Lissenung Island Resort, a 20 minute boat ride from Kavieng in New Ireland Province is an ideal base for a Papua New Guinea diving adventure. Situated only two degrees south of the equator, this is the South Sea, where the water is always warm, averaging a balmy 28-30° Celsius (82-86°F). The resort is located on a small private island with coconut palms and a beautiful white sandy beach. Think of your own Pacific hideaway with all the necessities provided for an enjoyable stay: Simple bungalows with airy verandahs and mosquito screened bedrooms, great meals and, of course, fantastic diving!
You can easily circumnavigate the whole island in 10-15 minutes. It is covered with tropical vegetation providing plenty of shaded areas to escape the tropical sun, and also offers a small but very pretty white sand beach, perfect for swimming and relaxing.
Dietmar Amon, the Austrian owner, started this small resort a little over 15 years ago and runs it with the help of his wife Ange. Together with Nozaki, the Japanese instructor and a handful of local staff, these experienced Divemasters and Instructors will ensure that even the little things are taken care of. The personalized service and the relaxed and familiar atmosphere are just two of the particulars that Lissenung Island Resort is famous for.
The four bungalows are spread out over the island, giving guests plenty of privacy. Three of the bungalows house two rooms, each with its own ensuite bathroom. The last bungalow is a one-room bungalo and uses the share facilities, which are located approx. 20m away. As the island is only 400 x 100m (450 x 110yd), all bungalows are ocean-front.
The bungalows are built in traditional style and blend into their surroundings. The walls are made from woven bamboo, one side of the roof is thatched (Sago Palm leaves), the other side has corrugated iron to collect the rainwater that is used for the water supply. The roof collects the water and feeds it into a big water tank, from where it is pumped up to the roof’s header-tank.
Although the shower water is not heated, the warm environment (28° Celsius/83F) usually ensures a pleasant water temperature.
The rooms are fitted with a mosquito net over the bed, a ceiling fan, a large desk and a wardrobe. The windows don’t have glass, but are fitted with flyscreen to keep little creepy crawlies out, and let the beautiful breeze in. This ensures that no air-conditioning is necessary. All bungalows also have a big verandah with comfortable chairs to relax in after diving.
The big desk in front of the window is ideal for photographers, giving them plenty of natural light to work by and ensure that all camera gear is ready for the next dive. There are a number of powerpoints (240V, Australian socket) in each room and with 24-hour electricity, this ensures that batteries can be recharged at all times. The rooms are serviced daily and all linen and towels (room and boat) are provided.
The main house, or “haus win”, offers comfortable chairs on a sandy floor and it is here where cold drinks and delicious meals await you. Fresh seafood such as fish, crabs and lobster (crayfish) feature high on a menu where set meals are served, rather than a la carte meals. Special dietary requirements can be catered for on request. Please advise us of those as early as possible as food supplies can be a little limited at times.
Many of the ingredients used in the kitchen come from the local market in Kavieng or are bought from locals that come direct to the island or meet our boat at dive sites. They purchase fresh fruit such as pineapple, bananas, star fruit as well as all of the seafood from these people. Some vegetables and fruit are even grown in their own small veggie garden on the island. But wherever the food comes from, you can’t get it fresher and more organic than this!
Beer and Wine are available at the resort, but feel free to bring along your own alcoholic beverages. Especially spirits are often unavailable in PNG, and even when they are, they are extremely expensive. You will have access to plenty of ice and mixer drinks such as coke, tonic water etc.
It is the unique location of the tiny little islands between the open South Pacific Ocean and the Bismarck Sea that has created an underwater wonderland. The change of tides can produce some strong currents, which flush clear waters from the deep sea over the abundant reefs and through tiny passages. It is during those currents that the pelagic action is happening and you can expect to see sharks, tunas, mackerels, huge schools of jacks and barracudas and with some luck, schooling Eagle Rays and Mobula Rays. However, the diving is varied and also includes wall, wreck and muck diving and ensures that every diver leaves the island a happy diver!
The local dive guides are experts in picking the right dive spots at the right time. PADI dive courses from Open Water through to Divemaster are offered in English, German, Dutch and Japanese. Lissenung is a fully recognized member of the PADI International Resort Association and a PADI Go ECO Operator.
Last but not least, there is a great bonus feature: Located just off the beach is a fantastic house reef where you can do free shore diving while staying at Lissenung Island Resort and when booking morning boat dives! Day dives complimentary and as many as you like before 6pm) as well as night dives (night dives are guided on request and will be charged locally) are available. Over 175 different species of fish can be found just here – this is more than in the whole Caribbean!
Diving here is year-round, with January to March subject to sudden rainsqualls and thunderstorms. Typically tropical, these storms are often replaced by blue skies that return as quickly as they departed. Best months are usually April to June and September through to December.
If snorkeling is more your cup of tea, about 2/3 of Lissenung Island is surrounded by a beautiful reef. The best place to start is in front of the dive shop where you turn left immediately and follow the reef. This area is a conservation zone and there is a multitude of fish. For a small charge, you can also join one of the dive boats for the morning, as many of the dive sites also offer fantastic snorkeling.
Other activities include fishing, surfing, local market tours, Island village tours, or WWII interest tours and excursions.
How to Get There
Flights with Air Niugini from Australia (Sydney, Brisbane & Cairns) to Port Moresby depart 7 days a week. There are also twice weekly flights from Singapore, Hongkong, Manila, Tokyo, Nadi/Fiji and Honiara/Solomon Islands, as well as once a week from
Kuala Lumpur to Port Moresby. Airlines of PNG has daily flights from Cairns and four times a week from Brisbane to Port Moresby. Qantas operates daily flights from Cairns to Port Moresby. Daily F100 jet services will get you from Port Moresby to Kavieng via either Rabaul or Manus Island. These flights are with Air Niguini only.
If you are dreaming of a beautiful Pacific island, where you can relax and dive and get the illusion that you are alone on the planet, Lissenung is the ideal place for such a dream. The sunset can be watched from a deck-chair, right on the beach, with a glass of good wine in hand.