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Pacific Papua New Guinea The Islands The Islands

Papua New Guinea, Pacific

The Islands of Papua New Guinea are divided into four groups. East and West New Britain, the largest of PNG’s outer islands, h...

string(3700) " The Islands of Papua New Guinea are divided into four groups. East and West New Britain, the largest of PNG’s outer islands, has two main centres: Rabaul in the east and Kimbe in the west. Rabaul is the site of some of PNG’s most active volcanoes, Tavurvur and Vulcan. The last big eruption in 1994 completely covered the peaceful town and harbour in ash and forced the residents who remained to move the town to nearby Kokopo. The town has recovered and visitors are assured of a range of quality accommodations and services. Diving is still a big attraction here, even though the eruption hit many dive sites in the harbour quite hard. Ironically, the source of the town’s demise has now become one of its biggest attractions. Trips to the volcanic observatory and helicopter tours of the crater are not to be missed. There are a number of hotels operational in Rabaul Township and at Kokopo, a number of lodges, guesthouses and hotels are now open and provide excellent accommodation. A highlight of a visit to Rabaul is a visit to Palmalmal in the Pomio District, the Duke of York Islands and the Bainings. Like its neighbour in the east, West New Britain is surrounded by a turquoise sea, dotted with reef-fringed atolls and adorned with magnificent rainforests, which plunge into white sandy beaches. The fertile volcanic soil in this region is suitable for growing just about anything and lush plantations stretch from the mountains to the sea. The major attraction here is the diving in Kimbe Bay, accessible from land or via live-aboards. A chain of dormant volcanoes shields the bay from open ocean conditions, creating a pocket of calm on the north coast of the island. The landscape of extinct volcanoes creates a dramatic backdrop and steaming thermal springs, waterfalls, boiling volcanic pools and mud holes can be found within. New Ireland is an island paradise of sandy white beaches, towering mountains and clear springs and rivers that run the entire length of the island. A road made from crushed coral links north to south, but travel is easier by sea. The Malangan culture in the northern and central part of the island is unique within the Pacific and its people are particularly well known for their sorcery and shark calling. Diving in this region is fantastic and there are several resorts offering accommodation and diving services. The abundance of local seafood translates into gourmet feasts for visitors featuring coconut crabs, crayfish and a variety of reef fish. There are a number of hotels and guesthouses in Kavieng and small guest lodges are located on the islands in the harbour. Manus Island is a distant island group to the northwest of the mainland which can be reached by air or by coastal cargo ship and there are two main hotel lodges in Lorengau. Manus Island has vast tracts of forests in the central range and a magical coastline. The dancing by the locals is erotic and majestic, depicting a life of openness and joy. This island group is hailed as having exceptional diving and is occasionally visited by some of PNG’s live-aboards. The North Solomons as a province includes Buka and Bouganville Island, as well as hundreds of smaller islets, cays and atolls. Boating enthusiasts find this a marine wonderland with untouched reefs to explore with an everlasting supply of reef fish and shellfish. Buka Island is accessible by boat and plane from Rabaul and has a variety of accommodation varying in price and quality. Walking through village tracks and plantation roads is the best way to discover the magnificent flora and fauna. Whilst there are few hotels on mainland Bougainville, there are numerous guesthouses in Buka. "
Kosrae Strand Kosrae

Micronesia, Pacific

The State of Kosrae is one of four states in the Federated States of Micronesia and, as well as the island of Kosrae, consists of ...

