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If you want to get away from the bustle of city life and relax on an island, choose this tropical paradise.
When it comes to tourism, PNG is still in the developing phase. But this comes as a boon for jaded expats and locals who prefer to give the standard tours a miss. There are a lot of options from trekking to snorkelling and many untainted-by-development sites to explore in this scenic and culturally diverse country.
Fisherman’s Island is one such place – perfect of a day trip with family and friends. Should you choose to go solo – rent a boat or dinghy with acquaintances and make new friends on the Island trip.
Abandoned airstrip with a history
In ancient times, Daugo Island was probably home of the Motu and Koitabu people, the original inhabitants of modern day Port Moresby and surrounding areas. Archaeological evidence suggests that this island remained uninhabited for the last 1000 years, before the fishermen tribes from Hula settled here in the 1950s.
This clear water island was as an airstrip during the second World War. Until recently, pilots from Port Moresby used it as a training spot. Today, this small beach island has a thriving fishermen community (Moukele village) with a church and primary school on one end. If you land up on New Year’ eve, you may get a chance to watch their celebrations.
The rest of the space is empty and beckons those looking for a relaxing weekend gateway close to home.
Ways to get there
A boat or yacht from the Royal Papua Yacht Club (RPYC) is your best bet. If you aren’t a member or know someone there, check out the Port Moresby Sub Aqua Club (POSMAC).
This club offers boat hires for 8-12 people with two crew members manning the vessel. If you lug in lunch baskets, eskies and beach umbrellas, the head count goes down.
Do you know someone who has a speedboat? Rent one for the 30-minute ride from the Yacht Club to the Island.
If you get invited by friends or colleagues to join them on a Fisherman’s island cruise or party on the island, say YES. The gateway package allows you to indulge in fun beach activities with a large group of people.
Beach Day Pleasures
Aim to hit the beach by 10 a.m. before it gets too hot for a swim. Private boats go right up to the shore. Bigger vessels stop a distance away due to shallow waters and cover the remaining distance in a dinghy.
What hits you first is the sheer beauty of the isolated spot, despite the lack of trees or other living creatures on your side of the island. The place has a tranquil vibe to it.
There are no dining spots or lounges out here. Carry the basics like food, water and drinks, sunglasses, spare clothes, and anything else you need. Spread your umbrellas, foldable chairs or blankets and relax.
As you can’t do birdwatching out here, settle for people watching or read a book while you soak in the sun. Chat with friends, build sand castles with the kids, take stunning pictures of the shore, or admire spectacular views of Port Moresby which seems a world away.
Don’t forget to get your swim gear for it’s time to hit the waters. After a game of beach football or volleyball, the boat BBQ or picnic lunch looks inviting. Adventure-spirited folk enjoy kiting and paddle boarding on the lagoon. The reef around the village offer a better experience for surfing or diving experiences, particularly from April to October.
If you’re part of the birthday or staff party cruise, you have fun activities planned for you. From fishing to parlour games and beach toys, there are myriad options to let your hair down.
Before you know it, the day has given way to evening and a glorious sunset. Time to pack your bags and head back for the city.