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Dive Review of Tufi Resort in
Papua New Guinea

June, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Donna Lavoie, FLA, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 5203
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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 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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  
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  
 
 

Overall Rating

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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Other dive reports on Tufi Dive

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

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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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