Halsteads PNG Airport

Dinah and Bob Halstead pioneered the dive scene in Papua New Guinea and educated the world as to just how good "Diving in Papua New Guinea" really is.

Dinah was born and educated in PNG and received her Diploma in 
Teaching from Goroka Teacher's College (University of PNG) in 1974. 

She met Bob the next year and he taught her to dive. They were 
married in 1976. From 1975 until 1980 she worked as a research 
officer on the personal staff of the then Prime Minister of Papua New 
Guinea, Sir Michael Somare.
Dinah became the first Papua New Guinean to become an internationally certified Diving Instructor (NAUI) in 1982, and has been taking underwater photographs since 1980.

Dinah Halstead Scuba Diving
Dinah Halstead was the first Internationally Certified National Dive Instructor ( NAUI) in 1982 and has been taking photographs since 1980.

Bob was educated in England and has a BSc Honours degree in physics/
mathematics from King's College London University and a post graduate 
Certificate in Education from Bristol University.
He learned to dive in the Bahamas in 1968 where he was employed as Head of the Physics Department at Queen's College, Nassau. He bought his first underwater 
camera the same year and qualified as a NAUI Diving Instructor in  

Bobs Dive Boat 

Bob and Dinah's first Papua New Guinea purpose – built day dive boat "Solatai" was state of the art for Papua New Guinea at the time.
Hardly a liveaboard BUT it certainly worked great for diving Bootless Bay, around Loloata Island and Horseshoe Reef and pioneering the Milne Bay camping trips.
It is still operating out of Bootless Bay, run by the now owners of the Port Moresby Dive shop.

He came to PNG as an Education Officer for the Australian 
Government in 1973 and taught mathematics and science for five years, 
ending his teaching career as Head of the Science Department at 
Sogeri National High School where responsibilities included writing 
science curriculum for Provincial High Schools.

Bob Dinah Milne bay Trips Tube Tube Island 1981
Long before liveaboards came along. Bob and Dinah ran Dive camping tours to Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. These were real adventure tours, camping in the villages and never really knowing what to expect. During the tropical downpours in the night , all the village dogs and pigs would scramble under our shelters in an attempt to keep dry. It was a case of "any tent in a storm" but we had marvellous times and discoved unbelievable creatures.
( photo: Neville Coleman – Tube Tube Island, Milne Bay, PNG 1981 )



Tropical Diving Adventures

Dinah and Bob formed PNG's first full time sport diving business, 
Tropical Diving Adventures in 1977 based in Port Moresby, worked 
together from 1980, and, in 1986, started the first live-aboard dive 
boat operation, the highly successful Telita Cruises, with the 20 
metre dive charter vessel, the MV Telita, a boat built in PNG to 
their specifications and under their personal supervision.
In 1992 Telita was voted "Best Liveaboard Dive Boat in the World" by readers of "In Depth" Magazine USA.

Bob Halstead Scuba Diving

Besides being an enthusiastic adventurer, Bob Halstead is a great exponent of underwater photography and as such discovered and photographed many new species.
Unfortunately he was never credited for some of his discoveries because of his conservation based nature that didn't allow him to collect the specimen at the time. Today, many of his discoveries are only just now being described, 30 years after he found and photographed them.

Hippocampus severnsi  _ Severns Pygmy Sea Horse

First discovered and photographed by Bob in the early 1980's, his images of the newly described Severns's Pygmy Sea Horse Hippocampus severnsi are still the most representative of the species. Certainly beats the pants off mine.
( photo: Neville Coleman)

Bob and Dinah have cruised Telita throughout all the coastal regions 
of PNG and have jointly made over 15,000 dives in the process. They 
have discovered several marine species new to science.
A Sand diver fish, Trichonotus halstead, was named after them in 1996, a Goby 
Lubricogobius dinah named after Dinah in 2002, and Bob has a new 
species of Razor fish named after him, Xyrichtys halsteadi

 Bob has won several gold medals in international underwater photographic competitions including  Australasian Underwater Photographer of the year 1983.

 Neville Milne Bay Photo Bob Halstead

My very first experience with Hump – back Cowries Mauritia mauritiana was courtesy of Bob who had learn't where to find them from Dinah's people who had been collecting cowries ( especially money cowries) for thousands of years.
( photo: Bob Halstead Milne Bay, PNG 1981)

Dinah has also won prizes for her underwater photographs in international 
competitions. They have published numerous popular and technical 
articles on diving in PNG for various magazines including:- Paradise 
Magazine (PNG), Sportdiving, Journal of the South Pacific Underwater 
Medicine Society and Scuba Diver (Australia), Skin Diver Magazine, 
Ocean Realm and Scuba Times (USA), Tauchen Magazine (Germany), and 
Asian Diver (Singapore). Bob writes a monthly column "The Adult 
Section" for Australasian Dive Log.


Bob and Dinah Halstead on Boat
Real explorers and pioneers of their time Dinah and Bob Halstead opened up diving in Papua New Guinea and shared their adventures with the world.

In 2008 Bob was inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of 
Fame. Bob and Dinah have a photographic library of over 60,000 images 
representing a unique catalogue of Papua New Guinea Marine Life.


International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame_logo

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