Kimbe Bay is home to some of the healthiest coral, as well as some of the largest diversion of both coral and fish anywhere on the planet. Prof Charles Veron, former chief scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science had this to say - "The coral reefs of Kimbe Bay take me back forty years to a time when corals grew in lush profusion, untroubled by the problems that beset them today ..."
Walindi Resort dives over 40 reefs in Kimbe Bay.
MV Febrina visits a select number of reefs in Kimbe Bay on most itineraries.
Below are brief descriptions for some of our favourite reefs around Walindi. We have listed some of the more interesting fish and critters that have been seen at the sites listed, but of course there are no guarantees that you will see them on every dive. What we can guarantee however, is that you will see vastly more than can ever be described in the brief overviews given here. Take your time and dive carefully, and you will be able to better appreciate what is one of the most diverse and healthy ecosystems on the planet.
Dense stands of Red Sea Whips (Ellisella sp.) give Susan's Reef a unique aesthetic quality that sets it apart from other Walindi reefs. A stunning collection of corals is particularly rich at the southern end of the reef including large gorgonian fans, red sea whips and elephant ear sponges, everything adorned with colorful crinoids - a delight to all who dive here.
Inglis Shoal rises from very deep water to within 11 metres of the surface and is very rich in fish life. Pelagic fish species are common and include Dogtooth Tuna, Barracuda and Bigeye Trevally. Scalloped Hammerheads and Grey Reef Sharks are sometimes seen at Inglis Shoal.
The waters around Restorf Island hold an incredible diversity of marine life. It would be possible to spend a week diving here and still find new things in the various habitat types around the island. Depth is from the surface, down to 32 metres and this site is one of the many that are also excellent for snorkeling.
Christine's Reef is a collection of reefs joined by underwater ridges to form a large horseshoe shape complex. A photographer's paradies, Chirstine's features a beautiful collection of extremely large barrel sponges, many different gorgonian fan corals and red whip gorgonians. As with all Walindi reefs, reef associated fishes are abundant and diverse.
This large reef, being isolated from any other reef or land mass, is entirely different to any other Walindi dive sites. On days when the current is creating eddies on the point, schools of barracuda, trevally, sea perch, fusilier, unicorn fish and surgeon fish mix with a variety of shark species and tuna, resulting in plenty of exciting action.
Vanessa's is a submerged shoulder that extends westward off a much larger reef at a depth of fifty to sixty feet. It's primary attractions are a multitude of large dark red gorgonian sea fans and further out on the shoulder, a sponge garden featuring many huge elephant ear sponges, a few barrel sponges and bright orange sponge mounds.
South Ema Reef
If any dive site in Kimbe Bay can be said to have it all, it would have to be South Emma. Huge barrel sponges, red whip gorgonians, colourful soft coral and a deep swim through cave are just a few of the attractions. The crest of the bommie is covered in hard corals with occasional sea anemones. Fusiliers, trevally and sometimes barracuda cruise the waters above the bommie.
This site is situated along a sheer vertical wall starting from just below the surface and descending to a depth of about ninety feet. Along the wall are numerous ledges and overhangs and the site is named for the many tangles of rope sponge hanging down along the face of the wall. An excellent choice for a night dive when many of the nocturnal animals that hide in the caves and crevices come out to forage.
Joy's is a hard coral reef that slopes downward from the surface to a sandy floor at about eighty feet. Sand channels cut downward through the reef to meet the sandy floor and these gullies are excellent places to hunt for sand burrowing gobies such as the Twinspot Goby and shrimp gobies The walls that bound the reef slope are particularly lush with black corals, gorgonians, sponges and ascidians.
The dive site at Paluma reef is a deep underwater plateau, joined to the main reef by a descending shoulder. The primary attraction of Paluma is it's large number of lavender, pink and yellow Dendronephthya soft corals, some of which are a metre tall. While not as numerous as some other reefs, there are angelfish, butterflyfish, damselfish, fairy basslets and at least three species of anemone fish.