string(2972) "The State of Kosrae is one of four states in the Federated States of Micronesia and, as well as the island of Kosrae, consists of several islands and islets, the most significant being Lelu Island. Roughly triangular in shape, Kosrae covers an area of approximately 110 square kilometres. The most eastern of the Caroline Islands, Kosrae has a population of approximately 7000 people and is located north of the equator between Guam and the islands of Hawaii. The coral reefs that surround the island are kept in a pristine condition through an extensive mooring buoy system and the area is becoming a favourite destination for scuba divers from all around the world. The island’s interior is covered with deep vegetation and steep mountains that keep it largely undeveloped. European contact with Kosrae in 1824 reported a highly stratified society that was typical of the surrounding islands at that time. Its cultural features included matrilineal lineage and clans with a feudal structure of nobles who controlled the land that was worked by commoners. The settlements consisted of small groups of relatives who shared a single cookhouse, usually with at least one earth oven. The first missionary post was established in 1852 after American missionaries felt the need to protect the people of Kosrae from the large numbers of whalers and beachcombers who had made the island, which they considered a paradise, their home. Even today religion plays an integral role in the culture of Kosrae. Sunday is considered a day of rest and most stores and shops are closed on that day. In 1874, the pirate Bully Hayes was shipwrecked on Kosrae when his ship, the Leonara, was stuck in Lelu harbour during a storm. During his stay of several months on the island, Nully terrorised the local people. He was finally arrested by Captain Dupuis aboard the HMS Rosario but managed to escape on a boat built of timber from the wrecked Leonara. Traditional foods on the island include breadfruit, coconut, banana, taro, yam and sugarcane. Woodcarving, traditional canoe and cottage construction, fishing, farming and fine weaving using hibiscus, pandanus and coconut palms continue to be an integral way of life on the island. The weather in Kosrae is warm and humid throughout the year with an average temperature of 25℃ and rarely exceeding 32℃. It has two distinct seasons, dry and rainy and during the rainy season, November to April, be prepared for showers everyday. Casual and summer clothing is worn throughout the year although swimsuits and shorts are not acceptable in the villages. Be respectful—cover your shoulders and knees, and don’t forget a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Kosrae is a wonderful gem, yet to be discovered by most modern travellers. A visit guarantees the experience of a lifetime—from the unhurried, friendly lifestyle and warm, island hospitality that are as unforgettable as the magical Micronesian sunsets. "
Savai’I

Samoa, Pacific

Scenic Savai’i is Samoa’s largest island at 80 kilometres long and 40 kilometres wide. Less populated, it is renowned for its ...

string(2204) "Scenic Savai’i is Samoa’s largest island at 80 kilometres long and 40 kilometres wide. Less populated, it is renowned for its slower pace, natural beauty, and lava fields. Its size and lack of population make Savai’i the ideal place to get away from it all, immerse yourself in true Polynesian culture and explore incredible landscapes. Savai’i is accessible by ferry from Upolu. The island’s main town and arrival point for ferries from Upolu is Salelologa in the southeast, accessible by the main road that encircles the island. Savai’i has plenty of pristine beaches, caves, blowholes, great snorkelling, kayaking and diving. Near Salelologa, in the southeast, the Afu Aau Falls plunge down a rock face to a deep freshwater pool. Stroll across the dramatic Saleaula lava fields where molten lava from the Mt Matavanu eruption buried five villages over a century ago. In the interior, Mount Silisili is Samoa’s highest peak. In the west, the Falealupo Rainforest Preserve features the Canopy Walkway. Cape Mulinuu is Samoa’s westernmost point, according to legend, this is also the place where the dead pass into the underworld. There are several archeological sites of interest in this area including Devil’s Haden, Vaatausili’s Cave, Paepae o Apaula, Vai Sua Toto (Blood Well), Lualotooalii Pool, Spirits Meeting Ground, and Fusipotopoto Pool. Aganoa Beach, on the southeast coast, is renowned for surfing. A wide range of accommodation options are available in Savai’i along with some of the best local food experiences in Samoa. Getting around is easy. Rental cars are available or can be brought over from Upolu by ferry. All visiting drivers in Samoa must have a temporary drivers’ licence. Riding one of Samoa’s brightly coloured buses is a must-do local experience. In Salelologa, buses depart from the wharf or market. There are no bus stops, simply wait on the side of the road and wave your bus down. Bicycles are another popular way for visitors get around Savai’i, and you can hire a bike or join a guided bike tour of the island. Taxis are reasonably priced but don’t have meters so its it’s best to agree on a price at the start. "
cook islands aitutaki the vaka lagoon cruise Aitutaki

