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Dive Review of Loloata Island Resort in
Papua New Guinea

June, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Lori Brown, MD, USA
Sr. Contributor   (22 reports)
Report Number 558
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Sulawesi, Irian Jaya, Cozumel, Bonaire, Fiji, Jamaica 
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

choppy, currents  
Water Temp
80   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Provided a counter in the dive shop with electrical outlet No accomodation
on boat for cameras to soak.  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
3 stars    
Lori Brown, Chris Green, and Justin Brown Green

Loloata Island Resort,  Papua New Guinea

	We stopped at Loloata on the first leg of a trip around Papua New Guinea
in June, 2003.  Loloata Island is conveniently located near Port Moresby so
is a good place to adjust to the 14 hour time difference (between PNG and
East Coast U.S.). The rooms are small but comfortable and clean and we
arranged for an air conditioned room. The weather was hot during the day
but it rained nearly every afternoon and cooled down a bit at night.  There
were a few mosquitos but not enough to drive one mad, we were all on
malaria prophylaxis and using insect repellant as well.   
	There were plenty of interesting guests.  Evidently, the close location to
Port Moresby draws not just divers but conferences to the island.  During
the 6 days we were there, we met a PNG historian from Queensland
University, a physicist who claimed to be the father of the PNG equivalent
of the National Institutes of Standards and Technology,  a large group of
German NGO workers, and a group of missionaries all wearing Isuzu baseball
caps.  In addition to the numerous interesting guests, there was a host of
interesting locals including a horde of tiny wallabies, crested pigeons,
large spiders, and captive tree kangaroos.   
	Meals are served buffet style at long tables.  Food was good and plentiful
and included lobster with light sauce, pasta with shrimp and ginger, ham,
and plenty of vegetables (some of them unidentifiable). One night dinner
was followed by entertainment by a group of local kids doing traditional
dances.  It was, well... really cute! 
	The dive shop was run by Adam Powell assisted by dive masters Nienke and
Yosi.  Our son, age 12, was recently certified junior open water so could
not dive below 40 feet.  We were concerned that he might not be able to
dive if they were too deep or conditions difficult.  But Nienke stayed with
him at an appropriate depth on every dive so that his being there did not
interfere with other divers.  Meanwhile, we were able to enjoy deeper
diving while our son had a wonderful (and safe) time. Adam was safety
conscious and each time there was a new diver on the boat, he did an
orientation of the safety features on board.   	
	We didnt see many large fish (sharks) but small fish were plentiful and
the reef stunning. There were huge stands of blue tipped acropora filled
with pairs of butterfly fish, long-nose file fish, and the usual assortment
of damsels.  There were beautiful sea fans and even the occasional pygmy
seahorse.  I may have to resort to a bifocal mask next time to see them
better! There was a huge anemone that covered about 5 ft by 5 ft and was
hopping with a half-dozen different species of anemone fish.  One of my
favorite sites, that we returned to repeatedly, was a mucky dive at Lion
Island.  Here we spotted a tube anemone with a shrimp dancing around it, a
tiny crab on the underside of an upside down jelly fish, a pavo razor fish
flitting about looking like a little leaf, and a horned sea star with a
crab on it. 
	The dive staff kept telling us about the legendary lacy scorpion fish
(Rhinopias aphanes), a fish that only lives near Loloata Island. Each day,
they would tell us that we might see one today.  By our last dive, we were
rolling our eyes and laughing when they went through the lacy scorpion fish
story with the new divers for the day.  Low and behold, on the last 5
minutes of the last dive, Nienka spotted a lacy scorpion fish in the coral
rubble at Quayles Reef.  A fitting end for a relaxed week of diving.  
	Just a brief word about the diving conditions.  Visibility was usually
limited and there were a few dives on which currents became very strong. 
We ended one dive with just 300 psi after swimming against a very strong
current.  The current changed within the first 15 minutes of the dive and
the rest of the dive was spent trying to get back to the boat.  We were
diving with Yosi at the time, looking for pygmy seahorses at about 90 ft.
She handled the situation very professionally.  We managed a safety stop by
hanging onto dead coral. 
	All in all, the dive staff was friendly and helpful, the diving was good,
and a good time was had by all.

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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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