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|Madang Dive Sites
Madang boasts an impressive array of dive sites, from World War
II wrecks to reefs and oceanic pinnacles. During fine weather extended
day trips are made to Bagabag Island, where the diving is yet to
be properly developed. A large concentration of Japanese wrecks
is located in the natural harbour at Bagabag. Overnight trips to
Hansa Bay can also be arranged; here over 30 wrecks can be found.
Highlight of a stay at Madang is perhaps the world's best night
dive, on the Coral Queen.
- PLANET ROCK
An oceanic sea mount about 2km off shore, to the south-east of
Madang. Only accessible during calm weather, this pinnacle is
a pelagic fish lover's dream come true! Hammerheads are one of
the most common visitors to Planet Rock, but you will also see
tuna, barracuda and jacks schooling here. The coral growth here
is spectacular, as the rock acts as a nursery for the young of
many species of invertebrates.
- MAGIC PASSAGE
can been reached from Jais Aben in about 10 minutes. This deep
channel cuts through Madang Barrier Reef between Kranket and Leper
Islands, and is a natural flue through which fish are drawn at
each tide. If the current is racing, then you can see just about
anything down here; schools of pelagic and reef fish, including
sharks, barracuda and turtles. Huge sea fans and whip corals sprout
from the walls.
- EEL GARDENS
is a sloping sandy area lined with many coral species, including
plate corals, staghorn, brain coral heads and acropora. On the
sandy slope that gently falls away from the base of the reef,
garden eels can be seen peeping from their burrows. As you approach,
they slink back into their lairs. Follow the wall round to its
outer edge, and it drops into the abyss. Atop the reef can be
found the imposing remains of a catamaran that sank in a storm.
- USS BOSTON
Another north coast dive, the Boston is an American World War
II freighter in 80-130ft of water. She's a classic war wreck!
Coral growth on the ship is prolific, and many artefacts still
litter the holds and cabins. Many species of fish find refuge
in the superstructure, including turtles, sea snakes and morays.
Large schools of fish can be seen swimming amongst the wreckage.
- HOLE IN THE WALL
Diving into a shallow and enclosed lagoon you have to swim through
a massive coral arch to the open ocean. The arch is draped in
soft corals and stylaster corals and is home to many small invertebrates.
Once through the hole, the reef drops away on either side.
- HENRY LEITH
is a new wreck, a 115ft freighter that was sunk as an artificial
reef about 12 years ago. She rests on a sandy bottom in 60ft of
water, about 100 yards off the north-west side of Wongat Island.
Her entire hull and superstructure is covered in enormous soft
corals, some over 6ft long. Black coral tress and stinging hydroids
are also prevalent. She is a macro photographer fantasy! In the
wheel house can usually be seen giant puffer, about 4ft in length.
A fantastic night dive.
- B25 MITCHELL BOMBER
Off the other side of Wongat Island, resting on a sloping area
of hard corals, is the remains of a Mitchell B25 bomber that was
shot down by the Japanese. Its tail fins rise upwards towards
the sun, the metal skeleton of her fuselage draped in soft corals,
black coral trees and sea fans. The gun turrets are still intact,
and ammo belts, encrusted with coral, twist from the guns. It
is possible to sit in the cockpit, which still contains many of
- CORAL QUEEN
This is for very experienced divers only. The Coral Queen is unique
and well worth the bother that you must make this, a night dive,
the first and last dive of the day! The Coral Queen is a 150ft
freighter resting with her bow in 100ft of water, and her stern
in about 140ft. She was sunk as an artificial wreck, and as a
day dive is of very little interest at all. It is at night, or
to be precise, dusk, that you have to dive her. You have to be
at the dive site no later than 5.45pm, and in the water exactly
the same time as the sun dips below the horizon. You bomb to the
bottom by way of the mooring line, and sit on the bow, with your
torch off! As the ambient light rapidly fades, you will start
to see dots of light appearing amongst the superstructure of the
wreck. The dots of light grow in magnitude and brightness until
it looks like a cascade of fairy lights is pouring from the gangways
into the open sea. Approach cautiously, and swim into the gangway
that these dots of light are appearing from. Remember, you haven't
got your torch on! As you get nearer, you will recognise these
lights as flashlight fish; millions upon millions of them come
tumbling from the innards of the wreck. You are surrounded by
lights, flashing on and off! It is an overwhelming experience!
As quickly as it started it's over, and you realise that you're
at about 130ft, on a night dive, and it's time to come up! Don't
- KARKAR ISLAND
Ever dived along the shore of an active volcano?!!!
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