Even Waldo couldn't find this place straight away!
One of the most secluded areas in Papua New Guinea will be accessible to scuba divers at the start of 2012, with the opening of the first resort at the Conflict Islands. This area in the lower Milne Bay has an amazing array of diving locations and unique coral reefs which have twice the diversity of the Great Barrier Reef. I kid you not.
Conflict Islands Resort is located on the Island of Panasesa. Previously not open to the public, it was developed as a private hideaway for the owner. Now up to 12 guests can stay in six air-conditioned bungalows complete with beachfront balconies. There's a good selection of activities on offer too, such as snorkeling, fishing, island tours, sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking and you might want to relearn the lost art of doing absolutely nothing. So for people wanting to go off the radar for a week or so, here's your answer.
Nestled amongst the Doma Peaks near Tari, almost 7000 feet above sea level, is Ambua Lodge. An award-winning, eco-friendly lodge boasting magnificent views of the Tari Valley below. Tari is home to one of the most immediately recognizable cultures in Papua New Guinea - the "Huli Wigmen". A proud, flamboyant tribe known for their ornate ceremonial "wigs" with dances and songs fashioned on that of the mating rituals of the Birds of Paradise - an encounter with the Huli's is bound to be memorable.
Guests are accommodated in forty round houses, set amongst landscaped gardens and built almost exclusively from natural materials. Each unit features 180 degree picture windows to soak in the view, en-suite bathrooms. Electric blankets and continental quilts for the cool highland evenings.
Tari today, is one of the few remaining areas where men and women still adhere to many of their traditional beliefs and where a man's wealth and importance is still measured by his amassing of pigs, wives and land.
Standing majestically on a lone ridge, 300 meters above the banks of the Karawari River and overlooking an endless expanse of dense tropical lowland rain forest is Karawari Lodge. One of the most remote and un-spoilt destinations in Papua New Guinea - the lodges private airstrip and the Karawari River being the only way in or out. Stilted villages line the edges of flooded waterways and dug out canoes are the primary mode of transport.
There are no roads, no shops and no phones. Sepik's live completely off the land, weaving baskets for catching fish; gathering, preparing and cooking their staple food from the Sago Palm.
Guests are accommodated in ten separate cottages, each built out of local bush materials and inspired by traditional architecture. Each cottage has two private twin rooms, each with modern en-suite bathrooms, and a communal veranda. Despite its remoteness, the lodge has 220V electricity, hot & cold water, comfortable mosquito-netted beds, ceiling fans, and a breezy veranda - all make for a welcome sanctuary after a day's exploration.
For the more adventurous, overnight stays in nearby traditional villages are also available from Karawari Lodge.
Karawari Lodge is only accessible on our own air service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from either Mt. Hagen or Ambua Lodge; or on completion of a Sepik cruise on the MV Sepik Spirit.
The MV Sepik Spirit is our luxurious "floating Lodge" commissioned in 1989 to facilitate exploration into some of the remotest reaches of the Sepik Region, too far to travel from Karawari Lodge in smaller boats and inaccessible to aircraft and larger vessels. The MV Sepik Spirit is a shallow draft vessel purpose-built for navigating shallow inland waterways. The entire vessel is air-conditioned and up to 18 guests are accommodated in 9 spacious berths, each with en-suite bathroom, large windows and river views. Onboard facilities include a comfortable lounge, well stocked bar, dining area and a covered, insect-proofed upper observatory deck.
Cruises usually operate over 4 days between Karawari Lodge and the village of Timbunke on the main Sepik River, traveling on the Karawari, Krosomeri and Sepik Rivers. Daily explorations into the smaller tributaries and their remote and isolated villages are done using 18-seat jet-boats with guests returning to the MV Sepik Spirit before sundown. Depending on the particular cruise, guests may visit the Blackwater Lakes, Chambri Lakes and villages in the Middle and Upper Sepik. Private touring and transfers are not available on the MV Sepik Spirit.
