Having travelled quite intrepidly, we wanted a trip that wouldn't fall into the traditional category of 'honeymoon' -- so we decided on Papua New Guinea.
The largest island of Papua New Guinea, New Britain is a land of fiery volcanoes, unspoiled corals, and rainforests sheathed in mist. During World War II, New Britain was the site of fierce fighting between Imperial Japanese and Allied forces, each seeking to establish supremacy over the surrounding seas. As such, the area is home to a series of wrecks, derelict aircraft, and underground tunnels. The region today is a calm, picturesque area, the tranquility shattered only by an occasional volcanic eruption.
Meet An Asia Expert
From Our Blog
Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald has been in love with Asia for over 25 years & loves travelling to remote destinations & discovering new areas.
During World War II, Rabaul, then the capital of New Britain province, served as a naval base and was the site of many battles. As a result, the nearby waters are littered with the hulks of sunken ships and shattered aircraft. Of particular interest is a Mitsubishi Zero fighter plane, which lies in 56 feet (17 meters) of water, nestled amidst rocks on the shallow sea floor, and overgrown with corals, barnacles, and other marine life.
Make your way to Kimbe, a rapidly expanding harbor city overlooking the idyllic waves of the South Pacific. With over 900 species of fish and 400 species of coral, all situated in famously clear waters, Kimbe is an ideal location for intermediate and advanced divers.
Visit the extensive, maze-like tunnels in and around Rabaul’s harbor, which measure 435 miles (700 kilometers) in total length. Dug by the Japanese to protect themselves from aerial bombardment, these tunnels include barracks and sleeping quarters, hospitals, and even hiding places for vehicles and barges.
Helicopter Over Volcanoes
Fly by helicopter over Tavurvur and Vulcan, two looming picturesque volcanoes that erupted spectacularly in 1994. While today they are quiet, the 1994 eruption caused the evacuation of Rabaul, then the provincial capital, and spewed smoke and ash 60,000 feet (18,288 meters) into the air. Admire the forbidding splendor of the two volcanoes from the air, especially the giant, steaming caldera within Tavurvur.
Baia Sports Fishing Lodge
Gather at the Baia Sports Fishing Lodge, located on the northern coast of New Britain. While snorkeling and boat trips are available through the lodge, the main activity, as the name suggests, centers mainly around fishing; three types of bass swim within the river. More adventurous anglers may wish to try offshore fishing in the nearby seas.
Hike the rugged, isolated Baining Mountains, home to a series of villages inhabited by tribes indigenous to Papua New Guinea. For the complete experience, stay the night accompanied by your guide in a villager’s home.
Despite being an active volcano, Mount Garbuna is an excellent hike. Because of its periodic eruptions, the area around the volcano is lush and verdant – due to the incredibly fertile volcanic ash ejected from Garbuna during each eruption. After you reach the top, gaze upon the surrounding forests and lowlands; on a clear day, hikers can see all the way to the coast.
Trekking in the jungle, canoeing along seemingly endless rivers, snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, and relaxing on stunning white sand are all in store on this 12-day Papua New Guinea luxury adventure. Gain unique cultural insight as you trek between remote villages and stay with welcoming locals.
Built on the historic site of the official residence of Queen Emma of the South Seas, and still housing some of the original features, the Gazelle International is a modern 52-room hotel overlooking Blanche Bay. Its 52 rooms all have balconies and also include satellite TV, tea/coffee facilities, iron/board, internet and fridges. Premium rooms overlook Blanch Bay and have views of Tavurvur, East New Britainâ€™s smoking volcano. Food and beverage outlets include Emma's, a restaurant serving local and international cuisine; Chino's Espresso Lounge, and Club Coe.
Kokopo Beach Bungalow Resort
Nestled along the coastline of Blanche Bay, Kokopo Beach Bungalow Resort boasts
sweeping views of New Ireland, the unspoiled Duke of York Islands and the volcanoes surrounding Rabaul town. Its private bungalows all come with air conditioning and private balconies, as well as satellite TV, iron/board, WiFi and IDD telephone. Suites also have separate living room and self-catering facilities. The restaurant is built in an authentic traditional Haus-win style with local timber poles and a sago roof, and provides breakfast, lunch and dinner, whilst the bar is a great place to relax with a local beer.
Kokopo Village Resort
Situated in the heart of Kokopo Town, Kokopo Village Resort is only 20 minutes' drive from the Tokua airport and a convenient 10 minutes' walk from the famous Kokopo War and Cultural Museum and the Kokopo Golf Course. The resort is set in lush, tropical gardens and beautifully sits above a magnificent beachfront overlooking the Duke Of York Islands. Its rooms and bungalows all come with tea/coffee facilities, direct dial phones, cable TV, ironing facilities and daily newspaper. The resort also has a bar and restaurant.
Walindi Plantation Resort
This Papua New Guinea resort Ideally-located on the shores of Kimbe Bay, on the island of New Britain. The resort also plays home base to its boutique Liveaboard dive vessel, MV FeBrina, which plies the turquoise waters of Kimbe Bay in search of vibrant coral reefs and colorful marine life. Guests can expect to be greeted by friendly, helpful staff, and enter into a relaxed resort with an informal atmosphere fitting of its beach surroundings. Rooms come in the form of bungalows and “Plantation House” rooms, spread along the beachfront or surrounded by well-manicured gardens. The hotel’s Casuarina Restaurant serves up Western and Asian dishes with fresh, local ingredients. A bar and a library lounge are also available for guests’ use. Adjacent to the lounge is the resort’s inviting pool.