea playground. At the surface, you can only see a small rock with a hole in it, but underwater, it is a giant – going deep into the blue. Expect to see endless shoals of glistening fish and maybe even a passing manta, all in the depth that doesn’t exceed 25 meters. Various columns of mini coral gardens spread over the black sand and become the place where critters seek solace. In these gardens, divers can even spot rare blue-ringed octopus and bizarre wonderpus. The view underneath the waters is on another level. Most divers are left in awe with the existence of mini whirlpools that descend just a few meters from the surface. Another dive site waiting to be explored in Batu Bolong is the volcanic chimney. It ascends from the surface where one does not even need to dive deep to experience a whole new marine world. It is divine that divers can experience underwater beauty even at the surface of the waters of Batu Bolong.
Batu Bolong diving is often combined with a visit to Pilaarsteen – a pinnacle located on the shore of a small island east of Padar Besar. The topography of Pillaarsteen is what makes it stand out from the other dive sites. And it is due to its arrangement and location as well that the place can be quite hard to reach during the peak season. Various factors, such as rough sea conditions, strong wind, and reasonable visibility, have to be taken into consideration when choosing to visit Pillaarsteen.
It is best to enter just off the cliff point, where there is a beautiful wall and a plethora of caves to swim and encounter sharks and turtles. Once you descend into the waters, be prepared to be greeted by a gorgeous landscape underwater where the currents will lend a helping hand to transport you further. The plethora of caves serve as great explorations where some are possible for you to swim through. Keep an eye out for a large number of small fishes that seek refuge among the walls of the caves.
Another world awaits you at the west side of Pillaarsteen as the scene takes the form of a beautiful wall filled with soft corals that emit a yellow-orange glow. Further down, the sloping reef reveals a large collection of soft brown leather corals where miniature brilliant sea cucumbers can be found amongst the corals. Look out to sea, and you might see a pack of devil rays or mantas swimming to access the park’s northern waters. Schools of fusiliers rush past in mass, fighting the current as you sweep past.