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Dive Review of Tufi Dive Resort in
Papua New Guinea/Tufi

Tufi Dive Resort, Apr, 2006,

by Don Lipmanson, CA, United States (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports). Report 2458.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Belize, Grand Turk, CA North Coast
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy, dry Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 86 to 87 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 30 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Surface with 500 psi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 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 5 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments This was my first attempt at UWP, using a very basic film camera. The resort does not appear to offer on-site film developing, digital editing or photo accessories for sale, although several albums with stunning photographs - by Japanese photographers who visited the resort - of at least 50 nudibranch species indicate tremendous photo possibilities for a self-contained professional.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Diving and the cultural opportunities were equally wonderful. Diving focused on walls and bommies; Cyclone and Veale's were exceptional, although some portions were damaged by coral bleaching and/or crown-of-thorns invasions. Most dives offered an exceptional variety of good-sized fish, plus countless anemonefish, gobies, blennies, anthias and small wrasses, many endemic. Nudibranchs, flatworms and crustaceans appeared on every dive. In eight dives, saw two gray reef sharks, one white-tipped and one hammerhead, a large Napoleon wrasse and several 4' humphead parrotfish. Better visibility probably would have offered more sharks, although finning by Taiwanese vessels reportedly is a problem, with Greenpeace Australia apparently engaged in preventative direct action. Frogfish and pipefish were highlights of a wharf dive.
Glen and Archie, natives of the Alotau area, were the most attentive, competent and friendly divemasters I ever encountered, finding countless macro subjects and offering divers either independence or "handholding" according to one's wishes. The dive boat is comfortable, although fairly slow due to a breakdown in a turbocharger part, but given the stunning beauty of the locale, slow was beautiful. Nitrox is not available, but air fills always exceeded 3000 psi and virtually every dive approached an hour.
This is a 10-room resort with a beautiful lodge and outdoor dining area plus barbeque overlooking the main fjord. Rooms 9 and 10 were good-sized, nicely furnished, well air-conditioned with plenty of round-the-clock hot water. All meals are included in the price; quality is good although availability of fresh fruits and veggies can be erratic. Current managers, Simon and Sharon Tewson, are wonderful, environmentally conscious folks; Simon has spent the last 45 years in PNG and can negotiate local politics in a way that allows visitors access to remote villages seldom visited by outsiders. Birders should not miss an overnight stay in Orotoaba, where two guides took me on a four-hour crack-of-dawn hike into the rainforest to see Raggiana birds of paradise, hornbills and a couple dozen other species, including numerous endemic raptors. Discrete inquiry may yield detailed information about inter-clan killings over land and women that continue to this day and are settled, at least temporarily, by pig feasts. A sing-sing in a local village would justify missing a couple dives, as their customs have not yet been undermined by tourism.
Tufi offers no "entertainment" or even TV, and is closed off from the surrounding village by a chain-link fence and a couple unarmed security guards (although wandering about in daylight seems entirely safe). Still, between diving, cultural activities, conversation with the managers and the sheer beauty of the locale, our seven night stay was barely enough, and I'll return for sure.
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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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