Takahito Yamaguchi

Takahito Yamaguchi

Alisi Ratulevu

Alisi Ratulevu

M/Y Qing at Madang Resort Marina

M/Y Qing at Madang Resort Marina

Kalam SHow, Simbai

Kalam SHow, Simbai

Aerial Picture of Yamilon Lagoon, Madang Resort Marina on left.

Aerial Picture of Yamilon Lagoon, Madang Resort Marina on left.

Venetian Foundain, Madang Resort

Venetian Foundain, Madang Resort

Dallman Diver

Dallman Diver



Reef Explorer New Livery

Reef Explorer New Livery

National ALlicance Conference in Sana Room

National ALlicance Conference in Sana Room

Crocadile Festival, Ambunti

Crocadile Festival, Ambunti

Kalibobo Spirit Crew at Kanganaman Village

Kalibobo Spirit Crew at Kanganaman Village

Crocadile Sing Sing at Kopar Village

Crocadile Sing Sing at Kopar Village

Sunday 14 August, 2016

Since last the last update, I have travelled by the Sepik River to Ambunti guiding the luxurious Qing a 45m private motor yacht with the owner and family.  The Kalibobo Spirit acted as the escort vessel providing the Captain of the Qing navigation of the Sepik River along with some of the knowledge we have gained in operating along the Sepik over 50 years.

A detailed log with pictures was written and can be downloaded as shown below.

This trip involved travelling more than 1000nm to and from the Sepik and includes travel up the Sepik for more than 550km.  Whilst this is not a record, considering the size of the 45m Qing and the low level of the water we succeeded without going aground.   (In 1992, we navigated the river aboard the “Melanesian Discoverer” and reached the Indonesian border, this record still stands to day for the size of the vessel and a record we have no intention of doing it again.)

Our main destination was the Crocodile Festival, an annual event which attracts many thousands to Ambunti including around 100 international tourists.  Literally hundreds of people take part in providing cultural performances that cannot be seen anywhere else in PNG, or the world.  Sepik groups travelled from the lower, middle and upper Sepik to take part in this annual event.

The Kalibobo Spirit and Qing visited Kopar, Mendam, Murik Lakes, Bien, Pankil, Taway, Angoram, Kambaramba, Tambanum, Timbunke, Kamindimbit, Wombun, Aibom, Chamri Lakes, Kurau, Avatip, Malu, Ambunti, the Nagam River and Kimbarimba, the blackwater, Governas Lakes – we witnessed scores of “sing sings” flute playing, village demonstrations and between all of use purchased many carvings an enroughed the people by thousands.

One of the biggest disappointments was the amount of logging going on along the river, the development of a copper mine at Frieda River and te low volume of tourists travelling along the river which has vasty effected the culture and economy of the Sepik people.  Few people are actively engaged in carving, t spiritual houses (Haus Man) are not being maintained most of which have been kept alive in the past by tourists travelling on the Melanesian Discoverer which regretfully no longer operates scheduled cruises along the Sepik.

On the bright side, the people along the Sepik gave an overwhelming welcome to both the Kalibobo Spirit and Qing and I am encouraged to revisit the plan to construct a dedicated mini cruise ship to undertake scheduled cruises on the Sepik, if i can get support from the Government?

The owner of the Qing says it all in an email to myself:

Sir Peter,

On behalf of our family and entire crew, we would like to thank you and the crew of Kalibobo for an amazing trip.  I am sorry we didn't get a chance to express our thanks in person and had to whisk off to the airport as you where coming into port.

We had an amazing adventure! The Sepik is a beautiful place with incredible people. Selfishly, I am glad it is not heavily toured, as we enjoyed the sense of adventure that come with exploring places like this without obvious crowds, but from our experience it is a place that many people should make the effort to see, they would not be disappointed! You and your crew made the trip a true adventure.  My only regret is we did not get to see it along side you 50 years ago! I am sure what you experienced was even more magical.

Hopefully we will have a chance to see you again when we meet the boat in Madang in September.

Thanks again for an incredible trip!

Best regards


Those of you who may have read a previous edition of Melanesian News would remember that 2 years ago we took Professor Russel Blong to Long Island to collect samples of carbon to determine the date of the large eruption .  We were pleasantly surprised to her from Professor Blong advising that he has just written a research paper with John Kemp and Keping Chen gainikng evidence from the log books of William Dampier’s 1700 voyage on the Roebuck.   We will feature this news in the next edition of the Melanesian News as the eruption was a significant event that caused widespread damage and death over many parts of PNG – it has also been reported to have effected weather conditions in Europe.


The new wing has been delayed to imports due to shortages of foreign currency.  Te Builders have at last secured all the imported goods and the last contained is expected to arrive in late August which contains the bedding and furniture.   We expect to open the wing in  September in time for the Independence Celebrations.


The new Dallman Diver, the purposely built dive boat is in Cairns awaiting delivery over the next few weeks, in the meantime, our new Dive Instructor, Takahiro Yamaguchi has settled in very well and has commenced dive instruction assisted by staff of NDA.


The PNG Government has at last lifted the restriction on Australians who for the past 2 years have been required to obtain a visa before arriving in PNG.  Australian tourists are now able to obtain a  free “Tourist Visa” on arrival in Port Moresby, Rabaul, Alotau and Mt Hagen.  There are conditions which include a validity of 30 days and return air tickets.   Te PNG tourist industry has welcomed this news and look forward to renewed interest in Australians tourists visiting PNG.

