Surfing at Lissenung
Want to surf uncrowded waves and surf breaks? Want to be one of only a handful of surfers, experiencing tropical reef surfing, warm waters, extraordinary culture and exceptional service?
New Ireland is famous for fantastic diving, but the surfing here is pretty good, too! With swells ranging from 2 – 6 or even 8ft, you won’t get Hawaii like surf, but it’s a lot less crowded, too, as the breaks we go to are not visited by any other surf operator (Ral Island and Senta Pass are the only exceptions). Lissenung Island Resort itself is a small resort, with a maximum of only 14 guests at any given time, so that’s the maximum number of surfers you will come across. Special agreements with the resource owners ensure that all breaks can be surfed at any time.
The level of difficulty varies, depending on the size of the swell and the direction it comes from. Lissenung Island is close to some well known surf spots, such as Ral Island and Senta Pass, as well as newer breaks at Bangatan, Nusalomon and Lemus Islands. Special agreements with the resource owners ensure that all breaks can be surfed at any time. Ral Island is virtually in our backyard, so we are generally the first surfers to arrive each morning.
Lissenung Island Resort does not offer instruction, but we will get you to the best surf breaks on the day in one of our 3 boats. Our local guides will ensure that you get out there, to experience the best tropical reef surfing in uncrowded surroundings.Surf transfers are charged at PGK 200.00* per person per day, which includes snacks and beverages as well as our local guide. A surf fee of PGK 25.00 per surfer per surf day is also charged, which will go entirely to the local communities where we surf.
* Prices are applicable for bookings and payment made from outside PNG. Any bookings made whilst in PNG are subject to 10% GST.
Please ensure that you bring along not only your board(s), but also all necessary accessories and service/repair kits. The sun is very strong up here, so make sure you bring proper sun protection such as lycra shirts, a big hat and at least 30+ sunscreen. Reef shoes may also come in handy.
Here are some of the reef breaks we visit:
A right-hand breaking wave at the southern end of the reef. This break is best surfed with no wind and glassy conditions, but it is protected somewhat from NE winds if they are not too strong. Best swell direction is NE, but as it is a very shallow reef, it’s only surfable on mid to high tide. Easy take-off, but becomes faster down the line and barrels on the inside.
This small island is a swell magnet and the place to head for when everywhere else is flat. It breaks left and right, depending on the swell direction, but the right is usually the better wave. As it is quite open to the elements it’s best surfed with glassy conditions, although it is protected from NE winds if they are light. Best swell direction is north. It breaks in deep water, so it’s quite safe, evne for reef surfing newcomers.
This is a right hander that breaks on the southern end of the island. The quality of this wave depends greatly on how the sandbar that juts out at the end changes. The wave breaks fairly close to shore in deep water. This can be a very long wave on a big swell. The island itself is beautiful and the boat can pull up behind the sandbar safely. North swell is best, east winds are off-shore, but the break is protected from light NE winds.
There is also a left hander at the north end of the island, but it will only work when all the conditions come together – NNW swell, S – SW winds – as the reef is quite exposed. It’s surfable at all tides.
Most of this island has straight, unbroken reef, but there is a right hander in front of the passage between Bangatan and Tagalop Islands. The reef comes into the island a bit more and picks up quite a lot of swell. It’s only surfable at mid to high tide as most of the reef is exposed at low tide. S – SW winds is off-shore, best swell is N – NE.
A fun right hander in front of a small village that is surfable at all tides and breaks close to shore. Best on a northerly swell or larger NNW swell, SE wind off-shore.
The reef juts out on the northern side of the island, providing a nice right hander which picks up on a NE swell. SW winds are off-shore and the wave horse-shoes around the reeef.
A left hander at the northern end of the island that breaks into the passage. SE wind is off-shore, but it’s protected from light NW winds. If all conditions are right, it can be a very long wave, very fast breaking and tubing inside in sections! The reef is exposed at low tide, so this one is only surfable at mid to high tide.
Kitesurfing at Lissenung
Straight off the island, no boat transfers needed, hence no extra cost. There is a lookout on the beach and a rescue boat on stand-by.
Do we need to say more or do these pictures speak for themselves? This is our friend Carlos from Mexico, having a ball in January this year.
Best times of the year are from mid June to mid September with steady SE winds, then again January – March with NW winds.