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Introducing Milne Bay Province

At the eastern end of mainland PNG, the Owen Stanley Range plunges into the sea, and islands are scattered across the ocean for hundreds of kilometres further out. This is the start of the Pacific proper – tiny atolls, coral reefs, volcanic islands, swaying palms and white beaches. It’s safe, secluded and unfailingly friendly.

More than 435 islands give the province 2120km of coastline, but poor transport infrastructure and limited arable land have hindered the region’s development.

To many Australians, Milne Bay is synonymous with the 1942 WWII battles fought here between Japanese and Australian forces. Today the only bombs falling from above are likely to be coconuts.

The far-flung Trobriand Islands are proving to be culturally resilient and as exotic a destination as the father of modern anthropology, Bronsilaw Malinowski, first described them to be.