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

Tufi Dive, May, 2010,

by Mr. Dave Mintz, CA, US ( 2 reports). Report 5505.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
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.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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?

Yes!
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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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