Based as I am in Sydney, traveling to Papua New Guinea typically means arriving in the Port Moresby around two in the afternoon, which theoretically gives you enough time to clear immigration & customs and get to the domestic terminal in time to catch your onward flight to your final destination – be it Milne Bay, Tufi, Rabaul, Kimbe Bay or one of the other main diving locations in PNG.
In my experience, making that connection is always a tense experience and it’s not until the flight actually takes off can you be certain that you are really on your way.
Flight delays, cancellations & consolidations are common and if you are connecting with a liveaboard, which is usually ready to depart as soon as everybody has arrived, it means there is very little margin for error.
To avoid the stress of trying to make that connection many people arrive in Port Moresby a day early and stay overnight near the airport, but this obviously adds an extra non-diving day to your trip.
A very viable alternative that I have come to like a lot, is to arrive in Port Moresby a few days in advance and stay at Loloata Island in nearby Bootless Bay and enjoy some of the excellent diving available there.
Loloata Dive Resort Image Gallery
There are two significant advantages in doing this – firstly, it provides a time buffer in case your check-in luggage does not arrive in PNG on the same day you do, and secondly it gives you the chance to sort out your dive & photo equipment prior to joining your liveaboard.
Personally, I never seem to be completely ready by the time the day of departure comes round and always worry that I have forgotten something that will really spoil the trip, so the opportunity to check everything out is a great way to start the trip.
In fairness to Air Nuigini, only once have I not made it to my final destination when trying to connect on the same day, but it has often not been on the flight that I had originally booked…
Diving Papua New Guinea: Loloata Dive Resort’s Location
Loloata Dive Resort is located on an island of the same name in Bootless Bay, about 20km from Port Moresby.
It is reached by a 25-minute drive from the airport followed by a short 15-minute boat ride.
Loloata Island is shaped somewhat like a crocodile and it’s name means One Hill in the local Motu language, with loloa meaning hill and ta meaning one.
The accommodation, dive shop and main facility occupy the northeast corner of the 1200m long and 300m wide island.
Loloata Dive Resort’s location in Bootless Bay means it is quite close to many of the best sites on the barrier reefs to the south, which is a major advantage as it means that those sites are only about 40 minutes away from the resort.
It also means that it does not take long to get back to the shelter of Loloata when the wind starts to blows around midday…
Just twelve miles from Port Moresby, Loloata Island Resort was traditionally used as a feasting ground by the local people. This property is a great option for an overnight or more as there all sorts of watersports available, including great diving. The main house was built as a private residence in the early 1960s. In 1978, it became a licensed resort catering to holiday makers, diving and water enthusiasts and conference groups.
There are two types of accommodation available, an oceanfront room and a hill room. There are two rooms in a unit with balconies out front and private facilities. Near Loloata Island Resort is an extensive reef area with spectacular coral growths of strange beauty and fish of uncountable varieties, shapes and colors.
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