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|Walindi Plantation Resort
• Land Tours
Sites in Kimbe Bay
flying from Port Moresby to Hoskins, it is our recommendation
that you sit on the left hand side of the plane! As you
fly over the mountainous interior of New Britain, Kimbe
Bay glistens in the sunlight to your left. Strung along
the shore, and far out to sea can be seen the reef complexes
that make this area of Papua New Guinea world famous.
For it is within the embracing arms of Kimbe Bay that
can be found the finest coral reef diving on this planet.
Your excitement and the prospect of these reefs is further
heightened as you fly low across the bay to touch down
at Hoskins - reefs rise from the deep blue only yards
from the beach, and the verdant cover of palm groves and
rainforest contrast dramatically with the indigo of the
A 45 minute drive from Hoskins airport is the world-famous resort
of Walindi Plantation, the only resort that offers scuba diving
on the pristine reefs of Kimbe Bay. An oil palm plantation bought
by Australian Max Benjamin in 1969, Walindi is an 800 acre property
running along the western shore of Kimbe Bay, between the villages
of Kimbe and Talasea. Behind the resort neat lines of palm trees
cover the coastal plain, and beyond these the rainforest towers
up the sides of the dormant volcano of Gabuna. The resort overlooks
the entire bay, and a fringing reef runs close to shore, plunging
into the depths. The eastern limit of the bay is marked by a string
of perfectly conical volcanoes that give the area truly a primeval
bearing. The resort can accommodate only 20 guests, with a choice
of 10 self-contained seafront bungalows, each with private bathrooms
and balconies looking through the neatly tended tropical gardens
to the sea beyond. A central lodge contains the lounge and dining
area, with a fresh water pool and bar. The dive store is set apart
from the accommodations, close to the jetty that runs to the edge
of the reef.
There are about 200 oceanic reefs in Kimbe Bay, generally running
in two lines parallel to the shore, the first line about 1-2 miles
off shore, the second line about 5-8 miles off shore. Out in the
vastness of the bay others rise from immense depths to breach the
surface. The walls of these reefs can be anything from 1000ft to
10000ft in depth, making for exhilarating diving! The reefs are
so rich in marine life that they belie description! Corals normally
associated with deep water, such a black corals and sea fans can
be found in 30-40ft of water, and the swarms of tropical fish that
swirl though these coral gardens are endless. Fairy basslets, coral
trout, snapper, surgeonfish and triggerfish are just some of the
estimated 3500 species of fish that can be found in these waters.
There are more species of fish and coral in Kimbe Bay than anywhere
else in the world! As testament to the diving to be had at Walindi,
it is interesting to note that more world championship winning photographs
have been taken here than anywhere else - in fact the first three
prizes at the 1992 Antibes Festival were all taken at Walindi! For
the underwater photographer, the opportunities are unmatched, as
the ability to dive for an extremely long time in shallow water
means that you can maximise your bottom time to its fullest extent.
America's In Depth magazine has consistently voted Walindi as having
"the best reef diving from a resort, anywhere in the world".
TALASEA THERMAL AREA/PANGULA HOT RIVER
About 30 minutes by road from Walindi, near the small village of
Talasea, are Garu Hot Springs, a large thermal area consisting of
bubbling mud pools, sulphur springs and Pangula "hot river",
with a temperature of about 34C - perfect place to rest your aching
bones after a long walk!
TALASEA AIRCRAFT WRECKS
Two allied aircraft sit side-by-side on an overgrown WWII Japanese
airstrip; one is from New Zealand, the other America. Both landed
here after sustaining engine problems, and according to the locals
both crews were executed by the Japanese on landing. Nearby, in
the jungle, is a wrecked Betty Bomber that failed to make the strip.
The road to Talasea passes through coffee, copra and palm oil plantations,
and up onto the hill that overlooks Kimbe Bay.
Towering behind Walindi, her steep flanks are blanketed in dense
rain forest. The crater area is a mass of sulphur fumeroles and
steam vents, the entire area has a pervading smell of rotten eggs!
It takes about two hours to reach the summit from Walindi, with
a walk across the palm covered coastal plain and along a forest
track to the caldera. We recommend taking a guide and packed lunch,
and making this a full day trip.
Scuba Safaris | United Kingdom
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