Underwater, Kimbe Bay sports an incredibly diverse marine habitat. World famous dives with names like “Emma”, “South Bay”, “Inglis Shoals”, “North Emma”, “Christine’s”, “Susanne’s”, and “Restorf Island” are only a few of the more than 200 reefs and dive sites sprinkled throughout Kimbe Bay. All are pristine and undamaged and protected by a rigid policy of “look but don’t touch”.
70% of all coral species in the Indo/Pacific region are found in Walindi waters. Scientists studying the region have identified more than 900 species of fish and 400 species of corals. No other dive area in the world can boast such diversity.
Walindi offers a variety of different styles of dive site – underwater sea mounds where you’re more likely to see bigger stuff, sheer walls, fabulous coral gardens, huge fans and funky critters. Most of the reefs are a photographers paradise. All have an incredible array of marine life, from the smallest to the largest creatures and corals. “Inglis Shoal” and “Joelle’s” are some of the sea mounts, and attract the larger fish and sharks, as does “North Ema Reef”.
South Emma Reef
If any dive site in Kimbe Bay can be said to have it all, it would have to be South Emma. The top of the bommie is around 12m and has a profuse cover of hard corals, soft corals and sponges. The reef top is alive with small fish, including many species of butterflyfish. Some of the other interesting species are Fire Dartfish, Elegant Firefish, Two-tone Dartfish, Twinspot Goby, Scribbled Leatherjacket, Tiger Blenny, Longnose Hawkfish and Clown Anemonefish.
Red Sea WhipsSchools of Barracuda are seen over the top of South Emma bommie on most dives, as are Batfish and various trevallies. Gray Whalers commonly patrol the southern side of the reef.
There is a swim through at about 33m and hanging from the cave walls are many soft corals, including gorgonian fans and colourful sponges. Small schools of bigeye trevally often mill around the cave entrance. Ascending back toward the top of the bommie, you will pass stands of soft corals, thickets of sea whips and a cluster of barrel sponges.
Venture northeast of Kimbe Bay and discover a series of dramatic and dazzling dive sites. These reefs are the remains of sunken and long-extinct volcanic craters and provide spectacular underwater scenery and marine life. Coral pinnacles and seamounts, resident silvertip, grey reef sharks, barracudas, red bass and bluefin trevally make these reefs their home. Spectacular photography opportunities to be had at this site.
This steep sided, deep water pinnacle rises to within 21m of the surface. Due to the topography and location of the shoal many interesting deep water fish can be found here, some of which are not normally seen by scuba divers. These include Burgess Butterflyfish, Blackspot Angelfish and Pinjalo. There are also numerous species of the beautiful Anthias or Fairy Basslets. On the sheer walls you may be lucky enough to spot the lovely yellow and blue Harlequin Grouper.
Above the reef, schools of Bigeye Trevally, Barracuda and Rainbow Runner are common, and large Batfish regularly visit divers during a stop on the mooring line.
The reef structure is predominantly flat plates of hard corals, an adaptation allowing maximum utilisation of the reduced sunlight at the depth. There are also many colonies of Leather Coral.
This large reef, being isolated from any other reef or land mass, is entirely different to any other Walindi dive site.
The main attraction is the fish. On days when the current is creating eddies on the point, schools of barracuda, trevally, sea perch, fusilier, unicorn fish and surgeon fish mix with a variety of shark species, including on occasion, scalloped hammerhead and tuna, resulting in plenty of exciting action.
Along the wall south of the point are numerous ledges, overhangs and small caves. The area has a rich growth of many kinds of sponges, as well as black coral, reef clams and ascidians. Within this encrusting community you can find spider crabs, gobies and sponge-eating dorid nudibranches.
The top of the reef supports a beautiful garden of hard corals that makes a wonderful after dive snorkel.
Other Dive Sites Include: Kimble Bay Reefs include: Susan’s Reef, Inglis Shoal, Restorf Island, Paluma Reef, Joy’s Reef, Hanging Gardens and Vanessa’s Reef. Witi Islands: Goru Arches, Witu Drife and Wire Bay.
Walindi is located in the province of West New Britain in Papua New Guinea.
Walindi Resort offers traditional self-contained bungalows, studio rooms. This delightful accommodation is on shores of Kimbre Bay and nestled amongst the rainforest gardens. It also has its own pool, restaurant and pool.
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