Vast soft & hard CORAL GARDENS & magnificent sponges every size, shape & incredible hue millions of the planet's most BIZARRE CREATURES - ghostpipefish, hairy frogfish, spiny devilfish, long nose hawkfish a range of diving from CALM WATERS to CURRENT-SWEPT CHANNELS. Plunging WALLS, sloping reefs, SEA MOUNTS, pinnacles, exhilarating DROP-OFFS, fringing reefs, WORLD-CLASS MUCK DIVES plenty of open water dives with tuna, trevally, barracuda eagle & manta rays, dolphins, several varieties of SHARKS. And the ghostly, captivating WWII WRECKS ... frosting on the cake !
PNG, a Coral Triangle nation, is composed of small islands, atolls and barrier reefs unlike anything you've ever seen. Photographers can't get enough of this lush sub-marine garden. Most of the best sites lie on the south-eastern peninsula of the mainland island . . . and to the east of the mainland around the islands of New Ireland & New Britain. (see map)
While not as vast in terms of territory as Indonesia or the Philippines or Micronesia, PNG is certainly just as varied in terms of marine life ... and also a country which we dive by region based on our marine preferences. In brief, Kimbe Bay to Rabaul offers what are probably the most staggering corals on the planet ... the size, the shapes, the colors, the variety. Rabaul itself is a treasure trove of WWII wrecks. Milne Bay, while it has something of everything, is propably best known for its outrageously special muck diving ... critters which stretch the imagination of all who see them. Loloata offers more of those jaw-dropping corals ... and Tufi has everything a diver could want plus its amazing fjord geography.
These are simply the highlights .... You can read below, in detail, the descriptions of all of PNG's diving areas.
LIVEABOARD OR LAND-BASED?
One of the few dive destinations in the world where the land-based diving is as good as the liveaboard diving, PNG offers a fantastic selection of dive resorts to choose from.
Which option should you choose?
Our feeling is that if you've taken the pains to go all the way to this remote paradise, you should do both. A few days at a resort, before or after a liveaboard cruise, is unquestionably the perfect solution and will guarantee both unforgettable diving and a flavor of true New Guinea spirit.
For the adventurous traveller, PNG offers much more than diving, of course. Its pristine rain-forests hide species of animals still unknown to scientists & the land is equally rich in terms of culture, with hundreds of indigenous, traditional communities, many of which still have little or no contact with the outside world.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA DIVING ADVENTURES ... A PLETHORA OF CHOICES
Every year this regions hosts photographers who produce prize-winning shots from the surrounding waters. It's a rare thing to attend an underwater photography competition that doesn't include a prize winning photo or film shot in Kimbe Bay.
Most often, photographers spend at least a part of their time at the warm & welcoming Walindi Plantation Resort, with its remarkable house reef, coral gardens and critters . . . . and easy access to shallow fringing reefs, plunging walls and pinnacles.
We cannot possibly say enough good things - about Walindi . . . and about the diving in the immediate area. And, based at Walindi is one of Dom's all-time personal favorite liveaboards, FeBrina and her new sister ship, Oceania.
Tawali Resort can be your home base here for land-based diving . . . and the Chertan liveaboard is based at Tawali and will take you further afield. Also, the Golden Dawn does Milne Bay itineraries at certain times of the year.
The area can be dived year round, with November to February bringing the very best diving conditions and May to September bringing the heaviest rainfall.
Over 30 dive sites exist including walls, drop offs, reef channels, drifts, coral bommies, 3 wrecks and a WWII Boston Bomber.
While Loloata's critter reputation is undeniable, you mustn't think that critters is all there is! The waters of Bootless Bay contain substantial wrecks where the tubastrea, soft corals and fans grow in a vast range of colors. On these wrecks you'll see anthias and glass fish, long-nose hawkfish and pipefish and masses of pelagics.
Diving here is simply as good as it gets.
Further out you find Mulloway Reef and Cyclone Reef, both of which host lovely corals and attract schools of large fish and pelagics - tuna, trevally, barracuda, eagle rays & manta rays, several varieties of sharks, turtles and fairly frequent visiting hammerhead sharks.
When conditions are right, very experienced divers may have the opportunity to do a decompression dive to explore 2 very complete American PT Cruisers, sunk in 1942.
Kavieng is a small, friendly town on the northern tip of New Ireland - which saw intense fighting between the Japanese & Allied forces near the end of the Second World War .
Our preferred operators here are Lissenung Island Resort and Golden Dawn liveaboard, which offers Kavieng itineraries at certain times of the year.
Golden Dawn is currently accepting full charters only ... so please contact us if this possiblity is of interest to your group.
Don't mistake that fact to mean these are calm seas. In fact, the submerged reefs here can only be dived for a couple of months during the year, due to sea conditions. And, as far as we know, the only Captain who knows the territory well enough to navigate it is Craig Dewit of the Golden Dawn.
Should you be lucky enough to be one of the elite group of divers to dive the Eastern Fields, you will find massive drop-offs in clear blue waters, populated with unbelievable corals and nutrient-rich currents that bring marine species of all sizes and persuasions!
Action, color & creativity are the driving forces and visitors who attend the shows are in for the treat of their lives. The tribe members wear body paint, face tatoos, fantastic costumes & headdresses. The dancers move in frenzied rhythms to the ever-present beat of the drums.
The most renowned of the festivals are the Mount Hagen (August) and Goroka (September). Tribes compete with one another and participants & observers alike come from all over Papua New Guinea and all over the world .... so reservations need to be made well in advance.
Papua New Guinea is simply one of the most captivating places on the planet. Geographically north of Australia, it occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, at the far eastern edge of what we know as Indonesia. The western half of the island is home to two of Indonesia's provinces, Papua & West Papua. Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world & occupies one of the least explored landscapes on the planet where new species - land & sea - are being discovered each year.