ULTIMATE PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Original Image Making with Michele Westmorland
Dates: Wednesday 9th October - Sunday 20th October 2013 (12 days)
Post-tour extension Sunday 20th October - Friday 25th October
Leader: Michele Westmorland
Group Size Limit: 11 plus leader
Michele Westmorland is a well respected and highly regarded freelance photographer, adventurer and explorer! She has extensive experience of photography above and below the waves but her underwater photography skills are what set Michele apart from the ordinary travelling photo journalist. In the early 1990s, Michele made her first trip to Papua New Guinea and made her first foray into photographing underwater life and scenery. Since then Michele has notched up over 25 visits to Papua New Guinea and is widely acknowledged as something of an authority on this mysterious destination.
Of her book ‘Ocean Duets’ Jean-Michel Cousteau says of Michele, that she ‘has given us the gift of a virtual Noah’s Ark of amazing images that lead us to greater respect and admiration for our ocean world.’ The book was named as a finalist in the 2007 USA Book News ‘Best Books of 2007’. Michele’s most recent accolade, in Spring of 2011 was her induction into the Women Divers Hall of Fame at the Beneath The Sea festival. Her other accolades include winning, amongst other prizes, the Photo District News, as well as the PNG Underwater Photo Competition. Michele is also a founding fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers and a member of the Explorers Club.
Michele’s underwater imagery is some of the most compelling and her use of colour and light, especially in her wide angle work makes for some truly ‘put it on my wall’ shots. Michele will be willing to critique work, give hints on composition and technique and show you how to get the very best of this destination with such a wealth of photographic opportunities. There really is no better dive photo guide for Papua New Guinea!
For her inaugural Divequest expedition, Michele has chosen to charter the liveaboard FeBrina for a 9 night cruise of its ‘Signature Itinerary’ taking in Walindi, Kimbe Bay, Witu and Father’s Reef. This particular itinerary has long been acknowledged of something of a ‘Best of the Best’ diving on offer in Papua New Guinea and with someone of Michele’s experience at your side, you’ll never have a better opportunity to get more out a trip to one of the world’s top dive destinations. Papua New Guinea stands totally apart from the usual travel destination. Those divers with a spirit of adventure and a yearning for discovery should look no farther than Papua New Guinea and in particular the island of New Britain.
To really make your Papua New Guinea experience the best she can, Michele will be visiting Tufi Dive Resort for 4 nights after the FeBrina cruise as part of the optional post-tour extension. From this world class resort we will be able to take advantage of the tremendous muck diving right on the resort’s doorstep as well as the numerous cultural and anthropological opportunities afforded by this region. The clear, calm and protected waters of the tropical fjords are perfect for macro and muck diving, such as the popular House Reef, which is only 3 minutes walk from the resort.
Tufi Resort, located in Oro Province is located atop a cliff terrace overlooking Tufi Harbour. From here the stunning scenery and location will make you feel like you have transported to a time gone by. All bungalows are en-suite with air conditioning and a fridge. Deluxe bungalows have private balconies and standard bungalows share a balcony. A fine selection of local seafood, vegetables and fruits are on offer as well as barbeques up on the terrace.
Michele is passionate about cataloguing, preserving and presenting indigenous cultures and her work in Papua New Guinea is respected both inside and outside the country. Whilst at Tufi, we will take 1 day to dive the local sites, taking advantage of the tremendous macro diving at the pier which is merely minutes from the resort as well as the reefs and bommies, home to a plethora of marine life and corals. We will also set aside two days for non-diving activities so that you may take advantage of the seemingly endless photographic subjects on offer locally, be it the flora and fauna of this remarkably untouched destination, or the local people with their hand-made jewellery, head dresses and clothing made from the local tapa cloth. The peoples of this region help to provide, without doubt, some of the most fascinating photographic opportunities, with their facial tattooing and bold, bright and colourful body paint.
Although a range of non-diving activities are on offer from Tufi, it is likely that we will take advantage of the chance to explore McClaren harbour on an outrigger canoe. The day begins with a paddle down a tropical fjord. Keep your eyes peeled for colourful birds overhead. Huge palms, wild orchids and the orchestral sounds of the rainforest await you. A visit to a local village enables you to witness fire making and spend time with the villagers. In the afternoon, Komoa Beach makes for a great lunch spot. While away the afternoon on this pristine beach whilst indulging in freshly prepared local salads and barbeque food.
On our final day in Tufi we expect to be able to visit up to three local villages. A twenty minute boat ride away from Tufi is Jebo Village. Here we will be allowed to inspect a local guesthouse and take tour led by one of the village elders. Next we will move on to Orotoaba, located between two stunning bays; Ibura Bay and Uramanoa Bay. Local bird guides will take you into a whole new realm of ornithological delights before returning to Jebo to take the boat to Garewa for lunch on the beach. A late afternoon return to Tufi allows time to relax and review the days images.
Wednesday 9th October: Morning arrival into Port Moresby before a short afternoon flight to Walindi. Transfer to Walindi Plantation Resort for one night.
Thursday 10th October – Saturday 19th October: 9 nights on FeBrina and eight full days of diving.
Saturday 19th October: Transfer to Walindi Plantation resort for one night. Additional diving is available as well as a variety of local excursions (not included in the tour cost).
Sunday 20th October: Early morning flight from Hoskins to Port Moresby.
POST-TOUR OUTLINE ITINERARY:
Sunday 20th October: Early morning flight from Hoskins to Port Moresby. Transfer to The Holiday Inn Hotel for one night.
Monday 21st October: Morning flight to Tufi. Transfer to Tufi Resort for 4 nights.
Friday 25th October: Morning flight from Tufi to Port Moresby.
• Airport transfers from Hoskins to Walindi Plantation Resort on arrival and departure.
• 9 nights on FeBrina on a twin/share and full board basis (including wine with dinner); four of five divers per day (for 8 days); tanks, weights and dive guide; daily laundry service.
• 2 nights at Walindi Plantation Resort in a Plantation House room on a twin/share and full board basis.
• Services of Michele Westmorland as leader.
Room Upgrade to Bungalow at Walindi Plantation Resort: $54
Single occupancy supplement: At Walindi Plantation Resort the supplement is $110 in a Plantation House Room plus $253 to upgrade to a Bungalow as a single occupant.
Deposit: $500 (for the Port Moresby/Port Moresby arrangements) plus a further $1000 12 months prior to the trip departure date.
POST-TOUR EXTENSION: $1533
• 1 night at the Holiday Inn Hotel, Port Morseby
• 4 nights at Tufi Resort in a Standard Bungalow on a twin/share, full board basis with one day of 3 tank diving, and one day visiting a local village.
• Services of Michele Westmorland as leader.
Upgrade to Deluxe Bungalow at Tufi Resort: $80
Single Room Supplement: $280 in a Standard Bungalow at Tufi Resort. Please note that, while we will endeavour to find a room-mate for those on the tour who are single travellers and would prefer to share accommodation, in the event of a room-mate not being available the single occupancy supplement will apply. Room-mates will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.
Flights: From about $393 for Hoskins/Port Moresby/Tufi/Port Moresby
Deposit: $400 (Tufi/Tufi)