I am travelling to Papua New Guinea next August for a land based trip. The trip starts on Saturday 8th, so I have booked a whole week extra off work beforehand to get there from the UK, which will probably take the best part of two days. This gives me the flexibility to book a few days somewhere before arriving in Port Moresby for the start of the holiday proper.
I guess I have two options: fly via Cairns and spend a few days diving on the Great Barrier Reef, or fly to Port Moresby and spend a few days on Loloata Island.
From the research I have done so far, I have identified a liveaboard by Pro Dive in Cairns, for 3 days and 2 nights diving the Barrier Reef. However, they do not start there trips on a Tuesday, which would be the best day to start (Tues, Wed, Thur diving, Friday de-tox, Sat fly to POM); starting on a Monday is a bit tight with flights, landing in CNS at 4:20 am and leaving the jetty at 6:00am, and Wednesday is too late.
Alternatively, fly "directly" to POM, arriving on Thursday and transfer to Loloata Island. Then diving on Friday, and join the start of the tour on Saturday. This only gives two nights and one full day of diving, at around $800.
Currently, I shoot wide-angle only (as I don't have a macro port yet), which I know is not best suited to PNG diving.
So I guess the question I am asking is: what is the best thing to do, given I only have a few days? Which is a better dive destination? Are there alternative dive operators in Cairns the might better suit my needs? Is Loloata Island worth the cost? Which sites should I ask for?
By the way, I am a single traveller so can't share the costs, and am looking for a group-type trip to buddy with someone. Any information gratefully received.