Magnificent muck diving and virgin reefs in one of the world's last truly wild places
The view from your balcony takes in the world's last great tropical wilderness. It is a land without roads, where Stone Age traditions linger and primeval forests dominate the landscape. But this is no expedition. You enjoy a full range of modern creature comforts, eat savory chef-prepared meals, and are just minutes away from some of the best diving experiences on the planet. This is Tufi Dive Resort.
Tufi is located 150 miles northeast of Port Moresby on the northern shore of Papua New Guinea. This remote coastline is home to a network of deep volcanic fjords and is accessible only by aircraft. Here, Tufi Dive Resort is built on the lower slopes of Mount Trafalgar, with dramatic views of ocean, fjord and rainforest-clad slopes. The central lodge and guest accommodations are designed to harmonize with the tropical surroundings and feature native timbers, traditional woven wall coverings, polished hardwood floors and unique carvings from many regions of the country. Resort amenities include an in-ground pool and BBQ deck, lounge, bar area, library, game room and media center. An open-air dining terrace delivers spectacular views of the fjord below and serves a lavish mix of local seafood, vegetables and tropical fruits. Resort rates include all meals as well as lunch on dive excursions.
Guest accommodations include 10 deluxe bungalows and 18 rooms. All provide 24-hour electricity, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, hairdryers, hot showers, private bathrooms, in-room refrigerators, coffee and tea making facilities. Most bungalows and some rooms have verandas overlooking the Coral Sea or Tufi Fjord. Guests can also spend one or more nights in one of the several eco-guest houses the resort maintains in nearby villages. This is an excellent way to experience the region's culture and traditional way of life.
Tufi offers two distinctly different underwater environments and is also one of the only destinations in Papua New Guinea for year-round diving. The protected waters of the area's tropical fjords provide perfect conditions for macro and muck diving, while open water coral reefs are just a short boat ride away.
The resort's house reef is rated among the world's best muck dives, home to a plethora of gobies, nudibranchs, mandarin fish, ghost pipefish, banded pipes and o more. It is a prime spot for underwater macro photography, and an exceptional night dive. Additional discoveries await under the resort's jetty, which was a staging area for PT boats during WW II. The soft bottom adjacent to the wharf holds the scattered wrecks of two PT boats and a small freighter, along with a variety of discarded machinery and war materiel that now provides shelter for cryptic sea life.
In dramatic contrast to the fjord's muck sites are the coral reefs that lie just offshore. Here, a string of ledges and bommies rise from depths of 2,000 feet to within 20 feet of the surface. Oceanic waters deliver visibility in the 100-foot range, with water temperatures between 78º and 84º F. Tufi's dive boats give access to more than 20 open water dive sites within a 15 to 30-minute cruise from the resort dock. In addition to these sites, there is a host of uncharted reefs linked to the nearby Star Reef formation that remain unexplored and unnamed. These reefs have some of the highest levels of marine biodiversity in the world.
Divers and snorkelers aren't the only travelers who have discovered Tufi. The resort caters to hikers, birders and eco-adventurers of all types with a range of activities that includes fishing trips, bush and nature walks, paddle boards, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, trekking, bird watching, beach BBQs and cultural interactions. The surrounding landscape encompasses a diverse range of habitats, including beaches, mangroves, lowland rainforest, hill rainforests, littoral forests, coconut groves, plantations and grasslands. The world's largest butterfly is found here, along with an abundance of orchids.
Tufi offers a range of activities suitable for all ages and abilities. A signature experience is the outrigger canoe safari to a waterfall hidden deep in a fjord, where passengers are left to enjoy an afternoon swim and a picnic of fresh lobster. Other favorite excursions include supported kayak tours to secluded beaches, guided hikes, visits to traditional villages and overnight stays that immerse guests in the local way of life. More ambitious adventures can include multi-day kayak trips and three to five-day treks through virgin rainforests to the twin peaks of Mt. Trafalgar and Mt. Britannia.
Tufi Dive Resort is served by direct domestic flights from Port Moresby on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Flights are about an hour's duration. The area has two primary weather patterns: a wet season from November to March, and a drier period the remainder of the year. Coastal areas experience temperatures between 75-95 F, while nighttime temperatures can drop into the lower 50s in the highlands. Though remote, Tufi Dive Resort has mobile phone coverage and internet communication.