Rabaul - Pearl of the South Pacific
You may like to ‘hang-out’ with the locals on the tropically idyllic Duke of York Islands. Or you may go snorkeling in an underwater heaven of corals that features sunken WW2 ships, warplane wrecks and wild dolphins. Or you can fish for all manner of things satisfying even the least experienced fisher.
Jungle walks and beachcombing are interspersed with the physical remnants of a rich colonial history that is steeped in stories about fascinating colonial era characters including Errol Flynn, the Samoan Queen Emma and Mr Coconut and his community of free loving German nudists. Or simply enjoy the sumptuous local cuisine!
Poised on the shores of the beautiful Simpson Harbour in East New Britain, Rabaul was described in its halcyon days as the “Pearl of the Pacific”. You can ramble around active volcanoes and the lunar-like landscape of old Rabaul Town with its intact historic military sites from both world wars. Rabaul’s Mt Tavurvur volcano erupted violently in 1994 destroying much of the beautiful Rabaul Town as it was covered in ash.
“Fortress Rabaul” became the South Pacific headquarters and staging post for the Japanese Imperial Forces where 100,000 Japanese soldiers were stationed during World War 2. You will visit a section of the 500 km of underground tunnels that were dug and gaze over Simpson Harbour where 54 Japanese ships were sunk.