At Kokopo Beach Bungalow Resort, we have an amazing selection of tours to help you escape, explore and relax in the beautiful surroundings that East New Britain has to offer.
East New Britain and in particular the Gazelle Peninsula is rich in history, culture, recreational opportunities and environmental diversity. Kokopo and Rabaul towns both have a remarkable history originating from the occupation of three colonial powers; Germany, Australia and Japan.
The culture of East New Britain is diverse and unique. The area is populated by five ethnic groups being the Tolai, Baining, Pomio, Taulil and Sulka people. The customs and traditions of these groups are still prevalent in today's society such as the ‘paying of bride price ceremonies’ and ‘breaking of TABU (shell money)’.
East New Britain abounds with outdoor recreational opportunities. From fantastic fishing, snorkeling and diving to trekking, mountain climbing and caving, there is literally a limitless range of activities to keep you occupied. Where else in the world could you get up close and personal with an active volcano? Rabaul is literally built on the crest of a dormant volcano with one of the deepest harbors in the world.
Dolphin Experience Tour
Start off your day with the wonderful, playful and delightful pods of wild dolphins to make you smile. Our early morning cruise to their natural habitat lets you get up close and watch the dolphins frolic and teach their young to coral the fish while we watch the juvenile dolphins show off their spinning skills.
If time permits and weather conditions are good, you can swim alongside the boat and get more immersed in the dolphin life, hearing them underwater and getting up closer to them.
Time: 6:30am - 07:45am
Full Day Gazelle Peninsula Tour
Discover the history of East New Britain with our full day Gazelle Peninsula Tour. You will visit the Kokopo Museum which hosts an extensive range of war relics and reminders of the Japanese and German occupation of East New Britain. See Queen Emma's steps and continue on to visit the various Japanese Barge tunnels. Then go up close as possible to the volcanoes and hot springs, see Admiral Yamamoto's bunker and the New Guinea Club and visit the Volcano Observatory.
Time: 9am - 4pm
Take part in our Village tour where you will be welcomed into a village of our locals here in East New Britain. This tour will enlighten you on the various traditions and cultural practices of the people of East New Britain. See how they rely on and tend to their abundant natural resources by taking a walk through their gardens, followed by experiencing a taste of their traditional kaikai (food).
Papua New Guinea is known for maintaining its rich culture, sit down and speak with the locals in the village to learn about their customs from shell money and ceremonies to weaving mats from coconut leaves.
Volcano Harbour Cruise
Our harbour cruise takes you up close to both volcanoes (Mt Vulcan - dormant and Mt Tavurvur - active). Cruise into the famous Simpsons Harbour, see the 'Beehives' (two remarkable rocks in the middle of the harbour), cruise around Matupit Island to the hot springs, with the highlight of the trip getting off at the base of Mt Tavurvur to see the men from Matupit 'mine' the Megapod eggs. It is an experience to see these men mine the eggs by literally digging holes of 1-2m deep in the ash in an attempt to find the eggs. Continue on to Pigeon Island to do some snorkeling.
If you are lucky on the way you will see pods of wild dolphins that frequent the Blanche Bay. We can arrange a picnic for you on the island or you can return to the Resort for lunch.
Time: 09:30am - 03:30pm
Duke of York Day Trip
The Duke of York Island is an unspoiled group of islands located to the east of the Resort. By boat it is approximately 40 minutes to the islands. Enjoy a scenic drive to Mioko Palpal with a stunning lagoon bay welcoming you when you reach shore. Explore the island and chat with the local community to learn more about their lifestyle.
Take a break and swim or snorkel in crystal clear aqua waters or have a picnic on white sandy beaches, the tropical island way.
Time: 09:30am - 03:30pm
Take an exciting tour of Kokopo with your first stop at the Kokopo War Museum which features relics such as airplane parts, tanks and canons from the Second World War You will also see numerous artifacts such as the A6M2 Zero fighter and a number of Japanese artillery pieces.
From here we take a scenic drive through to Bitapaka War Cemetery. Established in 1945, the war cemetery is the place of rest for the respected Australian and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in WWII. This site is immensely respected and maintained, with immaculate gardens and towering trees.
We leave here, with stopping at the Vunapope Catholic Church, the Vunapope Catholic Church was originally built by the Catholic missionaries. With a very unique structure, which was influenced by the shape of a clam shell. Inside are numerous colourful church windows and art pieces, representing the faith of the locals.
Moving on to our next stop, is the German Cemetery. The German Cemetery pays homage to the many Germans who found their way to Rabaul. This site holds graves, tombstones and information for the Germans who were buried at this site.
After visiting the German Cemetery, we make our final stop at the famous Kokopo Market before retreating back to the resort. Walk around the vibrant Kokopo market filled with the friendliest locals selling their variety of home-grown fruits and vegetables, as well as hand-made traditional meri blouses, baskets, woven mats and shell jewellery. Great for gifting to your family and friends.
Time: 09:30am - 12:30pm
Snorkeling at Pigeon Island
We have some of the best snorkeling in the world. Our half day trip to Pigeon Island which is a nature reserve is a wonderful way to spend the day and see a multitude of marine life. We can organize a picnic for you or you can take your own. Whether you want to splash, snorkel or drift away-you will enjoy having the island to yourself.
Volcano Climb - Mt Kombiu
Rabaul is surrounded by 6 volcanoes . Mt Kombui or 'the mother' as she is known provides the greatest challenge to climb. Mt Kombui is about 700 meters high and is the highest mountain in East New Britain. The hike starts early through the coconut plantations and is a steady slope of track with some steeper areas. From the summit the panoramic view takes in the Duke of York Islands, the ghost town of Rabaul and the mouth of the active volcano Mt Tavurvur. Climb down the mountain along the same path which can be just as challenging. We recommend a moderate to high level of fitness.
Time: 05:00am - 03:00pm
Volcano Climb - Mt Tavurvur
Easy 40 minutes hike up Mount Tavurvur is a perfect way to start your morning. Hiking up the mountain doesn't take more than 40 minutes. The view from the top is breathtaking with the sight of Rabaul and all its bay. Mt Tavurvur is not actually a volcano but rather a cone formed by the vents of the Rabaul Volcano. Rabaul volcano is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire which accounts for two-thirds of the earths 1300 visible volcanoes. Rabaul harbour and town is made up of a complex of various volcanoes, some of which are thousands of years old. The 8 x 14km Rabaul caldera was formed some 1600 years ago with a tremendous explosion that created the Gazelle Peninsula. When the sea broke through the crater wall it created one of the world's deepest and most sheltered harbours that played a significant role in WWII.
The most recent volcanic eruption was in late 2014
Time: 05:00am - 10:00am
Firefly Watching Tour
Depart by 5pm from the resort with an afternoon scenic drive through the villages all the way up the mountain to the Bainings village. Along the way, and when time permits you can stop to take some amazing photos of the luxurious view of the forest before proceeding to the main village where you will observe fireflies.
Fireflies are seasonal and because of that, we cannot guarantee sightings.
Time:0:500pm - 09:00pm
Baining Fire Dance
The Baining Firedance is a unique cultural event which is indigenous to East New Britain. The customary dance is only performed by men and involves representations of 'spirits' who dance in a huge bonfire to the haunting sounds of a bamboo chant. The dance is only organized for groups of 10 people or more and is performed in the village after approval from the village leader.
We offer a variety of tours which can be tailored to suit your interests. Kokopo Beach Bungalow Resort has been in the business of tours for many years, trading as Taklam Tours and has a sound reputation for delivering a quality product. We place high priority on safety and will assess all conditions before undertaking an activity. Our tours include a tour guide and driver.