Rabaul town - a full day of volcanoes, war history, and Tolai life

Washing day at Karavia, between Kokopo and Rabaul, sees women hanging out their laundry to dry in the midst of one of the world’s outstanding scenes.

The people who live here love the view -- but they still have to dry their laundry! You will see views like this of Rabaul harbor and volcanoes at Karavia village on the way from Kokopo to Rabaul.

Pick up from your hotel at 8:00AM, return about 4:00PM. From K478 (USD219)

The full day tour (K478/USD219 scheduled, K3346/USD1533 exclusive) covers a lot of ground but we think by the end of the day you will agree that it has been worth it.

The day begins with the trip to Rabaul for the breathtaking view of the town, the volcanoes, and the harbor looking east from the Rabaul Vulcanological Observatory on Tunnel Hill - named for the many tunnels dug in the soft volcanic rock by the Japanese during World War II.

Morning

The World War II Japanese barge tunnel at Karavia is not to be missed. Allied bombing of ‘Fortress Rabaul’ and its harbor was intense; the Japanese survived and kept their equipment intact by digging tunnels into the caldera walls.

You will have seen the old British floating crane, the Japanese barge tunnel (right), and the Chinese cemetery on the way to Rabaul, so after the view from the Observatory, we go straight to the foot of Mount Tavurvur to see the hot springs, sulphurous steam points, megapod eggs twice as big as hen eggs but laid by hen size birds (the eggs are boiled for eating in the hot springs), then across the old Rabaul airport to the WWII Japanese war plane wrecks. We will also look at the resettlement and reconstruction of Matupit Island -- still struggling 20 years after the last major eruption.

Afternoon

Tourists are greeted as friends in the Rabaul market, and can safely wander.

We break for a very tasty lunch at the Rabaul Hotel (included) then it is up Namanula Hill to the site of old German Residency and the Japanese Peace Memorial. Back in the town, we visit Admiral Yamamoto's command bunker and the town market, then we drive up to the Malmaluan lookout for a different perspective on the town, check out the Vunakanau wartime airstrip, and finally we go to the Toma lookout for the vista across the Kerevat River valley to the Bainings Mountains before returning to your hotel.

Rabaul then and now

For a personal perspective on Rabaul, see what one "b-4" (old resident) felt and thought when he returned to the Rabaul you will see today. Pictures for your own perspective.

For your comfort, we recommend…

We recommend loose clothing, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, comfortable shoes or sandals preferably flat, camera, water. And maybe a shoulder bag for anything you might buy (for two or three kina, you can get a rough bag sewn from a rice bag at the market).

Call now to book

Call now to book: +675 7270 9261 or email using the form at right.

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