TOUR OF RABAUL BETWEEN HISTORY AND NATURE
Sightseen, Less than 1 hour walking, 50
In a nutshell A magnificent tour of Rabaul and its surroundings to discover its history and that of the island that was the stage of fierce battles during the Pacific War between the Japanese and the allied forces with visits to the underground tunnels dug against air raids, the Kokopo museum and the Bita Paka war cemetery. But Papua New Guinea is also a land of volcanoes and this fantastic excursion takes us to discover the imposing active volcanoes of Tavurvur and Vulcan. An experience not to be missed!
Good to know
- Japanese underground tunnels against air raids
- British floating crane wreckage
- Bita Paka war museum and cemetery
- Kokopo War Museum
- Lunch at the Chinese Ralum restaurant with Asian menu
- Tropicana shopping mall
- Rabaul caldera and visit to the volcanological observatory
- Magnificent view over the Tavurvur volcano
- We start our tour of Rabaul on a coach headed to the first of a series of stops to learn more about the history of this city, which was the stage of various battles during the Second World War: the Japanese underground tunnels that extend for many kilometres were dug by the army during the Second World War against the Allied air raids and to hide boats and submarines from the enemies.
- We continue our excursion driving by the British floating crane wreckage captured by the Japanese in Singapore also during the Second World War and dragged to Rabaul in 9 days only to be destroyed two days later by the Allied air forces.
- We then reach the war museum and Bita Parka war cemetery home to the remains of over 1,000 soldiers and natives who died during the Pacific War when the strategic base of Rabaul was heavily targeted by air raids in 1942.
- Another important stop on the tour is the fascinating Kokopo War Museum displaying a wealthy collection of weapons, tanks, Japanese artillery equipment and parts of aircrafts shot down during the Second World War.
- It is time for lunch and we head to the Ralum Chinese restaurant where a rich menu of Asian dishes awaits us including fish tempura and rice with dried chicken and vegetables.
- After lunch, we have around half an hour available for some shopping at the Tropicana shopping mall in Kokopo where we can buy a few souvenirs.
- We then continue our tour to discover the natural environment and landscape that characterise the area and the island in general, and visit the Rabaul caldera, a wide depression formed by the sinking of a volcano after two catastrophic eruptions occurred in 1500 BC and 600 AD. It is now partly covered by the waters of Blanche Bay, but there are still two active volcanoes in the dry part - Tavurvur and Vulcan.
- We visit the Volcanological Observatory at the top of the hill overlooking Rabaul port and offering spectacular views over the bay, volcanoes and ocean. The Observatory was built in 1937 after the first eruption of the Vulcan which killed 500 people and monitors the volcanic and seismic activities of 14 active and 23 dormant volcanoes all over Papua New Guinea.
- From the Observatory, we enjoy magnificent views also on the Tavurvur volcano, which keeps erupting. The most recent yet weaker occurred on 29th August 2014 while a stronger one occurred on 19th September 1994.
- After visiting the Observatory, we board our coach again to return to the port and the ship.
Good to know
- During the tour, information are provided in English.