Northern New Guinea

The northern islands of Papua New Guinea offer diving that is quite different from that of Milne Bay, Tufi, Madang, or other quadrants of the country.

The area around Rabaul was a major World War II battle site, so it boasts many rather deep (but a few shallow) wrecks. There are some aircraft wrecks which make wonderful "props" for underwater photography.

As you move north and West from New Britain Island to New Ireland and New Hanover, more spectaculars await. I myself most enjoy dive sites, such as the Der Yang wreck near Kavieng, a wreck site absolutely swarming with schools of jacks, tuna, and rainbow runners until we divers disperse them.

There are several excellent reef sites, though reef life is not the strong suit of the reefs off these islands. Instead, the good dive sites scored with divers because of the presence of big animals.

These sites in particular stand out in one's memory for years after the dives. One is called, simply, "The Fish Place", and was it ever! This area has a flat sand bottom at about 85 feet which is the top of an undersea formation overwhich nourishing currents flow. Hang on to a boulder and watch the water around you fill with spadefish, jacks, tuna, and barracuda in crystal-clear water.

"Chapman's #2" is another seamount with current flowing around it, where everything from 600 pound groupers to sharks, tuna, turtles, and rays swim around you -- Marvellous!

The Silvertip Reef is home to a small group of these majestic sharks who put on an amazing performance when they feed. Not only are they beautiful, they are fearless, and they swim right up to us to see which of us had the food!

For those who enjoy small creatures, the wreck of the freighter TAIYO lies on her side just a few feet beneath the surface. Parts of her bulk are covered withsoft corals, fans, crinoids, and their associated reef fish. As a bonus, a Japanesemini-submarine lies upright a mere hundred feet from TAIYO!

With three major live-aboards offering these sensational sites, I'll be happy to steer you to the cruise that fits your needs best.

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Modified 06.17.23