Explore Junkyard Reef – the first artificial dive site in Koh Tao

Junkyard Reef was the first artificial dive site in Koh Tao, and is now one of the most popular dive sites for beginners and training purposes. With a maximum depth of 39 feet (12 meters), this shallow reef is suitable for all levels of divers who enjoy vast marine life and explore the unexpected that only artificial reefs have to offer. 

Junkyard reef dive site koh tao

It might feel like joining the local gym of sunken Atlantis.

About Junkyard Reef in Koh Tao

In 2006, the Junkyard Reef project was started. The marine conservation partner, Eco Koh Tao, constructed the Junkyard Reef Project with a straightforward concept in mind. Donations of suitable unwanted materials were gathered and arranged to create an artificial reef designated to attract and sustain vibrant aquatic life.

To help expand the artificial dive site, many local businesses such as a gym donated their unwanted and outdated fitness equipment. Over time, this donation of materials resulted in growth at the artificial dive site, including steel structures, coral nurseries, and giant clams were released into the underwater nature.

damselfish at artificial junkyard reef koh tao

The current artificial dive site is now a haven for an array of sea creatures. From yellow spotted rabbitfish and lionfish to juvenile harlequin sweetlips, damselfish, copper banded butterflyfish, as well as saddleback anemonefish. You might even spot a rare batfish or masked porcupine pufferfish. Just two decades ago, none of these animals lived here in the sandy area – incredible what upcycling can do to our marine environment.

By the way, did you know we get excited about projects like these. That's why we donate a revenue percentage to environmental projects. If you want to support this idea, just read one more article and share scuba-guide.com with your dive buddy. Thanks!

Diving at Junkyard Reef in Koh Tao

Junkyard Reef is perfect for divers of all levels, with a depth range from 20 to 36 feet (6 – 12 meters) and often good visibility conditions of up to 66 feet (20 meters). With plenty of large sandy patches making it ideal for discovering scuba diving, open water diver training as well as buoyancy lessons. Many advanced open water students conduct a night dive here.

Junkyard Reef dive site brief

  • Access: From boat
  • Maximum depth: 36 feet/ 12 meters 
  • Visibility: 26 – 66 feet (8 – 20 meters)
  • Dive time: 60 minutes 
  • Certification level: Open Water
  • Type: shallow reef; night
night dive at junkyard reef koh tao

Night diving at Junkyard Reef

Not just because of the close proximity to the pier where the dive boats dock, Junkyard Reef offers a great night diving experience. The artificial reef night dive brings out many opportunities to see different species of sea life that you wouldn’t normally encounter during the daytime. Octopuses, eels, huge crabs, and lobsters come out at night.

Do you know the difference between night and blackwater diving?

What certification is required to dive at Junkyard Reef?

The dive at Junkyard Reef in Koh Tao, Thailand is a shallow dive, suitable for all levels of divers. It’s often used for discover dives and Open Water courses

How much does a dive at Junkyard Reef cost?

Koh Tao is renowned for its low-cost scuba diving. A single dive starts at a mere 1,000 Thai Baht (about 30 USD). If you’re looking to take multiple dives, the price per dive drops to an incredibly affordable 800 TBH (a little over 25 USD) up to 10 dives. This means that two tanks of fun can be yours for only 50 USD.

Related dive sites

Other dive sites suited for beginners as well as more experienced divers are Hin Ngam or Twins. If you like the pinnacles in Koh Tao and are deep dive experienced, check out the Hin Pee Wee or Chumphon Pinnacle – here you have the highest chance to see a whale shark. And don’t forget the wreck dive at the HTMS Sattakut.

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