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Dive Review of Kabaira Dive Rabaul/Rapopo in
Papua New Guinea/East New Britain

Kabaira Dive Rabaul/Rapopo: "Kabaira Dive Rabaul", Sep, 2016,

by Michael O'Reilly, GA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 6 Helpful votes). Report 9221.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments East New Britain has nowhere near the reputation that Walindi and West New Britain possesses. I have not experienced Walindi yet, so please take this review with a grain of salt.

Dive operator Shaun is an Aussie ex-Navy man. Locals claim that there are 65 wrecks within a 15 minute boat ride. I only dove about 4wrecks in my 3 days diving there, but there are a variety of WWII era wrecks at easily dive-able depths, with a few more recent wrecks thrown in. Of note, there is a Japanese Zero aircraft wreck in very shallow water at one site.

The resort does not offer nitrox, which is a bit of a disappointment, given that several wrecks are shallow enough to be in the depth sweet spot for nitrox. The wrecks that I dived (sorry, I didn't write down the names of sites) had the usual array of wreck/reef creatures one anticipates in this part of the world - morays, banded shrimp, batfish, blue spotted stingrays, a variety of butterflyfish, some nudibranch, more. Fish density is moderate.

Overall, I didn't spend enough time here to fully appreciate the variety of sites, and I am more keen to visit reefs than wrecks, but my limited experience led me to believe that this is a very good place for wreck diving, not as good as Truk Lagoon in the South Pacific or Coron Island off of Palawan (Philippines), but a place to note if you're a wreck diver.

I don't think Shaun has any immediate plans to offer Nitrox. The resort itself is very very good for PNG, and the dive operation has much lower volume than Walindi. When I was there, the diving varied from 12 people on a boat w/2 guides to me alone with 1 guide.

My best dive was near the Japanese Zero in between two more commonly dived sites. I saw a variety of nudibranchs, 2 seahorse, two white tips hiding under a thick patch of staghorn coral, a 1 meter long common reef octopus that climbed out of its hole near an anemone, changed color and texture to reflect the coral around it, and, over the course of ten minutes, advanced to within 1.5 meters of me. All in daylight. We also saw 2 unexploded WWII torpedoes.

Shaun shared with me that he is searching for the wreck of an Australian sub off of New Ireland, which he thinks will have significant historical and tourism-related interest. We'll see. The best dive guide I saw was Jonah.

As with anywhere in West New Britain, East New Britain or New Ireland, consider malaria prophylaxis. Food is very good here, especially given the PNG setting. Resort is owned by 3rd generation ethnic Chinese PNGers (odd to see ethnic Chinese in Asia Pacific who speak no mandarin.) I'd recommend pool view rooms. Swim with Dolphins available as an AM snorkel trip. Excellent vis throughout.
Websites Kabaira Dive Rabaul   Rapopo

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Bunaken, Lembeh, Wakatobi, Sippadan, Indonesian Borneo, GBR, South Australia, PNG, Tanzania, Philippines many locations, Little Caymen, Belize, Turks and Caicos, other
Closest Airport Kokopo Getting There Flights direct from Port Moresby

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 27-28°C / 81-82°F Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 70-100 Ft/ 21-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Flexible
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments No dedicated tank on boat that I saw. Limited facilities at dive shop.
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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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