Rabaul Travel Guide

  • Rabaul
    by jorgejuansanchez
  • women in Rabaul market
    women in Rabaul market
    by jorgejuansanchez
  • A family in Rabaul
    A family in Rabaul
    by jorgejuansanchez

Rabaul Things to Do

  • Betel Nuts

    throughout Rabaul like other parts of PNG small curbside stalls are set up selling betel nuts. Chewed with and it also left spat all over the pavements.

  • Japanese War Memorial

    The Japanese War Memorial in Rabaul is the largest Japanese WW2 memorial in the pacific. A moving place to visit with some great views overlooking Rabaul. Follow the road opposite the Travelodge and it's a walkable distance from the Rabaul Hotel.

  • A Massive Banyan Tree

    Being from New Brunswick, North America's most heavily forested Province or State, I have always had an affinity with trees and nature in general. Consequently, I was 'blown away' when I saw the size of this Banyan tree on the side of the Rabaul-Keravat highway! I had seen Baobabs in Africa but this was in another league altogether!Banyan trees are...

  • One of my Guys Comes Home

    When I first arrived in PNG, my job title was Field Test Engineer, so I got to fix all the technical problems dealing with generators and transmission lines, wherever they were located in the country. I had a staff of expatriate English, Australian and New Zealand technicians as well as local Papuans to help me out.One of the Papuans was Matthew...

  • Taking a Break from Work

    In the evenings we would sometimes do a little sight-seeing, that was one of the great things about my job! Free trips all over this wild and exotic country.As for Rabaul, it had been seized by the Japanese during Second World War and became their main base in New Guinea. I was amazed at how many relics of war were still kicking around all over PNG...

  • Rabaul Overview

    Taken from the rim of the caldera where the Rabaul Volcano Observatory was located, this view shows the ancient 6-km wide caldera, now filled with sea water and forming a very nice little harbour. The cone at the left side is called Tavurur, and it is one of the two cones that caused great destruction to the city in 1994.The main business area with...

  • Wreckage of a Japanese Bomber

    Just off the end of the runway at the Rabaul Airport, were some nice coconut palm groves. One day when we were exploring in our Land Cruiser, we came across some amazing wreckage of old Japanese WW2 aircraft - some with the huge red Rising Sun emblems still visible on their wings.This wreckage looks to be from a twin-engined naval attack bomber,...

  • Tour a Diesel Power Station?

    My job was to make sure the lights stayed on. This meant numerous trips to the four corners of Papua New Guinea, including about five to Rabaul because it was quite a busy commercial centre.The main source of power was from old diesel generators, mostly British makes like Allen, English Electric and Blackstone. These old-time slow-revolution...

  • Volcanic Bits

    This idyllic looking harbour scene actually shows the other 'bad actor' that was involved in the 1994 eruptions. Directly behind the large ship is a dark mass with a white cloud at it's top, on the western side of the harbour. This is 'Vulcan', another of the many cones around the town that finally decided to vent some steam and ash in 1994. Also...

  • Open Air Food Market

    If you visit Rabaul, do NOT miss the chance to stroll along the famous open-air market where you'll find all kinds of lovely tropical fruits and vegetables, and an equally vibrant kaleidescope of native tropical attire worn by the locals. It is a real treat to see, smell and ultimately TASTE, while in Rabaul!

  • Dive the Harbor...

    Well, I don't have any photos of us diving the wrecks here, but we did a shore dive and explored a Mitsubishi bi-plane (some military expert will know what that means, to me it was just a sunken war plane!) which was at a depth of about 80 feet....The journey out there was half the fun as I recall.....bright BLUE starfish all over the ocean floor,...

  • Explore the Island!

    You can take half a day and explore the island by either renting a car, or hiring a guide (which is what we did). This was great for us because he not only offered us a native's point of view together with some real history of the island, but he knew some great places for photo opportunities and he also led us to some interesting spots along the...


Rabaul Restaurants

  • In the Balsa Plantation

    On my first trip to Rabaul, in April 1980, I was accompanied by my Australian boss and one of the local guys from the Tolai tribe, indigenous to this part of Papua New Guinea. We had to check out how things were going at the new power station in Keravat, so this involved a drive of several miles to the west of Rabaul itself. As it happened, the...

  • Rabaul Hotel

    The Rabaul Hotel Restaurant is a great place in Rabaul to drop in for breakfast lunch or dinner. offering a Western and Asian menu with service that matches the great food.

