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

Loloata Island Resort, Dec, 2003,

by LeRoy Anderson, Utah, USA . Report 869.

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

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 75 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
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.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments Good subjects for photography, but no E 6 processing available.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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