Kavieng is at the northern tip of New Ireland. New Ireland, it is 360 km long and not even 10km wide in some places. It’s the second-largest of Papua New Guinea’s outer islands and acts as the eastern barrier for the Bismarck Sea. A range of extremely rugged and steep mountains, reaching an elevation of six thousand feet, runs down the centre of the island. The scenery is stunning and contrasting – low lying coral islands surrounded by golden beaches and pretty, clear springs, flowing rivers, fringing reefs and mountainous islands which drop sharply into the sea.
Kavieng is the provincial capital and administrative centre of New Ireland Province. Kavieng and the surrounding area offers a range of accommodation, beautiful beaches and excellent reef and wreck diving. The road linking north to south is made from crushed coral and travel is easier by boat. Local Malangan culture in the northern and central part of the island is unique within the Pacific; this culture finds its beliefs in a social organisation according to kinship.
During WWII, Kavieng was at the front line of the Japanese’ southward advance and many of New Ireland’s towns, infrastructure and industry were destroyed. The area is littered with silent reminders of those days gone by both above and under the water.
New Ireland and its outer islands is an escapists dream. Relax Kavieng style and go surfing, snorkelling or diving. Then tuck into delicious seafood including coconut crabs, crayfish, reef fish and shellfish. You’re sure to feel rested and recuperated after some time in this South Pacific paradise.
The temperature is always hot and humid between 24 – 33°C. There is a chance for rainy weather year-round, but there are wetter and drier seasons. The surf season is from November until late April.
Dry Season: August – November
Wet Season: December – July
Kavieng is world-renowned for its current-swept passages that attract a variety of big, pelagic fish action.
The waters surrounding Kavieng has excellent wreck, reef and drift diving as well as caves and plenty of pelagics. Visibility is often between 20-40 metres, with water temperatures of around 29°C. Drift dive along reef walls covered in fans, sponges and brightly coloured hard corals. The walls drop away to great depths and provide the perfect hiding place for small critters like the Pygmy Seahorse and nudibranchs. Several WWII wrecks lay scattered in and around Kavieng Harbour. These include a Japanese merchant ship and many floatplanes.
28 – 30°C, 3mm wetsuit or rashie
Year-round but April – July and September – November have the best weather and diving conditions.
A narrow channel between New Ireland and Baudissin. As the tide rushes in and out, the passage sucks reef fish and pelagics between and into its narrow flanks. Big eye trevally, Spanish mackerel, tuna, barracuda, reef sharks, turtles and rays are often spotted here.
The abundant coral ridge rises to within 15m of the surface and slopes down to 50m in open water, only minutes away from Scuba Ventures Jetty.
Wreck of The Der Yang
A Taiwanese fishing vessel scuttled by fisheries in 1988. She rests starboard side on top of the ridge and is covered in colourful soft corals.
The Stubborn Hellion
Sitting upright in 12m of water, close to Albatross Passage. The history of Stubborn Hellion is well documented, a great dive for wreck enthusiasts.
Surfers will be impressed by the numerous un-crowded surf breaks around Kavieng. Swells are a consistent 3 – 5 feet during surf season (November to April), sometimes getting up to 6 – 8 feet and there are both left and right brakes to suit different levels of surfers. Surf boat transfers need to be pre-arranged, and you will need to bring all your boards, equipment and spares.
The islands around Kavieng have many superb swimming beaches with crystal clear, coral-encrusted lagoons teeming with marine life, perfect for snorkelling and relaxing in a tropical paradise.
Sportfishing is also popular. Strong currents bring in pelagic fish such as Giant Trevally, Spanish Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, Barracuda as well as Yellowfin, Dogtooth and Skipjack Tuna. Plenty of Mangrove Jack, Red Emperor, Coral Trout, Rock Cod and Sweet Lips are caught closer to the fringing coral reefs.
Make the most of beautiful blue waters and hire a kayak, canoe or paddleboard. Or for those a little more adventurous set off sailing or go kitesurfing.
Take a tour and see some stunning coastal scenery, visit an Oil Palm Plantation, pet the freshwater eels at Cathy's Eelfarm, visit a local village and take a quick swim in the river. You can also visit some of the island villages. Remnants from WWII can also still be explored, such as Japanese bunkers and gun placements.
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