WANTOK NEWSLETTER September 2015
Roger Winter from Germany’s Roger Tours who has completed nearly 12000 dives says his dive out on the reef at Tufi was one of his best ever. Roger was one of a five product managers from Continental European dive specialists to part in a recent TCMG-led fam trip to PNG’s best dive spots. The other participants on the trip were equally enthusiastic. The group explored the reefs of Lissenung Island (New Ireland), Walindi (West New Britain) and Tufi (Oro Province on the main land). There’s no doubt about it – if it’s great diving you are looking for, look no further than PNG.
The dive trip was one of several PNG fam trips set up by TCMG, either recently or just about to happen. September will see both a trade fam and a press trip – keeping increasingly popular PNG in the limelight. Rhett will be attending the annual Lukim Nau travel trade show at the Port Moresby Nature Park on September 27 and 28, with six travel agents from Continental Europe. They will go on a fam trip just before the expo.
NEW MARKETING MANAGER
To keep up the momentum; TCMG welcomes aboard Stella Dielhenn as PNG Marketing Manager Continental Europe. Stella, who joined Team TCMG on September 1 previously worked for a specialist dive wholesaler for three years during which she visited and sold dive trips to destinations around the world, including of course PNG.
You can contact Stella at email@example.com
HOTEL AND RESORTS UPDATE
Port Moresby will soon boast a brand new 212-room Hilton Hotel -- scheduled to open in mid-2017. The development will include a state of the art 4-level convention centre modelled on the traditional long house of Lake Kutubu. The hotel’s unique design will capture traditional PNG features and offer panoramic views of the surrounding areas for visitors and guests.
Meanwhile; the 60-room Laguna Hotel in Port Moresby, is a new business hotel that is attracting overseas visitors. Business and leisure travellers have the convenience of being in the commercial district with an abundant of choice of shopping venues, while only 20 minutes away from the airport.
Papua New Guinea offers a range of accommodation, much of it ideal for divers, surfers – and all of it appealing to nature lovers. Here’s a recap on some of the properties.
A new addition to the exciting lodges in the Trans Niugini Tours portfolio is Lake Murray Lodge, set on a very remote area and on the largest lake in Papua New Guinea, in the Western Province. The lodge offers 12 individual cabin rooms overlooking the lake.
The stilted houses of the island’s communities dot the water landscape of the lake. There is a local population of about 5,000 people scattered in small villages, both on tiny islands and coastal areas of the lake. Dugout canoes are the primary mode of transportation and fishing is a major source of food to the local population. Time out at Lake Murray Lodge offers a true adventure – there is even talk of a Loch Ness-like monster deep in the lake.
The lodge arranges excursions around the lake in eight-seat river boats to visit local villages, fishing spots and birding sites-- Western province is home to more than half of PNG’s total bird population, andLake Murray is one of the best bird watching areas in the region.
Lake Murray is accessible with Trans Niugini Tours own air service from either Mount Hagen or Ambua Lodge on Mondays, and Fridays.
THE DIVING SCENE
Jais Aben Resort, owned by Pacific Resort Hotels, is located directly on the seafront in a former coconut plantation, nestled on the tip of a peninsula between the Bismarck Sea and the Nagada Harbour, a little less than 20 kilometres north of Madang.
The property features twin bungalow style units, all strategically located to catch the sea breezes. The sea at the resort is pristine, with marvellous underwater life to see right at the resort itself. There is even an underwater plane wreck directly off the private beach.
Due to its relative remoteness, Jais Aben Resort offers unique and private experiences for both novice and experienced divers. Snorkelers will also enjoy the ultimate in reef life. Reef fishing is also popular from the resort, as is sea-kayaking.
Out of the water, Jais Aben Resort offers tours of a local village and the bustling market, as well as a jungle trek and a coastal tour by boat.
Lissenung Island Resort, Walindi Plantation Resort and Tufi Dive Resort each offer a range of different dive options and cultural activities.
