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Papua New Guinea Snorkeling

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Dive Bootess Bay with Loloata
Overview

Choose where you sleep

  • Loloata Island Resort

Papua New Guinea's Bootless Bay offers an aquatic wonderland where there is a world of discovery for snorkelling and scuba diving enthusiasts - all just a short hop from the capital, Port Morsesby - and Loloata's world class scuba services offer adventurous wreck dives throughout the Bay, night dives and superb diving excursions to nearby Horshoe Reef Marine Park.

Loloata's dive operation operates two dive boats, a purpose-built 9 meter aluminium monohull, designed to cater for ten divers and three crew. The boat has a cruise speed of 20 knots, and features comfortable seating and tank racks, hot shower, camera rinsing facilities and dual re-entry ladders. GPS, depth sounder, plotter and radios complete the navigation equipment. "Dive Loloata" operates to more than 30 moored dive sites all within 10 to 30 minutes of the resort.

The second boat is a 7 meter fibreglass banana boat powered by a diesel outboard, able to carry 5 divers plus crew at 15 knots.

The Diving Season:

Late December until early April is the wet season:
The sea is usually relatively calm, but the visibility declines through the wet season.

Late April until late May is the doldrums:
The sea is usually calm and the visibility begins to improve.
Early June until early October is the dry season:
Southeast trade winds blow at this time, making the sea sometimes quite choppy, the visibility is quite good.

Late October until early December is the doldrums again:
This is when the best diving is to be had with calm seas and good visibility.

  • Diving is run all year round and even during bad weather some dive sites are still accessible.
  • Water temperature ranges from 25 degrees C (76 degrees F) in August and September up to 30 degrees C (86 degrees F) in March and April
  • Divers are advised to wear a Lycra skin to prevent sunburn and stings. During the cooler months a 3mm wetsuit or thicker is recommended.

On Arrival:
Dive gear bags may be left at the Dive Centre on arrival. This will avoid unnecessary delays. Divers will need to complete some paperwork and present their diving certification card as well as insurance details at the Dive Centre.

Guests are asked to register which dives they wish to do for the duration of their stay. They will find a registration form attached to the notice board if the dive staff are temporarily unavailable.

All other relevant information regarding the diving at Loloata can be found on the notice board adjacent to the restaurant.

The Loloata Dive Centre Notice Board:
A large notice board provides information to divers. This is situated under cover in the outdoor lounge area adjacent to the restaurant. The notice board will provide maps of dive sites and information on the location and type of marine life currently being seen around Loloata. It will also provide the opportunity to register for a dive.

Diving Insurance:
A hyperbaric facility is available in Port Moresby which is less than 30 minutes away from the Resort. Two Kina (local currency, approximately 0.50 US cents) is charged per dive which goes towards the maintenance of the facility. All divers are liable for the medical treatment costs and at around US$500 per hour it is strongly recommended that you have insurance to cover you for diving accidents. DAN (Divers Alert Network) insurance can be arranged on arrival through Australia if you are resident to that area or through DAN USA or DAN Europe. This is excellent cover for one year at a relatively small cost, but be warned that arranging insurance on arrival may take at least 72 hours to take effect. The Dive Centre reserves the right to refuse diving to anyone who does not have or will not take out diving insurance!

Loloata Scuba Diving Prices

Number of Dives Cost (USD)
Single Dive 65
Two Dives 120
Three Dives 165
Night Dive 70

Prices include: tanks, air, weights, belts, fresh fruits, cold drinks, tea, coffee, cookies, hot shower, towels and per person per day.

Loloata Island Resort Dive Site Descriptions

Loloata Island Jetty:
Distance from Loloata - on site
Best Diving Depths - 0 to 10 meters
Best Time / Tide - early morning or night dive. High tide.
Highlights - Dwarf lionfish and red (black) firefish, ringed pipefish, colourful patterned black sea urchins, razorfish, mantis shrimp, double ended pipefish, emperor shrimp, banded sea krait, harlequin ghost pipefish.
Easy dive.

A 20 Havoc (WWII Wreck):

Distance from Loloata - 1 nautical mile (from Jetty)
Best Diving Depths - 5 meters (reef) 18 meters (airplane wreck)
Best Time / Tide - morning or high tide.
Highlights - Fully intact WWII American A 20 Havoc bomber on sand bottom. Pretty hard coral garden in the safety stop zones.

Lion Island:

Distance from Loloata - 0.8 nautical mile
Best Diving Depths - 3 to 25 meters
Best Time / Tide - Any. Several dive sites in a small area.
Highlights - Reef, sand, seagrass, "muck" dives and scuttled wrecks. The weird and wonderful abound here. Inhabitants that belong to another world and another dimension. These dives are mandatory for serious macho photographers.


North Patch:
Distance from Loloata - 1.5 nautical miles
Best Diving Depths - 6 to 12 meters
Best Time / Tide - High tide.
Highlights - Lovely hard coral garden. many varieties of not so common hard corals growing in fine formations on this small reef. Often visited by large SpanishMackerel.

South Patch:

Distance from Loloata - 2.5 nautical miles
Best Diving Depths - 4 to 15 meters
Best Time / Tide - High tide. Often effected by currents during spring tides.
Highlights - Pillars of hard corals, often with undercuts and small caves underneath lots of colour. Good amount of resident reef fish.

Lilians Patch:

Distance from Loloata - 2.7 nautical miles
Best Diving Depths - 6 to 20 meters
Best Time / Tide - Can be effected by spring tides.
Highlights - Pretty stands of various hard corals and corkscrew sea whips. Colourful soft corals and fan corals. Scorpionfish, stonefish and Rhinopias (Merletts Scorpionfish) can be found.