Most western countries and our Pacific Island neighbours and Asian Countries can also obtain a free Tourist Visa on arrival in PNG.


Many countries issue Travellers Alerts  about PNG.   Whilst there are some parts of the country where caustion needs to be practiced, the safest place to be in PNG is in villages where visitors are perfectly safe.  MTS and other tour operators should be used to make arrangements in PNG and whilst risks exist in the main towns it should not prevent tourists travelling throughout the rural areas where 90% of the population live in harmony with the environment.


Travellers to PNG are well advised to book the Madang Resort, Kalibobo Village and sightseeing tours direct on line and not through international websites.   In most cases you can obtain better rates by going online direct.


Peter Barter


Melanesian Newsletter Edition 1 Apr 1 2016
Melanesian NewsLetter  Edition 2 Jun 1 2016

Melanesian NewsLetter Edition 3 Aug 1




MTS PNG Welcomes Visitors Aboard the Pacific Aria

Download the Visitors Information Booklet [PDF, 1.5MB]

Expeditions - Kalibobo Spirit


The luxurious "Kalibobo Spirit" motor yacht is available for charter in the coastal waters and rivers of Papua New Guinea.

This vessel provides the ultimate way of visiting some of the most remote regions of the the Sepik River and Papua New Guinea all in the comfort of this luxurious vessel.


T: +675 4222766,   F: 675 4223543,   E: info@mtspng.com





Madang Resort


Madang Resort Aerial View

The Madang Resort (formerly Hotel Madang) remains PNG's most popular tourist resort and conference centre offering 180 guest suites with facilities that include PADI dive shop, Gift Shop, Art Gallery, Hair Salon, Business Centre, Tour Office, 3 restaurants, 4 pools, Gymnasium, 2 lagoons, a marina, PADI Dive Facility, Game Fishing and much more.

The Resort offers free use of Kayaks. sailing boats, bikes, tennis and Golf equipment and is now offering complimentary breakfasts in the Janek Aben Restaurant - enquire now for conditions.

The new Kalibobo Haus Kibung and new Haus Win Restaurant was officially opened on 10th June 2013, both are fully operational and have proved to be very popular.

Located along the shore of the Madang Harbour & Yamilon Lagoon in 15 acres of landscaped gardens.

T: +675 422 2655 F: +675 422 3325  E: info@mtspng.com


Kalibobo Village Resort - Madang


Kalibobo Village Suit

Kalibobo Village was completed in 2007 and provides 60 deluxe rooms and villas, plus 10 cottages set along the Dallman Passage and entrance to the beautiful Madang Harbour overlooking Krankget Island.  Facilities include a swimming pool, lagoon, tennis court as well as facilities provided at the adjacent Madang Resort.

NEW! Apartments for Short & Long Term Rental
Read more... [PDF 952KB]

T: +675 422 2655 F: +675 422 3325  E: info@mtspng.com



Niugini Dive Adventures


Scuba diving at Madang Marine Park

Niugini Diving Adventures, (NDA) is based at the Madang Resort and Kalibobo Village but in addition provides dive instruction and excursions aboard the Kalibobo Spirit.  It is a PADI dive facility.  In addition to scuba diving, snorkelling and fishing trips are available. 

Easter Weekend Getaway

Dive, Snorkel, Cruise & Tour

For bookings, email nda@mtspng.com

Niugini Dive Adventures operates the Aqua Venture and Sau Dazas. Game fishing boats that can provide light and big game fishing in waters of the Bismarck Sea.

T: +675 422 2766 F: +675 422 3543  E: info@mtspng.com

Highland Tours


Sing Sing, Wahgi Valley

MTS provide a complete touring service throughout the Highlands and Papua New Guinea.   Bookings can be made to visit Western, Southern and Eastern Highlands, Simbu & Enga plus the islands provinces of East and West New Britain, New Ireland, Bougainville and Milne Bay.

More information...






The Heritage Cairns has just been announced by Trip Advisor as the Travellers Choice for 2012.   This prestigous award is attributable to the committment by MTS to provide a true PNG hospitality,.   The Tropical Heritage Hotel has one certificates of excellence from Trip Advisor for 2012, 2013 & 2014 and is rated as #7 in 68 hotels in Cairns.   It does not profess to be a 5 star hotel, it is rated as 3.5 stars and is considered to be the best, most affordable hotel in the CBD of Cairns City.

Rosemary has retired and touring Australia in a Caravan, James Munro has taken over as Manager assisted by Cynthia Bubner and the fantasic staff.  They all look forward to welcoming you in 2015

In addition to the 2012 Travellers Choice Award, Trip Advisor have presented the Certificate of Excellence to Cairns Heritage for 2012, 2013, 2014 and just announced Winner of the Excellence Award for 2015 by Trip Advisor - Congratulations!.

T: 07 4051 1211  F: 07 4051 1380
Email: info@heritagecairns.com.au

8 Minnie Street, Cairns, Queensland, 4870

Full costs available on Web, plus special offers


Lukim yu Bihain!

Cairns Sheridan

Cairns Sheridan Hotel & Conference Centre is also known as Cairns Airport Hotel is situated only 2-3km from Cairns Central shopping centre and Cairns Airport. From the hotel it’s a short walk to the Botanical Gardens, Whitfield Range bush tracks and the Cairns Esplanade. The Palms Restaurant provides excellent cruisine and a friendly environment.

More information



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