Set amidst palm trees and lush tropical gardens overlooking volcanic islands in the Bismark Sea is a most magical and peaceful retreat - Malolo Plantation Lodge. 'Malolo' directly translated from Tok Pisin means 'rest' and the very nature of the lodge, its surrounds and the local people, ensure that one can do just that - relax. A most serene place where one falls asleep to the gentle lapping of the ocean and wakes to the morning calls of tropical birds.
Guests are accommodated in 14 air-conditioned rooms, each with en-suite bathroom, private balcony and stunning ocean views. The main lodge building with its restaurant, bar and comfortable lounge area is set amidst extensive lawns and palm trees, a mere stone's throw away from a tranquil private beach and fresh water swimming pool. Malolo Plantation Lodge is a 45-minute drive North of Madang Town on a good sealed road. Air Niugini has several daily flights between Port Moresby and Madang.
7100 feet above sea level, on the outer fringes of the Kubor Range, lies Rondon Ridge. The newest addition to our portfolio, boasting panoramic views of the Wahgi Valley below, Rondon Ridge is the pinnacle of luxury in a remote and rural setting. Guests are accommodated in twelve tastefully appointed rooms with warmed king beds for those fresh highlands nights, with modern en-suite bathrooms. Rondon Ridge has 24-hour, eco-friendly electricity, provided by its own hydroelectric power plant that generates clean, natural energy from a nearby mountain stream.
Rondon Ridge is a 40-minute drive from the town of Mount Hagen and just under an hour from the airport. There are several daily flights between Mount Hagen and the capital, Port Moresby.
Walindi Plantation Resort nestles on the shores of Kimbe Bay, attracting visiting divers for over 25 years. Walindi Resort is also home port to the boutique Liveaboard Dive Vessel, MV FeBrina.
With only 12 bungalows and four "Plantation House" rooms, crowds and queues are not something you will find at Walindi. Accommodation is spread along the beach front, nestled in tropical rainforest gardens, ensuring privacy and seclusion when you want it. The central resort area, just a short stroll from your accommodation, is the social hub of Walindi. Meal times are a social gathering of guests and staff alike, a chance to share your individual experiences of the day.
Getting to Walindi Resort and MV FeBrina is a short flight from Port Moresby to Hoskins airport, West New Britain and looking out the window on your flight you will realise that this is going to be no ordinary vacation. Mountain ranges that top 14,000 feet divide the main island of New Britain. The deeper valleys remained isolated until early last century; the land you fly over is occupied by people who have 800 different languages and cultures that are just as diverse.
This personalized boutique resort is a hidden oasis nestled atop a breath-taking fjord, with 180º panoramic views of the sea, fjords and mountains. The Resort is perched on an amazing, cliff-top terrace overlooking Tufi Harbour. Located in Oro Province and only 129 kilometres (80 miles) east of Kokoda, Tufi Resort is the perfect place to rest the weary body after the challenges of the Kokoda or Black Cat Trail. Activities include diving, fishing, bush and nature walks, snorkeling, canoeing, traditional outrigger safaris, kayaking, trekking, bird watching, beach BBQ and great cultural interaction in the village, where you can experience many activities like sago-making, net and spear works, tapa printing, face and body tattooing. The resort is well appointed with dive boats. Crystal at 30 foot, is spacious and has comfortable seating. The boat features a shower and toilet facility and is well equipped with all safety features. A cruise speed of 20 knots provides divers less time travelling and more time underwater.
Tawali is located in a secluded area of Milne Bay amongst local fishing villages and accessible only by boat. Built on a limestone bluff eighty feet above the water, Tawali offers guests a private retreat in which to enjoy the wonders of PNG. Tawali was constructed by local craftsmen and you will find beautifully carved totems and woodwork in the spacious main lodge and throughout the resort. Some of these works of art took two years to complete and are unique to the Milne Bay culture.
The diving from Tawali resort is both amazing and convenient with the best diving of Milne Bay just minutes away.