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Dive Review of Loloata in
Papua New Guinea/Coral Sea / Port Moresby

August, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Gene Huff, CA, USA (9 reports)
Report Number 3536

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Reporter
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
[Unspecified]

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy, dry  
Seas
choppy  
Water Temp
77   to 80    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
20   to 60    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
No deco.  Dive your own plan after DM saw your skill level.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
None 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
No camera rinse tanks on boat.  Cameras stored in wheelhouse.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
This was the second week of a two week trip to PNG.  The first week at
Walindi is covered in a separate report.   Loloata is about a 15 minute van
ride and then a 15 minute boat ride away from Port Moresby, but it is in
another world.  The driver picked our group of four up at the airport and
within minutes we were out of the city, as terrible as reported elsewhere,
and driving through open country to a dock where a boat was waiting to take
us to Loloata island. Loloata Island is tucked in Bootless Bay and
protected by a peninsula from Port Moresby.  Being close to Moresby, it is
used by locals and ex-pats as a quick getaway from the stress of the city. 
Quite a few guests were there just for a night or two bewteen flights or to
get a snorkel trip in to nearby Lion Island.  The resort itself is a series
of duplex rooms facing the bay and mainland.  We stayed in air-conditioned
rooms set about a 5 minute walk from the main grounds and slightly up on
the hill running down the spine of the small island.  The view was nice and
these six rooms were far removed from any noise in the common area.  The
only bad part of the walk was going by the diesel generators.  The resort
is centered loosely behind a reception/dining area that faces the bay. 
Boats deliver people and goods to the end of a fairly long pier that leads
to the grounds.  The resort is the only thing on the island, but resort and
dive staff have their own accomodations on the island and report to prefer
that to living on the mainland.  The grounds are fairly well maintained
although showing signs of age and not exactly 5 star.  Our room was fairly
large with queen and twin beds, a desk and a large balcony.  The balcony
was used almost every night as a cool breeze brought us outside.  Breakfast
was made to order eggs, pancakes or cereals and fruit.  Lunches and dinners
were served banquet style and had a variety of beef, lamb, chicken and fish
courses and vegetarian was always an option.  All the meals were much
better than expected and everyone in our group found something to rave
about at almost every meal.

Diving consisted of two morning dives, a return to the island for lunch,
and then an afternoon dive.  The longest trip we made was about 45 minutes.
 First dives were to 75 to 100 feet for 50 to 75 minutes.  One thing to
point out is second tanks were aluminum 63s unless 80s were requested.  A
surface interval on the boat included cookies and fruit, water and fruit
drinks, coffee, tea or soda.  A short motor led to the second dive, usually
a bit shallower although all the but the muck dives went to 65 feet or
beyond.  Afternoon dives were closer in and all but one day dictated by
where we could get out of the afternoon wind and chop.

I found the diving to be outstanding, although those looking for 100 foot
visibility and warm water will be very disappointed.  Most of the dives
found greenish water with 30-60 foot visibility on the outer bommies and
reefs and less on the muck dives.  The relatively cool water provides
plenty of nutrients though and the fish life took advantage of it.  Large
schools of big sweetlips and snappers hung out at current edges. 
Butterflyfishes, some endemic, angelfish and anemonefish were thick.  Gray
and whitetip reef sharks were seen.  Three wobbegongs, including one large
male holed up and allowed for some good pictures.  We saw a half dozen lacy
scorpionfish including three on one dive, all different colors.  Pygmy
seahorses were seen numerous times including 4 one one fan.  Other
interesting finds included a pipehorse, several types of scorpionfish,
mantis shrimp, several types of pipefish, striped garden eels, olive and
several banded sea snakes, octopus, squid, and too many nudibranchs to
count.  The muck diving around Lion Island provided shrimps, crabs,
nudibranchs, and other interesting sights at every turn.  We dove several
wrecks that were quite nice.  One of my most enjoyable dives was a night
dive off the end of the pier where I found squid, lionfish and an octopus
that had found a hiding place by enclosing itself in an old coffee cup with
a clam shell for a front door.

The crew, DMs Yoshi, Franco and Junior and hands Sebo and Richard were all
very friendly and helpful.  The dive shop is small and I would bring my own
repair kit or backup equipment.  Two boats handled up to 8 divers each
fairly comfortably and the DMs led those who wanted to be led and let
others go their own way.  Set your gear up the first day and they take care
of it the rest of the time.

Bugs were not a problem although I did get bit up on the stomach one night.
 We used DEET when going out for long and at dinner.  Power is on 24 hours.
 Bring converters for electronics.  There really is no bar and night life
is conversation with other guests.  Moresby is close by though and $15 gets
you a ride to town and the driver stays with you.  PNG Arts really is worth
a visit.  Don't plan to go out on your own.

Loloata is so close to the airport with such great diving I don't
understand why it is not more well known.  I would highly recommend it as a
stop worth spending a few dive days at while traveling to other PNG
destinations.   

    
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Other dive reports on Loloata Island Resort

All Papua New Guinea Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Papua New Guinea
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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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