The Conflict Islands, Papua New Guinea & Cruising

The Conflict Islands, Papua New Guinea

When travelling by cruise line there are a few different scenarios when disembarking at port.  The easiest for the passenger is when the ship is docked at the wharf and you can just walk off the ship.  Another scenario is when the ship cannot dock at the wharf because the water is not deep enough or for any other number of reasons cannot pull up to a wharf.  This means that the passengers have to be transported to the shore by tender.  A ship’s tender is a boat used to transport people or supplies to and from the shore.  Smaller boats like yachts usually have tenders that are dinghies.  In the case of the Pacific Eden it was the lifeboats that were used to transport the passengers ashore.

Arriving by Tender from the Pacific Eden
Arriving by Tender from the Pacific Eden

The trip from ship to Kiriwina Island was no problem at all but when we got to the Conflict Islands the wind was so strong and water so choppy that it would have been dangerous to transport us to shore.  Therefore we spent around four hours being able to see the shore but no one was able to make it onto the island. Continue reading “The Conflict Islands, Papua New Guinea & Cruising”

The Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea

Kitava Island

The first of the Trobriand Islands the Pacific Eden visited was Kitava Island. It is one of the four major islands of the Trobriand group and one of the most untouched islands.

Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea
Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea

The four major islands are Kitava, Kiriwina, Kaileuna and Vakuta. Kitava Island has one of the most intact island cultures in the world. Located in the Milne Bay province in the eastern part of Papua New Guinea Kitava is a unspoilt small island that welcomes visitors to explore its villages.

Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea
Nuratu Island, Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea

Life is as it was thousands of years ago with very little influence from the outside world. The residents of this island and their diet have been studied by Staffan Lindeberg, a Swedish medical academic, and colleagues because of their excellent health and traditional diet and several papers have been published on the subject.  Kitavans are acne free and this is thought to be due to their diet consisting of fresh, natural foods such as tubers, fruit, fish and coconut. The consumption of tea, coffee, alcohol and dairy products is virtually nil.   Continue reading “The Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea”

Alotau, Papua New Guinea

The three amigos head off from Cairns’ Trinity Wharf
We were greeted by some traditional Papuan dancers

I travelled to Papua New Guinea in September 2016 with two very good friends Dianne and Mark aboard the ship Pacific Eden. It is quite difficult to move between the islands of the Louisiade Archipelago of Papua New Guinea by public transport and so when we found out about a deal for $389 for 7 days to PNG we jumped at the chance. New Guinea and Australia were once one piece of land so it was significant for us as Australians to visit.  None of us had been to New Guinea before so we were rather excited about the trip.

Alotau Market, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea

Continue reading “Alotau, Papua New Guinea”

Flashpacking in Fiji

A Hibiscus flower - one of the many beautiful flowers found in Fiji
A Hibiscus flower – one of the many beautiful flowers found in Fiji

There are many large hotels and resorts to stay at in Fiji but when your budget is a little thin try flashpacking!

I was lucky enough to stay for five nights in a Beach front Bure at Mango Bay Resort just out of Sigatoka on the island of Viti Levu, Fiji. The region is called the Coral Coast and it’s one of Viti Levu’s main tourism areas.  The Shangri-La and the Warwick resorts were just up the road.   Mango Bay Resort is what is known as a flashpacker’s resort.

What is flashpacking I hear you ask?  Well my definition of flashpacking is that it is similar to backpacking just with a slighter bigger budget and staying in single or double rooms instead of dorms.  It would be somewhere between backpacker dorms and resorts I guess.  In my case it was a reasonably priced bure on the beach with its own private outdoor bathroom.

The view from the door of my bure at Mango Bay Resort, Sigatoka, Fiji
The view from the door of my bure at Mango Bay Resort, Sigatoka, Fiji

I count myself very lucky to have been able to fall asleep each night with the sound of the waves against the shore and actually laying my head on the pillow and being able to see those waves coming in toward me.  It was absolute bliss!

There were quite a few activities available such as snorkelling, stand up paddling, kayaking, boating and swimming.  One day I went with a group to a school on one of the nearby islands.  It was a lovely day and the kids were just great.  They were quite impressed with my Aussie Rules Football kick.  They sang and danced for us too.

On another day I did a cooking class with one of the Fijian guys who worked at Mango Bay Resort.  We cooked fish in coconut milk which was delicious.  The Fijians call the coconut tree the tree of life because all parts are used.  The trunk is used to make furniture and houses and the coconuts are used to drink and for cooking.

One night I tried Kava which was an interesting experience!  Kava is a mildly narcotic drink which is made from mixing the powdered root of the pepper plant with water.  It just mainly made my throat a bit numb.  A couple of South Americans, myself and some local lads bonded while we drank from a communal bowl.  It is part of Fijian tradition and is an acquired taste.

The last thing I would like to mention about Fiji is the temperature of the water.  It is so warm!  If you live in a country where the sea temperature is cold you won’t believe how great it is to swim in the lovely warm water of Fiji.  So go ahead and plan your flashpacking holiday in Fiji.  You might just be surprised that you can afford that trip!