Tawali Resort Skull Cave Trek & Snorkel Adventure

Tucked away and only accessible by unpaved road and boat is Papua New Guinea’s best-kept secret: Tawali Resort. Discover the attractions of this idyllic locale with an exploration of a skull cave and a snorkeling adventure in wildlife-rich waters. You may also take a dip in the pool and relax on the observation deck with free time at the resort.

  • Code
  • Level
  • Walking Type
  • Activity Type
  • Age
    All ages
  • Duration
    Approximately 9 hours

Your excursion begins with an approximately 90-minute journey by local bus over bumpy roads to a volcanic bluff overlooking the clear, protected waters of Milne Bay. Hidden here in this remote location is Tawali Resort, an ideal home base for explorations of the natural wonders of the area.

Launching your day’s discoveries from this nicely positioned resort, uncover what could be considered the darker side of Milne Bay history with a trek through Skull Cave. A short dingy ride and a 15-minute walk along the shores of a local village bring you to a series of limestone caves. Walk down into their eerie realm, following the footsteps of the villagers’ ancestors, to encounter the caves’ namesake skulls. Exactly why the skulls are here is a mystery, but there is no doubt as to why their presence is of ongoing interest to today’s intrepid visitors.

Emerging from the cave, you will have the opportunity to purchase handcrafts sold by the local villagers.

Return to the resort for a light lunch before taking the plunge into this afternoon’s activity, snorkeling. Located in the Coral Triangle, Papua New Guinea is wonderfully suited for water escapades. Your guided snorkeling expedition takes place at the Sponge Haven site, reached with a short boat ride from the resort. Featuring a sheer wall starting from a shelf three feet below the water’s surface and plunging to depths of 350 feet-plus, this locale is truly spectacular. Don your snorkel gear to appreciate nature’s exotic beauty, marveling at the wall’s honeycomb surface with its small caves hosting a variety of sponges and other marine life.

Following your snorkeling experience, return to the resort for some free time. Take a dip in the pool or admire views from the observation deck before returning to the pier with an approximately two-hour journey by local bus, venturing across PNG’s typically rough and bumpy scenic roads along the way.

Important Notes:                                                                
This is an active excursion involving both snorkeling and trekking, with moderate distances covered by foot over a variety of surfaces, including inclines, declines, steps, natural trails, and slippery and rocky terrain. Therefore, it is suitable only for our more active guests who are physically fit. This excursion involves an approximately 90-minute transfer to the Tawali Resort and an approximately two-hour return transfer from the resort to the pier. Much of these travels will be over rough, unpaved roads; guests should be prepared for the length of the journey and rugged aspect of travel. Transportation is by local, non-air-conditioned van or bus. Guests should be familiar with wearing snorkel equipment and swim comfortably in currents, which may occasionally be present. Although the operator will supply equipment (mask, snorkel and swim vests), it is recommended that guests bring their own snorkeling equipment and wear protective footwear, such as aqua socks. Flat, sturdy shoes should be worn for the cave trekking portion of this excursion. In respect for the local culture, women are asked to wear shorts over their swimwear. If water conditions at your scheduled snorkeling site are prohibitive, an alternate site will be substituted. Alcoholic drinks should not be consumed prior to taking part in any water activities. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed. The order of activities may be reversed. This Crystal Advenutre MUST be pre-reserved.

Availability: Extremely Limited
SPECIAL CANCELLATION CONDITIONS If cancellation of the above Crystal Adventure is made within 30 days of arrival in the excursion port, there will be a 100% cancellation fee charged to the guest's shipboard account. In the event guests cancel their cruise within 30 days of arrival in the excursion port, this cancellation fee will be charged throught the Crystal Cruises corporate office.
All Crystal Adventures with Special Cancellation Conditions can only be canceled in writing to Crystal Cruises. Please e-mail your cancellation to
crystaladventures@crystalcruises.com or you may fax your cancellation to (310) 286-2412.