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Dive Review of Tawali and Tufi Resorts in
Papua New Guinea/Milne Bay

Tawali and Tufi Resorts, Jun, 2009,

by Donna Lavoie, FLA, Broward ( 2 reports). Report 5202.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 1 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity 2 stars
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 1 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Trip Report Tawali…PNG…(part 1 due to space constraints)

PNG: TAWALI: Tawali sells itself as a first class resort. It has had some hard times recently. (We did not know of this) Seems a few weeks before we arrived, they were robbed and then a bus of Japanese divers headed there were held up and robbed en route to the resort. We learned the management team was there only 6 weeks when we arrived AND it showed. We also learned that Bob Hollis (Oceanic) had left and took some of the staff as well.

Our arrival from Alotau was by bus on a bouncy road at night. That was ok, UNTIL we came to the bridge that was almost gone; a truck had broken the bridge. We had to get out of the van and cross with the only light that of our van’s headlight and helped by workers of the resort we walked across this bridge, now only a few long boards. It was really scary and I thought an amazing liability for them. Then into another bus on that side of the “bridge” to a waiting boat, boat rides to resorts are nothing new for us, but this was a “wet boat” and by the time we made it to the dock, I was soaked. Not a way for a new customer to arrive it seemed to me.

Next day first dive day, we figured out on our own where to get the boat, they have 2 docks, we made the mistake of going to the wrong one, had to climb back up the hill and then down to the second dock. Boat arrives; it has no cover from the sun. We had to ask the “guide” and boat driver: Is there water, oh no, we will get some. Are there weight belts, oh no we will get them. The boat was not set up for diving, tanks sat on the floor, people on gunnels. They also did not bring a ladder, after the first dive they tried to haul us aboard by pulling on our arms, causing my left elbow to be hyper extended, still hurts today .So we went out, did the first dive came back for lunch and decided it was already time to talk to the mgr. Second dive had us with the same guide, nice enough guy and a different boat. This one also not set up for diving, but at lest had a cover and they remembered water. We did not have O2 at anytime on the boat. We did dive Nitrox, usually 32%, cost $75.00 for the week. A deal.

All the diving was done on the drop offs surrounding the island. Vis was never very good (30-50’), looked like a snow storm u/w, we were told plankton bloom, coral breeding season. We did do one dive in shallow waters (20’) off an island called “Buie Buie Wa” that we loved; we spent over 90 minutes looking at all the little stuff. It was clear white sand and coral heads. My fav dive of the whole trip!! We also did a muck dive in a dark sandy bottom place that had its share of garbage. Lots of critters to see as well. Was a good dive.

FOOD: UGH, is a good word. It was the same every day. . All food buffet style. Breakfast was the usual cereal, toast, different hot dishes. Lunch was different cold or hot dishes, nothing inspirational to even remember. Dinner: Always chicken chopped into legs, thighs, breast, and tuna. Cold salad and cole slaw and a variety of dishes, spaghetti, roast pork slices (gamey) etc. Soup was good as well as desserts. Fresh fruit was served always until suddenly it was fruit cocktail from a can. Yuck…

Then it started to rain! I mean RAIN…. the already bad vis was worse, but we were close to leaving, so it was not a problem.
The day before we were to leave, they decided to emergency evacuate us due to the rains washing out the fords (a waterline crossing) we had to cross on the road. They made arrangements for us to stay in an eco lodge in Alatou. I was glad we were leaving, could not wait to get away. Taking the boat, this time we piled into the dry area with the luggage. As it was dark when we arrived, we did not see the dry area. I wish someone had suggested it to us. Once reaching the van, we set off down the bouncy road. We were all very worried about crossing the broken bridge in the rain. Sure that it would make the boards slippery. Surprise! In the week that we were away, someone had built a detour. The fords we had to cross, we wondered if the van would get swept away in heavy water.

We went by van to the Eco Lodge. Tawali did not pay for out stay there or the fee to get us to the airport the next day. They did give us a letter to give to our insurance companies. (Hopefully we will collect from AIG) The lodge was kinda fun, kind of an outpost in the jungle. On the grounds, there were green pythons, Couscous_(marsupial) , cockatoos.
We had a nice dinner, talked with some Australian Ex Pats at the bar and then off to more of those same hard beds and sleeping in the no AC cabins. Oh did I mention a short power failure? 10 min to 24hrs when we asked, lasted only 30min. Then it rained again.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Galapagos, Bahamas, Utila, Roatan, Australia, FLA and FLA Keys, Grenada, Grenadines
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, surge, currents, no currents
Water Temp 75-80°F / 24-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Some "guides" wanted a time limit, some did not care. Most times, we dove until we were at 500PSI
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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