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The Journey to Paradise Photos of great cultural and natural beauties of Papua New Guinea

 
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Old 24-11-2004, 12:51 PM
***aCe*** ***aCe*** is offline
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Lindenhafen – Fishing Paradise

A new paradise is beckoning. Those diehard fishing fanatics get your lures, rods and lines and head for Lindenhafen Fishing Resort in West New Britain. Situated in a gorgeous natural harbor surrounded by islands with gold clad sandy beaches, you might as well just dump the fishing gear, slap on the sun cream and dream away.

The Liddenhafen Fishing Resort
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Old 24-11-2004, 12:57 PM
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I recently spent a week on assignment at this magnificent resort run by John and Sharyn Scallan on the south coast of New Britain near Gasmata.

With me were world renowned fishing and tackle industry guru Peter Pakula and editor of Australia’s Bluewater Boats and Sport Fishing magazine David Granville.

As we were catching the Airlink islander aircraft at Hoskins airport bound for Gasmata, former rugby league star and television host of the “Escape with ET” program, Andrew Ettinghausen was leaving for Australia after having just spent a week in Lindenhafen, fishing of course and celebrating his birthday.

A view of the waterfront from the bungalows.....
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Old 24-11-2004, 01:03 PM
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Lindenhafen has a very long and rich history. Before the war in the 1930’s the Germans ran this 800 hectare coconut plantation which they named citrus (linden) harbor (hafen). They built railway tracks through this huge plantation to bring in the coconuts, processed and shipped them away.

The relic of a World War 2 bomber at Gasmata..
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Old 24-11-2004, 01:08 PM
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Burns Philip Company took over after the war and then it went through a few owners before John took over after the bank put it on tender. Not knowing where it was, John – a long time Rabaul resident but now based in Kimbe - turned up at Lindenhafen and was captivated by magic of the place.

A keen fisherman himself, John decided to build a resort about 15 months ago and began exploring the many reefs as well the rivers that flow down from the rugged Whiteman Range.

Rocky outcrops near Lindenhafen Fishing Resort
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Old 24-11-2004, 01:18 PM
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The resort is built on the beachfront, with a helipad, a jetty and has 10 comfortable and spacious bungalows with en suites facing the Solomon Sea. Relics from the German and Burns Philip eras can still be found today on Lindenhafen and somehow you feel a strange sense of belonging in those old plantation days.

Picture 1: The Tsunami anchored at Lindenhafen Fishing Resort....
Picture 2: A Heli Niugini chopper lands at Lindenhafen Fishing Resort...
Picture 3: An old machine from the past....
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Old 24-11-2004, 01:22 PM
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So here we were, Peter, David and I on a five day fishing expedition, hoping to lure in the blue marlin, billfish, mackerels and others that roam these waters as well as pull in the giant bass, spot tails and mangrove jacks that are abundant in the rivers here.

David Granville, John Scallan and Peter Pakula on board the Tsunami
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Old 24-11-2004, 01:26 PM
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In fact, we got caught in the tranquility of the place, time seemed to have stopped and we simply shut out the outside world. So when the chopper dropped us at Hoskins airport last Friday morning for our outward journey, we realised George Bush had won the US presidential race, Casper Wollom came out on top in North-East and the Melbourne Cup had been run and won by…what was the name of the horse again?

An island with gold colored beach across from Lindenhafen Fishing Resort.
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Old 24-11-2004, 01:29 PM
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Our deep sea fishing in Lindenhafen was done aboard the elegant and powerful Lae based game fishing boat Tsunami owned by Keith Kingston of the KK Kingston fame. On this trip Tsunami was skipped by Rob McCulloch and his deckhands Damien Colette and local Lae boy Jerry Wanu. Rob and Damien are both based in Cairns.

Unfortunately, our trips up and down almost the entire south coast did not produce any significant catch although there were a few big strikes. We couldn’t figure out why the fish were not biting until on the last night when dive expert Rob Pearce on board the dive boat Barbarian dropped anchor and informed us that it was the season for the corals to bloom, providing sufficient feed for the fish not to take our lures.

Peter Pakula pulls in a bass...
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Old 24-11-2004, 01:31 PM
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The river trips skippered by John on the long banana boats produced some interesting catches with Peter displaying his mastery skills and pulling in the mangrove jacks and bass, again the big ones got away but it was fun all the same. Lindenhafen is 100% catch and release, especially for the river fish.

One who loves nature and the wild, Peter in particular could not help but kept saying “beautiful country” as we went past coral atolls, and pristine islands lined with little hamlets built under swaying palm tress. This part of the world has seen little government service if not at all. The local school only has one teacher, there is short supply of medicine and the roads and bridges have collapsed and overgrown with bushes since the loggers cut the timbers and shipped out.

John Scallen skippers the banana boat on the Alula River.
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Old 24-11-2004, 01:36 PM
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The local Catholic Church on the island at Walangwo provides some hope for these people otherwise they are isolated from the rest of the world. However, that is about to change with the setting up of Lindenhafen Resort. John and Sharyn have spent their own money re-opening the Gasmata airstrip and have done a few positive things for the local villages. Sharyn is a determined woman and will soon be opening a resource centre for women, especially to teach them how to show clothes and cook.


Picutre 1: Sunset

Picture 2: The shilouette of two village boys paddling a conoe as dawn breaks in Lidenhafen.
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