Vanimo surf lodge is located in waves-abundant part of Papua New Guinea, close to Indonesian borders. This absolutely remote territory with very few tourists visiting every year has been visited by adventurous surfers since 1980s. The amount of surfers in water at any time rarely exceeds 6 and it is usually 3-4.
The surf breaks are easy to access by foot or a short paddle and the range of waves is for all levels; easy Town Beach, Freight Trains at the right of Log Point or Lido's Left and Lido's Right. The size and direction of surf breaks in the area means that they work at the same time, giving you a plenty of choice when the surf is on. The waves break from 2-10ft all season.
The right-hander just outside the Surf Lodge (Lido's Right or Vanimo Right) is super consistent and offers long, walkable rides, but they also have a vehicle that they take to 6 surrounding surf breaks which are about 5-10 minutes drive away east and west of the Surf Lodge. 1 surf transfer and pickup per day is included in the price.
Besides quality waves, the area offers you tropical remote wilderness, thousands of coconut palms, occasional village huts and pristine jungle. Vanimo Surf Lodge encourages you to explore the surroundings and will help you organize small trips. The favourite one is the waterfall tour where you take a 2-km walk along a cool stream to a series of waterfalls to take a refreshing dip in crystal clear water.
In a country where time matters little, waves are pumping in the season, water is clean and warm, you can lay back and sip a cold iced coconut drink or PNG's world-class Arabica coffee, talk to other travellers and of course, surf your arse off between October and May.
The Perfect Wave is an official and preferred member of Surfing Association in Papua New Guinea. We pay yearly membership fees and respect the surf management plans that are in place to keep the waves uncrowded. These fees go directly to the local people whom waves we get to surf, ensuring the local schools get well needed funds. The Surf Association Papua New Guinea (SAPNG) has successfully controlled the tourism and environmental impact of surfing in the region. The Surf Association Abel Reserve spiral management scheme has uniquely created an approach to surfing as a sustainable tourism model that can be applied to other niche tourism sectors around the globe. This means the number of surfers to the area are restricted which is great for keeping the crowd factor low.
accommodation at Vanimo Surf Lodge is all beachfront- traditional PNG
style architecture huts, blending well with its surroundings and giving
you a cultural experience, leaving the busy western world behind. The
huts are cleaned regularly and have lighting, ceiling fans and mosquito
nets. They provide space for 3-4 people and also have room for storing
your surf boards and gear.
All 3 huts are brand new and are opening in November 2011, with plans to double the capacity in the near future. The lodge employs local workforce which is supervised by expat Peter Moore, who trains the staff and looks after the quality of service.
There are no surf shops but there are local doctors, hospital, banks, supermarket and pharmacy in town.
Surf & Other Activities
Surf season officially runs from November to April when it is at its best but it is not uncommon to score waves during the fringe season of October and May. Typically, regardless of which direction the wind is blowing at least half the breaks are offshore. The Lido Right is directly opposite the lodge and is accessed by paddling straight of the beach in a flat water entry. The racing Lido Left is a 500m walk. Waromo is a drive or boat ride 3km to the west and a further kilometre there is Yako, while Log Point is three kilometres to the east by boat or drive. Further to the east is Town Beach and Narimo Island’s right and left. The Town Beach break is ideally suited to anyone who fancies an easy small sand bottom wave and learning here is a great alternative for the family.
Enjoying a meal at the restaurant with a couple of ice cold local South Pacific lagers to wash it down is not a bad way to end the day as the sun sets to the west in a very similar scene to that of Hawaii’s North Shore except there’s hardly anyone around to get in that sunset photo snap. Meals at the lodge are made from locally sourced seafood, meat, chicken, farmed crocodile and vegetables so it’s always fresh and cooked in the traditional way for another cultural experience. If you like fruit there is certainly no shortage as the lodge grows its own red paw paws and there are a wide selection of other locally grown fruits including bananas, mangoes, star fruit, mangosteens, pineapple and even local vanilla beans. On special occasions and also by special request a traditional earth oven cooking feast may be arranged for groups of 8 or more with a day’s notice.
Vanimo Surf Lodge has contacts with local villages to facilitate tours around the area and a favourite is the Waterfall tour where you meet with a team of guides who walk you along the cool mountain stream for approximately 2 kms upstream to a series of waterfalls where the water is so refreshing, crystal clear and cool.
The lodge can also arrange snorkelling and game fishing tours on request. The sea abounds with life as you can imagine in this idyllic blue water location without the threat of fishing trawlers attacking it on a daily basis. Local fishing is mostly enjoyed using a handline in a single person dugout canoe. For those looking for some adventure a little further afield the lodge can arrange a day tour into Indonesia’s thriving township of Jayapura approximately 2 hours’ drive to the west but you’ll need to arrange an Indonesian visa either before you leave home or at the Indonesian consulate in Vanimo town.
