The Bismarck archipelago are comprised of several islands. Together, they make up some of the most exciting destinations in Papua New Guinea.
The islands are located at the northeastern coast of New Guinea. This is at the western Pacific Ocean. It is included in the Islands Region of the country.
What to See
There are several islands included in the archipelago. These volcanic islands each have their own unique features. The major ones are the Manus Group, New Ireland and Manam. Other islands in the archipelago are the Los Negros, Baluan and Rambutyo.
The islands are perfect for diving and swimming, as their waters are still pure and clean. The unique landscape also makes for fine trekking. There are many trails you can hike in at the Bismarck archipelago.
The islands of the archipelago were first inhabited 33,000 years ago. The inhabitants came from New Guinea. They made their way across the island via boats most likely.
Another theory is they crossed over by way of a temporary land bridge. This may have been produced by movement of the Earth’s crust. Some of the early inhabitants were the Lapita people.
It was in 1616 when the first Europeans came upon the islands. The first one was Willem Schouten, a Dutch explorer. However, it was not until 1884 when the islands were settled in by the Europeans. That year the islands were made part of the German protectorate of German New Guinea.
The islands were named after Otto von Bismarck, the German Chancellor. After World War I, the islands were taken over by the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force. They remained under Australian control until 1975 when Papua New Guinea became independent.
The cost can vary a great deal. It depends what part of the country you wish to explore (beyond the archipelago for instance). A 10 day tour may cost about 6,000 USD. Other travel packages may cost more or less depending on the factors cited above.
One of the most interesting islands is Manus, thanks to the jungles that cover its terrain. The highest peak is Mt. Dremsel at 2,356 feet (718 m) above sea level. At New Ireland, the highest peak is Mount Taron in the Hans Meyer Range (2,379 meters).
The Bismarck archipelago has not yet been fully explored. Thus there is still much for tourists to discover. That is part of the charm of these islands.