Bougainville

Bougainville is about 1000km from Port Moresby which is the capital city of Papua New Guinea. There are three flights a week leaving Port Moresby that travel to Bougainville via rabaul. The plane lands on Buka Island which is the first port of call when entering the now Autonomuos Region of Bougainville.

Accommodation in Buka is wide, and varies in price and quality. Other accommodation exists around Bougainville but is at a basic level.

Travelling around the region is either on PMV (public motor vehicle) or by boat to the more remote places. To travel to Arawa by PMV is around K60.00, from Arawa to Buin is another K50-60.

Arawa was once a bustling mining town that boasted the largest open cast copper mine in the world, at the time of its operation.

Bougainville has endured a civil war (‘the Crisis’) that lasted 10 years, but with a successful peace agreement a new future is unfolding for the region. This makes it an exciting place to travel, very much aimed at the adventurous traveller.

Bougainvile was significant in the Second World War and many relics from the Japanese and American forces can be found around the region. Torokina on the West Coast of mainland Bougainville was a stronghold for the Americans and Australians, while Buin was fortified by the Japanese. There are many Internet sites relating to the history of WWII in Bougainville.

Bougainville is also blessed with amazing natural beauty. Around 160 islands surround Bougainville that make excellent picnic spots or a place to camp out. The reefs are teeming with fish of all sorts and make for excellent fishing and snorkeling.

There are no dive charters avialable as yet but Bougainville will prove to be as good as any other in PNG. Papua New Guinea has been voted the best diving in the world.

Bougainville is also very active with volacnoes. Its highest point being Mt Balbi at 2714m is accessable and you can veiw at close range the smoke, steam and sulphur vents, on an early morning the veiw from the top is spectacular. This is a demanding trip of about three days.

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