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Dive Review of Loloata Island Resort in
Papua New Guinea

Loloata Island Resort, Jun, 2003,

by Lori Brown, MD, USA (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 22 reports). Report 558.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Sulawesi, Irian Jaya, Cozumel, Bonaire, Fiji, Jamaica
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 80 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

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

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Provided a counter in the dive shop with electrical outlet No accomodation on boat for cameras to soak.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Lori Brown, Chris Green, and Justin Brown Green

Loloata Island Resort, Papua New Guinea

We stopped at Loloata on the first leg of a trip around Papua New Guinea in June, 2003. Loloata Island is conveniently located near Port Moresby so is a good place to adjust to the 14 hour time difference (between PNG and East Coast U.S.). The rooms are small but comfortable and clean and we arranged for an air conditioned room. The weather was hot during the day but it rained nearly every afternoon and cooled down a bit at night. There were a few mosquitos but not enough to drive one mad, we were all on malaria prophylaxis and using insect repellant as well.
There were plenty of interesting guests. Evidently, the close location to Port Moresby draws not just divers but conferences to the island. During the 6 days we were there, we met a PNG historian from Queensland University, a physicist who claimed to be the father of the PNG equivalent of the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, a large group of German NGO workers, and a group of missionaries all wearing Isuzu baseball caps. In addition to the numerous interesting guests, there was a host of interesting locals including a horde of tiny wallabies, crested pigeons, large spiders, and captive tree kangaroos.
Meals are served buffet style at long tables. Food was good and plentiful and included lobster with light sauce, pasta with shrimp and ginger, ham, and plenty of vegetables (some of them unidentifiable). One night dinner was followed by entertainment by a group of local kids doing traditional dances. It was, well... really cute!
The dive shop was run by Adam Powell assisted by dive masters Nienke and Yosi. Our son, age 12, was recently certified junior open water so could not dive below 40 feet. We were concerned that he might not be able to dive if they were too deep or conditions difficult. But Nienke stayed with him at an appropriate depth on every dive so that his being there did not interfere with other divers. Meanwhile, we were able to enjoy deeper diving while our son had a wonderful (and safe) time. Adam was safety conscious and each time there was a new diver on the boat, he did an orientation of the safety features on board.
We didnt see many large fish (sharks) but small fish were plentiful and the reef stunning. There were huge stands of blue tipped acropora filled with pairs of butterfly fish, long-nose file fish, and the usual assortment of damsels. There were beautiful sea fans and even the occasional pygmy seahorse. I may have to resort to a bifocal mask next time to see them better! There was a huge anemone that covered about 5 ft by 5 ft and was hopping with a half-dozen different species of anemone fish. One of my favorite sites, that we returned to repeatedly, was a mucky dive at Lion Island. Here we spotted a tube anemone with a shrimp dancing around it, a tiny crab on the underside of an upside down jelly fish, a pavo razor fish flitting about looking like a little leaf, and a horned sea star with a crab on it.
The dive staff kept telling us about the legendary lacy scorpion fish (Rhinopias aphanes), a fish that only lives near Loloata Island. Each day, they would tell us that we might see one today. By our last dive, we were rolling our eyes and laughing when they went through the lacy scorpion fish story with the new divers for the day. Low and behold, on the last 5 minutes of the last dive, Nienka spotted a lacy scorpion fish in the coral rubble at Quayles Reef. A fitting end for a relaxed week of diving.
Just a brief word about the diving conditions. Visibility was usually limited and there were a few dives on which currents became very strong. We ended one dive with just 300 psi after swimming against a very strong current. The current changed within the first 15 minutes of the dive and the rest of the dive was spent trying to get back to the boat. We were diving with Yosi at the time, looking for pygmy seahorses at about 90 ft. She handled the situation very professionally. We managed a safety stop by hanging onto dead coral.
All in all, the dive staff was friendly and helpful, the diving was good, and a good time was had by all.



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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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