Monday, May 12, 2008

News from the PNG dive operators


Papua New Guinea is famous all over the world for its fantastic dive regions, its colourful reefs, its varied marine life and coral. No other country has as many different types of fish and coral on show as PNG does. Many people travel thousands of kilometres to visit our country and dive and snorkel our beautiful reefs. Often, the locals are the last to realise what is right on their doorstep, so from now on, The National will introduce to you some of these dive destinations, dive resorts/shops and dive liveaboard boats, keep you up to date with the latest news and specials and hopefully entice you to visit some of these beautiful spots!

I would also like to call on all the resident divers, snorkellers and travellers, no matter where you live and where you dive/snorkel/visit: If you have great pictures to show off, awesome stories to share, please e-mail me on and I will include your contributions!

Tufi welcomes the latest addition to its fleet (pictured above), a 28 foot Noosa Cat with 2 x 250hp Suzuki 4-stroke outboard engines and fully equipped with VHF radio, Epirb, GPS chart plotter. Side entry dive access, placements for 10 divers plus crew, full toilet, shower and camera wash facilities make this boat very comfortable! Cruise speed is a whopping 24 knots, making Tufi’s outer reefs accessible in less than 30 minutes! You got to be on it to believe it!

The Queen’s Birthday long weekend in early June is the perfect time to check out the new boat and combine the visit with culture as the Tufi Cultural Show is happening on 8th and 9th June. Tufi has put together some great packages including flights, accommodation, meals and show entry. You can contact them by phone on 323 3462 –

Kabaira Dive Rabaul was a buzz in March! Firstly, the house was full with scientists who were in town attending a Cocoa Workshop, then Rabaul hosted the 2008 National Game Fishing Titles.
There were over 220 anglers from around the country, as well international, who attended the 10 day event. Since there are only 2 fishing days permitted per angler, Stephen and his crew were bombarded with bookings for diving, camping, sightseeing, bushwalking and even more fishing.
Stephen took a group of 3 keen anglers down to the Talele Islands for a 2 night camping trip while Richard was in hot pursuit of critters for our underwater photographers and Lloyd looked after the Land Tours of Volcano Town and WWII Sites.

Chris, the dive operations manager at Tawali Resort in Milne Bay reported sightings of Rhinophias (Lacy Sea Scorpionfish), Epaulette Sharks, a pod of Orca Whales surfacing very close to the dive boat, plenty of White Tip Reef Sharks, and a large school of Bumphead Parrotfish.
Tawali Resort is situated on a limestone bluff in Hoia Bay, Milne Bay and looks out across the beautiful Milne Bay to Normanby Island in the distance. The resort is an excellent place to get away from it all for a short or long stay even if you are not currently a diver. The resort offers relaxation in a hammock over the beach and lapping waters, kayaking, snorkeling, guided mountain hiking, tours to the skull caves and local waterfall, or even a coastal walk visiting some of the local villages.

The latest news for Lissenung Island Resort in Kavieng is that the resort now has 6 double/twin/single rooms with private bathrooms. Only one room still uses the “public” bathrooms. There have been rumours that the resort is about to close up, but nothing could be further from the truth! One bungalow has just been completely re-build and we have put too much sweat, tears and money into it to give it all up. Plus, we enjoy what we do, why should we give it up?

On the diving front, we had some awesome sightings! Planet Channel and Eagle Ray Passage delivered 7 Spotted Eagle Rays last week, at Bermuda Drop Erik Ranstead from from Germany found a Halimeda Ghostpipefish (pictured above) and during surface intervals, the divers were treated to a pot of Pilot Whales and jumping Sailfish. While the Sailfish always remained in the distance, the pot of whales actually enjoyed some gentle interaction with the guests who had hopped in for a snorkel. What a buzz!!!

Well, that’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed this little newsletter and it will get you traveling some more. If you are not a certified diver yet, you may want to visit John Miller at The Dive Centre in Port Moresby, located pool-side at the Airways Hotel. Many a diver who has spent time in PNG has John’s name on his or her card as the certifying instructor. John also has a well-stocked dive shop, so if you in want of some dive gear, talk to him!

Till next month, and don’t forget to e-mail me your stories! Please shrink any pictures that you send, as on the island, we are only one step ahead of smoke signals. If you think your internet connection in the big cities is slow, you should come to the island one day!

Ange Hellberg is the Marketing Manager for Lissenung Island Resort in Kavieng, New Ireland Province. You can contact her on and have a look at their website on

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