The lodge clientele ranges from those looking for adventure in waves surrounded by a jungle shoreline in uncrowded waves where smiling and waving dominates any aggression in the line-up which is reserved for the wave faces to those simply wanting to relax by the beach sipping a cool drink such as an iced coconut and mixer of your choice or coffee. Papua New Guinea grows some of the world’s finest Arabica coffee so you can be sure it is as fresh as you can get.
|7 nights||Traditional beachfront hut - Surfer||Package||US$864||Per person||01 May-01 Nov|
|7 nights||Traditional beachfront hut - Surfer||Package||US$928||Per person||01 Nov-01 Jan|
|7 nights||Traditional beachfront hut - Surfer||Package||US$1,056||Per person||01 Jan-01 May|
|7 nights||Traditional Beachfront Hut - Non Surfer||Package||US$767||Per person||01 May-01 Nov|
|7 nights||Traditional Beachfront Hut - Non Surfer||Package||US$830||Per person||01 Nov-01 Jan|
|7 nights||Traditional Beachfront Hut - Non Surfer||Package||US$958||Per person||01 Jan-01 May|
- Prices above are per person prices, and are subject to foreign exchange fluctuations until paid in full.
- These are example packages. Package durations and inclusions can be adjusted to cater for your individual requirements. Please contact us for a tailored package to meet your needs.
- Please click "Enquire Here" or "On Special" to email us or call us to speak with one of our friendly surf travel specialists.
- Vanimo airport transfers to and from Vanimo Surf Lodge.
- Accommodation in traditional PNG beachfront huts.
- Three meals per day.
- 1 surf transfer/pickup per day.
- 3x 300ml bottles of water.
Disclaimer - This surf trip is an independent surf operator and is not part of or in partnership with The Perfect Wave Travel Co. The Perfect Wave acts as an agent only. We sell various travel related products on behalf of numerous transport, accommodation and other service providers, such as airlines, land based accommodation and boat charter operators. The Perfect Waves obligation is to make travel bookings on your behalf and to arrange relevant contracts between you and travel service providers. The Perfect Wave has no responsibility for these services nor do we make or give any warranty of representation regarding their standards. All bookings are made subject to the terms and conditions and limitations of liability imposed by these service providers.
Other Surf Experiences
Paul (March 2017)
Vanimo was great my 18 year old son & I had amazing surf and Jake (the host) was exceptional. The Lido locals are so friendly both in and out of the water.
David (February 2017)
Trip was fantastic with great waves. The Perfect Wave was excellent to deal with again. Keeping us up to date with everything. Couldnt be happier and will use the perfect wave again in the future
David (November 2016)
I was very happy with the service provided by TPW, especially our consultant, Simone. Simone was very efficient with providing information and making our bookings. She was always quick and happy to answer any queries. I would be happy to use TPW again and recommend the service to friends.
Dave (November 2016)
Had a great trip everything was so well organised thanks to you.
We all so scored some great waves towards the end of the trip.
Bumped into Peter from TPW who was there for a night who scored the best morning of waves.
Thanks again for all your help and being so easy to deal with.
Hopefully do it all again soon.
Rob (November 2015)
"I just enjoyed my second stay at the Vanimo Surf lodge thanks to The Perfect Wave. I came to write and to surf – and did both in full measure – but what will also bring me back again next year is the food: locally sourced produce, imaginative tasty salads, fresh fish. If I were writing a restaurant review I would rate it ... five stars". Dr Rob Goodfellow.
Sue (January 2015)
I cant believe we have been back for over 2 weeks, it’s a totally different pace back here!
Just want to say thank you for everything you did to make our family holiday such a “perfect” experience. Its hard to get a group of young (and not so young) adults together in the same place at the same time but it all happened. And thank you for answering all my emails and stuff, all amongst having a baby.
The Surf Lodge was great, exactly as we had hoped for. Traditional thatched roof (constructed very well, not traditionally) comfortable and clean accommodation, very relaxing. Plenty of well prepared food and great to have a week of no meals to prepare and no cleaning up afterwards. Staff all great and extremely friendly. Lots of reading, chess and cards. Surfing every day for the guys which they absolutely enjoyed. Lovely locals and a very friendly village next door which we walked through every day and were always greeted with smiles, waves and ”hello Wally”. Other highlights were the water fall and cave and the one time out fishing in a local boat and the catch of the village…the Sail Fish, “experts” saying it would have weighed between 20 and 30 kilos, longer than Blake and he is 6’ 4’’. Weather was great all week, always a breeze.
I shall attach a couple of photos and try and get the gopro of the fish to you,
Elissa (February 2014)
The Perfect Wave provides the Perfect Experience. Anything that they can do for you, they will do for you. You barely lift a finger and end up having the best experience ever!
David (February 2014)
Gina was most helpful and always courteous throughout the whole booking process. The trip went very smoothly with all flights airport transfers and meals etc. The surf was great at a range between 3 and up to sets of 6 to 7 feet. Matthew was an excellent host at the lodge and he did an amazing job with the limited food that was available in the area. He literally drove to the markets daily to find food that was fresh and after seeing just how little of this there was, I was impressed at the meals that were turned out. The lodge itself is comfortable and minimalistic which is exactly as I imagined it. Very relaxing. I am definitely going back, the question is not if but when!!!
