Call Colorado Dive + Travel Adventures: 719.322.6941

Trips

Papua New Guinea – Walindi Plantation Resort + Highlands Tour: May 15-29, 2025

Description

This travel adventure to Papua New Guinea is fully ready for prime time – it is in two parts; some of the world’s best diving to Walindi Plantation Resort for 11 days, 10 nights, and a 20 tank dive package + a Highlands Tour to the world’s most remote and colorful cultures.   I have 16 spots, and 5 spots are already taken.  No trip to PNG is complete without a tour to the Highlands, but just in case you only want to book the diving, that is available, you do not have to book both parts.

Welcome to Walindi Plantation Resort

The idea to develop the resort came after Max and Cecilie Benjamin travelled overseas for a diving holiday in 1978 where they immediately recognised the outstanding marine biodiversity of Kimbe Bay in their own backyard.  Walindi Plantation Resort commenced on the shores of Kimbe Bay in 1983 and we are a fully family owned resort now reaching three generations. 

The resort has now grown to incorporate 20 accommodation units, day dive boats and links with two liveaboard dive boats. Terrestrial outreach such as bird watching, WW2 history, village visits, thermal hot river swimming, volcano climbs as well as scuba diving and snorkeling have expanded the footprint of the resort to include many PNG traditional resource owners.

The drive for environmental education of all concerned, strong environmental protection policies such as using only permanent marine moorings at dive sites plus community consultation practices is central to the resort’s operation ethos today and for the foreseeable future.

Accommodations

Walindi Resort has two types of rooms, Bungalows (premium room type) and Plantation House Rooms (standard room type).

The Bungalows are free-standing ‘bure’ style accommodation, with ensuite bathroom, ceiling fans (no air-conditioning), tea and coffee making facilities, small fridge, closet, work desk and a private verandah.  The Bungalows are located along the beachfront and have water views.  

The Plantation House Rooms are slightly smaller, but still with all the same features as the Bungalows.  These rooms are built in a block of four sharing a common verandah and have garden views.  

Room rates include all meals, daily laundry service and wi-fi at the main resort building.

Bungalows

Bungalows are free standing “bure” style accommodation, built in local timbers and materials.  They are nestled in the tropical gardens of Walindi with ocean views.  The bungalows are fan cooled and fully screened.  They each have a private verandah and ensuite facilities and are accessed by paths winding through the rainforest gardens.  Bungalows can be reserved as a single, twin, double or triple.  

Each Bungalow includes:

  • 1 queen sized bed
  • 1 single bed
  • Ensuite bathroom
  • Ceiling fans
  • Fully screened and secure mesh windows
  • Kitchenette with small refrigerator, tea and coffee making facilities
  • Writing desk
  • Private verandah
  • Fresh towels, soap and conditioning shampoo are provided daily
  • Daily laundry service included in the tariff
  • Hairdryer available on request for the duration of your stay
  • Power is 240 volt, with three pin Australian plugs
  • One double 240 volt international power point

Scuba Diving with Walindi

Papua New Guinea is located in the coral triangle, the centre of marine biodiversity which has the highest diversity of tropical fish and coral in the world.  The waters of Kimbe Bay are home to prolific and diverse marine life and reef structures.  Pristine and colourful corals are home to a variety of fish, crustacean and invertebrate life and many of the reefs have resident schools of barracuda, tuna and jacks.  A range of shark species are regularly sighted, including hammerheads and silvertips, particularly on the offshore reefs.  Resident pods of dolphins frequently entertain divers transiting between sites.  The occasional sightings of orcas, pilot whales, whale sharks and other marine life passing through Kimbe Bay waters delight both guests and staff. 

Walindi Resort has three purpose-built day boats to take guests out diving and snorkeling the wonderful waters of Kimbe Bay.  The Bay with over 40 different sites to choose from, offers a variety of different sorts of dives – underwater sea-mounts, unbelievable sheer walls, fabulous coral gardens, huge fans and funky critters.  Our dive sites are suitable for all levels of diver and whatever the length of your stay, the one thing we can promise is that you will not be bored!

Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea

Kimbe Bay pulses with life: its coral reefs hold more than half of all species on Earth, a rainbow jungle that more than 900 reef fish species call home.  Kimbe Bay is located in the Bismarck Sea, a key area in the global center of marine biodiversity.  The Coral Triangle and Kimbe Bay lie almost centrally within this.  Its marine life is remarkable: Kimbe Bay possesses 4 critically endangered, 11 endangered and 173 vulnerable species.  These include the Largetooth Sawfish (Pristis pristis), Pondicherry Shark (Carcharhinus hemiodon), Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and Leatherback Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), Scalloped Hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) and Sei Whale (Balaenoptera borealis). 

Kimbe Bay’s secret to its rich healthy marine ecosystem is its complex and diverse bathymetry (the measurement of depth of water in oceans, seas or lakes).  A narrow coastal shelf fringes the coastline of the bay, descending to oceanic depths of over 1,000m.  Along this coastline, fringing nearshore emergent reefs are neighbors to seagrass beds, mangroves and river estuaries forming multiple land-sea interfaces.  

Coral reefs in Kimbe Bay are as striking as they are fortunate.  Its reefs have been assessed as high diversity and high coral cover sites –  amazingly with relatively low human impact.  Of the 173 IUCN Redlist vulnerable species, 159 of these are scleractinian corals.  The endangered coral Cantharellus noumeae is also found in the Bay.  In 2018, researchers from James Cook University undertook upper mesophotic surveys in Kimbe Bay, which resulted in reporting a species of Black Coral (Antipatharia) that had not been previously described to science, let alone the Bay itself. 

The occasional sightings of orca, pilot whales, whale sharks and other large marine life passing through Kimbe Bay often with young are also an indicator of the importance of Kimbe Bay as a habitat for these animals. 

The combination of a rich and varied fish fauna, well developed coral reefs, and a spectacular, relatively pristine environment, is ample justification for the establishment of a special conservation status for Kimbe Bay.

Walindi Resort Dive Package Includes: 

  • 10 Nights Accommodation in Twin/Double Bungalow, double occupancy
    • includes all meals
    • daily laundry service
  • POM to HKN domestic round-trip airfare – approx. $458 (these are 2024 fares, price will be adjusted for 2025 fares)
  • Wifi at the main resort building
  • Return airport transfers
    • flight details in and out of Hoskins airport must be advised
  • 20 Dive Package, for boat dives
    • includes filled tanks and weights
  • Environmental and Safety Fee @ $9 per diver, per day is payable locally

Dive Package Does Not Include:

  • International flights, DEN to POM
  • Hotel Rooms not specified
  • Additional Tours
  • Scuba Training
  • Nitrox
  • Equipment Rental
  • Crew Gratuities
  • Any additional spending, not included

Walindi Dive Package – priced at $3162, based on double occupancy, in Bungalows, plus the round-trip domestic flight, approx. $458 = $3620.  Plantation House Rooms are a bit smaller, and $50 less per person, per night x 10 nights, so it’s $500 less for the package price, $3120.  If you prefer a quote for single occupancy, or a non-diver, please let me know, and I will request a quote.

THE HIGHLANDS OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA

The highlands of Papua New Guinea is a long chain of mountain ranges that flow through PNG from east to west. The highest Peak in PNG is Mount Wilhelm at 4509m (14,793 ft). It is here in the hidden valleys of this extremely rugged land that the unique tribes of Papua New Guinea have developed over thousands for years. Artifacts uncovered in this area are said to be dated back 43,000 to 49,000 years ago. This indicates that they settled in these valleys approximately at that time and with new evidence found in the Mt. Hagen area in the Kook Heritage site that the Papuans started advanced agricultural practices 10,000 years ago.

Also hidden in the valleys and peaks of this amazing area of the country is some of the most unique bird life on the planet. Papua New guinea is home to the most diverse range of birds of paradise amongst thousands of other species. The shape and beauty of these magnificent birds is enough to amaze anyone who has the privilege to encounter them.

GOROKA’S COLORFUL MIX OF CULTURE, COFFEE PLANTATIONS AND CRAFT IN COOL HIGH ALTITUDES MEANS YOU’LL NEVER WANT TO LEAVE

Goroka’s attractive, well-organized town is the provincial capital of the Eastern Highlands. It comes alive in September each year to host upwards of 40,000 painted warriors celebrating Papua New Guinea’s Independence Day. Any time of year is a pleasure to visit. Discover the excellent displays of artefacts, pottery, weapons, war memorabilia and a collection of first contact photos from 1939 at the JK McCarthy Museum.

