Lissenung Island Resort, a 20 minute boat ride from Kavieng in New Ireland Province, is the ideal base for a PNG diving adventure. Situated only two degrees south of the equator, this is the South Sea, where the water is always warm, averaging a balmy 28-30° Celsius (82-86°F). Lissenung Island Resort is located on a small private island with coconut palms and a beautiful white sandy beach. Think of your own Pacific hideaway with all the necessities provided for an enjoyable stay: Simple bungalows with airy verandahs and mosquito screened bedrooms, great meals and, of course, fantastic diving!
Kavieng, in the province of New Ireland, is remote even by PNG standards. Supply ships arrive irregularly, and produce we take for granted at our local supermarkets may be scarce for months at a time. Under these difficult circumstances, the well-tended kitchen garden and some inventive menus prepared in the Lissenung kitchen are well-received by guests. Fish, lobster, crayfish and chicken feature quite often, and vegetarian versions may also be ordered at any time. Meat and milk products are always difficult to find in this part of the world.
The main house
The main house was designed to let nature in, with a sandy floor, handcrafted furniture and comfortable lounges, and decorated with masks and other local artwork. This is where everyone comes together a few times a day for lovingly prepared meals, games and stories or a quiet afternoon with a good book. Next door and adjacent to the dive shed is the newly-built, spacious and air-conditioned office with separate desks for guests who would like to send emails or digitalise their photographs.
With a maximum of only 14 divers and snorkelers, Lissenung is often booked out by families or groups of friends, enjoying their own private island. Even fully booked this island doesn’t feel crowded.
Lissenung Island Resort has reliable mobile phone reception. Prepaid local SIM cards are available. Some rooms and all common areas have free wireless internet access for guests. The resort also provides a guest computer for internet access upon request.
We think …
The resort itself is traditionally-designed, boutique and unpretentious – a great place to unwind from stressful city life and stay close to nature, with plenty of fantastic dives within close proximity.
Four traditionally-built bungalows are spread out over the island, providing maximum privacy. Almost all of the seven rooms now feature modern en suite bathrooms, spacious covered verandas (some with daybeds), gleaming wooden floors and the intricate woodwork the Kavieng region is famous for. There are three bungalow blocks, each bungalow has two private rooms. Every room has ceiling fans, fly-screens and mosquito nets.
Six rooms have their own private facilities. 1 room has a shared shower and toilet building a short stroll away. An on-demand hot water system has been installed in all standard room bathrooms for hot showers.
The 24-hour electricity supply in each room allows re-charging the batteries to your camera and other electronic equipment. Free WiFi access on the island offers our guests the opportunity to stay in touch with friends and family either through e-mail or Skype. Sandy pathways, fringed by fragrant floral plants and tropical shrubs, meander between all bungalows and beach facilities. At night tiki lights lead the way to the main house.
Daily boat trips to the outer reefs and wrecks are offered, with a maximum of three dives per day. The day trips start at 8.30am with two morning dives, returning to the island for lunch. In the afternoon, you can either go out for a third boat dive, relax on the island or do a shore dive on the house reef. For divers staying at Lissenung and booking boat dives in the morning, these shore dives are free of charge.
With over 175 different species of fish, the house reef is an added bonus and also the spot to do night dives, with the creatures of the night, molluscs and crustaceans coming out to play.
Water temperature in this area ranges from 28–30°C (83–87°F) year round and visibility between 20–40m (60–120Ft) on most dives.
Dive Day Boats
The resort’s three dive boats are perfectly designed for diving. Each boat is equipped with a dive ladder, canopy for sun protection, equipment boxes and tank racks. The dive boats will have you at any of the dive sites within 20-30 minutes. The larger dive boat “Andiamo” is a 26Ft fibreglass boat with twin 140HP 4-stroke Suzuki outboard engines and can comfortably carry 10 divers, 2 dive guides and the driver.
The two smaller dive boats, “Raven” and “Carola” are ideal for small groups. “Raven” is a 24Ft fibreglass boat with a single 115HP 4-stroke outboard engine (takes 6-8 divers). “Carola” is a 23Ft fibreglass boat with a single 75HP outboard engine, (for 4-6 divers). A DAN oxygen unit for emergency situations is on board each boat and the dive staff are trained in its use. Dietmar has been running the dive operation for many years and is an expert in picking the right dive spots at the right time. He also offers dive courses. Experienced local dive guides lead all dives, and multi-lingual PADI dive instructors take care of beginner divers and students.
Lissenung Island is surrounded by many other low tropical islands, which channel the waterways between the Pacific Ocean and Bismarck Sea. Medium to strong currents are common and often unpredictable, which is good news for any diver interested in drift diving and pelagics, but there are always calm spots to be found as well. This dive region has everything: massive coral walls for drift diving or leisurely exploration when the currents don’t run, shallow and sandy spots near the islands for critter-spotting and muck diving, and quite a few WWII wrecks, mostly small planes. With more than 50 world-class dive sites, you would need at least three visits to Lissenung Island to experience them all. Some great muck diving is also available in close proximity to the island.
Albatross Passage is one of the most diverse dive sites and only 10 minutes by boat from Lissenung.
All year round, you can extend your stay at Lissenung with a village guest house stay at remote Tsoi Lik Island (minimum numbers). This is a truly unique experience. Apart from visiting dive sites that are rarely visited like Big Fish Reef and Turtle Reef, you will get a much better idea about the reality and beauty of Pacific Island life.
You should know…
Incidentals can be paid at the resort in cash PNG Kina, AUD, USD and Euro. For all local purchases, a 10% GST applies. Visa and Mastercard are accepted at no service fee.
Excursions to neighbouring islands and village visits are easily arranged. In season there is a great surf break and fishing trips can also be arranged.
On Lissenung Island itself, the resort’s turtle sanctuary is worth a visit. Resort owners Ange and Dietmar have been managing the sanctuary for years, giving the region’s hatchlings a better chance of survival.
One of Kavieng’s popular attractions is Cathy’s Eels, a collection of freshwater eels, that have been fed by a retired flight attendant called Cathy Hiob. Sadly Cathy died in late 2018, but the eels are still being tended by friends and family. More information abut Cathy’s Eels here.
Pricing for Lissenung Island Resort
|Valid 1 April 2023 - 31 March 2024||AUD|
|7 Nights Standard Ensuite Room (Double / Twin Share) with 10 dives||2890|
|7 Nights Standard Ensuite Room (Single) with 10 dives||3345|
|7 Nights Shared Facilities Room (Double / Twin Share) with 10 dives||2715|
|7 Nights Shared Facilities Room (Single) with 10 dives||2890|
|Included: accommodation as specified, all meals at resort, return airport transfers from/to Kavieng, 5 dive days/2 tanks per day incl. tanks, weights, boat, dive guide, unlimited house reef diving until 6pm daily|
|The per person pricing above is indicative only: we show 7 night with 10 dive packages at high-end and lower-end rooms (singles & doubles) for the purposes of comparison. We can give you a price (and availability) for any combination of nights/dives you wish to undertake, which will include any discounts due to you as part of that package, and any exclusions, or items payable at the resort. Please use the [Enquire Now] tab to give us your exact requirements and we'll give you the best deal we can.|