Chad (February 2014)
Hi Gina,Very many thanks to you and your team for a fantastic trip to Vanimo. The Surf was great the whole trip and the hospitality at the lodge was as equally as great. We made some great friends and surfed hard the whole time. All of the flights, pick ups and accommodation flowed smoothly.Thank you guys so much, had the best trip. Got lots of good pictures.Regards,
Greg (January 2014)
Thank you The Perfect Wave. Another great trip to PNG, this time an even more remote location in Vanimo. From my tour of and overnight stay in Port Moresby till when I left to come home I had a great time and felt safe.Two to three surfs a day across different waves some within walking/paddling distance of my room with others requiring a short drive to adjoining villages with the drive along ancient rainforest, villages and rock outcrops more than worth the trip even if the waves were smaller in these villages. The quality of the waves and amount of different breaks in the area was better and more challenging than when I stayed in another part of PNG two years ago. First three days around 5-7 foot with the remaining days having 3-4 foot with a few barrels here and there. And can't the locals find a barrel. The reefs were sharp in areas but generally safe although my left knee required attention after day 2. A reminder to not to spend to much time looking up at the amazing country side with out keeping an eye on the waves. The smaller waves were still a bit of a challenge & fun. The clear waters with marine life and only two other visiting surfers out for the first week of my stay made it the holiday I was looking for after a full on year of work without much play. The second week resulted in an additional 6 surfers but still plenty of waves. With local surfers including women more than happy to let me have my fair share of the waves. Better than northern beaches over summer.I was traveling by myself and the host Matt his staff and the locals were great and made every effort to make this trip the best it could be. Including doing their best to arrange a boat to take us out to some distance reef breaks for another challenge.Other highlights include a New Years eve that I won't forget a fantastic bushwalk up to a great waterfall and swimming hole, trips to the markets to see and learn how a great old culture trades/buys and generally functions. Being in the crowd watching the local soccer team play off for the Christmas Cup, an action packed trip to the border. And meeting other traveling surfers and hearing about other surf trips over a cold beer and local foods.Basically for the 10 days I was at the surf lodge I was never bored and unfortunately didn't get to surf or see the wave at Yako going off. I would encourage anyone to try PNG especially Vanimo for a different surf experience. Other surfers I meet there had also been to other places in PNG and we all agree Vanimo Surf Lodge while a basic surf camp has plenty to do. The key to enjoying PNG is to accept that its PNG its a different culture they love Aussies and have a real interest in you having the best trip possible and not to compare it to other countries and enjoy it for what it is.
Rob (November 2013)
PNG - so close, so different, so good! The perfect surf adventure destination.
Tom & Hugh (December 2013)
A perfect 10 days with swell steadily building from 2'-8'.Vanimo surf lodge is an excellent place to stay:- traditional style accommodation , clean an breezy. Ecellent food (mainly fish) with a variety of flavours. Never the same dish twice.Lots of waves on most winds, all close by.Friendly localsZero crowdsCouldn't have asked for a better place for a father and son surf trip.
James (March 2013)
My friends and I had a great and very unique experience at Vanimo. I would highly recommend going there to anyone and will definitely be back. Thanks Perfect Wave for helping make this a great experience.
Brett (January 2013)
Vanimo was a real surprise. When we arrived, the swell was a clean 2-3 foot. Next morning it pumped 4-5 to 6 foot morning and night for 5 straight days. It was uncrowded, just us and a few friendly locals. There is a filthy left-hander around the corner and down the road another scary left called Yarko's. We had a great time and waves exceeded our expectations. It was sorta like Bali was back in 1972 except a lot quieter. The wave suits Mal and shortboards too. Got some great video and photos.
Doug Jeffrey (January 2012)
I recently took my wife and family members plus friends on a surfing holiday to Vanimo, PNG.Six of us had the best time, 4th to 15th Jan â€12. The surf lodge is newly set up and although not 5 star luxury accommodation, it is clean and well appointed, with good food and very reasonably priced.The best feature of the trip however was the surf...which was the main reason for going. There are several quality reef breaks including the two main ones we surfed at Lido point right outside our huts. The right is what you see when you wake up and walk out on your veranda. Perfect long glassy right with no-one on it. In the arvo if the NW wind comes up, a short stroll through the village to Lido left on the other side of the point is the go.We were there for 11 nights and got surfable waves every day, some days up over six foot. Matt, Andy and I were the only surfers out most times. Occasionally a few local lads who were lucky enough to own boards came out, but usually hung on the inside end of the right hander. Their names were Kenny and Jeffrey who were ok surfers and Newman. These are friendly guys and wouldnâ€™t even paddle for a wave if we looked interested, whether inside us or not..We hiked up a couple of the local rivers to beautiful clear cool waterfalls. This was an amazing experience and such relief from the tropical heat. We also travelled toward the border to Yako, a left hander that is like a mini Teahupoo.I love this place. The locals live in 3rd world conditions. We stayed in comfort and surfed world class point breaks, pretty much to ourselves.I will be returning to Vanimo whenever I can.Doug Jeffrey