Rabaul Highlights Tour Excursion Reviews

A wonderful day, they took us everywhere from the Volcano, the observatory and to the War Cemetery ...
Sail Date: August 2019
A wonderful day, they took us everywhere from the Volcano, the observatory and to the War Cemetery and every where in between. nearly 7 hours of fun and discovery. Danial and Judy where fantastic.
A wonderful day, they took us everywhere from the Volcano, the observatory and to the War Cemetery and every where in between. nearly 7 hours of fun and discovery. Danial and Judy where fantastic. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: P&O Cruises Australia
Very expensive, the roads are very rough, its not the same as the old town of Rabaul, the ...
Sail Date: February 2019
Very expensive, the roads are very rough, its not the same as the old town of Rabaul, the observatory was good,not sure that I would bother with this again, we ended up at the International Hotel for lunch after our Rabaul tour and ... Read More
Very expensive, the roads are very rough, its not the same as the old town of Rabaul, the observatory was good,not sure that I would bother with this again, we ended up at the International Hotel for lunch after our Rabaul tour and honestly we should have spent the whole day here rather than the tour. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
This was a lot cheaper than ship.
Sail Date: November 2016
This was a lot cheaper than ship. In air conditioned mini vans with a guide who looked after us very well. Places we visited were amazing.
This was a lot cheaper than ship. In air conditioned mini vans with a guide who looked after us very well. Places we visited were amazing. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: P&O Cruises Australia
Our driver/guide introduced himself as Jerry and off we went at 09.10 am.
Sail Date: September 2016
Our driver/guide introduced himself as Jerry and off we went at 09.10 am. We started with a tour of old Rabaul, the original capital of PNG, which was devastated by an eruption of Mount Tavuvur in September 1994. Ash and lava covered most ... Read More
Our driver/guide introduced himself as Jerry and off we went at 09.10 am. We started with a tour of old Rabaul, the original capital of PNG, which was devastated by an eruption of Mount Tavuvur in September 1994. Ash and lava covered most of the old town, and building started on a new city about 15 kilometres down the coast in Kokopo. We drove round what is left of the old city, the few buildings which had not disappeared, now derelict and rusty. It was incredible to see the mounds of ash still piled up by the side of the road, making huge embankments. We stopped at the New Guinea Club, still with its parquet flooring and wood panelling walls. It now houses memorabilia from this period Driving through the old airfield, where the topography had clearly been flattened, built by the Japanese with allied forces’ labour in the 1940's, it was still in operation until the volcanic eruption in 1994, but is now reverting back to nature with trees sprouting on the very fertile soil of the ash. This area is quite extensive and we eventually arrived at a little clearing in the woods after paying a fee to two men who had barred the way with a makeshift fence. Lying in a gully were two rusty parts of Japanese planes which had been found there. Not too far from here we came to the hot springs, adjacent to the bay. The heat and smoke which emanated from this little piece of boiling water was quite incredible. It also showed clearly the minerals which leach out of the ground, a rich orangey brown colour. Next stop was the Volcanological Observatory which monitors 14 active and 23 dormant volcanoes in PNG, as well as offering breathtaking views across Simpson Harbour. Housed in a small room are many seismic graphs which monitor activity twenty four seven. The guy who was in charge of this told us that the previous night there had been a minor earthquake at 2.20 am, only 100 kilometres east of Rabaul! When asked what force it had been on the Richter scale, he said they had not had time to work it out but thought it was only about 4.5 or 5.0! Our last stop, was to the cave where the Japanese hid three barges. This is now a haven for tiny bats, which were darting in and out of their tiny nests. Leaving here it was off to Kokopo. Despite only been around fifteen kilometres distant, it takes over half an hour to drive. Initially the road is good, but it then deteriorates to little more than a dirt track, with deep gullies and pot holes, which really rattled us about. This continues for several miles. Arriving In the outskirts of the town, the difference is marked. New houses sit on the hills surrounded by landscaped trees and shrubs, and there is even more than one roundabout! There is quite a bit of traffic, and lots of hustle and bustle with the locals going about their business. Cheek by jowl are two large banks, and there are many small supermarkets and restaurants. We stopped at the market here, which is virtually identical to that in Rabaul, but much bigger. It is very well planned with about four long barn-like, open sided buildings adjacent to each other. Each caters for different items. All these building are linked by slopes, so no stairs. Interesting also, to see the materials which make up the many red-mouthed population who chew betel nuts. These were on sale raw, together with a small plastic bag containing white powder. This contains lime, crushed up coral. These two ingredients are then ground together to make the familiar red staining. After having a good look round, not being tempted to purchase, we left to continue our drive back to Rabaul, but first stopping at the Japanese war museum where toilets were available. Various Japanese military artefacts from the Second World War were displayed in the grounds, together with a cage housing one cockatoo and a couple of parrots, all of whom looked a little forlorn and should not to my mind be there at all. Neither should the two crocodiles, one smaller than the other which were in little more than a pit with not much water. At the time of booking we had agreed that we could make payment by credit card. When it came to making the payment, we were told that the operator's bank charged a five percent surcharge for use of credit cards. This came as an unwelcome surprise and should have been made clear at the time of booking and left a rather nasty taste after what had been a very enjoyable day. The operator told us at this time that several people from our ship who had booked the dive excursion had failed to show up. Something for which we apologised - this is hardly acceptable behaviour and meant that this company could have lost potential new clients. After the financial transaction was completed, Jerry drove us the short distance back to the wharf, from where we had left six hours previously and we think that he was pleased with the tip he received. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
When we got off the ship, the only transport we could find was a 2hr tour for $60 per person.
Sail Date: January 2016
When we got off the ship, the only transport we could find was a 2hr tour for $60 per person. 12 people in a minivan. They do have taxis but they were all gone by the time we got off the ship. This was not good value for what we saw but ... Read More
When we got off the ship, the only transport we could find was a 2hr tour for $60 per person. 12 people in a minivan. They do have taxis but they were all gone by the time we got off the ship. This was not good value for what we saw but if we had not done this we would not have seen anything. We were taken to the observatory on a lookout. It was a good view over the harbour and volcano but inside the observatory were only wall posters describing the activity. The steps down to the building were quite steep with no handrail and some people opted not to go. From there we went out onto the old Rabaul airstrip which is now covered with volcanic ash and from where you can see the volcano. Some children must have run 500m to sell us some beaded bracelets. We viewed some Japanese tunnels dug into walls as we drove along but did not stop. Next was the markets where we had 15mins before being taken back to the ship. Two of us then opted to go back out of the fenced port to look at the wares along the road: hats, key rings, bags, jewellery, coffee mugs – quite a variety. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises