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Kavieng
 

Kavieng Dive Sites
Treehouse Village Resort
Lissenung Island Resort

 

Kavieng lies at the northern end of New Ireland, the second largest of the outlying islands. Kavieng was attacked by the Japanese on exactly the same day as Rabaul, 23 January 1942, and became one of their primary bridgeheads into Papua New Guinea. Kavieng, like Rabaul, was subject to almost constant air attack by American planes. From 2-4 April 1943 a squadron of 26 US Flying Fortresses sank 7 Japanese warships, including 2 cruisers and three destroyers. An additional 5 auxiliary vessels were also sunk, including 2 freighters. On 15 February 1944 8 allied planes were shot down in raids over Kavieng, but 5 days later America reaped its revenge by sinking 2 8000 ton tankers, 8 cargo vessels of between 1500-2000 tons, a 500 ton freighter, a destroyer and 2 corvettes. The waters around Kavieng are littered with wrecks!

The northern part of New Ireland is predominately flat land, with some small forest clad hills sprouting upwards. The Kavieng Archipelago is a mass of low lying coral islands and a maze of intricate reefs. Mangroves or stunning white beaches surround these islands, and corals grow right off shore. This is your typical "South Sea" locale! Kavieng is now a sleepy and idyllic town in an exceptional position. It has had little tourist traffic and is totally unspoilt. But it does have a golf course in the centre of town!
The area is dominated by a limestone foundation, and there are a number of cave systems in the forest that can be visited. One, about 10 miles from Kavieng, looks like the mouth of a large monster, with stalagmites and stalactites forming its teeth. It has 7 freshwater chambers dropping to a depth of 75ft. It has been possible to dive the cave in the past, but at present the local landowner is not allowing divers to enter the underground waterways.

The town has a commanding position overlooking the islands, and a limestone bluff in the centre of town was turned into bunkers and gun emplacements by the Japanese. It can still be explored today. Down the coast at Panapae are the remains of 5 Japanese tanks, slowly being dissolved by the sea. Some have their Toyota engines still in place, but they need some work! Guns, planes and other military machinery, as well as trenches and shelters, are constantly being discovered in the forest.
Kavieng has a colourful cultural backdrop, perhaps the most famous local inhabitants being the Konto, renowned for their custom of shark-calling - they knock wooden rattles against the sides of their boats to attract the sharks and then lasso their tails and drown them by towing them backwards! When you consider that the sharks are often as big as the canoes, it's a wonder no one gets eaten! The local people to the Kavieng area are the Malagan, celebrated for their ritual head masks, coveted by museums around the world. A wealth of World War II paraphenalia can be seen in the surrounding forests and on the shoreline. Caves, rainforest and rivers await your exploration and discovery! Day or extended tours to these sites can be arranged on request.

We offer a choice of two locations in Kavieng. The Treehouse Village Resort, on the western shore of New Ireland, and on nearby Lissenung Island, the "get-away-from-it-all" Lissenung Island Resort.

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Treehouse Village Resort

Located about 20 minutes from Kavieng, on the western shore of New Ireland, Treehouse Village Resort is the latest addition to our portfolio of resorts in Papua New Guinea. Right on the beach, the resort is designed around a 200 year old callophyllum tree, a species of mahogany. 20 feet above the ground the main Treehouse contains the restaurant and bar, and a large open balcony with views to the sea beyond the beach.

On the top floor of the treehouse is the Treehouse Suite, accessed by a spiral staircase from the reception area, with a private balcony that offers panoramic 360° views of the sea and mountains behind. The Treehouse Suite has a queen-sized double and single beds with an ensuite hot shower - and flushing toilet up in a tree! The cooling sea and mountain breezes preclude the need for a ceiling fan, but one is provided in case!

The 6 traditional bungalows are elevated above the beach on mangrove posts and are located amongst the beachfront trees. Their spacious balconies reach out through the trees over the golden sand beach and provide an uninterrupted view of the lagoon beyond. All the bungalows have a queen-sized double and single bed with ceiling fan. Each has a private bathroom with hot shower, hand basin & solar toilet. Each room is decorated with local materials, such as woven saksak ceilings and pangel wall pannelling.

Meals are served either in the TreeHouse over looking the Pacific Ocean and resort, in the Haus Wind, on the beach or delivered to your bungalow. Breakfast & lunch is your choice and the evening dinner is selected from a tropical buffet. Fresh lobster, mangrove crab, snapper and other reef fish are usually available and for those special occasions a traditional Mumu can be arranged. Organic fruit & vegetables are sourced from the surrounding villages

Treehouse Village Resort is energy efficient with solar lighting and deep screened windows to keep you bug-free. 240v AC is provided each evening for recharging camera batteries etc.

Scuba diving is arranged with Lissenung Diving, the local dive operation, and they pick up and drop-off at the resort's private jetty.

Between dives and for land lubbers there are rainforest treks, canoe trips across the lagoon and through mangrove swamps, night canoe trips to look for crocodiles, great kids' adventures to search for bugs, birds and possums, cycle rides, surfing (between November & April) and big game fishing. For the less energetic, the resort offers aromatherapy massages with their own essential oils, evening walks to watch the fireflies dancing in the trees, relaxing private beach evenings, tours to local villages to watch carvers at work, and observe a traditional way of life that has remained unaltered for hundreds of years.

For those looking for that extra special and unique place to stay, away from the hustle and hustle of daily life (no TV, no phone, no nothing!) then the Treehouse Village Resort should be top of your list of places to visit!

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Lissenung Island Resort

A 15-minute boat ride from Kavieng, Lissenung Island is a low lying coral island surrounded by a sandy white beach and fringing coral reef. Palm trees bend gracefully across the beach, and much of the interior has been cleared to allow uninterrupted views across the island. Accommodation is for just 8 people in rustic wooden huts on stilts. Each of the 4 rooms is very simply furnished with ceiling fan, 2 single beds, each with its own mosquito net; cloths storage space consists of open shelves! The windows have fly screens to deter mozzies! A central bathing hut offers clean & functional facilities for your ablutions and the restaurant/bar are in a similar style. For those who want to get away from it all this is the place to be! For those who want some creature comforts it’s not! A generator, set well away from the living areas, provides electricity from 7.00am until 11.00pm.

Lissenung Island Resort has it’s own in-house dive operation. Lissenung Diving operates a small partially covered 24ft fibreglass boat with two 75hp outboards that boasts gear bins, tank racks and a purpose built entry/exit ladder. The boat caters for just 6 divers, but larger back-up boats are always available for groups. Compressors, tanks & rental equipment cater for all your diving needs. 2 or 3 dives a day are on offer, the boat usually going out for the entire day. Lunch is eaten on board or on a nearby island, depending on where you are diving. During your surface interval you can relax on the boat, snorkel or fossick on an uninhabited beach!

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