Drift Diving in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is considered by many as the last frontier - a remote group of islands still shrouded in mystery, far from the reaches of mass tourism. For divers, it’s relatively common knowledge that the waters of Papua New Guinea are teeming with life, filled with pristine reefs that are rich in biodiversity. Although the country’s dive sites are usually associated with calm, clear waters and tranquil lagoons, there are a handful of places for drift diving in Papua New Guinea. Thanks to the South Equatorial Current which runs along the country’s north coast, New Ireland is a great choice for drift diving, however, Tufi also has some good spots, due to the New Guinea Coastal Under Current. Here are our top picks for drift diving in Papua New Guinea:

Veale's Reef, Tufi

Alongside Mulloway, Veale's Reef is one of the area's signature dive sites. It's a fantastic choice for drift diving in Papua New Guinea, with the best of both worlds - stunning coral reefs and shark encounters. Divers drift along the steep coral wall, enjoying visibility of up to 40 metres, floating by schools of barracuda, snappers and Spanish mackerel. Reef shark sightings are common, and occasionally, divers will be lucky enough to spot a hammerhead passing by. The reef top is blanketed in plate and staghorn corals, which can be seen during the safety stop.

Albatross Passage, New Ireland

Albatross Passage is easily one of the best dive sites in New Ireland and a must-visit when drift diving in Papua New Guinea. The narrow channel, which lies between the tip of New Ireland and Manne Island, has strong currents, so dives need to be scheduled according to the tides. On a typical dive, expect to see a large variety of fish such as dogtooth tuna, barracuda, eagle rays, mobula rays and grey reef sharks. The site also has a stunning coral wall, which is decorated with gorgonian sea fans, sponges, and soft and hard corals.

When it comes to drift diving in Papua New Guinea, it's quality over quantity. However, with so many other fantastic dive spots in the country, you could easily dive every day of the week. Our expert team can help you put together a once-in-a-lifetime itinerary filled with fantastic drift dives and more.

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Emily C and Eleanor are our 'Drift Diving in Papua New Guinea' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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