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

April, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Don Lipmanson, CA, United States
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 2458
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
Belize, Grand Turk, CA North Coast
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, cloudy, dry  
calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
86   to 87    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Surface with 500 psi  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
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):
5 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
     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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