Duke of York Idyllic Island Experience
Corey's Eco Sea Lodge
Visit the Duke of York Islands the Pearl in your New Guinea Islands holiday Adventure
The New Guinea Islands, located in the Bismark Sea are one of the worlds truely aquatic treasures offering a multitude of adventure based activities to satisfy the intrepid traveller. At this region's centre are the Duke of York Islands that offer a wonderland of cultural expression and historical intrigue set against the most dramatic of natural landscapes. If your timing is right you can observe enthralling performances of music and dance that focus on ancient animist beliefs unique to this part of Papua New Guinea.
Relax on the idyllic Duke of York Islands where the seas abound with wild dolphins, dugongs and stunning scenery. Climb Mount Tavurvur, the active stratovolcano, that steams menacingly above the lunar like landscape of Rabaul Township. Learn about the key roles these islands played during the 2 world wars and the colonial characters that shaped its status as a hub of economic advancement.
Add tours of East New Britain including the town of Rabaul, the stunningly beautiful islands of Bougainville and New Ireland or Kimbe Bay in West New Britain to your itinerary for a complete adventure of the New Guinea Islands.
The Islanders are friendly, fun loving people with big smiles !
Extend your holiday with more days spent on any combination of these New Guinea Island destinations.
Stay at Corey's Eco Sea Lodge and enjoy playing on Pang Pang Island
This morning we travel by boat across the St. Georges Channel to the Duke of York Islands and their picturesque lagoons. This idyllic paradise is made up of a dozen or so islands set among a mesmerizingly, forever changing backdrop of colourful tropical landscapes. The natural beauty is interspersed with scenes of village life as the happy villagers go about living beside the tranquil waters they share with an abundance of marine life. A welcoming host will ensure that your traditional village style accommodation is comfortable, secure and restful as where we are based is a largely uninhabited island.
You will dine on plentiful amounts of delicious and freshly harvested fruit, vegetables and fish. We will visit Kabakon “the garden” Island , Pangpang “sand” Island and enjoy seafood BBQ meals at comfortable accommodation on Corey’s Eco Sea Lodge on the largely uninhabited Ulu Island. The natural beauty is interspersed with the scenes of happy villagers on Karrawara Island who go about living beside the tranquil waters they share with an abundance of marine life.
Be enthralled with the playful dolphins and mysterious dugongs. Relax whilst birdwatching on the many enchanting jungle trails or beachcomb at your leisure. Learn from hands-on agricultural demonstrations of cocoa, coconut and native garden cultivation and harvesting.
Be fascinated by stories from the Tubuan Society of the local Tolai people who have strict laws and taboos. Learn of the Ingiet stone carvings associated with the powerful Ingiet sorcerers and the secret men’s society, outlawed by the German administration in 1905. Early missionaries and travellers to New Britain found it to be the only area in the Pacific region they had come across where the locals had a true money currency of a standard value.
The Europeans were intrigued by the local monetary system and the way in which Tambu was intricately woven into the very texture of social life. It still plays its role in Tolai society today, maintaining its cultural significance, particularly as part of the bride price or gift giving to the father of the would be bride. We will stay overnight enjoying a laid back beach atmosphere and seafood beach BBQ.
Rise and fall of the coconut cult - the "Order of the Sun"
In 1902, the 25-year-old German health reformer, August Engelhardt, who practiced sun worship and a strict coconut diet, retreated from Bavarian university life to Kabakon Island, which he purchased from his mother country with an inheritance. The first few years were idyllic. Engelhardt established a coconut plantation and called his followers to join him in this brave new world. They called themselves Sonnenorden (Order of the Sun), and he wrote letters that ultimately convinced about 15 people to join him at his sun-soaked paradise. and practised sun worship and nudity and lived off coconuts. But it didn’t last. The alien living conditions took their toll and several died. Others turned their back on him. Engelhardt, known by the local islanders as Mr Coconut, was eventually left alone, gripped by malaria and went insane. He died on the island aged 46 in 1919. Come and hear the complete story of this deranged individual and his very unique beliefs. A religion that revolved around worshiping the sun, which he saw as the ultimate giver of life, and coconuts, which he believed to be the tropical transubstantiation of God’s very flesh.
