Visit Mahonia Na Dari research station west of Kimbe. You can stay at the research station or just visit. While you are there walk to Walindi for lunch or dinner (best to call ahead and book).
Accommodation at Mahonia Na Dari is cheap (K60-K90 per person per night), clean, and very, very friendly.
Walindi Plantation provided the dive boats, dive tanks, and the most experienced (and personable) dive masters. We were never pandered to or patronized, and the dive masters always consulted us on our likes/dislikes - so as to get a good feel for where we'd like to spend our time diving.
We all had dive computers but the dive masters still accompanied us on our dives - we were basically let "loose" to do our own thing out on the reefs and walls...if that is how we wanted it.
This was the best dive experience ever - and I've been scuba diving in a lot of places!
With so many great activities to choose from, it's easy to lose sight of why we go on vacation in the first place....to RELAX and ENJOY!
On that note, I have to point out that you can't help but appreciate the beautiful sunsets provided courtesy of Walindi Plantation.....
Sometimes we'd be really tired from the day's dives....but we'd rouse ourselves around sunset time so that we could sit and enjoy the evening breeze while watching the sun set on this mysterious part of the world -it really made the stay here special!
Don't forget to look for the sunsets, wherever you are...
PO Box 32, Kimbe, 621, Papua New Guinea
New Britain is one of the most active volcano areas in PNG. The town of Rabaul at the eastern tip of the island was largely destroyed in 1997 by a sustained series of eruptions. The area around Kimbe Bay itself also has a fine display of volcanic peaks. This photo was taken between Kimbe and Rabaul as I flew from Port Moresby and shows some of the lava flow damage caused to the rain forest by an eruption that had taken place only a few months before. In fact, a couple of researchers were killed here in 1979 when they were overcome by poisonous gas fumes from one of the volcano vents.
This view shows a typical diesel power station setup in PNG. In the case of Kimbe, it was a relatively small station with only three generators whose exhaust pipes are sticking out the left side of the building. My trips to places like this usually only involved a single night's stay in order to repair some sort of small technical glitch, so I did not get much chance to tour the countryside in these remote areas. It looks like another diesel/gen set is wrapped up in the foreground, but I cannot remember if it was coming into the station or being shipped out. Since I was last here over 20 years ago, the electrical load has grown such that the total diesel generating capacity is now about 1400 kWatts, along with some help from the Ru Creek hydro dam.
Kimbe is located in West New Britain Province, which encompasses most of western and central New Britain Island. In contrast to the well known areas of East New Britain, such as Rabaul, West New Britain is virtually untouched, unexplored and unknown to tourists. However, the area around Kimbe Bay and it's Williamez Peninsula is an exception to this rule. Located here are the small towns of Kimbe, Hoskins and the Walindi Plantation Dive Resort, which is located in an oil palm plantation on the shores of Kimbe Bay. The Bay has scenic small islands and is fringed by volcanic mountains, some of which are still active.
I never had much chance to do any exploring during my two working visits to Kimbe but I can confirm that has a very nice location and a relaxed pace of life! A 90-minute direct flight from Port Moresby was the usual method of transportation for me.