The Complete Guide to Diving New Ireland… Located along the edge of the Bismarck Archipelago, the province of New Ireland forms the eastern flank of Papua New Guinea. Quite remote from the main island of New Guinea, the province has its own distinct and interesting traditional cultures.
It is also world renowned for its fabulous malagan carvings, tatanua masks, and kulap sculptures. All together, New Ireland offers an experience that is quite different to the rest of PNG.
The province consists of the large, musket-shaped main island of New Ireland, which is also known as Latangai. Together with numerous other smaller islands. The largest of which is New Hanover.
Diving New Ireland is centered around Kavieng, the main town and provincial capital and is quite different from the other main locations in Papua New Guinea like Milne Bay and Kimbe Bay.
New Ireland offers a broad smorgasbord of diving – with shipwrecks, WWII aircraft wrecks, dramatic walls, dynamic channels, bustling reefs and schooling pelagics!
Above water Kavieng is a laid-back and friendly place with an interesting colonial and WWII history. And is often described as a typical “Somerset Maugham South Sea island port”
Located on the northern tip of the island of New Ireland, Kavieng is the nexus where the Pacific Ocean meets the Bismarck Sea.
Those rich waters flow through the many channels that separate New Ireland and New Hanover to the north-west – Read more…
Kavieng Dive Sites
Kavieng has a great selection of dive sites ranging from shipwrecks and WWII aircraft wrecks to healthy and vibrant reefs
The wrecks are largely a legacy of Japanese occupation. While the reefs thrive on the rich water flows around Kavieng – Read more…
The Der Yang
The wreck of the Der Yang Taiwanese fishing boat sits in 30m of water near the Echuca Patch reef on the Pacific Ocean side of Kavieng.
Seized for “illegal activities” in the early 1980’s by the Fisheries Ministry and eventually scuttled in 1988, it’s a great dive – Read more…
“Deep Pete” Wreck
The Deep Pete wreck is the most photogenic of the many WWII aircraft wrecks in the Kavieng area. It is very much my personal favorite!
The plane itself is a Mitsubishi F1M “Pete” float-plane. Many of which saw extensive service with the Japanese Imperial Navy – Read more…
Kavieng’s “signature dive”… Albatross Passage is probably the best of the many excellent sites on the Bismarck Sea side of Kavieng.
Simply stated, if you catch it in the right conditions, it is hard to imagine a better coastal dive site than Albatross Passage – Read more…
Laying in 20m of water, near the harbor entrance is Kavieng’s Catalina wreck. The remains of RAAF PBY flying boat A24-11.
The Catalina crashed dramatically in January 1942 after one of its wing bombs accidentally exploded during take-off – Read more…
Diving New Hanover
This large, rugged and very much untamed island is known more for its surfing breaks and unusual traditional customs than its diving.
But located at its northwest tip are some excellent Japanese WWII shipwrecks including a very rare, intact mini-submarine – Read more…
Operators & Logistics
Air Nuigini operates daily flights to New Ireland. Either direct from the capital Port Moresby in to Kavieng, or via Rabaul – in nearby New Britain
An important concession for international dive travelers is an extra 15kg baggage allowance, but you will have to ask for it… – Read more…
Ghosts of the Machines
Although it played second fiddle to the huge WWII base in nearby Rabaul. Kavieng was a very strategic location for the Japanese.
So when the tide of the war in the Pacific turned… It became an important target for the advancing Allied forces – Read more…
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