Queen Emma of New Guinea and the South Seas success story
Emma Coe was born in what is now American Samoa to Jonas Myndersse Coe, a US Commercial Representative, and Joana Talelatale, a Samoan belonging to the Malietoa dynasty. Her mother’s bloodline was related to the Moli tribe and Emma was recognized by the Malietoa as a princess. In 1869, she married James Forsayth, a Scottish seaman and they set up a shipping and trading business in American Samoa. Emma was involved in island politics with her father and lost favor with the local people after he was deported in 1876. Around this time, her husband was said to be lost at sea, but there was no confirmation that he was dead.In 1878, she left American Samoa with an Australian lover, James Farrell, who was known as a blackbirder, captain and trader for the Duke of York Islands in between New Britain and New Ireland. There they traded mainly copra with the local population for beads, tobacco, knives and mirrors. At the time, the area was largely unsettled by Europeans due to resistance from the local inhabitants. Emma and Farrell were to assist people who were involved in the Marquis De Rays incident when over 500 people were swindled out of their life’s savings to form a new colony at the South Eastern tip of New Ireland. Four ships sailed from France between Jan 1880 – Aug 1881, the Chandernagore, Genil, India and Neu Bretagne. This practically marooned the colonists whilst the founder reported the progress of the colony in an extremely positive light in his newspaper La Nouvelle France in Paris. Emma and Farrell assisted the marooned colonists in moving to Australia. De Rays was later tried and found guilty of fraud in France. In 1881, Emma became interested in land around the Gazelle Peninsula of New Britain and differed with Farrell who continued trading. Emma bought the land from the local chiefs and with the assistance of her brother-in-law, Richard Parkinson, a Dane, set up a large coconut and cocoa plantations around Kokopo, East New Britain. During this period, she became highly successful and well respected. She was known as a heady woman, who used her charm on others and threw outlandish extravagant parties aided by her nieces. She was the envy of the German colonists who started to move into Kokopo around 1890 and passing trades ships. It was during this period she became affectionately known as the “Queen of New Guinea”. Commercially from 1880–1900 years, her enterprises in Kokopo surpassed most in the region and the Pacific and she was most certainly the commerce queen of New Guinea.In 1893 Emma married Paul Kolbe, a German colonial official and former army captain who was nearly fifteen years her junior. Her commercial empire was still in full swing when she learnt of increasing tensions between Germany and Britain in the colonies and Europe towards the end of 1907. Emma sold off most of her assets in c. 1910 to Heinrich Rudolph Walen of Hamburgische Südsee AG.
We can provide you with a range of interesting experiences to enrich your visit to the New Guinea Islands including a comprehensive cultural immersion in the cultures and history of East New Britain Island and Roaring Rabaul
On our scenic tour of the Gazelle Peninsula You will observe cocoa, copra and palm oil cultivation undertaken in the rich volcanic soil, noting the area’s significant contribution to the national economy. Kokopo, named Herbertshohe in the earliest colonial period, was from 1884 to 1910 the capital of the German New Guinea colonial empire. You will visit the historic German cemetery, the cathedral at Vunapope Catholic mission and the Kokopo Lookout. View the beachside landing site at Kabakaul from where Australian military forces advanced in 1914 to capture the German wireless station at Bita Paka. This battle was Australia’s first major military engagement of the First World War. Bita Paka War Cemetary is now the resting place of over one thousand Australian and Allied soldiers who met their fate during World War 2, when “Fortress Rabaul” became the South Pacific headquarters and staging post for the Japanese Imperial Forces. It was occupied by 100,000 Japanese soldiers.Your tour will include a visit to the Kokopo market, one of the biggest in Papua New Guinea.
You can visit the Agmark cocoa fermentary where the method of processing cocoa for export to the world’s chocolate makers is explained by the fermentary management and the Kokopo Museum which houses an impressive range of war relics along with an informative display of colonial, military and natural history. Enjoy a hearty Asian style lunch at the Ralum Country Club enjoying stunning ocean views over Blanche Bay. The bay is named after HMS Blanche, which surveyed the bay under the command of Captain Cortland Simpson in 1872. Standing on “Emma’s Steps” we hear stories about the achievements and exploits of Queen Emma Coe. The steps are 140 years old, built in 1882 to grace Queen Emma’s famous bungalow Gunantambu. They were climbed by Governors, Ambassadors and Officers representing German Kaiser, American President and kings of England, France and other European nations along with assorted bishops and world-renowned scientists, explorers, anthropologists and adventurers. Gunantambu gatherings were famous throughout the South Seas.
