ANMEF & Rabaul Tour
Join this 8 day (7 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: 8 - 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.
NOTE: Connecting directly from
International flight to Domestic flight to Rabual
Day 1 - 8 September 2017
Depart Australia to Tokua Airport-Rabaul via Port Moresby, you will be travelling with Kokoda Historical owner David Howell. 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 in the foothills of Rabaul, surrounding Simpson Harbour. Guests will have the option of simply unwinding or taking a guided stroll along the famous Mango Avenue. In the late afternoon, we will indulge in “Kulaus” & other cocktails as we attended the official Welcome, sponsored by the Susie McGrade Family, (originally from Scotland, born in Rabaul & now PNG Citizen).
This will be followed by a Pre-Dinner presentation prior to our evening meal, in the magnificent Rabaul Hotel Function Room.
Day 2 - 9 September 2017
Today we will have a leisurely breakfast by the pool as we welcome members from the Rabaul Historical Society. We will then conduct a walking tour of Mango Ave as we make our way up to the Japanese War Memorial. This memorial is the largest Japanese WW2 memorial in the pacific. A moving place to visit with some great views overlooking Rabaul. Morning tea will be delivered on-site.
Transport will arrive and take us to the end of the runway at the old Rabaul Airport. Here we will view the wreckage of a twin-engine naval attack bomber, the Mitsubishi G4M 'Betty' (as the Allies called it). To the Japanese it was known as the Hamaki (Cigar) because of it's stream-lined cigar shape. This was the main attack aircraft for the Imperial Japanese forces. Rabaul was one of the most heavily bombed places in the entire world during the Second World War.
We will then return to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, we will visit along the famous open-air market where you'll find all kinds of lovely tropical fruits and vegetables, and an equally vibrant kaleidoscope of native tropical attire worn by the locals and gifts to take back home. It is a real treat to see, smell and ultimately TASTE, while in Rabaul!
Dinner will be served in the hotel and the bar will be open.
Day 3 - 10 September 2017
Today we will embark on the RABAUL / KOKOPO GUIDED TOUR, including Lark Force 2/22nd memorial, Montevideo Maru Memorial, Rabaul Museum, Yamamoto’s Bunker, Peace Memorial, and view the remnants of a Japanese Betty Bomber. We will then travel along the Old German Road to Kokopo, stopping off at the Japanese Barge Tunnels and underground Second World War hospital with a picnic lunch at the Kokopo War Museum, then onto Vunapope Mission.
Historian David Howell will bring to life the events of 1942, when Rabaul fell to the Japanese. There are many stories about Lark Force 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.
In the late afternoon, we will return to Bita Paka this time to visit the final resting place of many of the men whom paid the ultimate sacrifice. Dinner will be served back at the Rabaul Hotel, a Chinese banquet which will highlight the rich Chinese influence on the area.
Day 4 - 11 September 2017
We will rise early as we make our way to 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 presentation by historian Toni Munday (ex-HMAS Cerberus Museum). Toni will explain Australia’s first action in the Great War before we make our way up the Bita Paka Road where the battle unfolded. We will call in and visit the location of where the German Radio station once stood and then head on to a special service at the Bita Paka War Cemetery.
After the service, we will return to the hotel for brunch. In the afternoon, the site of the old German Governor Haber’s residence at Namanula Hill will be visited and we will take in the vista of Simpson Harbour. A member of the Rabaul Historical society will give a presentation on Old Rabaul and highlight the many interesting people that have called Rabaul home after the years.
Day 5 - 12 September 2017
Rising early, we will enjoy a cooked breakfast before setting off to view the erupting Tavurvur Volcano, the megapode farm and the hot springs (previously the spa baths of the Japanese Imperial Army). On route to the Volcano we will visit the location of the Japanese Imperial Army’s airport and visit the last remains of a crashed Betty Bomber at Matupit Island. You will also visit the world-renowned Volcano Observatory, Tunnel Hill.
Guests will return to the hotel for lunch and an afternoon siesta. We will continue the tour, just before dusk we will take up our positions around the Montevideo Maru Memorial. Here we will pay our respects to all of those who perished aboard this prison ship along with remembering those Australian Prisoners of War executed at Tol Plantation. This service will be conducted by the Rabaul Historical Society. Refreshments & Finger food will follow at the famous New Guinea Club, (Errol Flynn was once a member).
Day 6 - 13 September 2017
Today we will visit the Japanese submarine base and gun emplacements as historian David Howell continues the story of Lark Force and Rabaul during the Second World War. The intact gun emplacements include tunnels and fortifications which are some of the most well preserved in the Pacific.
We will return to the hotel for lunch before walking down Mango avenue to thee Montevideo Maru memorial (bus for those who are unable to walk). We will hold a short service and lay a wreath at the memorial in memory of those POWs who lost their life.
Dinner will be served back at the hotel.
Day 7 - 14 September 2017
After breakfast, we will cruise Simpson Harbour, members of the Rabaul Historical Society will take above the sites of the many wrecks that scatter the harbour floor as they detail the rich history that the harbour holds. We will get up nice and close to the famous Bee Hive’s (the distinct islands in the middle of the harbour). Lunch will be in the form of an on-board BBQ. Retuning in the mid-afternoon, guests will have the option of exploring the local area on foot accompanied by local guides or taking a small bus ride to visit the Elementary School and hand out books, pens, footballs etc. In the evening historian Toni Munday will present on the loss of Australia’s first naval vessel with all hands, the AE1.
Day 8 - 15 September 2017
Early check in for return flight to Australia*
- 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)