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Dive Review of Tufi Resort in
Papua New Guinea

Tufi Resort, Jun, 2009,

by Donna Lavoie, FLA, USA ( 2 reports). Report 5203.

Reporter and Travel

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

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 75 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Getting to TUFI:
DASH 8 from Port Moresby to Alotau: A 20 something seater, no problem with this airline either. No food served. 45 min. flight.
PNG Air Lines: The really small plane from Port Moresby to Tufi. No problem there. No food served. 45 min flight.

TUFI: I LOVED LOVED Tufi. I would go back there in a NY minute. We got there via a small small plane, no stewardess, no food, no drink, no cock pit door; the pilot sticks his head out and asks that you read the paper about safety on the plane. The ride was 45 minutes to an hour. Landing on a grass strip that was approached from the water with the strip going up hill, all very Indiana Jones/Jurassic Park like. We walked from the plane to the lodge. Tufi is beautiful. All big timbers, all shiny beautiful woods everywhere. Our host for the week a character named Simon. Born in PNG, schooled in Australia. He and his lovely wife Sharon (a Maori from NZ) run this place to the letter. The employees call him boss man, I think a title well earned; they really seem to like him and respect him at the same time, (people have been there for years) and it shows. The meals are brought to the table. Breakfast is cereal and hot foods to order, juice and coffee/tea. Lunch, so amazing that most times we thought if this is lunch, what can dinner be! Lobster one time, swordfish another. Dinner: always wonderful. Nori rolls for a starter one night, lobster two more times, once as a BBQ, steak kabobs, desserts magical.
There were 3 special hosts at Tufi: there was Mudgie, Coco, and Stewie. Mudgie: a beautiful little white fluffy dog, Coco: a tame male (seemed to be) Horn Bill and a Wallaby that Simon came across that some natives were going to feed travelers (stew); he called Sharon and asked if he could bring him home. Only condition Sharon said is that he had to get along with Mudgie. Well, all 3 of these guys are the best of friends, wrestling together, sleeping together, we loved all 3. Mudgie was there every day, petted by all, Coco was there to be seen and seen he was and Stewie, well we caught sight of him when he wanted. But he knew his name!

Diving at Tufi: Unlike Tawali, we did not go around the bay to dive. We went out to the bommies and did Fjord diving. Bommie diving was hit and miss during out stay due to winds that created unusual large swells. Vis was great out at the bommies, there were currents and tons of fish. I liked the fjord diving a lot. Water color not blue, but great for critter hunts.. Between dives there was snacks and tea/coffee etc on the boat. We did learn that when you dive anything but a bommie, local tribes own the land AND the waters surrounding it and charge for all diving ALL the time, So, you do a fjord today it is X$ PP, tomorrow same deal! You have to wonder what they do with the $$. The local peoples own the land in PNG, so are there taxes? We did village visits two times while at Tufi. I came away very impressed with their villages, all very clean, neat and orderly and their houses, while basic are not stick shacks. The local people are so very nice and kind. Always a smile and a hello in English (well spoken).

Our last dive will always stand out in my mind. At the end in shallow water I looked up and thought, what is that? Darting into the water before our eyes; it was 5 local boys swimming and playing in the water (naked). They were waving at us, swimming down to us, smiling and laughing.

After both resorts, we came back junior nudibranch spotters, it was tons of fun and we did good. Well ok, anyway. We also spotted pipe fish and other little things on our own.

Unlike Tawali, Simon brought a Land Rover down to the dock to take us back up the hill. (A WW2 track road to PT base) You could walk if you wanted, it was a butt buster hill and you are, after all on holiday. Downside was no Nitrox. We did air for the first time in years and took pains to be careful. Seems to have worked, were still here!

Our time at Tufi was too short. Soon it was back on the planes in reverse order.

Even though I give Tufi a great score, next time I would do a 10 day liveaboard and then visit Tufi too.

OVERNIGHTS AND DAY STAYS: We had to do a day stay in Port Moresby at the start: we stayed for 8 hours at the Gateway. In 1991 this was a nice hotel, they are doing major reno work now and in doing so, things have slided. Gateway did have a great pizza place.
One of our party saw a roach in the bathroom, so it was decided to stay at Airways for the overnight after the trip.

AIRWAYS HOTEL: Room was nice, noisy from the walkway and from the room upstairs. To get to the restaurants, one had to take 3 flights of outdoor stairs!! Hope they fix that. It was raining when we were there; you had to be really careful about slipping. The room was double $$ that of Gateway. Food was pricey as well. There was a great view; the restaurant was open air, overhead fans only.

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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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