Tucked away, and only accessible by boat, sits one of Papua New Guinea’s best kept scuba diving secrets – Tawali Resort. Tawali is located in a secluded area of Milne Bay amongst local fishing villages. Add to this the fact that Tawali houses a maximum of 28 guests, and you are guaranteed an intimate and relaxing vacation where you can focus on YOU.
Built under a rainforest canopy brimming with exotic orchids and birds, and designed so guests could interact with the local culture in a very intimate setting, Tawali offers guests a private retreat in which to enjoy the wonders of PNG. Tawali was constructed by local craftsmen and you will find beautifully carved totems and woodwork in the spacious main lodge and throughout the resort. Some of these works of art took two years to complete and are unique to the Milne Bay culture. Friendly, experienced staff will make your visit a memorable one.
How to Get Here
Port Moresby is the capital city of PNG and also the International Airport. Qantas Airways, Airlines PNG and Air Niugini have daily flights from Australia to Port Moresby. There are also weekly flights from Fiji, Honiara, Solomon Islands, Singapore, Manila, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo.
Tawali Resort boasts 14 Bungalow and 1 Villa style accommodation. All rooms are designed for your privacy and offer magnificent water views. Covered walkways link the main reception and dining areas with the 14 enormous Bungalow Rooms, each with a private balcony overlooking the stunning Hoia Bay.
The Bungalows are air-conditioned and spacious with two queen beds and rosewood interiors that include desks, closets and lounge areas. Each room has a personal safe, mini bar, fridge stocked with fresh bottled water daily and tea and coffee making facilities. Bathrooms are well-appointed and modern, completely tiled and have solar heated water.
The Ocean Villa is luxurious and can sleep a maximum of 6 guests in 3 double beds. The Villa is located on the shore of Tawali Resort, affording guests breathtaking views of the sea. This villa also has its own kitchen facilities.
Papua New Guinea is very diverse in its cuisine, from fresh barramundi cod cooked in a wrapping of banana leaves, boiled and roasted chestnuts and fresh fruit that would make any mouth water. Great care has been taken to make sure that the food is abundant and good. Local villagers have been taught the art of bread making and food presentation by several visiting chefs. The resort’s chefs pride themselves in their unique menus, using locally grown fruits and vegetables. Besides the beautiful main dining room, guests are able to dine outside on the veranda overlooking the rainforest. Fresh bread is baked daily and delicious desserts are served with evening meals. Snacks, tea or coffee are available throughout the day and soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are also available at the well stocked bar.
Besides diving, Tawali Resort has a lot to offer anyone who wants to explore the surrounding area. All top-side activities are scheduled weekly with experienced local guides. Fishing, snorkeling or kayaking are all readily available. Take a guided bush walk through areas dense with beautiful orchids and lush vegetation, into the rainforest or walk along the coast through local villages and visit a school along the way. Make sure to take a pair of binoculars to see some of the 269 species of amazing exotic birds. Hikes to Skull caves are a must do and are a mostly forgotten reminder of PNG’s history. Usually discovered by villagers looking for new garden land, many skull caves in PNG have yet to be discovered and have long been grown over by the forest.
The diving from Tawali resort is both amazing and convenient, with the best diving off Milne Bay just minutes away. Tawali boasts its own on site dive shop for equipment rentals and it’s own private dock. Dive over 60 sites comprising of reefs, WWII wrecks, drop offs and sites exclusive to Tawali. Shore diving, night dives and dusk dives can also be easily arranged. Expect to see large schools of fish, mimic octopus, cuttlefish, giant clams, turtles, and plethora of soft beautiful corals. Large pelagics include Hammerheads, Minke Whales, Manta Rays, Barracuda and occasional Whale Sharks.
Tawali has 3 day diving boats in their fleet. The MV Explorer is their biggest dive boat at a length of approximately 60 feet and carrying a maximum of 24 divers. Fully equipped with life rafts, life jackets, oxygen and first aid equipment, the boat also has bunk beds, a shower room, kitchen, and fridge. The make this boat even more comfortable, the boats also have drinking water, coffee, tea, snacks and dry towels on board. The two smaller day dive boats are both approximately 20 foot long dinghies and each carry a maximum of 6 divers each. They come equipped with oxygen and other safety equipment as well as drinking water, coffee, tea, snacks and dry towels.
These are some of the popular dive sites located close to Tawali:
Tania’s Reef A large coral mount coming from 140 ft to just 8 ft from the surface. Divers are able to dive around the full circumference of the reef with a single tank. The South side of the reef is littered with soft corals of all descriptions. Large schools of fish feed off this face. The reef also plays host to giant clams and turtles.
Cobb’s Cliff Steep drop off on one side down to 150+’ rising to just 20′ below the surface and dropping back in the center to a sandy lagoon to 60′. This site is frequently visited by large pelagics such as Manta Rays and Hammerhead Sharks. The reef also hosts a variety of macro subjects such as leaf scorpion fish, Rhinopious, Blue Ribbon Eels, Elegant Fire Gobys, and so much more.
Wahoo Point A small point located on the North side of the mainland with a shelf from 15′ to 50′ in depth and dropping with a sheer wall down to 200+’. This site is frequently visited by Hammerheads, Manta Rays, occasionally Whale Sharks, Minke Whales and on two occasions, Orcas. The site also hosts a variety of anemones, a school of Barracuda and very large Elephant ear sponges. Wahoo Point is a great place for wide angle photography.
Lauadi This dive site you could spend a number of days doing, this location actually has two separate dives, straight off the boat, no deeper than 25′ of water you have an incredible collection of cleaning stations, divers are able to get their teeth cleaned if they wish. The site has a variety of octopuses and on occasions, the Mimic has appeared.
Observation Point A true rubble dive with sand slopes going down 100′ host snake eels, Star Gazers, Pipe fish, Flamboyant cuttle fish, Mimic Octopus, Spanish Dancers, Fire urchins with Coleman shrimp and the Bugs Bunny Scorpion fish.
Sponge Heaven A sheer wall starting at 2′ below the surface and dropping to 200+’ is honey combed with small caves. A huge variety of sponges are home to a variety of Nudibranchs, including the large Spanish Dancer. Sponge Heaven makes for a beautiful night dive.