Papua New Guinea is a collection of hundreds of islands just south of the Equator. It was barely more than a century ago that the first Europeans really explored the diverse and fascinating country, and there are still many areas that remain virtually untouched by Western influence.
The north coast of the mainland (Madang) and adjacent islands are scattered with coral cays, sand-fringed lagoons and deserted atolls. The area is fast becoming known as the best tropical dive locations in the world. With a staggering choice of unspoiled sites to choose from, the Madang area has it all: coral reefs, World War II ships and aircraft wrecks submerged in crystal clear water, sunken live volcanoes and cathedral-like caves, grazing dugong, cruising turtles and a mind-blowing array of multi-coloured reef fish.
Madang is untouched by pollution. Many of the bays and islands have never been dived before and each dive becomes a personal journey of discovery.
Madang is endowed with a picturesque town straddling a peninsula beside a deep water harbour, surrounded by pristine coral reefs, islands and mountains. Madang is also a province of breathtaking grandeur.… of massive mountain ranges, active volcanic islands, a mighty river system, lush coastal plains and endless tropical rainforest. Both Madang Province and Madang township are welcoming to visitors and offer a host of cultural and environmental adventure and leisure experiences.
Madang has the reputation of being one of the most ecologically diverse reef systems in the world, and Aquaventures, the dive operation based out of Jais Aben Resort, can share this with you.
Within this tiny area exists an abundance of reef marine life such as anemones, ghost pipefish, feather stars, mandarin fish, barrel sponges and gorgonian fans to name but a few.
Madang lagoon is an area approximately 15km long and 4km wide, starting from Madang town at the south extreme and stretching to Alexishafen in the north, with the most eastern point being Pig (Tab) island. The outer perimeter of the lagoon consists of a series of islands connected by coral reef.
This forms a mini barrier reef of steep walls with each dive site having variety coral structures. At several places the outer reef has breaks or passages, allowing for greater water flow on incoming tides and thus an increase in schooling fish life.
Within the lagoon are sheltered wrecks and patch reefs which being shallower, allow for more bottom time to appreciate a variety of smaller fish life, shrimp and nudibranchs. A real muck divers paradise.
This site, famous in diving circles, is the virtually intact B25 Mitchell Bomber, which lies in 60 feet of water near Wongat Island. Here you can see the rack of bombs still stacked up as they were in 1943. The gaps between the bombs are home to enormous cray fish. This site provides a photo opportunity like no other: you can pose for photographs by sitting in the cockpit.
Three kilometres offshore from the town of Madang is the volcanic seamount known as Planet Rock. The seas around the mount plummet to a depth of over 2,000 feet. Strong ocean currents surge through Astrolabe Bay and sweep across the apex of the mount at only 15 feet. Inhabitants of this site include clown triggerfish, agate-eyed moray eels, blue fin trevally and jacks, silver tip sharks, and on occasion hammerheads and tiger sharks.
This reef comes alive when the tidal current flows in from the open sea. The passage has a sandy bottom at 25m. In good conditions you can sit in the passage and see the walls either side, with Barrel Sponges and Green Tree Corals. On the bottom near the entrance are several coral rocks beautifully decorated with sea fans, soft corals and sea whips. Sweetlips line up on the bottom facing the incoming tide, while schools of big eye Trevally whirl around and above them
A point at the corner of two reefs, dropping off into deep water. This site is renowned for good sightings of Barracuda, Sea Perch, Trevally and other large fish. Strong currents can be encountered.
Sloping sandy areas lined with a variety of corals and highlighted by garden eels and reef fish.
Here the white sand of the passage brightens the many shallow patches, which are smothered in vibrant hard and soft corals with colourful fish including the elusive Leaf Scorpion fish. Pelagic are also found along this outer reef drop off.
sek passageAn 18m deep passage and runs between two outer reefs. Drift along the reef wall where you are likely to find large schools of Jacks, Barracuda and Sweetlips.
This is one of the best dives in Madang Lagoon. At just 22m in depth, there is a lot to see. Drift into the passage to see reef sharks sleeping or mingle with the schooling Jack fish and others including Sweet Lips. Swim past spectacular corals that line the walls and approaches to the passage.
After cruising along the reef wall covered with sea stars and stag coral, you can enter a vertical hole in the reef at 18m. As you ascend towards the stream of sunlight, schools of Big eye Trevally part for you. Next you are on top of the reef in 5m, doing your safety stop in the company of anemone fish and clown fish at Clown Town.
Fan“MV Henry Leith”
A freighter sitting upright in 20m of water. This is an easy and interesting dive with much of the wreck covered in soft coral with a garden of large Gorgonian fans close by. An interesting day dive, but a spectacular night dive.
Best time to Dive
With warm tropical waters, Madang offers diving throughout the year with the best diving conditions during April to June and Sept to early December.
Madang is located on the mainland of Papau New Guinea’s north coast.
Fly from Port Moresby to Madang – approximately 60 minutes.
We can arrange a taxi/shuttle/boat transfer to the resort.
There is a range of accommodation at Madang from standard rooms to executive waterfront cottages. These options offer all the comforts while vacationing in a tropical paradise.
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