New Britain is loosely split into two halves and the eastern part of the island is where most visitors end up due to the exciting landscapes and cultural interest. The major town in East New Britain, Rabaul has a scenic and strategic location as well as a colourful and explosive past. A thriving town that featured heavily in World War2 action, as a base for Japanese operations in the South Pacific, it was largely destroyed in 1994 by Mount Tavurvur - one of two volcanoes that still loom over Rabaul. Nearby Kokopo is the younger brother of Rabaul and where many people moved after Rabaul was virtually destroyed. Kokopo is home to the best hotels in the region and makes a great base from which to explore the area. Excursions can be arranged to see the ‘ghost town’ of Rabaul, or the picturesque Duke of York Islands where you can snorkel and enjoy a very laid back way of life. Also close by are the hills inhabited by the Baining People who are famous for the dangerous and rather painful looking, fire dance. East New Britain is also famous for the elaborate mask festival that takes place in July.

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