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Tufi Dive Resort

Thursday, December 10, 2009
Sorrel Wilby returned to Papua New Guinea, a place she loves. She has spent a lot of time there and has a great fondness for the people, the culture and the pristine environment.

This time she went to the east of the country to a place called Tufi, which is a mecca for diving enthusiasts. Papua New Guinea has many fabulous dive sites, but Tufi is a stand-out location.

Visitors are encouraged to go to local villages and schools — you might like to pack a few important goodies for them in your suitcase before you leave home. Basic medical and school supplies are extremely welcome. Things we take for granted are so gratefully received — bandaids, ointments, bandages, pencils and sharpeners, paper, books — anything you can think of will bring a great deal of pleasure. Children sing and dance and will probably give a rendition of the national anthem.

Sorrel visited Kabuni School which has around 40 students from seven villages. Most of the students walk to school, some walk for more than an hour, some paddle a canoe and then have the hour's walk. They attend from Monday to Friday and sadly education is not free. The fees put great stress on most families but they realise the importance of education.

It costs just $25 to educate a child for a whole year. If you care to help the children to learn skills to advance their chances in life, you can send money to Sharon and Simon Tewson at Tufi Dive Resort.

Tufi diving

Pristine waters offer unrestricted visibility and hold unequalled marine diversity and untouched World War II historical sites. It is the ultimate diving experience. There is the beauty of the Solomon Sea, majestic fjords, rainforest and the reef to explore.

It is said to be home to twice as many species as the waters of the Red Sea and up to five times as many as the Caribbean. Water temperatures range between 25°C and 30°C. A ribbon reef appears from nowhere from a depth of about 600m and there you see unlimited colourful fish and coral. Even the most experienced divers are astounded at what greets them.

Tufi Dive's Glen Kibikibi is one of just five indigenous PADI dive instructors in the country and he knows all the best spots for divers and snorkelers. Mullaway and Veals reefs are two of the best. The catamaran has a toilet and shower and is great for game fishing and enjoying lunch.

Tufi Dive Resort

The boutique resort is on top of a fjord with 180-degree views. It was refurbished nine years ago and accommodates just 38 guests in 10 deluxe bungalows, nine standard rooms and eight single rooms for budget travellers. It has 24-hour reticulated power and water is safe to drink. If you are visiting villages it is advised you take water from the resort.

The restaurant offers a mix of cuisine from local dishes to Japanese and Western meals. Smorgasbords are made up of local seafood, vegetables and tropical fruit and the barbecue is cranked up for delicious grills.

There is a licensed bar and you don't have to miss out on your favourite Australian wine and beer.

There is a library and video collection and barbecue facilities on a cliff overlooking the water. Tours are available from local villages as well as windsurfing safaris and kayaking. There's a pool, gift shop, laundry services and a trade store close by.

Location

Tufi is an hour's flight from Port Moresby in New Guinea.

Cost

Tufi five-night packages are $755 per person twin share. They include four nights of deluxe accommodation at Tufi Resort, one night at a village guesthouse, all meals and transfers at Tufi. Diving is $65 a day and snorkelling in the villages or the fjord is free. Children are welcome and those under 10 stay and eat for free.

Prices correct at December 10, 2009.

For further information

Tufi Dive Resort
PO Box 1845
Port Moresby
Papua New Guinea
Ph: +675 323 3462
Fax: +675 323 1303
www.tufidive.com
tufidive@datec.net.pg

Visas: All foreign visitors to PNG require a visa and passports must have at least 6 months' validity.

Electricity: 240V 50Hz.

Time zone: GMT +10.

Currency: The kina.

International dialling code: +675.

It is recommended travellers to Papua New Guinea see their doctor at least six weeks before departure as there are specific vaccinations recommended. Other health precautions and preventions may also be recommended and are best discussed with your doctor. For further information, visit www.welltogo.com.au and www.smarttraveller.gov.au.

User comments
If you are hiking in the Port Moresby to Kokoda direction along the track I recommend travelling down from Kokoda to Popondetta & then flying from Popondetta into Tufi for a few days rest and relaxing after hiking the track. The flight into Tufi over the fjords is spectacular and the cliff top location of the dive resort is beautiful.
I never got to Tufi (don't know if it was a going concern while I was up there in the 80's) but I found that Jais Aben, near Madang, offered great diving. Walindi Plantation, near Kimbe, offered an experience very similar to Tufi and was fantastic.
On the show last week they suggested if we could put our hands in our pacokets and help send these kids to school. $25 a year, who do I speak to?
Does anyone know of any opportunities to teach in Tufi or surrounding areas?
I think the children were lovely and surprised about the gifts that sorrel gave pencils, textas, paper,panadol,bandaids was sweet to see there faces

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