Diving in Papua New Guinea
Albatross Passage: At an incoming tide this narrow passage is like fish soup. Eagle
Rays, Mobula Rays, big Dogtooth Tunas, Barracudas, plenty of Grey Reef Sharks and
loads of other fish can be seen here on almost every dive. The wall itself is overgrown
with big fan corals, black corals and sponges and this is the home for small creatures
like Nudibranchs, Leaf Scorpionfish and Pygmy Seahorse.
Planet Channel is definitely one of the best dives in Kavieng: Pelagic fish action
packed with Barracudas, Jacks, Eagle Rays and Sharks, soft corals, huge Gorgonian
fans in every possible color plus an amazing selection of small critters – it’s
Dive Spot 02
Duis, esse nulla, et aliquam, quis facilisi euismod diam eros ut dolore. Consequat
erat duis vero ullamcorper suscipit sit qui wisi odio, ad vel esse. Amet ad lorem
vel facilisis iriure et nisl, aliquip dolor, velit. Nostrud praesent accumsan feugiat
vel quis nostrud autem wisi et in, dignissim augue commodo, in consequat.
Used as a Japanese submarine haven in World War II, Submarine Base is a site with
a vertical wall plunging 300 metres into waters abounding with myriad schools of
tropical fish, pelagics, sharks and dugongs, nudibranches, shrimps, eels and many
hued corals. Select from a variety of wall and drift dives. Bi Plane Peter is a
Mitsubishi World War II Japanese spotter aircraft which stands upright in 27 metres
of water and is in excellent condition. View colourful and beautiful corals above
with a wealth of marine life including moray eels, featherstars and puffer fish.
Three kilometres offshore from the town of Madang is the volcanic seamount known
as Planet Rock. The seas around the mount plummet to a depth of over 2,000 feet,
but the strong ocean currents that surge through Astrolabe Bay sweep around and
across the apex of the mount at only 15 feet. These currents bring with them large
schools of predatory, pelagic fish. Inhabitants of this site include Clown Triggerfish,
Agate-eyed Moray Eels, Blue Fin Trevally and Jacks, Silver Tip sharks, and on occasion
hammerheads and tiger sharks. Magic Passage is aptly named for its seething mass
of schooling fish. Most common are the silvery jacks which form a wall around divers.
Over half the world’s species of coral can be found in Kimbe Bay. Pristine and colourful
corals are home to a variety of fish, crustacean and invertebrate life. Many of
the reefs have resident schools of barracuda, tuna and jacks. A range of shark species
are regularly sighted, including hammerheads and silvertips, particularly on the
offshore reefs. A short boat ride from shore is Susan’s Reef, the perfect coral
garden. Prolific and vibrant hard and soft corals have provided the scene for countless
magazine cover-shots. Fathers Reefs are a series of off shore reefs which are the
sunken remains of a huge extinct volcanic caldera.
From diving the fjords to WW2 wrecks, the Tufi area offers a wide variety of diving
experiences with constant visibility of 30 metres plus and water temperatures of
26°C to 29°C all year round. The House Reef (Tufi Wharf) sits in less than 10m of
water and is home to gobies, mandarin fish, ghost pipefish, banded pipe fish, nudibranchs
and other fascinating creatures making it a ‘must see’ for the macro photographer.
Black Rocks are a series of circular reefs offering all levels of diving. Gentle
currents bring in schools of pelagic, while the exposed rocks on the tops of the
reefs offer great swimming and snorkelling between dives in a protected setting.
Some of the best diving can be found minutes from the capital city. Susie’s Bommie
is famous for its schooling golden sweetlips and batfish among a myriad of colourful
tropical fish and coral. At 12-30m this pristine bommie situated on white sand offers
divers a plethora of corals and fish life. The Pumpkin Patch is 6.5nm from shore
and is home to abundant reef fish, black coral trees, soft corals, gorgonian fans,
staghorn corals, plate corals. Best diving depth is 10-25m. Located 90nm south-west
of Port Moresby in the Coral Sea is spectacular Eastern Fields, a submerged atoll
rising from over 1200m and covering some 400 square miles.
Milne Bay’s numerous superb dive sites include Lauadi, which offers incredible muck
diving in sloping black volcanic sand with depths of 12-15 meters. Divers can spend
a number of days exploring this site whose inhabitants include octopuses, including
the mimic, Lion Fish, Sea Horses, colourful Frog Fishes, Blue Ribbon Eels, Ghost
Pipe fish and a wide variety of nudibranchs. For the wide angle photographer there
is a large variety of sea fans which grow to 10m below the surface under the jungle
canopy. Wahoo Point is frequently visited by hammerheads, manta rays, mubula rays,
minke whales and whale sharks. It is a small point with a shelf from 5-18 meters
in depth and dropping with a sheer wall to over 60m.
|Diving in the exotic and unexplored waters of PNG
Papua New Guinea is one of the best dive destinations in the world.
The coast of Papua New Guinea is home to some of the world's most spectacular diving - dubbed as the 'underwater photographer's paradise', with many international award-winning photos being taken in PNG waters.
Located in the Indo-Pacific Area, experts say that the oceans surrounding Papua New Guinea have up to twice as many marine species as the waters of the Red Sea and up to five times as many as the Caribbean.
Divers in our oceans enjoy a huge diversity of dive sites, including barrier reefs, coral walls (drop off), and coral gardens, patch reefs, fringing reefs, sea grass beds, coral atolls, and wreck dive sites. The wreck diving sites of Papua New Guinea provide a collection of ships, aircraft and submarine wrecks from World War 2.
The average water temperature varies from 25 degrees Celsius along the edge of the Coral Sea to 29 degrees Celsius in the Bismarck Sea. One can dive in Papua New Guinea all year round, with the high season generally from May to November.
Dive operators offer both land-based and live-aboard dive tours in Papua New Guinea. Land based tours normally consist of a day tour taking up to three dives, whilst live-aboard tours can take 7-10 days, with up to five dives a day. Most land-based operators offer resort-type dive courses and have fully equipped dive shops with diving and snorkelling equipment available for hire. For those bringing their own equipment, there are facilities available in the main cities to clean equipment.
The majority of dive operators operate on small to medium sized properties, with emphasis on personal attention in a relaxing environment. Dive sites in PNG are just a short distance from the resorts. The excellent quality of diving is synonymous with each operation, with the size of live-aboard dive boats falling between 45' and 120', with differing levels of amenities. Several operators now offer nitrox and rebreathers and most boats have facilities for camera equipment changing.
Papua New Guinea also has its own hyperbaric recompression chamber. Located at Port Moresby Medical Services, the DAN-sponsored facility is owned by the Hyperbaric Partners Limited and is supported by the PNG Divers Association through a small chamber levy.
Click here to visit the PNG DIVE website.
While the reefs along the coast of Papua New Guinea teems with life, they are extremely fragile. In recognition of the importance of preserving the marine ecosystem, members of the Papua New Guinea Divers Association actively promote the use of moorings on regularly dived sites. The need to practice sensible diving and respect the underwater environment in Papua New Guinea is emphasized and in doing so, the message to all divers is very clear: please look but don't touch. Papua New Guinea was rated the TOP Dive Destination in the World in 2002 and received the Rodale's Scuba Diving Readers' Choice Award.
Find out more about the Papua New Guinea culture and its history.