  • Keravat River

    The Keravat River is just one of many small, brown-flowing rivers in Papua New Guinea. In the heat and humidity of the noon-day sun, and with the sounds of tropical wildlife, I can almost picture myself back here as we surveyed this scene from our picnic site.The one constant of PNG was it's heat and humidity - it seemed as though I was in a...


Rabaul Transportation

  • The port

    Very convenient to move around by the cheaper and as a real traveler. There are weekly boats to Buka island (I missed for 2 days that boat and was forced to fly), and there are also ferrys to the south of New Britain island because there are no raods, you must take the ferry (or fly) to get there.

  • Hitching Rabaul Style

    For getting around Rabaul when no PMV's are available stand by the side of the road and wait for a lift. Unlike Moresby i felt safe hitching in Rabaul.

  • A Second Life

    Not everything associated with the Second World War was a complete write-off. Some of the old infantry landing barges had been converted into small freighters used in the coastal trade that was so important to this area of the world. Here, one of them pulls up to the shore in Rabaul harbour to be loaded (via it's front 'troop landing' ramp) with...


Rabaul Shopping

  • skatzcatz's Profile Photo

    by skatzcatz Written Jan 21, 2009

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    The Rabaul Bakery & Supermarket stocks a good supply of groceries, fresh fruit, vegetables and bakery products.

    What to buy: food and bakery items

    Rabaul Bakery & Supermarket Rabaul Bakery & Supermarket Rabaul Bakery & Supermarket Rabaul Bakery & Supermarket
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    • Food and Dining

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Rabaul Local Customs

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    by Bwana_Brown Updated May 15, 2005

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    Rabaul was no different than any other place in PNG. The locals made do as best they could under their particular circumstances. Whether it was washing in a river outside the capital city of Port Moresby, or in the harbour at Rabaul, it seemed that the women did what they had to do to keep the family unit running.

    As far as the men of the family went, in Port Moresby, all liqour and beer stores were closed on the Thursday night before the men were paid on Friday, so maybe the wives would have some chance of getting a bit of their paycheque!

    Doing Laundry in Rabaul Harbour

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Rabaul Warnings and Dangers

  • Be careful!

    There are robberies in Port Moresby and Lae. Rabaul is not so dangerous city but you feel that it might be. In the supermarkets, to collect the money, guardians armed are everywhere. I felt danger, so I left tha place immediately.

  • Rabaul Police Station

    if you do need assistance the rabaul Police Station is on the left entering town on the road from Kokopo

  • Volcanic eruptions

    Rabaul used to be such a picturesque city... huge big old trees around the market place, beautiful blue harbour, the backdrop of the close but silent matipit until september 1994. I was in rabaul when the volcanic eruptions began.. The day before the earth was still. It was a beautiful clear day, and being in town for the first time for...


Rabaul Off The Beaten Path

  • skatzcatz's Profile Photo

    by skatzcatz Written Jan 22, 2009

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    At the end of Malaguna Road is the Rabaul cemetery. Worth spend some time walking amongst the long forgotten graves and reflecting on what was once a Paradise in the Pacific.

    Rabaul Cemetery Rabaul Cemetery Rabaul Cemetery Rabaul Cemetery
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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Rabaul Favorites

  • Kids of Rabaul

    regardless of how poor the families of Rabaul are, the children always have a smile on their face and look to being having lots of fun.

  • The Beehives

    The Beehives are an intersting rock formation in the middle of Rabaul Harbour, worth a visit for some bird watching and the diving.

  • Located in the South Pacific Ocean

    Rabaul was always one of my favourite places to visit (even if it was for work), along with Lae, Madang and Wewak on the mainland. It was always nice to get off the Big Island of New Guinea to see what the rest of this archipeligo looked like. That, plus Rabaul's beautiful location in the heart of an active volcano!


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Comments (1)

  • Luke_Ashley's Profile Photo
    Nov 9, 2012 at 4:46 AM

    September 2014 marks the 20`th anniversary of the Tavurvur and Vulcan volcano eruptions that buried up to 80% of the town in ash. It is accepted that Rabaul may likely never return to her former glory but this has not deterred the local people and businesses from doing what they can to Revive Rabaul. The town is slowly but surely coming back to life again and beginning to offer the attractions that holiday makers once so enjoyed. If you are planning a trip to Rabaul, mark a date in your diary for September 2014. This date not only marks the 20th anniversary of the eruptions, it also marks the date of a new era for Rabaul. Come and join in the celebrations and beginning of a new era. Stay tuned for what you can expect from this event and promises to be a holiday of a lifetime.

Explore Deeper into Rabaul
Betal Nuts
Warnings and Dangers
Road or River?
Warnings and Dangers
Catch a Plane Ride!
Map of Rabaul

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