New Britain South Coast – truly a remote location… Isolated from the north coast by high and rugged mountain ranges. With no real roads over or through them and no commercial airports. Only landing strips and old WWII airfields that are used for small charter flights.
Practically, the only way to get to the south coast is by boat from Rabaul, on the eastern tip of New Britain. A long, typically overnight, journey that will take you down through the St George’s Channel in between New Britain and nearby New Ireland.
That channel needs to be navigated with respect… As there are some fierce and complex currents flowing through it!
It’s a journey that Alan Raabe, the skipper and owner of MV Febrina, has been doing regularly for well over 20 years.
But only for a few months of each year. During the dry season in the south when pristine underwater visibility returns.
Alan has been exploring New Britain and many other parts of PNG since 1991.
Its a basic fact that nobody knows those areas as well as he does.
And, interestingly, he considers the south coast as one of the absolute gems of Papua New Guinea diving!
New Britain South Coast – Waterfall Bay
As you emerge from the St George’s Channel, the journey to the south coast becomes both tangible and inspiring as the sheer size of those mountain ranges can be really be appreciated for the first time.
Dense rainforest seems to cover everything and you wonder how it would be possible to survive in such a remote location…
And then you finally arrive in Waterfall Bay – the first port of call on the south coast. Clearly they don’t get a lot of visitors and very quickly the back of the boat is surrounded by canoes from the local villages. Some are women selling fresh vegetables, a few are curious men but most are kids who are really very excited to see you!
Underwater in Waterfall Bay
There are two main areas to dive in Waterfall Bay. The Mocklon Islands on the western tip, near Cape Kwoi, and around the jetty at the village of Matong. Both offer quite different, but really interesting experiences.
The two Mocklon Islands, one large and one small, have a number of sites to try. And which one you dive on depends on the time of day and the prevailing current. But overall the diving is very nice with a healthy fringing reefs and sandy slopes with intense patches of cabbage and other hard corals.
While the jetty at Matong offers you two choices… There are lots of critters in and around all the flotsam and jetsam at the jetty. Alternatively, you can take advantage of all the young models super-keen to have their photos taken underwater!
You can use this link to see more on the diving in Waterfall Bay…
Waterfall Bay is also where one of the most unusual dives you can do in Papua New Guinea – the quite unique Blue Hole
New Britain South Coast – Linden Harbor
Located roughly half-way along the south coast of New Britain is this superb dive location! Bounded by a series of outer barrier reefs, the inner lagoon at Linden Harbour provides a safe anchorage in a fantastic settingn.
And, in between those reefs, are incredible channels that offer some of the best diving on the south coast. Add in some excellent reefs inside the lagoon. Plus a WWII aircraft wreck and you can see why Linden Harbour rates so highly.
Underwater in Linden Harbor
There is much to enjoy underwater in Linden Harbor… But without doubt, the #1 thing that will stay with you from diving there, will be those channels! Southern New Britain is swept by nutrient rich currents from the deep basins of the Solomon Sea to the south.
Those nutrients feed and nourish the reefs of the south coast. But with the channels at Linden Harbor, the daily tides bring in those nutrients at considerable velocity. Creating the perfect locations for marine growth to flourish on the “all you can eat” smorgasbord!
At the other end of the spectrum is the wreck of the Japanese WWII “Jake” seaplane which lays on its back in the lagoon by Poronga Island.
In just 18m of water and easy to dive, the wreck is a great counter balance to the vibrant channels and reefs of Linden Harbor!
You can use this link to see more on the diving in Linden Harbor…
Back To: The South Coast of New Britain