5-10 nautical miles offshore lies a string of reefs and bombora (bommies) that come up from a staggering depth of 600m (2000ft) to a nice safety-stop of 5-7m (16-22ft) below the surface, with visibility exceeding 30m (98ft) and water temperatures from 26-29ºC (78-84ºF).
Spectacular marine life is abundant with schooling barracuda, reef fish and varieties of sharks, including the rare white hammerhead and a multitude of little critters, ideal for macro photography.
The majority of reefs in the region remain unexplored and it will be some time before the full diversity of the Tufi reefs is known.
Our friendly Manta Ray cruises around several reefs. It is often seen at Bev’s, Minor and Marian’s reef. This Manta is very distinct. It has a white collar around the neck on top of its back. Its wingspan must be at least 3 metres from tip to tip. An awesome sight. This dive site has it all… On the top of the reef the rare and beautiful, but highly venomous Rhinopias can often be found by the insistent searcher.
Black rocks and its neighbouring site are our most southerly dive spots. These circular reefs with deep spurs offer all levels of diving. Gentle currents bring in schools of pelagic including barracuda, jack and spanish mackerel. Large silver trevally play hide and seek with a variety of reef sharks. The exposed rocks on the tops of the reefs offer great swimming and snorkeling in between dives in a protected setting.
Appropriately named, because this is the home of the blue ribbon eel, which changes color during various stages of its life. This is also a coastal reef north of Tufi at the mouth of McLarens Fjord which is sheltered from seasonal trade winds.
Buddy’s is one of our lesser-dived reefs. It offers some drift diving when the current is strong at certain times of the year.
Top of this reef also has spectacular corals. This dive also offers some great wall diving. White tip reef sharks cruise around patrolling this reef. The white hammerhead patrols this reef also. This reef offers good snorkeling for the non-diver.
During the 1972 cyclone a small island was formed from broken coral. This is now the breeding ground for a variety of seabirds. It also provides a sheltered lee side where the coral reefs have the opportunity to grow undisturbed by wave action during the trade winds season. This reef is a perfect mooring spot for our dive boat and ideal for our snorkelers. This is one of the prettiest coral reefs in this area. There are 3 distinct dive sites at this reef.
This bommie lies off to one side. Here you will often find turtles, unafraid of divers and lots of tropical coral fish and the occasional hammerhead shark coming up from the deep to investigate the intruders. The far wall is perpendicular with some interesting swim-thru and deep caves. The top of this bommie is at 5m and offers an ideal safety stop, where you can virtually “breathe your tank out”. Those with good eyesight can spot the rare Rhinopias, family of the scorpion fish, it will shed its skin every 12 to 13 weeks. The pectoral fins have what look like glass windows. This is an extraordinary creature.
Wall diving at its best! From 7m, vertical walls plummet down to beyond 40 m where it slopes way beyond your vision. The walls are covered in colourful lichens, hard and soft corals. Nudibranchs of all sizes and varieties dot these walls. Macro or wide angle lens now poses a difficult question. The top of the reef is exquisite.
Sheer wall with overhangs for nearly 1 km. Level off at 20 plus meters for half a tank and come back at a higher level, leaving you with plenty of air to ‘play’ around the top of the reef. Hawksbill and green turtles often ‘hang’ around the top of this reef. Large brain coral reach up to just under the surface.
This reef is named after another guest from Australia who just adored this reef. He was a keen amateur underwater video photographer. This is a coastal reef at the mouth of the next fjord south of Tufi called Amunyan Bay. There are 2 resident Turtles on the main reef. The larger one of the two is particularly tame and if the diver is gentle enough it can be approached to within half a meter distance. A small tropical island offers shelter from the trade winds during May to September. The reef on the lee side of the island is great for snorkelers. Many different species of nudibranch can be seen here. This reef is ideal for diving during strong windy days, without having to go to the outer reefs.
El’s and Clancy make a great mid-range duo. Both dives are similar and are host to schools of small colorful reef fish of the Indo-Pacific region.
Named after one of the previous managers. It is a long reef with one large bommie. Colorful corals and a vertical walls straight down to 45 m. Lots of fish life around the bommie with plenty Pelagic when the current is running.
Our resort wharf will never cease to amaze you. The term ‘muck diving’ was invented here in PNG. Right at the jetty in front of the dive shop complex a new world awaits the unsuspecting diver. In amongst the rubble of a century of dumped garbage, with machinery and coca cola bottles from WW11, a wide variety of little critters have made their home. Every conceivable species of gobie, nudibranch, mandarin fish, ghost pipe fish, banded pipe fish and a plethora of other fascinating creatures offer the diver a mecca for under water macro photography. All this in less than 10m of water! During a night dive the inhabitants of this area are totally changed and one cannot recognise it is the same dive during daylight hours.
Together with Bev’s reef is the two close-by reefs offering something for everyone. This reef has an amazing variety of gobi’s. Also the hairy ghostpipe fish can be spotted here. Pelagics cruise around the top of this reef. Big brain corals allow some brilliant shots. Great dives for all levels of dive training.
Minor’s reef is one of our most spectacular dive sites….. The perpendicular walls are covered with large minor nudibranchs. Their yellow ‘rose’ shaped eggs are superb subjects for photography. Often tiny clear, see-through shrimps hide amongst the egg formation. They are sometimes difficult to spot at first, but are great for macro shots. Our giant manta is often seen cruising around this reef continuously soaking up the plankton. At times large schools of big ‘hump headed’ parrot fish are seen cruising past.
Undoubtedly one of our best dive sites! The dive team swims towards the far point where the reef drops off to beyond 200 m. Generally, the current is strong, bringing plankton and bountiful food for thousands of fishes. The place literally ‘explodes’. Hammerheads, reef sharks, rays and schools of pelagic frantically are in search of food. You can ‘hang on’ a protruding rock or a submerged mooring rope and watch the show. Mulloway is named after one of our first guests who lived in Mulloway near Coffs Harbour in Australia. Great visibility caused by the ocean’s current up swelling. A spectacular giant clam lives at the safety stop.
A great combo as a second dive after Stewart’s Reef, Paul’s boasts of soft corals of various colors and has good beds of large staghorn corals which cover a particular part of the reef. Lots of sea-anemone host a variety of clown fish that are particularly territorial here on this reef amidst the schools of travelly and barracuda.
This reef presents lots of soft corals and wall dives where our white hammerhead shark can be spotted along with grey nurse, white tip and black tip sharks that patrol this area. Red snapper in large schools abound this reef.
This reef is one of our newly discovered dive-sites. We chose this name because white-tip-, silver tip-, black tip and some grey nurse sharks always greet us. Nudibranch can be found amongst nice colorful coral.
The closest reef to the resort. Just a 20-minute boat ride offers a splendid dive. Here we tie up to a defunct lighthouse. The top of the reef has schools of spanish mackerel, barracuda and schooling trevally. The outside walls are covered in soft and hard corals. This reef lends itself to a great night dive.
A very good deep dive. At a depth of 30 to 35 m on a sloping white sandy bottom, the diver can visit a huge colony of garden eels. They are not too shy and can be approached carefully to take a snap shot before they retract into their holes. Large gregorian fans hang on vertical walls.
This reef is close to Mulloway. Ideal for drift diving the slope with the current after diving the wall into the current you will find plenty of pelagic species. It is an extensive reef, so after the drift diving part, the dive boat will pick up the divers. The white Hammerhead is often seen here as well. Corals on top of the reef are pretty.