Our expedition to Papua New Guinea was one of the greatest trips I have had in my 50 years of globe trotting. The quality and quantity of fishes and corals was truly world class.

The chance to interact with the villagers and school children was wonderful. As usual, GDA provided a terrific experience both above and below the water. It was a most memorable time.
~ Jerry Braet, Founding member since 2003

Where else can you dive pristine reefs, experience unbelievable marine life, and come across a B-17 that ditched during the war off a remote Island.

Then take an afternoon tour in one of the most culturally diverse lands with 850 indigenous languages spread out among almost as many small societies.

In all my expeditions led by Ridlon and Carin, PNG remains the most memorable. The breadth and depth (no pun intended) of what you experience is absolutely amazing.
~ Skip Huisking, Founding member since 2004

Resorts/Yachts/Dive Ops

Our Favorite Papua New Guinea Resort

Our Favorite Papua New Guinea Dive Operator

Our Favorite Dive Resort – Tawali

Papua New Guinea is a dive destination that you can explore your entire life and not come close to seeing it all! There are many different areas to discover and innumerable mythical creatures to discover.

I have had the pleasure to adventure in many areas of PNG including Kimbe, Rabaul, and Kavieng both by liveaboard and land based. For land based diving, I would head to Tawali in Milne Bay but do understand exactly what you are getting into before you go. This area is remote and wild so be prepared.

To get to Tawali you’ll need to schlep it to Port Moresby. You can do so from Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, KL, Tokyo and other Asian gateway cities It is a long haul and flights on Air Niugini are expensive. You will not want to spend much time in Port Moresby as it still retains its reputation as a frontier town with many shady characters. Then you will take a domestic hop to Alotau where you will be picked up and transported by bus across some paved and some dirt roads for about 1 hour and then by boat to the resort.

You will be rewarded with fantastic diving both on the reef and in the muck.

From www.tawali.com

Tucked away, only accessible by boat, sits what may be Papua New Guinea’s best kept scuba diving secret – Tawali Resort. Welcome to the exotic culture of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and to Tawali Resort. Located on a volcanic bluff overlooking the clear protected waters of Milne Bay, Tawali offers travelers a unique location to dive, relax and enjoy the unspoiled wonders of this magnificent part of the world.

Learn what it really means to step back in time where the worries of the world fade and the magic of nature unfolds.

Overall feel of Tawali

Tawali is definitely tucked away within the green forests of PNG. Since it is accessible only by boat and a long drive, you are isolated. There is no shopping and very few activities besides diving. This would not be my choice for a diver/non diver couple. But if diving is your passion, come on out and play!

Resort Spec Highlights

  1. Maximum of 20 guests
  2. Spacious rooms within a lush setting
  3. Outdoor deck overlooking the sea
  4. Hand crafted resort built with no power tools!
  5. Shore muck diving available
  6. On site dive operation

Beach

There is no beach at Tawali. We spend all day every day diving so that was not an issue but it would be if there were non divers. You could say there was some sand along the water at the back of the resort but truly there is nothing to be called a beach.

Snorkeling

You can snorkel and dive from the dock at Tawali. Don’t expect to find beautiful corals here or high visibility off the dock. But you can find interesting creatures and cool juveniles! There is also a resident pod of dolphin and sometimes manta rays. When it rains, the runoff can muddy up the water right off the resort but unlike many places, it clears up pretty quickly.

Muck Diving

PNG is really the pioneering place for muck diving. And I mean true muck diving….going out in the volcanic muck and sand and coming across creatures that belong in a Dr. Seuss book. You can TRULY find this type of diving off Tawali, and it’s exceptional, especially at night. Now, many resorts are using the term for any dive site that basically sucks, “Oh, that’s our muck diving area”.

Bars and Restaurants

Since Tawali is a very small resort in a remote location, there is just one bar and an outside deck for hanging out after diving. It’s not a place to cruise an extensive wine list, grab a SP beer (South Pacific Brewery) and enjoy the sunset! The dining room serves three meals a day in buffet style with made to order eggs in the morning. It’s not fancy but it’s good with lots of local flavors cooked by the ladies of the nearby village.

Spa

Nope.

Accommodations

There are 10 rooms at Tawai and are situated along a wooden walkway in the trees up on a bluff. There are five buildings with two rooms each so they share an interior wall but are completely private. There are lots of windows and a deck for each spacious room. There is air conditioning which is nice because if it rains it can be quite humid and I appreciate the opportunity to get the water out of the air.

The rooms don’t overlook the ocean but are tucked behind the main building in the rainforest. Since the resort is so small, it is just a short walk to the main building which houses the dining room and bar and sitting area and below the gift shop. The whole area is very small but considering it was basically hacked out of jungle on the hill, they’ve done a good job!

*NOTE* The hotel is up on the hill so do expect to climb up and down the hill to get to and from the dive boats.

Overall

Tawali (which means “reef” in the local language) is unique in its location and its remoteness. It sits alone on the bluff overlooking the reefs tucked into the forest. Do not expect “resort” amenities here but do expect wonderful friendly staff, food made with love by the local village women and great diving.

Our Favorite Dive Operator -Tawali Dive Operation

Tawali does pretty well with their dive operation given what they have to work with and the difficulty in getting things in and out of the area. I personally would not go on their liveaboard, the MV Chertan as it is in need of serious overhaul and is extremely slow and dumpy, but the big dive boat they have gets us where we want to go for day diving.

Facility

The dive “shop” is located behind the resort and down the hill. It is really not more than a compressor and there is no need to go there. Once the dive staff has the gear, they set it up each morning and bring the boats around to the dock at the resort.

We take care of our own wetsuits, masks and fins. When we did, at first, store them with the dive crew, some of the items went missing. It was just easier to throw them in the shower at the end of each day and hang the wetsuits over the rail on the deck of the room.

Tawali has one large catamaran dive boat which we take on the three tank all day dives out to the outer reefs. It works fine for our dive groups and while it can take up to 20 divers that would be rather crowded.

They also have two small 23 foot boats that can take six divers to the local diving off the resort within about 15 minutes of the hotel. This is good for mucking about but if you want to see the more beautiful diving and reefs you will want to get further afield. I would probably only spend one day diving in the local area unless you want to comb the muck.

The Diving Operation

The divemasters are very helpful finding many of the unusual critters that PNG is famous for and one of our divers helped them out one time by sending them a few fish books once he got home.

If you want to dive the outer reefs, it’s generally done as a three tank all day dive with lunch included on the boat. Two tank dives are done in the local area and back for lunch.

You can jump in off the dock whenever you want and night diving is available both from the dock and by boat.

The dive operation is very simple and straight forward.

Request a Free Quote or Make a Reservation

Interested in traveling to Papua New Guinea?  We are here to help by sharing our global expertise.  Create your own personalized diving adventure by requesting a risk free quote.  It’s easy and there’s no obligation.  Or, if you already know what you want, you can make a reservation.

Or, join us on a Guided Diving Adventure.

REQUEST A RESERVATION OR QUOTE