Kimbe Bay and New Britain Dive Sites PNG

Kimbe Bay and New Britain Dive Sites PNG

The Kimbe Bay and New Britain area of Papua New Guinea is statistically the coral capital of the world, due to its biodiversity and location in the coral triangle.

Kimbe Bay and New Britain dive sites offer some of the best biodiversity in Papua New Guinea.

Located on the north coast of New Britain, Kimbe Bay is the largest island of the archipelago.

With massive biodiversity, there have been ten species of whales and dolphins already identified. The waters inside the bay are nutrient rich due to the topography and location. The formation and shape of the bay itself shelter the area from the currents of the Bismarck Sea. Diving interactions with sharks occur regularly. The sites that have a volcanic substrate, there is abundant coral and fish life.

Take a look at the Liveaboard Cruise options below.

Kimbe Bay and New Britain Dive Sites PNG - 4 LIVEABOARDS

From $413 / day

Oceania Liveaboard in Papua New Guinea

The newest liveaboard in Papua New Guinea was launched in 2019 from a well-established operator.

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From $524 / day

True North Diving Liveaboard

A small cruise ship is touring Australia and more that offers diving on set itineraries.

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From $372 / day

FeBrina Liveaboard in Papua New Guinea

A well-known boutique liveaboard that is offering the best diving in Papua New Guinea.

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Kimbe Bay and New Britain Dive Site Highlights

On the northeast coast of New Britain, Kimbe Bay can be found surrounded by dormant volcanoes above water and colourful corals with almost a thousand species of fish.

Highlights include scalloped hammerhead sharks, grey reef sharks, white tip reef sharks, barracuda, and dolphin encounters.

Inglis Shoal

The submerged seamount that reaches 11m from the surface, descending to the deep, the steeps sides have vertical corals growth over them. Pelagic life is common here with tuna, barracuda and trevally schooling, both hammerhead and grey reef sharks are seen here.

Common reef fish are surgeonfish and fusiliers on the reef sides and clown triggerfish on the summit with anemones and clownfish.

Susan’s Reef

The site has both a sheer wall face and a sloping garden area of hard corals with large gorgonians sea fans, sea whips, sponges and crinoids giving fantastic colour to the area.

The crest of the reef is at 10m where some sea pens can be found in the right conditions, in the sea fans look for longnose hawkfish and around the sea whips are razorfish.

For macro enthusiasts look for the Denis Pygmy Seahorse near the electric clam at 24m

Restof Island

This island has a tremendous amount of biodiversity with a maximum depth of 32m. The main reef area there is a ridge running away from the island covered in corals with many sea fans and black coral. Anemones are found all over the area with their clown fish. To the west are coral blocks with gorgonian fans, sea whips and barrel sponges.

The sandy areas between are home to many garden eels, gobies and shrimp flatheads and flounders, in nesting season be aware of the titan and yellow margin triggerfish who use the area.

Reef fish sightings include hawkfish, anthems, with nudibranchs and feather dusters as well as black tip and grey reef Sharks.

Vanessa’s Reef

This is a submerged reef at a depth of 20 to 25m. The site has numerous massive (3m) gorgonian seasons and a sponge garden. Sponges and sea whips have many crinoids, communal shrimp and hawkfish on them. At the end of the dive, there are ravines along a sandy bottom.

Waterfall Bay

Waterfall Bay has coral bommies surrounded by white sand with great macro life included nudibranchs, flatworms, cowries, pipefish, squat lobster plus octopus and cuttlefish.

Jacquinot Bay

Jacquinot Bay is an area that is still in the exploration stage with new dive sites being explored by the liveaboards in the area.

Linden Harbour

Also known as Lindenhafen, this is a muck diving area with dragonets, frogfish, snake eels, ornate ghost pipefish and orang-utan crabs. Away from the Muck area, there are some walls where eagle rays can be seen with bumphead parrotfish and barracuda.

There are some exploratory dives to seaplane wrecks in Linden Harbour as it housed a Japanese air-naval base.

They include a Jake floatplane, parts of an Oscar plane, a Pete biplane and another blown apart.


Another remote and unexplored area with hard coral walls and a chance to spot wahoo, turtles, flying gurnards, and a host of macro life.

South Emma

South Emma has a swim through/cave at 30m with whip corals, barrel sponges and elephant ear sponge.

Otto Reef

A wall dive with large plate corals, staghorn table coral and brain corals. Rope sponges cover the walls as a large school of chevron barracuda circle.

Joelle’s Reef

Another seamount covered with patches of anemones, hard corals and sponges. Trevally and barracuda are close by, and reef sharks are known to make an appearance.

Other Activities

Papua New Guinea has many activities outside of scuba diving. There is a large bird population with excursions to enjoy the event, volcanic springs and red mud, for a natural spa treatment. Local village visits for cultural activities and purchasing souvenirs.

Marine Park and Conservation in Papua New Guinea

In 1993, Papua New Guinea joined the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which is a legally binding international treaty under which all 193 parties agreed to protect 10% of marine eco-regions worldwide in a network of marine protected areas.