Little Pigeon Island, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea
You’re skimming over perfectly still water. Not just reasonably still water; this is perfectly still. Like glass.
It’s so still, and so clear, that when a pod of spinner dolphins swim beneath the boat you can see their forms through the water as if staring into a glass tank in an aquarium.
You follow the dolphins but it’s early in the morning, and after a few minutes of frolicking, and demonstrating why they’re called spinner dolphins – it’s because they spin around like a top when they leap from the water – they disperse to continue their daily hunt for fish.
You make your way across the glassy sea surface for about an hour or so, till reaching the edge of a coral reef, then you pull on your scuba gear and plop into the water. Diving conditions are perfect; 40 metres visibility, zero current, and it’s 32 degrees Celsius at a depth of 20 metres.
Little Pigeon Island
When you’ve completed your dive you return to the surface, and there to greet you (in the distance) is Mt Tavurvur, PNG’s most active volcano.
You swim to shore, to a tiny, uninhabited, sand cay, and at last you are on Little Pigeon Island: your home for the day.
Little Pigeon Island is crown land, and therefore free for all to access and use. Mostly it’s used as a picnicking spot by residents of Kokopo.
Western tourists (and this is true of PNG in general) are few and far between.
What’s on Little Pigeon Island?
Just sandy beaches, lush green vegetation, crystal clear water, and views of volcanos.
Practical Information and how to reach Little Pigeon Island:
Little Pigeon Island is located ten kilometres offshore from Kokopo, capital of the province of East New Britain in Papua New Guinea, and about 18 kilometres from Rabaul, the former capital (Rabaul was destroyed by Mt Tavurvur in 1994). More transport info to and around Rabaul here.
Tours to Little Pigeon Island can be organised from any of the hotels in Kokopo. If you are feeling adventurous you could stock up on supplies and spend a week on the island.