Scuba Diving in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is made up of the New Guinea island, the Bismarck Archipelago and some other islands. They are surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and four seas: the Arafura Sea, the Coral Sea, the Solomon Sea and the Bismarck Sea. This is the most exotic place for diving. The underwater world is an amazing sight, with its barrier reefs, picturesque coral gardens and walls, and ships and planes sleeping on the seabed. Here, you can take part in extreme diving in a narrow strait between islands. Even experienced divers will be astonished by the wealth of the underwater world, which includes both tiny tropical fish and various species of sharks. It is home to seahorses, Scomberomorus and jack mackerels, barracudas and turtles. It is one of the best places for macro diving. Papua New Guinea is well-suited for night diving and diving with sharks.

Reasons to Visit

Where to go
in Papua New Guinea?
Diving is one of the most interesting activities you can do here. The hugely biodiverse seabed is coated with flamboyant corals. Here, you can see turtles and sharks (including hammerhead sharks), stingrays, barracudas, tuna fish and octopuses. Divers can swim with a tamed barracuda, which is a very rare experience. Any season here is suitable for diving. Divers can explore over 50,000 sq. m of reefs.
You should definitely try diving in Albatross Passage, a narrow passage with strong currents. It is between the islands of Manne and Kavieng. Here, you will see many decorative walls blanketed with various coral species, including rare black corals and Gorgonians. Barracudas, shoals of tuna fish, reef sharks, stingrays, turtles, Caranx and other fish live in local waters.
One of the best places for diving is the town of Milne Bay. It has many interesting dive sites, which offer stunning views of the beautiful underwater world around the island. There are vivid coral gardens, tops, sunken ships and other marine vessels, as well as a fighter plane which crashed during the World War II.
Try the amazing experience of diving with sharks. The underwater landscape and waters are rich in plankton and attract many fish and mammals, including whale sharks, hammerhead sharks and reef sharks. Japanese wobbegongs and Papuan epaulette sharks are one of highlights of local diving. They don't attack people, and you will able to take wonderful photographs with these underwater carnivores.
Wreck diving is also popular here. Many warships, both modern and those from World War II, sank to the sea bed here. The site of the P38 Lightning aircraft is one of the most popular in the area. It is a well-preserved World War II fighter plane era, with an intact propeller, machine guns and a cannon. Another interesting place is the Der Yang trawler, which was deliberately sunk and has turned into an artificial reef and home to Gorgonians, sea lilies and shoals of barracudas.

Diving Destinations in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea offers many interesting diving spots. The most popular places for diving and exploring include a narrow passage between islands and a drowned trawler in Kavieng; Kimbe Bay with its colorful coral gardens; a sunken barrier reef in Port Moresby; Milne Bay with a fighter aircraft in nearly perfect condition; the island of New Britain with its astonishing underwater seascape.

Memo Notes
Currency PGK - Papua New Guinean kina
Languages English
Timezone UTC +10
Phone code 675
Emergency Help 112

Type I - 240 V, 50 Hz

Dive Shops in Papua New Guinea

The islands of New Britain, Kavieng and Port Moresby have many certified dive shops. They offer various diving tours and safaris, and you can rent equipment or order instructor-guide services.

Сlimate & Seasonality

Spring (from September to October) is warm with occasional rains. The humidity level is high (up to 80%) during this time. The air temperature is between +26… +34 °С, the water stays between +26 and 28 °С.


Summer is a warm season which also brings showers and gusts of wind. December and January are the hottest months with high humidity levels. The air temperature is around +27… +35 °С, the water stays around +29… +30 °С.


Autumn is mostly warm here. In March, you can encounter showers and gusts of wind. There is significantly less rain than in other months. The air temperature stays between at +28… +33 °С, the water temperature is aaround +29 °С.


The weather is warm and dry with high humidity levels in winter (June to August). In August, the weather is unstable and there is a chance of windless conditions. The air temperature stays between +27... +31 °С, the water stays between +25 and 27 °С.

high season
middle season
low season

The Best Dive Sites

The most popular dive sites are the Eastern Fields and Portlock Reefs, the Suzie's Bommie diving site, the Pacific Gas sunken ship, the Р38 Lightning fighting aircraft, Vanessa's Reef, the Bradford Shoals dive site, the Der Yang fishing boat and the Albatross Passage.

Health & Safety

The quality of healthcare is very poor in Papua New Guinea. There is an acute shortage of qualified staff and modern equipment. It is posible that an ambulance you called simply won't arrive. The reasons for this are the country's high criminal rate and the lack of roads in many regions. Before the trip, you should get vaccinated against hepatitis B, typhus, malaria and cholera. Vaccinations against diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis and Japanese encephalitis (JE) are also highly recommended. Cases of HIV infection have become more common in recent years. Intertribal conflicts are occurring in different regions of the country. Often, they result in violent clashes. There is a constant threat of being attacked in cities, and it is tourists who are often the victims of crimes.

Dangerous Marine Life

The local waters are populated by various shark species and venomous marine creatures. Pay attention to standard safety measures and follow instructions of your guide when diving. Also, be careful when stepping into water as there is a high chance of getting injured by sea urchin needles or sharp coral edges.

Eat & Drinks

The local cuisine has absorbed traditions from Oceania and South East Asia. The most common ingredients here are meat and the local root vegetables kaukau, taro and yam, as well as pig. Tourists should definitely try Mumu (pork with rice, sweet potato and greens, cooked in a mud stove), Bully Beef (beef grilled with rice) and Kokoda (fish marinated in coconut sauce). Popular drinks, include coffee, local lemonade and fruit juices. It is best to drink boiled or bottled water.