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aussie 23-04-2002 12:27 AM

Kimbe, West New Britain Province
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In contrast to the popular tourist destination of East New Britain, West New Britain is virtually untouched, unexplored and unknown. The exception is Walindi Plantation Dive Resort, a favourite destination for divers from all parts of the world.

The Resort is located on a privately owned oil palm plantation on the shores of Kimbe Bay. The Bay is fringed by volcanic mountains, some still active. Divers can explore volcanic caves draped in staghorn coral and reef drop-offs.

The clear blue waters are home to dogtooth tuna, trevally, barracuda, dolphins and dugong and for night diving, the luminescene lights the way. The most popular site for night diving is known as "The Cathedral", a horse shoe shaped reef with a large cave at one end. The floor is covered in white sand and the outside is draped in staghorn and gorgonia coral. Walindi has resident instructors to provide tuition for first time divers. The fishing and snorkelling are excellent.

Non-divers can enjoy the superb natural surroundings. The Muruk cave system in the Nakanai area of West New Britain is believed to be the deepest recorded in the southern hemisphere. A French cave expedition team recently explored the system and believe there is a canyon about 1,200 metres below the entrance of the cave.

The pretty little town of Talasea looks across the bay with its many islands from Williamez Peninsula, an active volcanic region. Talasea is a centre for the manufacture of shell money. It was from this area that obsidian, volcanic glass used in the manufacture of knives, spears and arrows used for trade from about 3,000BC until recent times, was found. In the hills behind Talasea are the wrecks of two US bombers, one of them a B24 Liberator.

On Pangula Island, across from Talasea is the Valley of Wabua, meaning "Valley of Hot Water", a mass of thermal geysers.

Apart from Walindi Resort there are several other options for accommodation including the Palm Lodge in the provincial headquarters of Kimbe; the Hoskins Hotel in the small town of Hoskins where the main airport for West New Britain is located; the Kautaga Guest Haus on a small island off the western side of the peninsular and the Bialla Guest House.

Air Niugini and a number of third level airlines fly via Hoskins airport from other parts of Papua New Guinea every day. There are also a number of coastal ships which call in at Kimbe on their way to and from Lae and Rabaul.

View over the town of Kimbe with Mt Lolo in the distance:

aussie 23-04-2002 12:32 AM

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Kimbe is situated some kilometres away from the airstrip of Hoskins, approx half an hour by car.

On arrival at Hoskins I am always taken back by all the 'palm' trees visible from the air:

aussie 23-04-2002 12:40 AM

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Another thing I notice in Kimbe is all the women who walk around with food on their head. It can be bananas or a tub carrying freshly caught fish or even clothes as this picture shows:

aussie 23-04-2002 12:41 AM

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Logging is also quite big in the districts surrounding Kimbe:

aussie 23-04-2002 12:42 AM

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Loggers at Wasum Camp on their way to work:

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