Diving Kimbe Bay - seeking feedback

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MA

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Hi SB'ers,

I'm very close to booking at trip to PNG, staying a couple of nights at Walinda and then onboard the Febrina in late April.

Just before i push the button, I am interested in hearing about what sort of creatures people have seen on trips there in the past. I've read favourable reviews on the visibility, corals and fishlife in general and good feedback on the variety of dive sites.

I've loved diving in Indo over the last few years, and love the variety of macro and the bigger stuff so its hard not to go back yet again, but I'm really keen to go somewhere new (well new to me!).

What have you seen diving Kimbe Bay and surrounds?

Thanks so much.

MA

---------- Post added August 31st, 2014 at 07:39 PM ----------

Oh i also meant to ask a question on flights. I'm trying to avoid an overnight stay in Port Moresby on the way to Kimbe Bay. in your experience how much time would be sufficient to allow, coming off international to transfer to air nuigi domestic flight. I'll have my visa already. is 1-2 hours enough assuming inbound flight on time? I think i have a choice of 1.5 hours, or 7 hours at the airport.

Thanks!!
 

clownfishsydney

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Said to be one of the best dive locations in the world from the people I know who have been there. As too time between flights, you could be lucky with 1.5 or miss the connection by a long way. One one trip they held the connecting plane, but then there were about 16 of us.
 

charlier

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I just heard David Doubilet (National Geographic photographer) give a beautiful presentation on Kimbe Bay while he was visitig Singapore. His photos and videos were wonderful - from macro to sharks to schooling fish and creatures. As a frequent traveler in Indonesia and PNG, I would allow for bit more time at the airport. charlie
 
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Wingy

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I would err on the side of caution and at least make a booking at Airways or Jackson Hotel (both are nearer to the airport) because if Indo flight times are flexible....PNG flight times are ....elastic. PNG is way above your usual dive destination in terms of biodiversity and biomass. Expect anything...not unusual for whalesharks to pop up, not unusual for orcas to decide to have a play, not unusual to find the tiniest nudis hidden ontop of a decorator crabs sponges that are also carrying a few different shrimp...nothings usual and nothings unusual for PNG. You will also get sharks, napoleans, giant trevallies, schools of baracudas that make sipidan look like a game, bumphead wrasses, on the other end of the scale a rainbow of anthias of every color so thick its hard to process exactly how many fish there are. Lots of cephalapods. Hit youtube and have a look at some of the clips taken from Febrina. Ive never done the Febrina but my fav spot in PNG would be Milne Bay and Deacons Reef blew me away - heres a sampler.......stop wasting time and click the button, you wont regret it :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxtUpIb1Ri0

Kimbe from Febrina - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKz7W8sOBQE
 

MA

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Sold! Wingy what a great way to put it. I now understand why I haven't heard much detail on what to expect to see. It sounds like there's nothing you will definitely see, but nothing you won't see either! I love a surprise. Sounds like my kind of diving. And octopus - woohoo!

michael thanks for the tips re flights. I will take the 7 hour wait option, and hope and pray the domestic flight does leave that day. I'll allow a coupes of days at walindi first so no risk of missing the boat.

maybe Milne bay next trip :)

---------- Post added September 1st, 2014 at 09:14 PM ----------

Wow - the 5min 25sec mark of the Febrina footage! Amazing. Thanks Wingy!
 

Kevster

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MA:
Hi SB'ers,

I'm very close to booking at trip to PNG, staying a couple of nights at Walinda and then onboard the Febrina in late April.

Just before i push the button, I am interested in hearing about what sort of creatures people have seen on trips there in the past. I've read favourable reviews on the visibility, corals and fishlife in general and good feedback on the variety of dive sites.

I've loved diving in Indo over the last few years, and love the variety of macro and the bigger stuff so its hard not to go back yet again, but I'm really keen to go somewhere new (well new to me!).

What have you seen diving Kimbe Bay and surrounds?

Thanks so much.

MA

---------- Post added August 31st, 2014 at 07:39 PM ----------

Oh i also meant to ask a question on flights. I'm trying to avoid an overnight stay in Port Moresby on the way to Kimbe Bay. in your experience how much time would be sufficient to allow, coming off international to transfer to air nuigi domestic flight. I'll have my visa already. is 1-2 hours enough assuming inbound flight on time? I think i have a choice of 1.5 hours, or 7 hours at the airport.

Thanks!!

I visited kimbe bay last year during April May. Top side conditions were perfect. No wind ,flat calm seas. I spent 10 days on the Febrina and a few days at walindi before the febrina trip. I posted a trip report in this forum.Most of the diving was wide angle fishy dives. Not much macro, compared to Indo. Reefs are amazing,
one of my favourite dive trips. To avoid stopover in PM I suggest you fly from cairns. Cairns flight arrives in Port Moresby early in the morning allowing some tip for a connection to Hoskins. On the return journey I flew Hoskins to pm to Brisbane without a stop over in PM.

definately book a trip. The diving boat and crew are brillant.
Tip. If you need to kill some time in PM airport ,head to the cafe in the international terminal. It's a lot better than spending time inthe domestic lounge.
 

MA

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Thanks Kevster! I had read your review and it definitely helped convince me. I also got the idea of staying at Walindi a couple of days befoe hand too from the review, Great tip!

I found that Cairns flight the other day, and after the feedback on this thread, will definitely head up there the day before and take that early flight. The brisbane option on the return might work too :)

I'll probably do that half day tour too. So basically i'll be copying your trip. I didn't realise it was the same time of year - that good to know the conditions can be good then. Do you recall water temps at all? Its no biggie = i'll leave the dry suit at home :) Just decide which wetsuit for that time of year.

Now i've just got to patiently wait 7-8 months. sigh.
 

Wingy

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Oh..no...you dont have to sit there patiently waiting....seeing you are flying out of Cairns you need to work out who you are going to dive the Yongala with.....I mean, you are going to be in the neighbourhood, it would be a total shame to miss the old gal :wink: extend your stay in cairns a couple of days and do a night dive on the Yongala. Why not?
 

MA

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Wingy yongala is one of my favourite sites! I've had the pleasure of the greatest night dive in my life there. I'm supposed to be on another liveaboard charter there next month but had to cancel for family reasons.... Hence planning this trip now so I have something to look forward to! ��
 
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