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Dive Review of Tawali Dive Resort in
Papua New Guinea/Milne Bay

Tawali Dive Resort, Apr, 2006,

by Don Lipmanson, CA, United States (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports). Report 2468.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Tufi (PNG), Belize, Grand Turk, N. Cal, HI
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 86 to 87 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Surface at 500 psi, safety sausage in currents
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 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 5 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments A lovely resort, as attractive as the website and brochure suggest. Rooms are very comfortable, with great views; a pod of dophins frolicked in the inlet below our deck just after dawn on several mornings. Chef Benson's buffet-style meals were first-rate in variety and in quality of preparation.

This resort is entirely about diving; aside from a not-to-be-missed skull cave, options for land-based activity are minimal; local villages are very "westernized" and not particularly revealing about local life. The ridgetop above the resort probably offers good birding, but runoff and slippery slopes following a big storm precluded the steep climb.

All diving is from boats, except the house reef which appears decimated by coral bleaching yet harbors numerous mandarinfish and some leaf scorpionfish. Numerous dive sites within minutes of the resort by fast small boats offered countless varieties of fish, healthy reefs and unbelievable macro-viewing opportunities (e.g. pygmy seahorses, commensual and palimonid shrimp, nudibranchs and flatworms). The muck diving at Lawadi (aka Dinah's Beach), especially at twilight, is an absolute must: 80 minutes at 25' or less allowed us to see five species of lionfish and three species of anemonefish, several Cockatoo waspfish, Pegasus sea moths, closeups of an octopus, etc. etc.

Weather permitting (an Australian cyclone created 48 hours of rough seas) and following the arrival of a few more divers, we made a few trips past the eastern tip of the island to some outer reefs, where the walls and bommies were simply stunning. Humpback parrotfish reached 4', large angelfish of various species were abundant, a 2' map pufferfish allowed very close approach, two species of pygmy seahorses were (barely) visible on fans at about 75', and groups of trevally stalked schools of fusiliers. Chris Carney, captain of the turbocharged 45' Prowler catamaran (and resort manager) found leeward spots where divers encountered moderate to minimal currents instead of riproaring areas generated by the storm.

It's hard to imagine a better way to experience the diving treasures of Milne Bay than stayng at this attractive, very comfortable location, which has books aplenty to identify everything marine life, plus a largely competent support staff. Besides photo supplies, the one thing conspicuously lacking was a blender for making tropical cocktails- even paradise has its drawbacks.
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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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