Cook Islands, Pacific

Aitutaki, the second most visited island in the Cook Islands group, is geologically part volcanic and part atoll. Just 220 kilo...

string(2700) " Aitutaki, the second most visited island in the Cook Islands group, is geologically part volcanic and part atoll. Just 220 kilometers north and an easy 45 minute flight from Rarotonga, its lagoon is considered one of the most magnificient in the world. Local legend claims that its highest hill, Maungapu, is said to be the top of Rarotonga’s Raemaru mountain that was chopped off and brought back by victorious Aitutaki warriors. Polynesian myth holds that beautiful Aitutaki is a giant fish tethered to the seabed by a vine from the air. The light turquoise lagoon looks like a huge pale oyster against the vivid blue ocean. Captain Bligh discovered Aitutaki in 1789, only 17 days before the notorious mutiny on the Bounty. Christian missionaries followed which meant it was the first island in the Cook Islands to receive Christianity. Today the people live in villages along the coastline and island interior. Most roads are tar sealed and transport is mainly by motor scooter, although bicycles and cars are also used to get people around. The low rolling hills of the island are flanked by banana plantations and coconut groves. A triangular barrier reef seems to catch the exquisite turquoise Aitutaki lagoon like a giant fishhook. The crystal clear water in the lagoon is ideal for sailing, swimming, snorkeling, kitesurfing, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and scuba diving and beneath the blue surface is a world of sea creatures that will leave you fascinated. There’s also the elusive fighting bonefish which is favoured by anglers. To reach the summit of Maungapu, take a leisurely half-hour walk to the west side of the island. At its peak you’ll discover a breathtaking view of Aitutaki. The shopping and business district is between Amuri and Ureia and also clustered near the wharf at Arutanga. Aitutaki offers a range of accommodation for any budget and there are a few restaurants and cafés on the island for your dining pleasure. Live entertainment can be found at hotels or local watering holes. Be sure to book a full-day lagoon cruise. There will be plenty of snorkelling opportunities and you can even hand feed schools of tropical fish and see giant clams up close. Some operators offer snorkelling gear and towels and serve a barbecue lunch when you arrive on an island. A cultural day tour is an opportunity to discover, and interact with a culture that was hidden for 200 years as a result of the inf luence of the new culture that was adopted in 1821. Punarei Culture Village offers visitors the experience of engaging in some cultural practices such as making umukai, sharing stories of the ancient past and visiting sacred and scenic sites. "
Micronesia Yap Holiday Hotels Yap

Micronesia, Pacific

Part of the Federated States of Micronesia, Yap is situated in the Western Caroline Islands, between Guam and Palau. It is made...