Lissenung Island Resort is located a 20-minute boat ride from Kavieng in New Ireland -- a small private island with a white sandy beach, tall palm trees, beautiful flowers, magnificent sunsets and traditional bungalows. One of the ‘last natural frontiers’ aptly describes diverse and untouched New Ireland.
Surrounding Lissenung Island Resort, an attractive adults-only hideaway, are some of the most colourful reefs and the best fish to be found anywhere in the world. And out of the water there are several traditional villages where visitors are welcomed with traditional local hospitality..
Air Niugini operates daily flights to Kavieng from Port Moresby.
Walindi Plantation Resort nestles on the shores of Kimbe Bay and is also home port to the boutique live-aboard dive vessel, MV Febrina. The resort is an hour's drive from Hoskins Airport, the airport serving Kimbe - the capital of West New Britain province, which in turn is an hour's flight from Port Moresby with connection by Air Niugini.
Celebrating more than 30 years of operation, the resort is world famous for its quality diving, and has been the location for a wad of international award-winning photography.
Walindi Plantation Resort offers a variety of land tours exploring the areas surrounding the resort. Guests can choose from a relaxing swim in a hot river, bushwalking, a trek up a volcano, a visit to rare WWII plane wrecks and much more.
Tufi Resort is one of the few destinations in Papua New Guinea to offer all year round diving. Tufi is located in Oro Province on the north-east side of the mainland of Papua New Guinea, and is only accessible by air or sea. You fly directly into the resort. The flight time from Port Moresby to Tufi is a little less than an hour. Domestic flights and local charter flights are available. http://tufidive.com/
The clear, calm and protected waters of the tropical fjords close to Tufi are perfect for macro and muck diving, such as the popular House Reef, which is only a couple of minutes or so walk from the resort -- the nearest open water reef is just fifteen minutes by boat.
Tufi Resort also offers more than 30 major dive sites in the nearby tropical waters of the Solomon Sea, with many uncharted reefs waiting to be explored. And visits to the local villages and McLaren Harbour are a must on the days when you’re not under water.
Few adventurers make the journey to Milne Bay and those who do usually go for the diving. Milne Bay sits at the eastern tip of mainland PNG, and Air Niugini has daily flights from Port Moresby to the tranquil town of Alotau, the provincial capital located on the bays’ northern shore.
Alotau International Hotel has 22 well-appointed rooms with panoramic views of Milne Bay.
Milne Bay, one of PNG’s most beautiful areas, is a region of age-old cultures, friendly villages and amazing wildlife. Discover hot springs, waterfalls, superb virgin rainforests, breath-taking pristine waters, volcanoes and excellent game fishing – an adventurers dream.
Tawali Resort is located in a secluded area of Milne Bay amongst local fishing villages and is accessible only by a 20-minute boat ride. Tawali offers guests a private retreat built on a towering limestone bluff by local craftsmen -- you will find beautifully carved totems and woodwork in the spacious main lodge and throughout the resort.
With an abundance of natural beauty found in the surrounding rainforest and sea life in the waters below, Tawali, which means reef, offers guests of all ages and fitness levels plenty to see, do and experience during their stay. There is ample opportunity for swimming, fishing, scuba diving and snorkelling, with plenty of coral coves dotted along the coastline.
And if you are travelling up the awesome Sepik River, a good place to consider before the journey is the Wewak Boutique Hotel. It has a great view of Kairuru Island from the back balcony and the bustling market is a just a five-minute walk to stock up on fresh exotic fruits. There is also a welcome pool to cool down
The Pacific Gardens Hotel in Goroka offers guests the newest hotel accommodation in town, ranging from standard to newly built premier rooms and self-contained apartments. Foodies will enjoy the Pacific Gardens with its Friday night barbecues, Sunday brunches and Asian buffet evenings.
The Goroka Show is a probably the most known tribal gathering and cultural event in Papua New Guinea. It is held every year close to the Independence Day (16 September) in the town of Goroka, and some 100 tribes arrive to share their music, dance and culture.
Here are important dates to put in the diary for next year from Tran Niugini Tours Its 2016 "show tours" are the Tumbuna Show in May, the Mount Hagen Show in August and the Goroka Show in September.