Papua New Guinea truly deserves to carry the nickname “Tropical Wonderland”, and diving Papua is a must for every underwater lover. Papuan seas teem with rainbow gardens and marine life, and this is what all scuba divers are after. There are top class diving locations for the most demanding scuba divers as well as gorgeous shallows ideal for snorkelers – surely no visitor will leave disappointed. Diving in Papua New Guinea truly offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
WHAT TO DO IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Apart from dream beaches, picturesque waterfalls and jaw-dropping views, that are on every-day-menu anyway, the Papuan coastline offers a wide array of activities like sailing, yachting, kayaking, rafting, surfing, and swimming. Nevertheless, diving and snorkelling are the favourites.
BEST DIVING LOCATIONS (PAPUAN MAINLAND)
1.MADANG is considered to be the prettiest town in Papua. Reef-fringed lowlands are sheltered by rugged mountain ranges from one side, and from the other one, majestic, volcanic islands are towering on the horizon. Many Westerners come here to take pleasure in the splendid beaches while others are attracted by the Underwater. Excellent snorkelling and diving sites have been discovered here, and the highlights are definitely the WWII sunken ships and aircraft wrecks.
2.ALOTAU in located in the alluring Milne Bay and it is the gateway to numerous idyllic islands with immaculate beaches and waterfalls. For instance, Samarai Islands are often visited by adventurers and perfect for wildlife spotting, fishing and jungle trekking. This is the place to unwind. Diving expeditions and snorkelling tours can be arranged in Milne Bay/Alotau.
3.TUFI is the best-kept secret of Papua New Guinea and it is home to 1 out of 4 tropical fjords on Earth. The volcanic Fjord of Tufi is also called “Scandinavia of the tropics”. The underwater scenery of the Solomon Sea will blow your mind away. Tufi is a costly destination though, with luxurious eco-resorts accessible by private boat only. Spend a few days in the famous Tufi Resort and take a boat tour to the end of Tufi`s Fjord to experience epic diving.
The Bismarck Islands, stretching right between the Bismarck and Salomon Seas and the North Pacific, include the largest offshore islands in New Guinea – New Ireland and New Britain.
Kimbe Bay (New Britain), well-known for saltwater crocodiles, is the favourite diving location. The seas here support an outstanding marine habitat with wide biodiversity and world-renowned dive sites.
For instance, the Kimbe Marine Reserve is home to sharks, dolphins, whales, rays, turtles, and crocodiles. Landscapes feature turquoise waters, imposing volcanic cones, verdant foliage, cocoa and coconut plantation and those who would like to explore the mainland can enjoy birdlife spotting, jungle trekking, and eco-tourism.
The exceptional ecosystem in the Trobriand archipelago made it an important conservation area. Indigenous people here still practice black magic, spells, and rites and the island is often called the “Islands of Love” for a very peculiar relationship customs and fairly benevolent attitude to the sexual affairs.
However, it is not only the very specific local culture which has been attracting predominantly male visitors for decades to the Trobriand Islands. Nowadays, it is rather the fairy-tale-like atolls what draws the Westerners. The islands of Vakuta, Kitava, and Kiriwina are often visited for their picturesque villages, dazzling markets and vibrant festivals. Brilliant snorkelling and free-diving locations can be found throughout the islands.
The string of volcanic islands was blessed with marvellous reefs full of radiant coral gardens and ample marine life. Fans of the under-ocean will find many world-class diving spots and the Louisiade has recently become also a yachting hot-spot The only way how to move around is a canoe, long boat, sailing ship or a yacht. You can take a private cruise or a tour to explore the islands or bring your own transport.
Situated off-shores of the south-east Papua, the three principal islands – Fergusson, Goodenough and Normanby Islands – are closely related to the WWII. They became the focus of the military activity during this time, especially between Australia and Japan.
Many shipwrecks and aircraft wrecks were discovered deep in the ocean, and so, today, wreck diving is the foremost attraction. Still largely unexplored, the waters around the D`Entrecasteaux Archipelago are characterized by dramatic drop-offs, clefts, and overhangs. The islands got given a nickname “The Last Eden” for being little visited and relatively men-untouched.
Due to the high volcanic activity, landscapes here are formed by cone-shaped volcanoes, large geothermal areas with hot springs, bubbling mud pools and spitting geysers. Under the fuming domes, the deep seabed is not only hiding wrecks but also high-quality shell pearls. The archipelago is known for more treasure, though; gold and minerals have always been charming strangers for decades.
It is always advisable to inquire about the safety situation in PNG or in any location you intend to visit due to the presence of criminal gangs. There are tribal conflicts which you should avoid as much as possible when travelling.
Malaria pills and vaccination against the Yellow Fever is strongly recommended and some countries such as Australia even request all visitors get immunized prior to the entry to PNG. That means that If you visited Papua and travelling to Australia you must have had the adequate vaccination otherwise you will not be allowed to enter the country.
WHEN TO TRAVEL
Generally, the most pleasant time of the year to visit is during the dry season, between May and October. These months provide good visibility and conditions for the underwater activities.
HOW TO GET THERE
There are two Australian airlines that fly into Port Moresby – Virgin Australia and Qantas.
Air Niugini is the national carrier of Papua New Guinea connecting several island airports.
Subscribe to our email newsletter to receive useful articles and special offers. This monthly email is sent out on the first of every month.