Dive Travel / Featured

Ticking off the Bucket List – Papua New Guinea

Blog post by Jamie Miller

“Kavieng in PNG has been on my bucket list for years. Now it is finally ticked off!”

In September this year, I was fortunate to join the Abyss Dive Trip to Kavieng, Papua New Guinea. I was very excited to be on this trip as it had been on my bucket list for a few years.

 

The view flying into PNG will take your breath away

I grabbed a taxi with Carl (our Trip Leader) early on the morning of the 24th September and we headed to the airport where we met the rest of the group – sleepy, yet excited for the trip ahead. A short coffee and breakfast stop before we boarded the first of our 2 flights to Kavieng! In Port Moresby (PNG’s capital), we were greeted with beautiful warm weather and idyllic views of the surrounding waters and scenery that PNG is made of. An hour later and we were on our final flight to Kavieng.

 

 

When we arrived in Kavieng we were met by our Dive Guide Dorrian, who happily snapped photographs of us as we collected our bags and boarded the shuttle (big ‘ol truck) for the resort. A short boat ride across the water and we found ourselves in gorgeous rustic bungalows overlooking the water. Now I felt like I was on holiday!

The view from the balcony. It’s a hard life in tropical paradise!

Jaw dropping reefs

A seafood banquet dinner was followed by a few social drinks (and a few more for some!) before retiring for the night. I awoke fresh, and to a beautiful sunny morning with the sounds of nature all around. My roommate however, was not as fresh, having succumb to the “few more drinks” the night before. After breakfast we were met by the dive boat and we were off to our first dive site of the trip. Jumping in I remember thinking how nice it was to be able to dive in just a pair of board shorts!! So much freedom! AS I descended I could see 20m ahead and immediately saw a small school of jacks feeding in the distance, who were followed along by a small white tip reef shark. We drifted gently along the dive site, passing beautiful soft coral walls and ducking in and out of small swim throughs and cavern areas. I finished the dive fulfilled and already excited at what the next dive would have in store. A relaxing surface interval on the boat was followed by more of the same on the next dive.

That evening we enjoyed another fantastic seafood banquet before retiring for the evening.

The following day we headed out for 2 more dives, this time in slightly stronger current with big schools of barracuda, fusiliers, jacks and the occasional reef shark.

Hanging out with the fishes

A pygmy seahorse. Smaller than my pinkie finger

 

 

The week was spent with many more days of diving similar to those mentioned. Wall dives with beautiful soft and hard corals, giant gorgonian fans and a myriad of small critters in between, such as leaf scorpian fish, crocodile fish, pygmy seahorses and colorful nudibranchs. With many of the sites also boasting lage schools of pelagic fish and reef sharks, I have to say that PNG has provided me with some of the best diving I have ever done.

 

 

On the final day before we were due to depart for Sydney, we took a road trip in a big ‘ol truck – which happened to conveniently be open sided for natural air-conditioning. We brought balloons, lollipops, movie snacks and toys, and threw these all out the back and side of the truck as we passed children along the way. It was great to see children running down the edge of the road to see what we had thrown for them! We visited an eel farm which was awesome! We got to feed and touch some very large eels. We visited a massive tree house (that people actually lived in!), and a large swimming hole where we ate lunch, played soccer with the local children, and swung from the tree tops like Tarzan! That night we had a slide show of the trip and said our goodbyes to the dive guides. We had a few social drinks and then it was off to bed for our early rise the next morning.

PNG is an incredible place, rich in culture and history

Waking early the next day, I felt slightly sad that this was the end. That day during our time waiting for flights, I started to plan my next trip to PNG. This is the first time I have ever done this on a dive trip, proving to myself that PNG is a very special place – having to leave and planning on when you can go back must indicate this!!

Big smiles all round!!

 

PNG is in my top 3 destinations that I have have been lucky enough to visit. If you have not yet been, then you do not want to miss an opportunity to visit this unique, secluded part of the world, where the diving is second to none!

Check out our next trip to Papua New Guinea  

Click here to see some photos from the trip!

 

 

 

 

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