string(3199) "Part of the Federated States of Micronesia, Yap is situated in the Western Caroline Islands, between Guam and Palau. It is made up of four main islands, Yap South, Gagil-Tomil, Maap and Rumung. The landscape consists of rolling hills with lowlands covered in thick jungle-like vegetation. Most of the coastal areas are mangrove with occasional coral beaches. Like other FSM islands, there is a coral reef, so snorkelling is popular as is diving in the clear lagoon with the giant manta rays which appear throughout the year. The town of Colonia on Yap Main Island is the capital and is more urbanised than the village areas. Yap also has about 130 outer islands stretching nearly 1000 kilometres east of Yap Main Island. Most of the outer islands are coral atolls and are sparsely populated by a people that differ from those from the Yap Main Island both in culture and language. Four indigenous languages are spoken. These are Yapese Main Islander, Ulithian, Woleaian and Satawalese. English is the official language spoken every day, though some local government organisations still conduct business in their own vernacular. Because of its position, Yap was minimally affected when the Spanish colonised Micronesia in the 1500s, and again during German occupation from the end of the 1800s to the beginning of the First World War. The same thing occurred during the Japanese occupation, so by Micronesian standards, Yap remains relatively unaffected by modern society and influence. Most of the lands outside of Colonia downtown are privately owned properties so visitors are asked not to litter or to take any pictures of people without securing their permissions first. The stone money of Yap (largest in the world), though not legal tender in the international currency marketplace, is still used as legal tender on the island. The value of these limestone, disk shaped coins varies, though not according to size but to the stories behind them. Today, the money is still owned but not moved, even though ownership may change. Visitors can still see some of the traditional houses in the villages. The villages of Yap Main Island still retain the foundations of meeting houses and platforms used by the elder male residents to discuss community matters. Only a limited number of tourists visit Yap each year, and the locals, who are naturally warm and friendly, are more responsive to those who respect their culture and customs. All land and beaches on Yap Main Island and the outer islands are privately owned by the traditional leaders and chiefs. If you want to get off the beaten track, request to explore further by asking permission from the village/island elders. You may also have to pay a small fee for the privilege. Yap remains a distinctive destination because of the way the people value their culture, custom and history. The traditional dress is brightly coloured loin cloths for men and colourful grass or woven hibiscus skirts for women. The official currency is the US dollar and credit cards are not widely accepted. Therefore traveller’s cheques and cash are recommended for hotels, restaurants, shopping, diving and all other purchases. "
Micronesia Marshall Islands Diving & Snorkelling Marshall Islands

Micronesia, Pacific

Marshall Islands, also known as Majol is an island nation in the Central Pacific Ocean. There are more than 1200 islands and islet...

string(2834) "Marshall Islands, also known as Majol is an island nation in the Central Pacific Ocean. There are more than 1200 islands and islets in two parallel chains of coral atolls. Marshall Islands were settled around the beginning of the Christian era, some 2000 years ago by Micronesians. The islands were later sighted by a Spanish navigator in 1529. British naval captains explored the Marshall Islands in 1788 and did some mapping. More mapping was done by Russians in the early 1800s. U.S. and Hawaiian missionaries began efforts to convert the islanders in the mid 1800s, and even Germany had inf luence in the islands in the late 1880s. Japan seized the islands in 1914, and remained until the United States liberated the Marshalls during WWII. From 1947 to 1986, the islands remained under the jurisdiction of the United States. Then it became the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and remains friends of the USA with a Compact of Free Association. From 1948 to 1958, the US conducted nuclear tests on Bikini and Enewetak Atolls. The USA continues to be the protector of The Marshalls, and maintains a missile range and base on the island of Kwajalein. To get to the Marshall Islands, there are two major airlines f lying in daily, United Airlines and Nauru Airlines. Air Marshalls f ly routes between the Atolls in small commuter propeller planes. The only two islands that have an international airport are Majuro and Kwajalein. Boats are used to traverse between the atolls also. Government owned ships make scheduled trips between the islands, and other commercial cargo lines service the islands. Majuro has a commercial dock complex, and many of the outer islands have lagoons that ships can anchor in. Marshall Islands offers tremendous outdoor activities that are exciting, adventurous, and historic. The beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world and are surrounded by crystal clear water for swimming, snorkelling, and wildlife viewing. The water remains warm all year long. There are many historic sites from WWII scattered among the outer islands and day trips and longer excursions can be made to these sites from the capital city of Majuro. Other adventurous activities include joining in on year round cultural events and engaging with friendly locals. Visitors also enjoy shopping for local handicrafts with an array of beautiful baskets, jewelry and decorations. The islanders are known for their weaving using pandanus leaves, coconut fonds and shells. Throughout the Marshall Islands there are many choices for hotel or bed and breakfast accommodation. On Majuro you will discover a range or hotels with a variety of services and rooms. There are also many exciting opportunities to experience the outer islands and distant atolls and to meet the people of the Marshall Islands. "

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