Quayles Reef:
Distance from Loloata - 3.2 nautical miles
Best Diving Depths - 4 to 12 meters
Best Time / Tide - Any.
Highlights - Colour! Every conceivable colour splashed across the reef. Resident Rhinopias (Merletts Scorpionfish) and Harlequin ghost pipefish.

The Tunnel:

Distance from Loloata - 2.9 nautical miles
Best Diving Depths - 5 to 15 meters
Best Time / Tide - Any. Strong winds and high seas make this site inaccessible.
Highlights - Small tunnel swim through in 12 meters, usually packed with fish. Sloping wall with seawhips, gorgonian fans and soft corals.

Pacific Gas (Wreck):
Distance from Loloata - 3.1 nautical miles
Best Diving Depths - 16 to 30 meters Wreck lays with her mast in 9 meters and her rudder in 45 meters.
Best Time / Tide - Location is exposed so weather conditions must be right. Caution with moderate currents diving spring tides.
Highlights - Scuttled in 1986 for sport divers. Ship is 65.1 meters long. Tremendous quantities of fish surrounding the wreck. magnificent corals particularly on the mast. Resident lionfish, leaf scorpionfish and ghost pipefish. One of the two sites where the red lined anthias is found.

MV Pal 2 (Wreck):

Distance from Loloata - 3.4 nautical miles
Best Diving Depths - 15 to 23 meters. Wreck lays with her masts in 15 meters and her keel in 27 meters.
Best Time / Tide - Any. Very protected site in most weather conditions.
Highlights - Scuttled in 1982 for sport divers, 25 meter steel prawn trawler. Masts are thick with black corals, soft corals and tubastraea trees. Good quantities of fish life on and around the wreck Red lined anthias and Harliquin ghost pipefish found here.

The End Bommie:

Distance from Loloata - 3.5 nautical miles
Best Diving Depths - 6 to 20 meters
Best Time / Tide - Out going tide for fishlike
Highlights - Rhinopias (Merletts scorpionfish) and crocodile flathead are often found here. Walls covered with gorgonian fans, pink seawhips, tubastraea and soft coral trees. Falling tide brings vast quantities of fish life to feed in the current. Pygmy seahorses are not uncommon.

The Big Drop:

Distance from Loloata - 3 nautical miles
Best Diving Depths - From 10 meters down
Best Time / Tide - Any. Caution must be taken to avoid currents during spring tides.
Highlights - Sheer wall, large gorgonian fans in deeper water, chance of seeing sharks and rays. Abundant fish life, including pygmy seahorses.

Suzies Bommie:

Distance from Loloata - 3.3 nautical miles
Best Diving Depths - 12 to 30 meters
Best Time / Tide - Exposed location. Caution must be observed with weather and currents.
Highlights - Pristine bommie situated on white sand. Plethora of corals and fish life. Superlatives cannot describe this dive site. Good site for pygmy seahorses.

Baldwins Bommie:

Distance from Loloata - 3.5 nautical miles
Best Diving Depths - 15 to 35 meters
Best Time / Tide - Any. Caution with strong winds and high seas.
Highlights - Something for all lens sizes, from extreme wide angle right down to extreme macro. Chance of encountering sharks and rays. Hard and soft corals abound. Large schools of fish with right current.

The Chimneys:

Distance from Loloata - 6.8 nautical miles
Best Diving Depths - 6 to 30 meters
Best Time / Tide - Slightly exposed location, subject to moderate currents.
Highlights - Pelagic fish often seen cruising off the side of the bommie. Good macro life for those with keen eyes.

The Pumpkin Patch:

Distance from Loloata - 6.5 nautical miles
Best Diving Depths - 10 to 25 meters
Best Time / Tide - Any. Caution with high seas and moderate currents.
Highlights - Chance of seeing sharks. Abundant reef fish. Good coral cover, black coral trees, soft corals, gorgonian fans, staghorn corals, plate corals, ships. Many excellent cover shot opportunities.

Nadines Passage:

Distance from Loloata - 7.6 nautical miles
Best Diving Depths - 5 to 50 meters
Best Time / Tide - A short drift on a rising tide.
Highlights - Massive gorgonians, expansive fields of soft corals mixed with pink seawhips. Walls and ridges adorned with beauty unsurpassed. Good chance of finding pygmy seahorses.

The Pinnacles:
Distance from Loloata - 9.2 nautical miles
Best Diving Depths - 10 to 35 meters
Best Time / Tide - Any. Moderate currents during spring tides.
Highlights - Passing pelagic fish quite common. Magnificent corals, especially gorgonian fax, pink seawhips and branching soft corals. Rich variety of resident reef fish. Pygmy seahorses. Sea snakes quite common. Excellent site for photographers.

Sandy Passage:

Distance from Loloata - 15.5 nautical miles
Best Diving Depths - 10 to 45 meters
Best Time / Tide - Incoming tide. Usually done as a drift up the channel.
Highlights - Abundant fish life waiting for passing morsels. Usually a good chance of seeing sharks, eagle rays and possibly mantas. Large gorgonian fans, barrel sponges, seawhips and huge tubastraea trees.

P.J.'s Passage:
Distance from Loloata - 21 nautical miles
Best Diving Depths - 10 to 40 meters
Best Time / Tide - Usually a drift on a incoming tide, but can be done as an outgoing drift. Inaccessible in any but good conditions.
Highlights - Home of eagle rays, occasionally mobula and sharks. Expect the unexpected.

 

E N Q U I R E » Need more information about the Dive Bootess Bay with Loloata? Enquire with a Symbiosis travel specialist today.
* NOTE. Prices indicated on this website are shown as a guideline only and may be subject to currency fluctuations, banking fees and other changes outside our control. Pricing information is available in other currencies.

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