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Papua New Guinea

By Scuba Diving Partner | Created On May 30, 2015
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Papua New Guinea

Looking for diversity? PNG has a little bit of everything.

Alotau, on PNG's extreme southeastern end, is close to land-based diving and is also home port to live-aboards cruising east to Milne Bay and south to the Coral Sea. Vessels also sail from outlying islands such as New Ireland, from the town of Kavieng, in search of World War II wrecks and pelagic marine life.

From the island of New Britain, live-aboards cruise along both its north and south coasts, from Rabaul, Kimbe, Hoskins, and Walindi. Live-aboard operators generally sail from the south coast from January through March and from the north coast from April to December.

Dive pros say south coast dive sites, like Sharon's Island and Mia Passage, are the new "must dive" spots for macro photographers. They also rave about Lama Shoals, a seamount and cleaning station in the Witu Islands.

Land-based resorts in Madang, in northern PNG, offer boat trips to the Henry Leith wreck and Planet Rock, featuring multicolored corals, sharks, barracuda and lionfish.

Topside, if you venture out to the National Museum or Botanical Gardens in Port Moresby, ask a dive shop staffer to hire a local guide. No matter where you are in PNG, visiting a rural village market and buying a souvenir bilum - a catchall, woven string bag - is a must.

Weather: Tropical year-round with temps in the mid- to upper 80s.

Average Water Temp: Ranges from the mid-70s to mid-80s, depending on the season.

Average Visibility: 80 feet with days of 150 to 200 feet from October to May.

Travel Savvy: A valid passport is necessary for U.S. and Canadian travelers.