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

Walindi Plantation Resort: "Thee venues in PNG", Jun, 2015,

by Mel Cundiff, CO, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 8325 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Papua New Guinea Diving 2015 Write Up
Loloata / Walindi / MV FeBrina

This was my 2nd and/or 4th time diving in these three areas of PNG, and the large diversity of critters seen there in the past was still available again this trip.
I find the critter diversity of PNG to be second only to the best of the coral reefs in Indonesia. Both regions demand lots of air legs and long flights, but thatís what one has to invest in to see the worldís best coral reefs. The costs are a bit more to dive in PNG, but good deals are getting harder to find in Indonesia. Yes, one can experience great reefs in the Red Sea and certain regions in the southwest Pacific, but the best of the best are in these two countries.

Loloata is my choice for diving on stopovers going into and out of PNG because of its easy access from the Port Moresby airport, which is about 45 minutes away. The reefs are in great shape, and on two occasions I have seen the lacey scorpion fish there. In addition to their complex coral reefs, there is also a nearby shallow reef for excellent snorkeling and another one for muck diving. The diving accommodations and food are excellent. The island resort caters to divers and trekkers moving through the area.

Walindi has always been my choice of a PNG land-based diving operation. It is on the island of New Britain, an hour flight to the northeast and an hour van ride from Port Moresby. It is an operating oil-palm plantation which has had an active dive operation for decades. Divers depart in the mornings on fast boats for three-tank dives including lunch and return in the afternoon. Night dives are also available. Well-equipped bungalows and both inside and outside dining are available at the resort which has a pool and bar. The dive operation there is well equipped and staffed by well-qualified personnel. The reefs around Walindi in terms of aesthetics and critter diversity are superb. An educational option this trip was the opportunity to dive an intact Japanese Zero that had been scuttled at the end of the Second World War and only recently discovered in shallow water not far from the resort. Malaria prophylactics are needed in PNG.

Our 9-day live aboard charter was on the 75-foot, deep-hull MV FeBrina, based out of Walindi. It has been upgraded and refurbished several times since it was built. The very outspoken and legendary Aussie Captain, Alan Rabbe, was in command as he has been for decades now. I had first been on a charter with him in 1998. Most of our dives were on or near Fatherís reefs east of Kimbe Bay. Alan surely knows those reefs better than anyone and was a major player in establishing the permanent, stainless steel moorings for all the diving in this area. There were ten crew members for our eight divers on a boat equipped to handle 14, so we had plenty of room to move around with a number of us having private cabins. The moored FeBrina is one of the more comfortable boats to dive from in that all dive entries and exits were from the water-level dive transom that had two easily accessible ladders. While few divers consistently took advantage of them all, there were five scheduled dives a day starting at 6:30 a.m. and ending with a night dive. The sky was blue and the water very smooth except for the last day when an incoming storm brought us six-foot swells; but we didnít miss any dives.

The crew was attentive and helpful and cheerfully handled all our needs; food and between-dive snacks were plentiful and tasty. Wine with dinner was complimentary and after dinner the on-board photographers presented us with an edited version of the best digital images and video clips from the previous dayís diving. Our cabins with ensuite facilities were a bit smaller than the newer, more modern dive boats, but then we werenít in them that much.

From all of these three venues in PNG, I noted in my logbook as having seen 26 species that I do not recall having seen before. The large pelagics we saw are noted elsewhere in this report and most typical Indonesian/PNG species noted in my logbook are not included here. A few species worth noting: lots of cone snails with exposed harpoons; bioluminescent ostracods; four ornate ghost pipefish of three different color patterns; two twin-spot gobies; three very large stonefish; two different species of sea snakes and a tame hawksbill that would eat sponges out of our hands.
Mel Cundiff 8/15
(Submitted as part of a report to Undercurrent.org.)
Websites Walindi Plantation Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving On the best coral reefs all around the world.
Closest Airport Port Moresby; Hoskins Getting There Brisbane

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 83-85°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 20-40 Ft/ 6-12 M

Dive Policy

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

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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