A diver jumps from a 20 meter high cliff in Ponte Brolla, Val Maggia, southern Switzerland, while others watch him at the European Championships.
Cliff diving is about a lot more than the jump. Many would argue that the destination is just as important as the dive itself. Cliff divers are constantly scouting and sharing new diving destinations with their fellow athletes because only another diver can understand and appreciate a perfect cliff. There are hundreds of spots all over the world that boast unusual geological formations and fantastic scenery, but the most famous cliff diving spots are in Hawaii, Jamaica, Australia and Switzerland.
Hawaii is a great cliff diving destination because of its tropical climate and numerous volcanic cliff banks. There are several different diving spots in Hawaii with varying degrees of difficulty, though most of them are on the Big Island. The Southpoint Cliffs, located at the southernmost point of the United States, are a particularly well-regarded cliff diving spot. The secluded cliffs reach heights between 30 and 50 feet and are surrounded by the spectacular scenery of the Pacific Ocean. Although the diving conditions there are considered extremely dangerous due to the strong currents, fluctuating tides, and sharp rocks, the Southpoint Cliffs are still a favorite among many cliff divers.
Jamaica is also a commonly acknowledged cliff diving destination. Jamaica is one of the biggest islands in the Caribbean and home to the Blue Mountains which makes it an ideal spot for cliff divers. In particular, the limestone cliffs on Negril’s west side are a hot spot for serious divers. With jumps varying between 40 and 70 feet and numerous shadows lurking beneath the water’s surface, these cliffs are both treacherous and beautiful. Rick’s Café, a well-liked restaurant and diving site, has also become popular among thrill seekers. The locals provide an excellent diving show and give plenty of encouragement to those tourists who wish to try, but the cliffs are considered very risky.
Australia is home to a number of different cliff diving destinations as well. However, Australia is unlike other destinations because many of the best diving spots are not along the ocean front, but rather along the banks of various lakes and rivers. The Kimberley region in Western Australia is an example of an inland cliff diving destination. Kimberley is home to a number of breathtaking cliffs, gorges, waterfalls and mountain peaks that provide ample jumping sites for avid cliff divers. Some of the cliffs along the Ord River are more than 28 meters high, which is over 84 feet. Although the cliffs along the Ord River are ideal in terms of water depth and scenery, dives from such high cliffs should only be considered by experienced divers.
Finally, Switzerland is one of the most well-noted cliff diving destinations in the world. After all, it has been the site of several World High Diving Federation championships. Brontallo, Switzerland is a particularly popular diving destination because of its high cliffs that reach 26 meters, which is over 78 feet tall. The spectacular views and deep waters draw world class athletes to Brontallo even when the climate is not ideal for diving.