Head to the north east of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and you will find the Islands region, which is made up of five provinces – East New Britain, West New Britain, New Ireland, Manus and Bougainville. Rich in culture and with a host of both water and land adventures; the region offers something for everyone.
East New Britain is PNG’s most developed province, featuring two main towns, Rabaul and Kokopo. Following the devastating effects of the 1994 volcanic eruption of Mt Tavurur on Rabaul, Kokopo is now the region’s capital and hub. From mainland PNG, Kokopo is a great place to ease into before exploring the other less developed islands. If you head to Kokopo on a Saturday, be sure to take a stroll through the towns buzzing market or head to Blanche Bay waterfront and immerse yourself in the atmosphere as boats pull up on the beach to go fishing. Despite Rabaul being covered in ash, thanks to its deep waters, it remains a major port and important business hub. It also has an eerie yet alluring vibe to it and is worth spending a day or two there. Avid divers will find wreck diving in Rabaul to be amazing and it is definitely worth organising a trip to visit the active volcanoes, Tavurur and Vulcan.