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Kavieng Dive Sites

Kavieng and Malagan Beach Resort
Golden Dawn Live-Aboard
Tiata Live-Aboard
FeBrina Live-Aboard

Kavieng is at the northern tip of New Ireland, the second largest of PNG's outer islands. Running more or less North to South, island acts as the eastern barrier for the Bismark Sea. The waters on the inner, western side, tend to be calmer than the more rugged eastern coastline. The scenery around Kavieng is stunning and contrasting - mountainous islands which drop sharply into the sea, or a myriad of low lying coral islands surrounded by golden sandy beaches and pretty fringing reefs. Channels between these islands allow for the movement of vast quantities of water between the outer Pacific to the North and the inner Bismark Sea to the South. Byrons & Albatross Passage are prefect examples of the genre! Kavieng is the temporary base for a number of live-aboards - FeBrina, Tiata & Paradise Sport make it their home for certain months of the year; there are currently no boats based there permanantly.
    This is a large ridge rising from 140ft to within 40ft of the surface, and lying in open water only 5 minutes by boat from Kavieng. The ridge is a magnet for barracuda, which school here in their thousands. Jacks mingle amongst the barracuda, and they swirl and circle above divers' heads. Along the edge of the ridges, sharks of varying types and huge yellowfin tuna can be seen cruising the open water. A Korean fishing boat, impounded by the Kavieng authorities for illegally entering Papuan waters, lies on its starboard side on top of the ridge, where it was scuttled. While the wreck is a relatively recent addition to Echuca Patch, it is quickly being encrusted with marine growth, and is now home to numerous fish and invertebrates. The reef top is made up of a mass of pillar corals in which numerous anemones and their resident clownish can be seen. Red whip corals sprout from the reef floor. Echuca is one of the finest sites in Papua New Guinea to see pelagic fish.

  • T's REEF
    A T-shaped reef between 30-130ft in depth, this reef is a forest of huge gorgonians of every shape and colour. These fan corals act as convenient perches for crinoids, that feed in the currents. Batfish are frequent visitors to T's Reef. These likeable creatures are usually seen in small groups of 8-10, but here they can school in their hundreds. They are inquisitive fish, and will follow you throughout your dive. If you are having trouble finding them the most likely place to look is right behind you!

    Off New Hanover, this supply ship's port side is only 12ft below the surface. Her superstructure is covered in stunning red and yellow soft corals and black coral trees. Turtles often frequent the wreck, as it is a convenient location for a snooze at night. A large collection of Saki bottles can be seen in the forward hold. While the existence of the supply ship has been unknown ever since she sank, it was not until the last few years that the mini-submarine, about 50ft away on a sandy bottom, was discovered. Now covered in coral, it is the only mini-sub wreck yet found in the South Pacific.

    A flat reef top at 30ft off the north coast of New Hanover that is covered in plate and staghorn corals. The dominant fish species amongst these corals are anthias and fairy basslets. Their shocking pinky-purple colour is a wonderful contrast to the pastel shades that dominate in hard corals. The immediate area is home to silvertip sharks that are readily approachable and can be hand fed.

    About 45 minutes by boat from Kavieng is a series of reef pinnacles rising from deep water. These pinnacles rise to within 4ft of the surface, and can be dived to a depth of 150ft. The reef walls are home to a profusion of coral species and invertebrates, and attract thousands of smaller reef fish such as anthias and hawkfish. Eagle rays, mobile rays, large schools of fish and silvertip sharks are all evident in the waters off the pinnacles..

    A narrow channel between 2 islands, Albatross Passage sucks pelagic and reef fish between and into its narrow flanks twice a day as the tide rushes in and out. A ridge runs across the mouth of the passage, sloping to a deep sand plateau at 130ft. This is an incredible drift dive where just about anything can turn up! Eagle rays, mantas, tuna, barracuda and even tiger sharks have been seen cruising for a tasty morsel in Albatross Passage. Grey whalers in the surrounding area can be hand fed, if you're up to it!

    This is without a doubt one of the most impressive plane wrecks in the world. Catalinas were used as reconnaissance planes by US Forces throughout the Pacific, and this one was thought to have been shot down in 1943. It rests in about 50ft some 30 minutes by boat from Kavieng, and it possible to swim right inside and sit in the cockpit. The wreck is covered in a thick coat of corals.

    Logistics dumps can be found all over the Pacific, the most notable being in the Solomons, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea. At the end of the war unwanted equipment was literally bulldozed into the sea. It was cheaper to throw it away than to ship it home. Logistics dumps vary in content according to their location; the one in Kavieng contains jeeps, trucks, ammunition, spare parts, bridging equipment and guns. Being so close to shore this dive is often quite murky, but gives a splendid idea of the range of equipment that was used during World War II.

    On the charts Eagle Ray Passage is called Byron's Passage, and is a channel between two pinnacles, which direct the tides. The shallower pinnacle is coated in a luxurious blanket of soft corals and shrouded in thousands upon thousands of reef fish. However, you visit Eagle Ray Passage to see the incredible pelagic species that frequent this dive sight. Large numbers of eagle rays can be seen along the reef walls, and white-tip, bronze whaler and grey reef sharks are seen on almost every dive. Large schools of barracuda, jacks and tuna are also common visitors.

    Located near Tsoi Boto Island, off the NE tip of New Hanover this reef should now be renamed No Silvertip Reef, as they have all been fished out. So don't bother going there!!!

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