Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Tufi

It's been a while but boy, has it been worth it! So much happening but one thing deserves a post of its own.

Tufi Dive Resort.

As part of The Lae Explorers Club ("A group of drinkers with a travel problem"), we get to see some of the most amazing and remote parts of PNG.

Enter Tufi. Tufi is in Oro Province, and only accessible by boat or plane.

It's about as a remote part of the planet as you can find. It's also the heart of PNG's fjord country.

Are you scratching your head? Fjords in PNG?

Yup. And plenty of NZ'ers on the trip said that the fjords of Tufi are just as spectacular (yet less ice-covered) than those in NZ.

The closest I've ever come to a fjord is to pine for them, a la Norwegian Blue styles, so my gob was rightly smacked by some of the most spectacular scenery I've EVER been privileged to see.

We stayed at Tufi Dive resort, and apart from a bit of disingenuous-ness on their web site, I can't fault them.  The service was amazing. From the 7 course degustation dinner, complete with Barossa Valley wines (introduced and matched by the winery owner), to the village visit on a dug-out canoe, the hotel, their staff and Oro Province excelled themselves.

It's a pain in the arse to get there. Tufi is only 45 mins flying from where we live, yet we had to cross the country, to catch a flight out of Moresby. But once you're there, it's worth every damn second of that 5 hour wait at Jackson's Airport.

Tufi has some of the best diving in the world, with waters and visibility that can only be described in "travel-brochure" terms. Pristine, unspoilt, magnificent all come to mind. The resort organised a spectacular walk to a waterfall flowing from a volcanic lava tube, a BBQ on a deserted beach and a village visit whereby you sail up one of the magnificent fjords, transfer to a dugout canoe, travel up a river as timeless as the Amazon, and meet proud, funny locals who are chuffed to show you their culture. (And where, on a personal note, yours truly managed to walk into said remote jungle and come away with a hat, matching handbag AND a new tattoo. **cue astonished applause**).

Travel in PNG isn't cheap. We pretty much have to go everywhere by air, but Tufi is a must-see on any intrepid traveller's list.




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