ANMEF & Rabaul Tour
Join this 7 day (6 night), fully guided tour of the Rabaul battlefields as both the events of the First and Second World Wars are brought to life. You will participate in the official commemorations & attend the commemorative service at Bita Paka War Cemetery. This trip will also visit the many sites pertaining to the action of Bita Paka, Australia’s first action during the First World War.
Also discover Second World War sites including the Montevideo Maru Memorial, Japanese submarine pens, landing barge caves, the New Guinea Club, Bita Paka Cemetery and safely experience looking at an active volcano.
Suitable for all ages and fitness levels, the dates are: 10 - 15 Sept 2017.
Attend the Dawn Service on the anniversary of the battle of Bita Paka (11 September) followed by a Gunfire Breakfast at the Rabaul Yacht Club. Experience the beauty of Rabaul and rediscover this important part of Australian history.
This tour is being run in conjunction with the Rabaul Historical Society.
Kokoda Historical would like to acknowledge our past AN&MEF participant Mr John Reeves for the use of his wonderful images.
Day 1- 10 September 2017
Depart Australia to Tokua Airport-Rabaul via Port Moresby; Upon arriving in Rabaul you will be met by Susie McGrade and taken to the Rabaul Hotel (oldest Hotel in the New Guinea Islands Region and on the famous Mango Avenue, the heart of Rabaul!). This will be our base for the duration of the trip.
The hotel is along famous Mango Ave in old down town Rabaul. The street together with the huge Mango trees were completed bombed to rabble during the war and rebuilt until almost destroyed during the twin volcanic eruptions of 1994. One of the oldest Hotels in Papua New Guinea, the RH has hosted many celebrities including HRH Prince Andrew, and witnessed some amazing periods in history.
After getting settled in your rooms, we will indulge in some “Kulaus” coconut water& other cocktails, poolside, as we attend the official “Ki’bung - Welcome to Rabaul”, sponsored by Miss Susie, Mein Host. Although her family is originally from Scotland Susie McGrade was born in Rabaul. Susie attended boarding school in Brisbane and is now a PNG Citizen and Managed the Family Hotel since 2000.
This will be followed by a Pre-Dinner presentation in the Conference Room by the Tour Leaders, prior to our evening meal in the famous “Phoenix Room” Restaurant.
Day 2- 11 September 2017
We follow the famous Burma Road and stop at the Cross Roads where Lark Force tried to make their escape. Following the windy roads along famous Toma Ridge we will stop for a photo opportunity at Malmaluan Look Out before making our way to Kabakaul Wharf, the site where members of the ANMEF landed in 1914 to capture German New Guinea and knock out the radio transmitter.
After walking the spot where they landed we will be given a talk by Toni Munday who will explain Australia’s first action in the Great War. Afterwards we make our way up the Bita Paka Road where the battle unfolded and stop at Bita Paka War Cemetery.
After a visit to Bita Paka Cemetery we enjoy Lunch overlooking Queens Emma’s Steps and the Gazelle Peninsular at Kokopo’s Ralum Club.
Dinner will be served back at the Rabaul Hotel.
Day 3- 12 September 2017
After a traditional hearty Rabaul breakfast of Kulau, tropical fruits, eggs, bacon, toast, PNG Tea & Coffee, etc., get set to for a full day Tour of Rabaul, including Lark Force 2/22nd Memorial, Montevideo Maru Memorial, Rabaul Museum, Yamamoto’s Bunker, Peace Memorial.
A Member of the Rabaul Historical Society will bring to life the events of 1942, when Rabaul fell to the Japanese. There are many stories about Lark Force, Montevideo Maru, Tol and the desperate struggle that many Australian soldiers found themselves in, as they tried to escape and evade the Imperial Japanese Army in the jungles of East New Britain.
After visiting the sites of Rabaul, we will return to the Hotel for Lunch.
After Lunch, we visit the Submarine Base tunnels and guns also the grand home of the Coote family (moderate level of fitness walking steep hill and may need wet shoes for sandy areas) We will return home in time for a swim and cocktails, before heading into the Phoenix Room for Dinner.
Day 4- 13 September
Today we will be visiting the smoking Tavurvur volcano and natural bubbling hot springs. A local from Matupit village will tell the story of the Rabaul volcanos and recent eruptions and the force of Nature.
During the war the Japanese Imperial Army built baths here and frequented with their comfort women. We will then drive over the Japanese built “Lakunai” airport and visit the last remains of a crashed Betty Bomber at Matupit Island and the Japanese Gun on the Matupit beach. You will also visit the world-renowned Volcano Observatory on top of the famous “Tunnel Hill”
Guests will return to the hotel for lunch and an afternoon siesta.
At 17:00 hours, we will make our way down to the foreshore, just before dusk we will take up our positions around the Montevideo Maru Memorial. Here we will pay our respects to all those who perished aboard this “Hell Ship” along with remembering the 2/22 Battalion, Lark Force and those Australian Prisoners of War executed at Tol Plantation. This service will be conducted by the Rabaul Historical Society.
Light Refreshments & Finger food will follow at the famous New Guinea Club, home of the Rabaul Historical Society and where Errol Flynn was once a member. A light Supper will be served afterwards back at the Rabaul Hotel.
Day 5 - 14 September 2017
After breakfast, we will take a tour of Simpson Harbour on a small cruiser. A local guide will talk about the sites of the many wrecks that scatter the harbour floor as well as detail the rich history that the Rabaul harbour holds. We will get up nice and close to the famous Bee Hive’s (the distinct islands in the middle of the harbour). Retuning in time for lunch. Steps are involved and wet landings.
After a siesta guests, will have the option of exploring the local area on foot accompanied by local guide or taking a small bus ride to visit St Martin’s Elementary School to hand out books, pens, footballs etc. anything you may wish to bring from Australia as a good will gesture?
On sundown, we travel to the site of the old German Governor Albert Hahl’s residence at Namanula Hill where we will take in the vista of Simpson Harbour and few refreshments ‘sundowners’ before dinner wich will include a special presentation by Toni Munday and mamerbers of the Rabaul Historical Society on the disappearance of HMAS AE1, the E-class submarine of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). She was the first submarine to serve in the RAN, and was lost at sea with all hands
Day 6 - 15 September 2017
Early check in for return flight to Australia*
* Please check your flight itinerary for further details
- Experienced Australian Historian and Ex-pat Rabaul Guides
- Local Guides and Support Staff
- Airport transfers to The Rabaul Hotel http://www.rabaulhotel.com.pg/
- Six night’s twin-share hotel accommodation at the Rabaul Hotel.
- All daily tour costs.
- Communications equipment including Satellite phone & radio
- Pre-trip advice
- Kokoda Historical T-shirt
- Certificate of Participation
- Public Liability Insurance
- International return airfare to Rabaul
- International phone calls and extra purchased of drinks
- Additional fresh local fruit and vegetables can be purchased along the way.
- Entry Visa to Papua New Guinea (Free)
Price: $3,695 ex Rabaul for 7 day (6 night) tour.
This is an all-inclusive package of international airfare, transport, meals & accommodation. Discounts are available to previous clients.
*Transfers from other locations are available on request
Single rooms are available on request and incur an additional $660 single supplement fee (subject to availability)