You will notice from the moment you set foot here -- this places looks different, sounds different, smells different, feels different.
That's because it is different!
It is "tropical island" at its glorious best with swaying palms, grumbling volcanoes, spectacular scenery, profligate fauna and flora, wondrous reefs, dark war history, wrecks, and the millennia old cultures of the Tolai and Bainings peoples.
The place is exotic. There is no other word for it.
We are Tolais steeped in the history and culture of this land
In the 1950s during the Australian colonial era, James Michener, US author of Tales of the South Pacific, Return to the Islands and Hawaii, called Rabaul located in its giant breached caldera the most beautiful town in the South Pacific. The 1994 eruptions of Tarvurvur and Vulcan volcanoes ended that. Rabaul remains the port but Kokopo, 40 kms(26 miles) away is now the region's capital, as it was for many years when the Germans ruled the islands pre-World War I, and Queen Emma, the American Samoan princess, ran a South Pacific trading empire from a great house on the Kokopo bluff.
My name is Ellis Waragat. I am a Tolai (pron: Toll-eye), the people of Rabaul and Kokopo, and I am the owner and operator of Kokopo Tours.
At Kokopo Tours, we are all Tolais. Born in this land, we grew up here steeped in the traditions of our people and the gamut of more modern influences that combine to give the New Guinea Islands its enviable life style. And, of course, we know the geography and vulcanology which help make this such an interesting place to live in and for tourists to visit.
It is our privilege to introduce you to our place, our history, and our way of life.
Rates for tours vary according to the number of passengers in a group. A typical half day scheduled tour is K239 (USD109) each with up to 10 in our high roof minibus, but rises to K1912 (USD872) for an exclusive single person or small group tour. (As a rule of thumb, our currency, the Kina is valued at about 40¢ US but this varies with movements in the money market, of course.)