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Dive Review of Tawali in
Papua New Guinea/Milne Bay

March, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Richard Whiting, MD, United States (1 report)
Report Number 3584
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
GBR, Cozumel, Caymans, Turks and Caicos, St. John, St. Kitt
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
calm, currents  
Water Temp
80   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
0
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
[Unspecified]  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
1 or 2 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
Schools 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
N/A  
Boat Facilities
N/A
Overall rating for UWP's  
N/A  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
[None]
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
4 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
3 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
By far the best diving Ive ever done.  By the second dive I had crossed
off most of what I had on my wish list.  Tawali offers an incredible
combination of pristine Indo-Pacific diving with lots of variety  walls,
bommies, muck, drift, a great house reef. Sightings ran the gamut from
barracudas, hammerheads and Napoleon Wrasse, squadrons of devil fish to
incredible small critters  Ghost Pipefish, pygmy seahorses, myriad
nudibranchs, tiny crabs and shrimps  sometimes one on top of another.  I
booked 6 nights at Tawali as an add-on to a trip visiting relatives in
Melbourne.  Bettina at DiversionOz could not have been more helpful.  I
usually book independently, but the connections, and dealing with Air
Nuigini get complicated, so I used an agent and was very glad I did  every
connection went off without a hitch, and I felt much more confident with
the prep I received from DiversionOz.  

The dive routine was either 3 tanks with lunch on board, or 2 tanks, back
to the resort for lunch, and 2 more tanks.  The dive crews were very
flexible  a daily recommendation was made by Bob where to go, but really
whatever we asked for we could do  as many tanks daily as our computers
would allow.  Night dives were available as often as desired, and the house
reef offered interesting and almost unlimited bottom time, if not as scenic
and colorful as the other reefs.  Most of the trips were from 5  30
minutes from the resort, with the exception of a magical 3 tank trip across
the channel to dive near Normanby Island that took about 90 minutes to
reach. 

The resort itself is beautiful and nicely situated on a bluff overlooking
Milne bay.  Lots of native woods, carvings and crafts everywhere.  Rooms
are very spacious, with private balconies overlooking the lagoon.  There is
friendly, helpful staff everywhere.  The daily meal routine is breakfast at
7:00 (coffee and tea available at 6 and in-room), lunch at Noon, dinner at
7:00. The food was much better than most resorts Ive been to, and the day
boat lunches were by far the best Ive ever had. The chef started with a
different soup every night  all delicious.  Dinner and breakfast are
served buffet style, with lots of variety  dinner offered chicken, pork,
veggies, breads, potatoes, fantastic fresh fruit (surprisingly little fish)
and dessert.  Vegetarian dishes were also available  not just an offer to
eat more bread and potatoes.   Breakfast had fresh bread for toast, eggs,
bacon, sausage, cereals, fruit, and often French toast or pancakes.  

Negatives to report were that my rental regulator occasionally went into
free flow when testing the purge valve (fixed quickly), and the small dive
boats were not especially comfortable  a small seat with room for 2 in
front of the wheel house  other divers sit on the edge of the boat to and
from the sites.  If there were more divers, we would have spent more time
on the larger boats (we were on one for the trip to Normanby) which are
huge by comparison.  Spacious decks, lots of seating, on-board head, big
camera/gear table etc.

Tawali exceeded my already very high expectations.  I especially liked
diving as much as on a liveaboard, but able to tumble into your room for a
quick hot shower or nap whenever you felt the urge.  The diving was
incredible, varied, and unconstrained (except by your computer), the resort
beautiful, clean and comfortable and all the people exceptionally friendly,
knowledgeable and supportive.  Tawali is not inexpensive either to get to,
or to stay at, but in my opinion offers an outstanding value.  
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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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