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Madang Dive Sites

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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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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 the controls.

    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 miss it!

    Ever dived along the shore of an active volcano?!!!


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