What To Do
Perhaps the most fascinating region of Papua New Guinea, the five provinces of the Islands Region in the country’s North East offer a raft of sea and land experiences for you to undertake, from snorkelling and swimming to climbing and fishing.
The East New Britain province provides a great base and countless activities for any traveller. In Simpson Harbour there are World War II boat and plane wrecks, good walls and more to explore through diving and snorkelling. At Tavui Point there is an old Submarine Base where Japanese subs pulled right up to the edge of the reef. This area offers superb snorkelling on the flat coral beds along the edge of a 75 metre drop off. You can tour the surrounding islands by canoe, go sport fishing for blue or black marlin, sail fish and dog tooth tuna in the abundant waters, or even just relax and go swimming at the tropical blue beaches near Kokopo.
There are lots of great treks to take around the region. In West New Britain you can explore the Kandrian area, trekking along the coast through the beautiful landscape to Eseli, staying at guesthouses along the way. The rugged and picturesque interior of Manus Island is perfect for hiking too, and whilst there are no trails, you can traverse the island along traditional walking routes with local assistance. Back in East New Britain you can even climb a volcano if you dare. All volcanoes except Tavurvur can be climbed, some of which are still active.
If you’d rather explore the culture and history of the region, there are numerous World War II sites that give an insight into the more recent history of Papua New Guinea. Manus Province was the site of a huge allied naval base during the war and now rusting war vehicles, old wharves, old airstrips, bomb shelters, pontoons, bullets, guns, helmets and boats lie scattered around various parts of Manus, waiting to be discovered. New Ireland Province provides an insight into older cultural elements of the region, with the Luka Barok Festival, held in late June or early July, celebrating old rituals through feasts and shark calling, a traditional art where certain men have the ability to call up sharks from the deep where they are then speared and netted.
The Islands Region of Papua New Guinea provides countless activities for you to undertake, and with a rich history to investigate and beautiful landscape to explore, its without doubt that the more you look to do, the more you’ll find.