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Dive Review of Walindi Plantation Resort in
Papua New Guinea/Walindi

Walindi Plantation Resort, Jun, 2011,

by David Dornbusch, CA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 6135.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Palau, Yap, Belize, Roatan, Fiji, Indonesia, Sipidan, Hawaii, Red Sea, Cozumel, Great Barrier Reef, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Galapagos, Tonga
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 83 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 60 minute dives - more than adequate
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 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 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 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Getting there: From San Francisco took 2 days, with an overnight in Brisbane, then connected through Port Moresby to Hoskins, then by resort van to Walindi.

Lodging: Our separate bungalow was large, relatively new, very clean, with a deck, comfortable queen-sized bed, a separate single bed, plenty of storage space, a small refrigerator, and facilities to make coffee/tea. The bathroom had a small shower with plenty of hot water. Soap, shampoo, and conditioner were provided. Fresh towels whenever you want. No air conditioning, but a very quiet ceiling fan was all we needed. Some mosquitoes, but not terrible.

Meals: The criticisms of the food in previous reviews are no longer valid. The meals were good to excellent and plentiful. Breakfast included fruit, cereals, tea, coffee, toast and pancakes, French toast, and eggs to order all at no additional charge. An adequate lunch was either served on the boat, at a calm mooring or island between the 2nd and 3rd dives, or back at the resort, if only 2 dives. Coffee and tea were always available. Both my wife and I thought dinners were superb, with terrific soups, choices of meats (chicken, lamb, & pork), wonderful and well-prepared fish, a number of salads and local greens, which were unfamiliar but delicious, and fresh fruits. The sauces for the fish and meats were both interesting and tasty. Also, rice, fresh homemade bread, cheese, and locally made ice cream accompanying some kind of cake, flan, or other desert, were always excellent. The beef could be a little tough, but it was tasty and lean. Chicken and fish were excellent. Lamb OK. In general, the food was much better than at any of the many other dive resorts weve visited.

Diving: The diving is run by Dan and Cat, both very charming, conscientious, and eager to make sure you enjoy the best dives, checking with you every evening, and dealing with any equipment issues. The boats and diving are handled by very capable, personable, and well-trained crews. The boats have a dedicated camera rinse tank and camera room at the dock. Nitrox is available. Our dive boat was a fast aluminum hull with twin outboards. On the day the live-aboard guests assembled, we had 9 divers. But on all other days, we were never more than 6, usually 3 or 4, and twice it was just me and my wife. Time to the reefs was between 30 60 minutes, the outer reefs bringing in the pelagics and huge schools, but big stuff also came to the inner reefs.

Diving varied from very good to among the best-in-the-world excellent. Although we did see some bleached coral, some dives were on a par with our experience in Palau, Fiji, Indonesia and Sipidan. Magnificent and plentiful hard and soft corals, huge schools and varieties of large and small reef fish, turtles, beautiful nudibranchs and flat worms galore, barracuda schools, crocodile fish, cuttlefish, scorpion fish, pigmy sea horses, mantis shrimp, free swimming morays, puffers, lionfish, very large seafans and sponges (some up to 6 feet), anemone and anemone fish. The dive guides love to show you the smallest critters, like 1/8 inch crabs in feather stars with matching coloring. We were the only divers and dive boat in sight on every dive. Air temp. was 82-87 degrees F, water temp. 83-86 F. I wore only a skin on every dive. My wife added a 3 mm. top to her skin, but shes always cold. Gloves would be a good idea when holding on to the outer reefs in currents.

Flight Connections: After 8 days at Walindi, we flew through Port Moresby to Tufi, but avoided staying in Port Moresby by staying overnight instead at Loloata, which is only a 20 minute drive (by resort van) and 10 minute boat ride from the airport.

Airlines in PNG can be very unreliable. All our PNG flights were at least an hour late. We noticed that a number of flights were canceled, though ours were not. So, we were very glad we took an Undercurrent reviewers recommendation and booked through Bettina Schmidberger, Diversion Dive Travel [bettina@diversiondivetravel.com.au].

Bettina recommended allowing scheduling cushions that were always adequate. The two days she suggested in Brisbane after leaving PNG and before connecting home might have been very important, since we left PNG from Tufi. The Tufi airport runway is dirt and closes during, and for some time after, heavy rains when it turns to mud. In fact, it did close for a day shortly before we left.

Bettina also got us the divers extra baggage allowance of an additional 10 kg. on Airlines PNG, and an extra 15 kg. on Air Niugini. The allowance was very important, since we carry all our own gear, the normal weight allowance is 20 kg., and overweight luggage charges are VERY high. We never had to pay extra.

It's possible for individuals to get the "diver's extra baggage allowance" themselves, but I think trying that without professional help might be problematic. When checking in on Airlines PNG to Tufi, I had to produce a computer printout that confirmed our extra baggage allowance and referenced the relevant provision in the airline's manual. Until I produced that printout, the counter attendant, who was unfamiliar with the extra diver weight allowance, was adamant about charging me extra, and I had to find a supervisor to confirm the allowance.

The local airlines can also be sticky about the weight of carry-ons. They never weighed my backpack, which held my BC and reg. and weighed over 13 lbs. But, they sometimes weighed my wifes carry-on suitcase, which weighed only about 10 lbs. When they did weigh it, she had to take out 3 lbs. to meet the 7 lb. limit. She did that by boarding the plane wearing her BC like a vest and putting some other items into her "purse." She simply put her BC into the overhead compartment then back into the carry-on bag on arrival.
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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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