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Dive Review of Tawali in
Papua New Guinea/Milne Bay

Tawali, Jun, 2011,

by Michael J. Millet, CA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 65 reports with 15 Helpful votes). Report 6114.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 0-25 dives
Where else diving All over the Caribbean, Galapagos, Hawaii, Kosrae, Truk Lagoon, Yap, Palau, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, GBR, Indonesia, Revillagigedos, PNG
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, rainy Seas choppy
Water Temp 81 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 100' and 1 hour however I had several dives exceeding 70 minutes
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments The various dive boats had differing accommodations for cameras. The smaller boats had an area set aside for cameras but no rinse tank. The larger boat had a very spacious camera table and rinse tanks. The dive crew handled the camera gear efficiently and carefully. Topside, there is a rinse tank for cameras but it often had no water in it. There is a camera room at Tawali that is normally locked - a bit inconvenient. It has several 110 volt charging stations. I took care of my camera gear in my room.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The Tawali resort is located at the far Eastern end of the North Milne Bay peninsula. It is reached by flying from Port Moresby to Alotau then taking a Tawali shuttle bus for almost 2 hours over a very bumpy road filled with bus-swallowing holes. We had to cross several very swollen streams. Then there is a 20 minute boat ride to reach the resort.

The staff at the resort was very friendly and helpful. Upon arrival, I was given an orientation of the resort and the dive operation. The guest rooms are very spacious with 2 queen beds, a large patio, A/C, small frig, satellite TV. Very Comfortable. The food at the resort was plentiful and very, very tasty. Benson, the Chef, did an excellent job. The seared yellow-fin tuna was fantastic. The desserts were scrumptious. The bar has the local beer, some Australian wines and a limited selection of spirits. The resort has internet access that is not reliable and is pricey.

Although PNG is considered a malaria country (I took Malarone), I did not notice a significant number of insects particularly mosquitoes.

For the my first 5 days, I was the sole diver at the resort. So I had my personal dive guide. The weather was cloudy and rainy with choppy water so the dive conditions were marginal with green water and low viz. I understand that the best dive conditions are from November thru January in the Milne Bay Area. The AM dive trip is for 2 tanks with a single PM tank. I dove the local reefs - Wahoo Point, Sponge Heaven, Michelle's, Deacon's, Lawandi. The reefs appear to be in pretty good shape with marine life in abundance and diversity. The dive sites included walls coral gardens and black sand (muck). Because of the low viz, macro-photography was primarily utilized with lots of nudibranchs, pipefish, shrimp and crabs. I did have a couple of great encounters with a large school of moon jellies. Very cool.

Later during my stay after more divers arrived, we took the larger dive boat to dive sites farther East some 1 hour cruising time away. These were 3 tanks trips with lunch on the boat. The viz was a bit better at these sites farther away from the shoreline.

The dive guides at Tawali really know the dive sites and how to find the critters. They also take complete care of the dive gear including rinsing, storage and set-up on the dive boat. At the end of the stay, they cleaned the gear and delivered it to my room.

In summary, Tawali is a very comfortable resort with a good staff, great food, a good dive operation and great diving. It is a trek to get to. If I were to return, it would be in the Nov-Jan time frame.
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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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