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rhinopias

Diving Loloata Island | Papua New Guinea

DESTINATION OVERVIEW
rhinopias

Located in Bootless Bay just a few minutes from Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. Lolata has a reputation for being a muck and critter diving destination and many, if not most of the divers that go there, go to see the Rhinopias aphanes or lacy scorpionfish. This area is recognised as being about the only place where seeing this particular Rhinopias species is pretty much guaranteed.

The dive site at End Bommie is a spectacular reef smothered in olive tubastrea, purple and white soft corals and incredible numbers of anthias darting in and out. And of course, the lacy scorpionfish is there as promised. And this is is one gorgeous fish.

While Loloata's critter reputation is undisputed, the waters of Bootless Bay are also littered with substantial wrecks. Both the MV Pai II and the Pacific Gas wrecks are great dives. Encrusted by tubastrea, soft corals and fans in all sorts of colours, they support a mass of anthias and glass fish. Longnose hawkfish and pipefish nestle on the hulls and there are gangs of pelagic fish. For night dives, nearby Lion Island is home to a much smaller wreck that rages with tiny interesting critters – shrimp, shells, nudibranchs and ghost pipefish. Snake eels and octopus inhabit the sandy sea bed.

Loloata image gallery Scuba diving features

Marine Life lacy scorpionfish
muck diving
soft corals
longnose hawkfish
Top dive site Suzis Bommie
Seasons All year round
Visibility 10 – 30+ metres
Water temperature 25 – 30º C
Deco chambers Port Moresby
Flights via Australia or from Singapore.
Dive operators and accommodation Loloata Island Resort
INFORMATION
PROS & CONS

Flying to PNG is expensive. There is little mass tourism so only a few flights in and out of the country and that keeps the prices high. However, this is also the countries greatest advantage – there will never be hoards of other dive boats moored up over your site.

Complete reports on this area are in
Diving the World.

Order the book direct from SeaFocus here.

The digital edition is on iTunes.

SCUBA DIVING Papua New Guinea scuba diving is spectacular. Lying across the bottom edge of the Coral Triangle, there are 40,000 square kilometres of coral reefs and species diversity is extremely high. Conditions vary by region but tend to be easy. Visibility on the outer reefs is fabulous but can be quite low inside small bays – although that doesn't spoil the muck diving in any way.
OPINION We knew exactly what we expected when we headed for Loloata Resort in Papua New Guinea – critter diving – but we didn't get it. Or perhaps we should say we got that but we also got so much more. Apart from all the magnificent critters in every shape, size and colour, and the fantastic Rhinopias aphanes, there were incredible, lush reefs bursting with fish and some really interesting wrecks.
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More diving in Papua New Guinea:
NEW BRITAIN | TUFI
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