UNLEASH YOUR INNER POET WHEN YOU SEE THE SHROUDED MISTY PEAKS OF WESTERN HIGHLANDS PROVINCE

The capital city, Mt Hagen, is a bustling commercial center where wealth from coffee and tea plantations has brought rapid change to traditional lifestyle. If you want to visit the last frontier of Papua New Guinea this is it. Taste the sweetest strawberries at Rondon Ridge, attend one of the regular cultural festivals held throughout the province and don’t miss the kaleidoscope of colors on view at the Saturday markets.

HIGHLANDS EXPERIENCE – Mount Hagen + Goroka

SUMMARY – 5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS

2 nights – Rondon Ridge, Mount Hagen

2 nights – Bird of Paradise, Goroka

ITINERARY IN BRIEF

Day 1 – May 25, 2025

Upon arrival in Port Moresby, you will be met by Trans Niugini Tours staff and transferred from your international flight to your onward domestic flight to Mount Hagen; the heart of the PNG Highlands. This area is famed for its fertile lands and stunning mountain ranges, as well as the complex and fascinating cultural traditions of the Melpa tribe.  Upon arrival at the Mount Hagen airport, you will be driven up a picturesque road past highlands gardens and on to the lodge.  Perched high above Mount Hagen, with mist filled views of the Wahgi Valley below, lies Rondon Ridge.  From its location in the mountains on the edge of the valley, Rondon Ridge boasts panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the city below.

Overnight: RONDON RIDGE (D)

Day 2 – May 26, 2025

Today’s tour will take place in the gorgeous highlands area of Mount Hagen, in the fertile Wahgi valley. The area surrounding the city of Mount Hagen consists of mountain ranges, covered with lush tropical rainforest, rugged limestone bluffs and valleys dotted with small traditional farming communities. A day of comprehensive touring will take you on a journey through the traditions and customs of the Melpa People. First contact with the Melpa was made in the mid-1930.  The Melpa people are “true farmers” that still maintain traditional farming methods that can be traced back 9,000 years.  The tour will bring you to local villages where the villagers will share their fascinating tribal traditions, such as the rites of widowed women, the ceremonies surrounding marriage and funerals, the traditions of tribal warfare and the daily customs of the Melpa people.  This area is also the home of the famous Pogla mudmen, famed for their unique bilas (traditional dress) and the ancient story that surrounds it.

Overnight: RONDON RIDGE (BLD)

Day 3 – May 27, 2025

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your charter to Goroka. Arrive Goroka Airport, Meet and transfer by PNG Birding Eco Tours staff and transferred to your hotel. Situated in close proximity to Goroka Airport, a visit to the renowned Asaro Mudmen, one of Papua New Guinea’s most celebrated tribes, is a must.  Our eco-friendly rooms, collaboratively constructed with the Asaro tribes, are conveniently located just a 20-minute drive from Goroka. Our all-inclusive rates encompass everything – from captivating performances and shows to delectable meals and comfortable accommodation. Half day tour of Goroka and surrounds.

Charter Flight:  Mount Hagen to Goroka

Special Note Regarding Charters:

Maximum baggage allowance is 10 kg per person and a maximum of 5 kg carry-on baggage per person.  Large, hard sided suitcases are not permitted on charter aircraft.

We will leave our dive bags in Port Moresby. 

Overnight: Bird of Paradise Hotel (BLD)

Day 4 – May 28, 2025

This morning PNG birding EcoTours staff will meet you affer the breakfast for tour.  Full day tour to Asaro Village for tour.  The Moko Moko Dance of Victore from Asaro is a vibrant and celebratory display performed by the Asaro warriors upon their triumphant return from battles. This captivating dance is a symbol of victory and is accompanied by a festive atmosphere of revelry, where sex and alcohol play a role in the revelries.  The dance exudes energy and passion as the warriors move in rhythmic patterns, adorned with colorful traditional bilas and elaborate headdresses.  It is a spectacle that embodies the essence of their culture and the joyous expression of their accomplishments. Experiencing the Moko Moko Dance offers a glimpse into the spirited traditions and deep-rooted customs of the Asaro people.  This traditional dance is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Papua New Guinea.  The Asaro people, known for their unique Asaro Mudmen tradition, showcase their resilience and pride through the Moko Moko Dance.  As visitors immerse themselves in this lively performance, they become witnesses to the cultural narrative of victory. For those seeking an authentic and immersive cultural experience, the Moko Moko Dance offers a unique opportunity to witness the resilience, creativity, and cultural pride of Papua New Guinea’s Asaro warriors.  As the beats of the dance echo through the ages, spectators become part of a shared celebration, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for the cultural tapestry of this extraordinary land.

