WONTOK NEWSLETTER No 9 -- August 2015

A TRIO OF DIVE RESORTS

Looking for a diving adventure? These three properties will ensure you come away with great underwater (and above water) experiences: Walindi Plantation Resort, Lissenung Island Resort and Tufi Dive Resort – all three were visited on a fam trip by a group of key European tour operating people, led by TCMG. And it was thumbs-up from everybody

Walindi Plantation Resort  is a family-owned-and -run property nestled on the shores of Kimbe Bay overlooking the Bismarck Sea. The owners and staff have been taking divers to the bay’s reefs for more than 25 years, and know the underwater ‘best spots’ like the back of their hands. Walindi Resort is also the home port of the resort’s live-a-board dive boat the FeBrina. –which has been exploring the waters of New Britain from Kimbe Bay for more than 17 years.

Here’s a statistic that says a lot about the Walaindi experience: a coral count at Kimbe Bay has revealed a remarkable 413 species of hard coral. – that’s more than half the total world species in one bay. There is also a plethora of marine life. Divers and snorkelers are in for a real treat.

Accommodation at Walindi Plantation Resort includes cabins, which are spaced out and set in breath-taking gardens with lots of exotic flowers, butterflies and birds, and views of the Bismarck Sea. There is a bar (of course) and a small pool to relax. The property has a very well run dive centre with three dive boats.

The Febrina offers various itineraries throughout the year, diving the pristine waters of North and South New Britain, including Fathers Reefs and the Witu Islands, formerly called the French Islands. The islands are not atolls, but reef-ringed volcanic ocean peaks. Often on this trip guests get the opportunity to snorkelling with the local dolphins.

Besides world class diving and snorkelling on the reefs of Kimbe Bay, guests also have some great land adventures to enjoy.

Hot River gives Walindi guests the once-on-a-lifetime opportunity to bathe in water heated by the volcano with swirling pools, mini waterfalls and sticky mud. Guests are also invited to take a guided walk through the village next to the resort and chat with locals as they go about their everyday household chores – and all without washing machines, vacuum cleaners or microwave ovens!

Walindi Plantation Resort and MV FeBrina is a short flight from Port Moresby, PNG's International gateway, to Hoskins (Kimbe) airport in West New Britain.

Lissenung Island Resort   is a small, private, tropical island with a magnificent sandy beach, tall palm trees, magnificent sunsets and traditional bungalows, surrounded by spectacular coral reefs.

The island is a short boat ride away from Kavieng, the capital of the Papua New Guinea province of New Ireland, and has a fully qualified PADI dive base. Lissenung Island has a soft pink sand beach, which is extremely rare in PNG; the perfect spot for happy hour drinks as the sun goes down.

Lissenung Island Resort is also known for its surfing. The New Ireland surf season runs from November through to late April, and has swell that range from 2 to 6ft and sometimes even 8ft. Lissenung Island Resort is close to several well-known surf spots:Ral Island, Senta Pass and Bangatan.Special agreements with the resource owners ensure that all breaks can be surfed at any time. Ral Island is virtually in Lissenung's backyard, so guests are generally the first surfers to arrive each morning.

Lissenung Island Resort caters for a maximum of 14 guests, so personal service is guaranteed. Kavieng has daily air connections to Port Moresby

Tufi Dive Resort  is one of the few destinations in Papua New Guinea to offer all year round diving. The clear, calm and protected waters of the tropical fjords offer perfect diving for macro and muck diving, such as the popular House Reef, which is only a 3 minute-walk from the resort.

The nearest open water reef is just 15 minutes by boat. The resort offers more than 30 major dive sites in the nearby tropical waters of the Solomon Sea, with many uncharted reefs waiting to be explored.

The stunning marine life makes the waters around Tufi a unique reef system. Coral outcrops are so abundant with fish, that the saying “more fish than water” is a common phrase. -- schools of tuna, Spanish mackerel, barracuda, white tip and black tip reef sharks, hammerheads and the rare white hammerheads, call these exotic waters home. Turtles, manta rays and eagle rays are also seen cruising by. Fishing in Tufi’s pristine waters are ideal for game fishing, bottom fishing and estuarine fishing

Tufi Dive Resort has been operating day dive trips to the outer reefs for more than 12 years, with experienced dive crews and quality gear, dive boats and local knowledge of the local reef systems

Out of the water, guests can take part in 3 to 5 day treks to the stunning twin peaks of Mt. Trafalgar and Mt. Britannia in virgin rainforest or experience treks closer proximity to the resort. Whichever guests choose, they experience an untouched pristine environment with an abundance of unique flora and fauna. Live in the wild under sago roofs, wash in cascading ice-cold waterfalls and explore the rainforests. Feeling adventurous? Put yourself to the test.

ARCHIPELAGO ADVENTURES 

If strolling on tropical islands, snorkelling pristine tropical waters and, revelling in the comfort of a floating boutique hotel sounds like the perfect short break – then True North’s upcoming Archipelago Adventure is the answer.

The 5 night journey around PNG’s rarely visited Louisiade Archipelago departs Cairns via private jet on the December 13 and this year guests can also receive expert tips from award-winning underwater photographer Darren Jew.

Darren's work has been published in magazines, newspapers and books around the world. 

Snorkel over WWII wrecks, swim with manta rays, drift amidst huge schools of trevally and, be inspired by postcard-perfect islands fringed with sparkling beaches and palm trees. That’s just part of the adventure!

Find out more here

NEW HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS FOR PORT MORESBY

Port Moresby welcomes the new Holiday Inn Express to its hotel accommodation list. The hotel has 199 rooms, and offers a choice of modern queen and twin room – and airport bus transfers for international guests.

Holiday Inn Express is only 6 kilometres from Jacksons International Airport and 8 kilometres from the Port Moresby central business district. Business travellers will be pleased to know that the Papua New Guinean Parliament, as well as many government departments and diplomatic offices are situated close by the hotel.

The Royal Port Moresby Golf Club is also nearby. For nature lovers, there’s the native flora and fauna at the nearby Port Moresby Nature Park, while culture buffs will want to visit the Papua New Guinea art and historic artefacts at the National Museum and Art Gallery.

PNG TRAVEL HINTS

There are cash machines at Port Moresby airport and it is recommended that you take some cash from them on arrval for incidentals.  Card payments are accepted at resorts.

All dive resorts hold a stock of dive equipment from BCDs to computers.  You may wish to bring your own gear -- you are permitted an extra 15 kilos dive allowance for free when you travel with Air Niugini.  Divers should always carry their PADI certification. You will need this for the free dive allowance and is usually requested in the resorts prior to any diving taking place.

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