A one hour flight from Port Moresby (via a short touchdown in
Popondetta) you cruise into Tufi over turquoise waters and stunning
reefs before touchdown on a tiny landing strip; you won't find many
airports like this around the world.
The area is known for its vast fjord system; inland waterways
where the lush landscape drops dramatically into the sea. The
scenery really is dramatic and is very beautiful.
This area is not just for divers as there is a lot more on
offer. There are cultural tours to the local village where you are
paddled up the river on traditional canoes by locals in colourful
traditional dress, and given demonstrations of ancient practices
such as facial tattooing, how to make sago (the local staple
carbohydrate) and warrior practices. You could even consider a
kayak safari with a night or two staying in local villages. Then
there is fishing, beach picnics, hiking...you won't get bored in
And then there is the diving, and it is stunning. There are more
than 15 local dive sites that range from muck diving in the fjords
and the inner reefs, to the further afield (about 40 minutes by
speedboat) outer reefs which are where you will find the big stuff.
These reefs are coral bommies rising up from the deep and there are
still many to be discovered with the best of the known ones being
Cyclone Reef, Veale Reef, Mulloway and Stewart Reef. There are also
a couple of wrecks in the local area such as S'Jacob, a Dutch
merchant ship that was sunk during a Japanese air raid in WWII
though this is only for experienced divers.
Sightings of hammerheads (even an albino one!), and a variety of
reef sharks are common, but it's not just the big fish that are the
attraction here. The coral is incredibly healthy and there is a
wide variety of macro life, so overall there is much to appeal to
divers no matter what their preference.
Overall, this is an excellent place to spend a few days whether
a diver or not. The location couldn't be more stunning and what
lies beneath the waves more than matches the promise of what you
see on the surface.