Introducing Island Provinces
How do you say Romancing the Stone in Tok Pisin? Largely untamed and raw, the islands of PNG are not your classic beach paradise. Here you’ll live out your Indiana Jones fantasies, blazing a trail of your own amid wild jungles. The adventure starts by climbing the volcanoes near Rabaul, looking for WWII relics on the Gazelle Peninsula, staying in villages on New Ireland’s east coast, paddling through lagoons mottled with pristine reefs near Kavieng, exploring the rugged beauty of Bougainville or escaping to an island off Lavongai (New Hanover).
Be ready for a culture shock, too. These islands are home to tiny villages where people lead lives that have changed little over centuries. Nowhere else in the Pacific (except, maybe, in Vanuatu or the Solomon Islands) will the local cultures sweep you off your feet – just be sure to brush up on your Melanesian etiquette before you go. If you plan a visit in July, try to make it coincide with the authentic Warwagira Festival of masked dance.
The islands’ bounty goes beneath the surface, with its unbeatable repertoire of diving adventures. Shipwrecks, fish life in abundance and thriving reefs are the rewards of diving here. Surfies rave about the uncrowded waves off New Ireland (but you didn’t hear it from us).
And then, once you’ve run out of stamina, opt for the trusted combination of a fruit cocktail, a hammock and a good book – you’ve earned it.