Overnight: Bird of Paradise Hotel (BLD)

Day 5 – May 29, 2025

This morning fly with Air Niugini into Port Moresby and connect to your onward international flight. (B)

End of Trans Niugini Tours Services

Highlands Tour Package Includes:

  • 5 days, 4 nights itinerary
  • Accommodations (twin share)
  • Airport transfers
  • Tours on scheduled basis
  • Meals as specified (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Local guides

Tour Package Does Not Include:

  • International flights
  • Domestic flights
  • Visa fee
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Additional Air Charter Costs: (we book and you pay us)

Cost for 1 flight @ US$6540 flat

Divided by 12 pax = US$545 per person

We will leave our dive bags in Port Moresby. 

Important Note: Domestic and international flights are not included in the cost and we do not arrange these.  You are to book and ticket the domestic Air Niugini flights together with your international flights.

Air Niugini (PX) Domestic Flights: Domestic flights to be booked and ticketed by you:

Day 1 – 25 May 2025 PX180 Port Moresby to Mount Hagen

Day 5 – 29 May 2025 PX161 Goroka to Port Moresby

Highlands Tour Package Price – starts at $1875, for up to 8 pax, then $1835 (based on 9 pax) + flights to/from Port Moresby are approx. $200 each way, or $400 total = $2235 + $545 for charter flight (based on 12 pax, from Mt. Hagen to Goroka) = $2780.  If you prefer a quote for single occupancy, please let me know, and I will request a quote for you.

Total Package Price (Walindi Resort + Highlands Tour) – Walindi Resort $3620 + Highlands Tour $2780 = $6400.

Payment Schedule:

  • Deposit:  $1500 to reserve your space (non-refundable)
  • Final Payment:  Balance is due on January 5, 2025

Passport requirement – must have 6 months remaining until expiration date upon return to USA.

For all dive trips, consider purchasing travel insurance, and dive accident insurance.  Both are highly recommended, and are made available to purchase!

To purchase DAN dive accident insurance, please scroll to the bottom of this page, and click on the DAN banner link, Join DAN Today!, then follow the prompts on DAN’s website.

To purchase travel insurance, please scroll to the bottom of this page, and click on the DAN banner link, Purchase Travel Insurance?, then follow the prompts on DAN’s website.

REEF SAFE SUNSCREEN

Some sunscreen ingredients are not safe for corals; these include oxybenzone.  Research indicates that these chemicals can cause DNA damage to corals, promote viruses in corals, and contribute to the bleaching of corals.  So that we can help protect our reefs, we encourage our guests to choose and use a sunscreen that is “coral safe”.

To purchase eco-friendly sunscreen products, please scroll to the bottom of this page, and click on the Stream2Sea banner link, use code, “cleanreef” for a 10% discount.

** INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE SOLD SEPARATELY **

Price is per person and based on double occupancy and items specified.  Space is subject to availability, price subject to change without notice and not guaranteed until deposit is received.  Cost for airfare cannot be guaranteed until paid and ticketed. Some restrictions may apply.

* Credit card payments can expect an additional 3.5% (5% international payers) to be added to the final invoice for all payments made with credit cards. This fee covers the cost of PayPal charges.  Venmo, Zelle, and checks are always welcome.

If interested, please contact Andy Skuntz, at Colorado Dive + Travel Adventures, email to askuntz@yahoo.com, or call at 719-322-6941.  This exciting trip will fill up fast.

Trip flyer, terms and conditions, and a trip application will be provided.  Once the application is complete, please return to Andy via fax or email, then an invoice for the designated deposit will be provided.

Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Papua New Guinea – Walindi Plantation Resort + Highlands Tour: May 15-29, 2025”