Duke of York Islands

A quite magical place, the Duke of York Islands are a beautiful part of Papua New Guinea, safe and wonderfully inviting. Barely touched by tourism, they were a highlight of a great trip, staying overnight in a home stay and spending time exploring the village and surrounding waters.

The islands are just over an hour by boat from Rabaul’s Simpson Harbour, with it’s active volcanoes prominent on our way out, and locals travelling around in their canoes.

We spent nearly two hours exploring Mioko Island, home to stunning beaches, dense bush, a large church, pigs, sea snakes, locals on canoes, a small cemetery (not the main one), and very unusual rock formations along the coast.

 

Back for lunch, with all the food from the island other than the chicken and rice. I’ve never had potatoes cooked so many different ways! Also my first experience with non-sweat bananas used for cooking.

We were well fed before we headed back out onto the water for some great snorkeling. The reef was super shallow, with good visibility, and some interesting coral and animals including these blue star fish and giant sea slug.

This was followed by pods of dolphins jumping around the boat as we made waves for them, wonderful if tricky to photograph.

We stayed at the beautiful Maira Home Stay, very well set up and so friendly. Had a great conversation with the owner about life on the island, and finished the day sat around a campfire as the village kids sang songs. A magical end to a day in a form of paradise.

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