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Dive Review of Loloata Island Resort in
Papua New Guinea/Port Moresby

December, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by LeRoy Anderson, Utah, USA
Report Number 869
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Palau, Little Cayman, Channel Islands, Hawaii, Florida Keys, Grand Cayman,
Yap, British Columbia, Milne Bay Papua New Guinea.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, dry  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
75   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
None, other than four dives per day, including one night dive as optional.
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Good subjects for photography, but no E 6 processing available.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
4 stars    
This was my second trip to Loloata Resort, Dik Knight has put this resort
together as a much better option for overnighting in the Port Moresby area
than would otherwise be available in the city itself. It is a great place
to stay while waiting for liveaboard trips or flights, international or
local. No malaria or dengue fever worries, as the island is totally dry
with no mosquitoes. 
The accomodations are very pleasant, with air conditioning, fans, showers,
and nice verandas with ocean and mangrove views. The dining is served
buffet style, and is quite good, though not five star gourmet.
The dive program is two boat trips per day, at 8am and 2pm, two dives per
trip, along with an optional night dive. The boat is comfortable and
adequate for the job, and the dive guides are enthusiastic and seem to
enjoy their jobs. A nice touch is the option of a warm fresh water rinse on
the boat after your dives.
Though it was at times windy, it did quiet down enough for some diving at
some outer, more unprotected locations. The "Pai II" is an
intentionally sunk wreck in about sixty feet of water offering soft coral
encrustations, many lionfish, hard coral fans, ornate ghost pipefish, and a
fabulous school of briefcase sized snappers circling about the mast.
"Susie's Bommie" is a small towered pinnacle rising from about
120 ft. to a circular reeftop in about forty feet of water. Despite calm
currents, it is covered by multiple types of healthy hard and soft corals,
smothered by purple and golden anthias, with the reeftop populated by a
school of about 100 sweetlips. Also smaller schools of moorish idols and
batfish. These fish were approachable to within a few feet, allowing fine
photographic opportunities. A bommie of glorious color and beauty.
"The Pumkin Patches are a set of several bommies in close proximity
resulting in dramatic underwater canyons and overhangs. On my first dive
here, fans of huge size, about ten by ten feet impressed me, along with
waves of thousands of mid sized  flourescent reef fish--fusiliers, rainbow
runners--coming up from the abyssal depths and swarming over the divers,
rising up from the canyons to the reeftops swarming with anthias, sweetlips
and napoleon wrasse. A moment of staggering hallucinatory beauty. As a
bonus, we found a yellow rhinopias scorpionfish towards the end of the
dive, making for an additional pleasant rare wildlife encounter. During
another dive here, a few days later, the current was down, visibility was
poor, the soft corals had gone into hiding, and there were few fish. Goes
to show how conditions can impact the same site from one dive to the next.
Ditto for another site, "Lion Island". During the day, Lion
Island revealed poor visibility, with little to see. However, a night dive
at this location was truly magical, with fabulous muck diving in about
twenty feet of water. Creatures seen included: sphere crabs, hairy
tarantula (fairy?)crabs, anenomes in the act of capturing small fish,
nocturnal cowfish, bioluminescent snake and oblong jellyfish,
plesthmobranchs, nudibranchs, hermit crabs, mini octopi, cuttlefish, ornate
ghost pipefish, bubble tailed pipefish, groups of bright red and white
cleaner shrimp, mantis shrimp, siphons, pillow starfish, sleeping
parrotfish, common cowries, and a small wreck festooned in brilliantly
colored encrusting corals and bright soft corals. All on one dive, thanks
to the expert help of my dive guide, Franco, who had accompanied me on the
same dive eighteen months earlier.
All in all, Loloata Island Resort is a great layover location, and
complements any other PNG dive destination or liveaboard. Why not? After
all, it is in PNG, and PNG diving is as good as it gets. 


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