Diving around Lawadi
Here, within just 500 meters the marine diversity is mind-blowing. Perhaps the most famous muck diving available anywhere in the world, a short ride in our dinghy to a magnificent coral garden, or drift among underwater mountain peaks spiralling up from the abyss. All this in clear, warm water from the comfort of a perfect calm anchorage. My nirvana!
Anchoring at Lawadi and interacting with the community
Last year we visited while basing ourselves at the Tawali resort, this year we wanted to stay right here and soak it all up for as long as we wished. The local population is not large. Head chap is Lyall, a well educated retired local who is on a mission to attract visitors and further improve the communities subsistence lifestyle by adding the benefits of tourism.
Here is his message from Lyall to those like us who are interested in enjoying this beautiful place:
Welcome to Lawadi.
One of the worlds best diving locations.
We want you to enjoy our special place here in PNG and are working hard to keep our bay clean, reduce the impact of fishing, and make sure your vessel is safe and secure.
We would greatly appreciate if you could support our work with a donation to our village fund and to please trade with the people who may visit your vessel in their canoes. You will love their beautiful fruits, vegetables and the intricate shell jewelry they have on offer.
If you would like to see more of our home, then let us take you on a guided tour with magnificent panoramas, waterfalls, skull caves, and amazing bird life. Just come to visit me at my home on the shorefront or talk with the villagers to arrange it.
Chief Lawadi community
This suited us fine, but rather than trade and donate money–we opted for a gift- giving ceremony with a bag of clothes from the salvos, reading specs from the two dollar shop, a sewing kit from spotlight for the ladies, a smattering of fishing gear, torch batteries & a few dive goggles. Everybody was happy and were all best mates. We anchored in front of Lyles house and tied the stern to a tree. Our dive ladder almost touched the black pebbled beach home to the most incredible marine macro life one could ever see.
One night the lads led us on a diving mission to find the famous giant albino Moray eel… We never located it, I think it was still asleep in its cubby hole but the night dive was excellent, and we enjoyed the interaction with the boys.
Further around the bay–coral gardens and dramatic walls.
We loved taking the dinghy over to the coral gardens of Deacon and wall diving Barracuda point. What a change from the muck diving in the shallows of the Lawadi Beach. We tied the dinghy under the mangroves at the water edge and jumped into a fantastic coral garden complete with superb swim throughs and coral caves. Then next door at Barracuda point it was like taking a magic carpet ride among the Swiss mountaintops.
The Deacon / Barracuda area although next to Lawadi is a separate identity and is part of the Wagawahoo village community. We made a point of catching up with several of the owners, Malcolm Peter and Gilbert were very pleased to receive “Awaken the spirit” bibles for their church and soccer balls for their school. We also spent a couple of hours anchored in front of their village to trade — clothing and fishing gear for fruits worked well for everyone.
Lawadi weather shadow
It appears to me that this Area is in a delightful weather shadow created by the towering mountains to the south which separate it from Milne Bay proper. Not only is it protected from the South East Tradewinds but it doesn’t seem to get much wind at all. Also, the temperature here appears to be one or1 – 2°C cooler than in Milne Bay. Yep… For boaties who love to dive and explore it doesn’t get much better.
There are no marine charts that show the bathymetry (underwater topography) however we found the coast to be quite clear of dangerous reefs. The marine charts do give a good indication of the coastline. The place names shown on maps can at times be entirely different to what the general population know these places as.
Charter dive boats from Port Moresby, Alotau and the nearby Tawali resort frequent this area and I have not heard of any security issues relating to them. However there is always the possibility of Rascal (bands of thieves) problems anywhere in PNG, and there have been attacks on the Tawali resort plus pirate attacks on small local boats in the Goschen Strait.
To see more images of our cruising around the Milne Bay Province click here.
To view further stories of our cruising and diving around Milne Bay click on the below
East Cape 2017 click here
Milne bay south 2017 click here
Inside Milne Bay 2016-17 click here
Louisiades 2016 click here
Tawali resort refuge 2016-17 click here
Nuakata islands 2016 click here.
Conflict islands 2016 click here.
Inside Milne Bay 2016 click here.