In these eastern provinces, the legendary Kokoda Track zigzags relentlessly through the jungle-clad mountains, throwing down the gauntlet to those who wish to walk in the footsteps of WWII's fallen. Further east, amid the fjords of the rugged coastline, some of the world’s most biologically diverse reefs have divers gasping at their mouthpieces. Coastal villagers welcome visitors with old-fashioned hospitality and can show them the sacred skull caves of their ancestors.
North across the Solomon Sea, the Trobriand Islands are a world apart, where yams rule supreme, 'free love' is occasionally practised, magicians bring rain, and cricket is played aggressively.
Head south and the land dissolves into thousands of islands, islets and atolls, where the truly adventurous can spend weeks island-hopping. This watery world celebrates its seafaring heritage during the Milne Bay Canoe & Kundu Festival, during which island warriors race their splendidly decorated ocean-going canoes.