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|Kavieng Dive Sites
and Malagan Beach Resort
| 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.
- ECHUCA PATCH
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
- 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!
- JAPANESE MINI-SUBMARINE & SUPPLY
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..
- ALBATROSS PASSAGE
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!
- CATALINA FLYING BOAT
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 DUMP
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.
- EAGLE RAY PASSAGE
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.
- SILVERTIP REEF
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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