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Dive Review of Tawali in
Papua New Guinea/Milne Bay

Tawali, Mar, 2007,

by Richard Whiting, MD, United States ( 1 report). Report 3584.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments By far the best diving I’ve ever done. By the second dive I had crossed off most of what I had on my wish list. Tawali offers an incredible combination of pristine Indo-Pacific diving with lots of variety – walls, bommies, muck, drift, a great house reef. Sightings ran the gamut from barracudas, hammerheads and Napoleon Wrasse, squadrons of devil fish to incredible small critters – Ghost Pipefish, pygmy seahorses, myriad nudibranchs, tiny crabs and shrimps – sometimes one on top of another. I booked 6 nights at Tawali as an add-on to a trip visiting relatives in Melbourne. Bettina at DiversionOz could not have been more helpful. I usually book independently, but the connections, and dealing with Air Nuigini get complicated, so I used an agent and was very glad I did – every connection went off without a hitch, and I felt much more confident with the prep I received from DiversionOz.

The dive routine was either 3 tanks with lunch on board, or 2 tanks, back to the resort for lunch, and 2 more tanks. The dive crews were very flexible – a daily recommendation was made by Bob where to go, but really whatever we asked for we could do – as many tanks daily as our computers would allow. Night dives were available as often as desired, and the house reef offered interesting and almost unlimited bottom time, if not as scenic and colorful as the other reefs. Most of the trips were from 5 – 30 minutes from the resort, with the exception of a magical 3 tank trip across the channel to dive near Normanby Island that took about 90 minutes to reach.

The resort itself is beautiful and nicely situated on a bluff overlooking Milne bay. Lots of native woods, carvings and crafts everywhere. Rooms are very spacious, with private balconies overlooking the lagoon. There is friendly, helpful staff everywhere. The daily meal routine is breakfast at 7:00 (coffee and tea available at 6 and in-room), lunch at Noon, dinner at 7:00. The food was much better than most resorts I’ve been to, and the day boat lunches were by far the best I’ve ever had. The chef started with a different soup every night – all delicious. Dinner and breakfast are served buffet style, with lots of variety – dinner offered chicken, pork, veggies, breads, potatoes, fantastic fresh fruit (surprisingly little fish) and dessert. Vegetarian dishes were also available – not just an offer to eat more bread and potatoes. Breakfast had fresh bread for toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, cereals, fruit, and often French toast or pancakes.

Negatives to report were that my rental regulator occasionally went into free flow when testing the purge valve (fixed quickly), and the small dive boats were not especially comfortable – a small seat with room for 2 in front of the wheel house – other divers sit on the edge of the boat to and from the sites. If there were more divers, we would have spent more time on the larger boats (we were on one for the trip to Normanby) which are huge by comparison. Spacious decks, lots of seating, on-board head, big camera/gear table etc.

Tawali exceeded my already very high expectations. I especially liked diving as much as on a liveaboard, but able to tumble into your room for a quick hot shower or nap whenever you felt the urge. The diving was incredible, varied, and unconstrained (except by your computer), the resort beautiful, clean and comfortable and all the people exceptionally friendly, knowledgeable and supportive. Tawali is not inexpensive either to get to, or to stay at, but in my opinion offers an outstanding value.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving GBR, Cozumel, Caymans, Turks and Caicos, St. John, St. Kitt
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 80-85°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 50-80 Ft/ 15-24 M

Dive Policy

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

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A 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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