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Dive Review of Tufi Dive in
Papua New Guinea/Oro Province

May, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Mr. Dave Mintz, CA, US (2 reports)
Report Number 5505
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy, cloudy, dry  
calm, choppy, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
The dive briefings offered parameters for the dive but as we had computers,
those were more suggestions than hard and fast rules.    
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
For the 8 days of boat diving that my wife and I did, we were on one of
smaller vessels since there were so few divers at the resort during our
stay.  On that small boat, there were no special accommodations for camera
gear.  It is possible that there are some made on the other larger boats,
though we didn't see any.  At the "dive shop" there are tables
with chairs under a covered area where one could lay out their gear if they
wanted a workspace but no dedicated camera room like at Wakatobi.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
Papua New Guinea had been on our wish list for quite some time and my wife
and I were looking for a land-based operation rather than a live-aboard. 
After looking at the Tufi website, reading about it at Undercurrent and
chatting with my travel agent, we committed to a 12 night stay with 8 days
of boat diving.

We chose to go in the first 2 weeks of May, thereby avoiding the heavy rain
of the wet season and the heavy tradewinds and cool water of the dry
season.  It was basically perfect timing with a couple of brief spats of
rain during the trip but nothing that prevented the dives from going ahead
as planned.  In addition, it did rain almost every night for a few hours
while we were sleeping with sunny or high clouds the following day.

If you're heading to PNG, you'd better adopt a go-with-the-flow attitude
because dealing with the airlines, the baggage restrictions and the
connecting flights can be trying if you're inflexible.  I'd heard some
horror stories about bags not making the flights and about local pilots not
showing up for work so Elaine, who is my wife, and I made sure to pack a
couple pairs of shorts and t-shirts in our carry-ons in case any of our
bags didn't arrive when we did.  In fact, because our flight into Brisbane
was late because of fog(!), our four checked bags didn't make the
connecting flight into PNG.  Three of our four bags arrived at the resort 2
days later with the fourth coming on the 6th day of our stay.  Expect the
unexpected--after all, this is an adventure.

As for the resort, it's very clean, very small and very comfortable.  The
pictures on the resort website provide accurate portrayals of what the
facilities are like with one exception: know that the rooms are smaller
than they appear in the photos.  We opted for the deluxe bungalow and while
it was very clean and comfortable, it was a modest 275-300sq ft.  The main
"lodge" is a large open air structure in which most meals are
eaten and there is a fairly well stocked bar, too.  My wife and I stuck
with beer and wine and we enjoyed the selections of local beer.  There is a
separate deck that offers a beautiful view of a fjord and select meals are
served there, too.  Breakfast is simple with cereals, fruits, toast,
muffins included in the meal plan but hot breakfasts can be ordered at an
extra charge.  There is no menu from which to choose your lunch or dinner
items.  The chef simply decides what's to eat that day and that's what they
serve you.  Food was consistently very good with fresh seafood, chicken,
steaks and during our 2 week stay we had lobster three times.  Delicious
and satisfying. 

The diving was wonderful and I'd say that it was a combination of Fiji and
Indonesia.  The reefs were very healthy--I'm sure that it helps that the
Tufi dive shop is the only operation to take people out to these sites.  On
the sites where there is current, you can find sharks and other large fish
as well as all of the little fish that they eat.  No shortage of life on
these reefs.  We saw two hammerheads towards the end of our trip.  Many
different species of nudibranchs in PNG and lots of macro critters for you
photographers.  On the days when the weather might make it difficult to get
to the outer reefs, you'll dive the fjords.  At first I thought that the
fjords would be mediocre, after all diving there is Plan B.  I was very
wrong.  Elaine and I were marveling at the healthy reefs and array of life
to be found.

Garry and Marcie are the new Aussie resident managers and they were very
helpful and great fun, too.  The resort has 2 mascots which have "run
of the place"; a male hornbill (bird) named Coco and a male wallaby
named Stewie.  These guys go where they want, when they want! Although they
are very, very friendly, if you're uncomfortable around animals, this might
not be for you. 

In short, a great trip with lots of great diving, good food, many naps and
cold beverages.  Would we go back?  

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Other dive reports on Tufi Dive

All Papua New Guinea Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Papua New Guinea
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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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