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Dive Review of TAWALI RESORT/SAME in
Papua New Guinea/MILNE BAY

May, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Gregg Gaylord, WI, USA
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 4089
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Solomon Islands, Thailand, Cocos, Truk, Caribbean, Lake Michigan, Bahamas,
Florida, Indiana
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
80   to 88    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
10   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Dive as long as you want.    
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
4 stars    
Tawali Resort is located on Milne Bay in PNG.  It is literally carved out
of the jungle and represents a minor miracle.  The rooms are large,
luxurious and the beds were two queen beds.  No TV or phones in the room
(thankfully).  The single unit air conditioner was more than adequate to
cool the room.  There was a nice moderate sized balcony with table and
chairs with a jungle view as well as an ocean view.  The main lodge was
spacious and the dining area very large and well laid out.  Dining was
buffet style and the food was excellent, varied and certainly in more than
adequate quantities.  There was a "board" where you hung your
room number to indicate which dive boat and series of dives you were going
to be diving the next day.  Laundry was available at a modest charge ($20
US for 5 shirts and 2 pairs of shorts).  The showers and bathrooms were
excellent.  Hot water, though limited, was ample and VERY hot.  Small
shampoos, towels and daily room cleanings were performed during our stay. 
The breakfast, lunch and dinner services were not perfunctory, but there
was no significant delay.  You had to pay for soda, beer, wine and spirits
at the lodge (though soda was free on the boat during the dive day).  There
was an alarm clock in each room that appeared to work (we didn't use it
though).  All in all, the accommodations were excellent.  The staff of
native Papua New Guineans were friendly and always helpful.  Included in
the stay was a "dance" night.  Very interesting native dancing.
We were supposed to have been on the live aboard but 3 months prior to
arrival were told the boat was (for the third time) in dry dock.  We were
put up at the resort.  We were told other guests would not be allowed at
the resort, but this did not occur.  No big deal though.

AIRLINES/TRAVEL:  Air Niugini actually cancelled several flight from and to
Port Moresby to Alotau.  Passengers were stranded overnight though the
airline paid for a "securely guarded" hotel.  Security is a
serious issue in the towns.  Port M is a dangerous city.  They did,
however, hold the plane from Port M to Cains AU to allow our connection (we
were late from Alotau) when we departed.  I took 6 flight segments and an
overnight in Cairns, AU to arrive.  TOO MUCH TRAVEL I think.  Plan for the
extra time.  My bags all arrived.  1 1/2 hours by bus from the airport via
dirt roads and rickety bridges to a small jungle spot where a boat picked
us up and took us to the resort (20 minute ride).

Diving:  TONS OF UNIQUE CRITTERS.  We dove 1 to 2 hour dives in shallow
spots by the shore, and took a few "day trips" to some sea mounts
for somewhat more lush/soft coral diving.  The highlight were the Ornate
Ghost pipefish as well as the innumerable anemone fish of all varieties. 
Pelagics were rare and not interesting.  Muck diving was great.  We all
dove 32% Nitrox and had 11 full days of diving.  The house reef featured
coral heads with Mandarin Fish!  Cuttlefish were often sighted.  Unique
innumerable colorful fish, crabs and shrimp as well as outstanding
condition of the coral.

The bad:  Liveaboard not ready but as it turned out, the destinations we
WOULD have gone to were rain soaked.  We had sunny, dry weather most of our
stay at the resort.  Luck.  One of the two boats had a breakdown our second
dive day.  Internet service down for one week.  Rare occurance apparantly. 
Multiple requests needed to fix something instead of "mentioning
once" and done.  I think this was more due to new management than
neglect or not caring.  If anything, the management was outstanding in
their attention to our group.

Overall:  Excellent diving.  Excellent resort.  LONG WAY TO TRAVEL with
IFFY air service in Papua New Guinea.  Resort needs to correct mechanical
problems with the boats.  Great management staff.  Dive staff superb at
finding critters.  Major cudos to Sebastian.  
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Other dive reports on Tawali

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

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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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