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Dive Review of Tawali and Tufi Resorts in
Papua New Guinea/Milne Bay

June, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Donna Lavoie, FLA, Broward (2 reports)
Report Number 5202
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Galapagos, Bahamas, Utila, Roatan, Australia, FLA and FLA Keys, Grenada,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry  
calm, surge, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
75   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Some "guides" wanted a time limit, some did not care. Most times,
we dove until we were at 500PSI  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
1 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):
1 stars
1 stars
Service and Attitude
2 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
2 stars
Dive Operation
1 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars    
3 stars   
3 stars    
Trip Report TawaliPNG(part 1 due to space constraints)

PNG: TAWALI:  Tawali sells itself as a first class resort. It has had some
hard times recently. (We did not know of this) Seems a few weeks before we
arrived, they were robbed and then a bus of Japanese divers headed there
were held up and robbed en route to the resort. We learned the management
team was there only 6 weeks when we arrived AND it showed. We also learned
that Bob Hollis (Oceanic) had left and took some of the staff as well. 

Our arrival from Alotau was by bus on a bouncy road at night. That was ok,
UNTIL we came to the bridge that was almost gone; a truck had broken the
bridge. We had to get out of the van and cross with the only light that of
our vans headlight and helped by workers of the resort we walked across
this bridge, now only a few long boards. It was really scary and I thought
an amazing liability for them. Then into another bus on that side of the
bridge to a waiting boat, boat rides to resorts are nothing new for us,
but this was a wet boat and by the time we made it to the dock, I was
soaked. Not a way for a new customer to arrive it seemed to me.

Next day first dive day, we figured out on our own where to get the boat,
they have 2 docks, we made the mistake of going to the wrong one, had to
climb back up the hill and then down to the second dock. Boat arrives; it
has no cover from the sun. We had to ask the guide and boat driver: Is
there water, oh no, we will get some. Are there weight belts, oh no we will
get them. The boat was not set up for diving, tanks sat on the floor,
people on gunnels. They also did not bring a ladder, after the first dive
they tried to haul us aboard by pulling on our arms, causing my left elbow
to be hyper extended, still hurts today .So we went out, did the first dive
came back for lunch and decided it was already time to talk to the mgr.
Second dive had us with the same guide, nice enough guy and a different
boat. This one also not set up for diving, but at lest had a cover and they
remembered water. We did not have O2 at anytime on the boat. We did dive
Nitrox, usually 32%, cost $75.00 for the week. A deal.

All the diving was done on the drop offs surrounding the island. Vis was
never very good (30-50), looked like a snow storm u/w, we were told
plankton bloom, coral breeding season. We did do one dive in shallow waters
(20) off an island called Buie Buie Wa that we loved; we spent over 90
minutes looking at all the little stuff. It was clear white sand and coral
heads. My fav dive of the whole trip!! We also did a muck dive in a dark
sandy bottom place that had its share of garbage. Lots of critters to see
as well. Was a good dive.

FOOD: UGH, is a good word. It was the same every day. . All food buffet
style. Breakfast was the usual cereal, toast, different hot dishes. Lunch
was different cold or hot dishes, nothing inspirational to even remember.
Dinner: Always chicken chopped into legs, thighs, breast, and tuna. Cold
salad and cole slaw and a variety of dishes, spaghetti, roast pork slices
(gamey) etc. Soup was good as well as desserts. Fresh fruit was served
always until suddenly it was fruit cocktail from a can. Yuck

Then it started to rain! I mean RAIN. the already bad vis was worse, but
we were close to leaving, so it was not a problem.
The day before we were to leave, they decided to emergency evacuate us due
to the rains washing out the fords (a waterline crossing) we had to cross
on the road. They made arrangements for us to stay in an eco lodge in
Alatou. I was glad we were leaving, could not wait to get away. Taking the
boat, this time we piled into the dry area with the luggage. As it was dark
when we arrived, we did not see the dry area. I wish someone had suggested
it to us. Once reaching the van, we set off down the bouncy road. We were
all very worried about crossing the broken bridge in the rain. Sure that it
would make the boards slippery. Surprise! In the week that we were away,
someone had built a detour. The fords we had to cross, we wondered if the
van would get swept away in heavy water. 

We went by van to the Eco Lodge. Tawali did not pay for out stay there or
the fee to get us to the airport the next day. They did give us a letter to
give to our insurance companies. (Hopefully we will collect from AIG) The
lodge was kinda fun, kind of an outpost in the jungle. On the grounds,
there were green pythons,   Couscous_(marsupial) , cockatoos.
We had a nice dinner, talked with some Australian Ex Pats at the bar and
then off to more of those same hard beds and sleeping in the no AC cabins.
Oh did I mention a short power failure? 10 min to 24hrs when we asked,
lasted only 30min. Then it rained again. 

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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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