We can arrange a special performance of the spectacular Bainings Fire Dance, performed only by men from the Bainings clans, where they immerse themselves into the flames of the fire and escape completely unharmed. This amazing ritual is not performed anywhere else in the world. One of few cultures in Papua New Guinea who do not use the Kundu drum as their rhythmic percussion instruments, the Bainings clan instead use bamboo, and the sound is just as unique as the fire dance itself.
Climb Mt Tavurvur , the active volcano and see stunning scenery
Enjoy spectacular views on an early morning climb of the active volcano, Mt Tavurvur. While the climb is challenging, it’s not beyond most people’s capability to reach the top. Flynn’s Tours has had an octogenarian comfortably complete the ascent. You can take in further views of Rabaul’s picturesque harbour and its six volcanoes from the Vulcanological Observatory on Tunnel Hill. An informative talk delivered by an onsite vulcanologist will enlighten you of the workings of volcanoes, lava, magma and related geological, geophysical and geochemical phenomena. The Rabaul caldera was created about 1400 years ago with an explosion which erupted 11 cubic kilometres of rock. This massive outpouring of gas, lava, rocks and ash produced the largest volcanic dry fog in recorded history. A mysterious cloud that blocked sunlight for 12 to 18 months over Europe, China and the Middle East in 536 AD is linked to this mighty eruption. You will tour the area of current volcano activity and clamber around Mount Tavurvur. See the hot springs, sulphurous steam points and the megapode egg hunters who burrow metres into the black sand emerging with the prized eggs. Megapodes do not incubate their eggs with their body heat as other birds do, but bury them. Their eggs are unique in having a large yolk, making up 50-70% of the egg weight. The birds here are burrow-nesters which use geothermal heat. Some species vary their incubation strategy, such as building mounds to bury them in, depending on the local environment. We travel around the remains of old Rabaul town (including its airport) which resembles a lunar landscape, following its burial in volcanic ash during the dramatic eruptions of 1994. Prior to the burial of Rabaul town it was revered as “the Pearl of the South Pacific”. East New Britain’s commercial hub has been re-established in a modernised Kokopo over the past 30 years. Rabaul was also badly damaged during an earlier eruption on 6 June 1937, five years before the occupation by Japanese military. We visit Matupit Island whose people and settlement survived the worst of the 1994 volcanic eruption despite their location immediately beneath it. Visit old Rabaul Township and see the resulting destruction caused by the 1994 volcanic explosions. Discover the pre-European settlement history and recent colonial occupations by German, Japanese and Australian administrations at the New Guinea Club and Rabaul Historical Display. Explore the Japanese military command bunker of Admiral Yamamoto where maps of the surrounding area are etched into the bunkers ceiling at head height.
Explore the underground Japanese Hospital tunnels dating from World War Two and the tranquil memorial gardens at the Chinese cemetery where aspects of the historically long association the Chinese have had with East New Britain, along with the many other people and cultures that have shaped this part of New Britain Island will be explained. We climb around the large barges of the Japanese Imperial forces that are still housed in even larger tunnels hewn into the soft volcanic cliff faces on the shores of Blanche Bay and travel the stunningly picturesque coastline between the Rabaul and Kokopo townships.
Extend your holiday with more days spent on any combination of these New Guinea Island destinations.
EAST NEW BRITAIN is populated by a diverse range of tribes including the Tolai, Baining, Sulka and Pomio peoples with varying customs and languages. The volitile Rabaul Caldera has caused much destruction but provided fertile soils for successful cultivation. The area is rich in interesting colonial history, wartime relics and stunning scenery.
BOUGAINVILLE is one of the most naturally beautiful islands in the South Pacific. It's future and desire to become an independent country is one of the most anticipated developments in the region. Soak up the political intrigue along with the jungle fringed beaches and waterfall draped mountains. Unique customs displayed for the curious.
NEW IRELAND is renowned internationally for its unique Malagan carvings and traditional culture. Divers know the area for its variety including numerous wrecks. Surf breaks abound with uncrowded waves. The fish are plentiful and the entire length of the island is easily accessed by a sealed road that runs for it's entire length.
Kimbe Bay in WEST NEW BRITAIN is fringed by a number of active volcanic mountains. Dive magnificent volcanic caves draped in staghorn coral and reef drop-offs from the dive centre at Walindi Plantation Resort. If you’re keen to keep your head above water, the fishing, trekking, and hot springs are excellent diversions in this area, meaning non-divers can also enjoy the superb natural surroundings.