Volcano boat cruise and hiking tour

Up close with the mighty forces of nature. From K239-K1912 (USD109-USD872)

This half-day tour takes you around the base of Mt Tavurvur (above) and Mt Vulcan, on the opposite side of the harbor mouth, where you can hike to places that allow you to take a close look at points of interest. We do not hike Mt Tavurvur because of the risk but can arrange for you to do so if you wish with reliable guides.

Tavurvur has erupted three times in recorded history -- 1878, 1937, and 1994 with a lesser but damaging eruption in 2014.Vulcan erupted for the first time in 1937 and then again in 1994 in concert with Tavurvur. The rough 60 year schedule suggests the next big eruption could be around 2050. Keep in touch to book your visit!

Amazingly, some small patches of coconut palms survived the 1994 lava flow. The molten rock flowed around them and they lived!

A complex of huge volcanoes

Rabaul harbor and town are  complex of volcanoes of various ages. Tavurvur and Vulcan are the most recent letting off pressure on the edge of the giant plug which forms the harbor floor and the land on which Rabaul town and Matupit Island sit. Rabaul caldera was formed about 1600 years ago with a massive explosion of gas, ash, rocks and lava that shaped the Gazelle Peninsula. When the sea breached the crater wall it produced one of the finest harbors in the world, up to 100 metres deep, which gave it huge strategic significance during World War II.

In fact, the inner and outer harbor are two giant breached calderas of about the same size.

The string of volcanoes on the north side (left, as you look at the scene from the Vulcanological Observatory) Kombiu (the mother) and her north and south daughters, Tovanumbatir and Turanguna, plus another to the west, Watom Island, are thousands of years old. Behind them, to the north, is great underwater crater of unknown age which was not even recognized for what it is until the evolution of technology made it possible to plumb the depths in the 1980s.

It is hard to imagine that today's verdant Gazelle Peninsula was a dusty gray moonscape with all life wiped out after the huge blast which formed what is now the town and harbor area, but your visit to the town and to Matupit Island gives a clue what it must have been like. Nothing is regrowing yet on areas near Matupit that bore the brunt of the searing gases and acrid, abrasive ash 20 years ago.

But over centuries plants, insects, larger animals, then the Bainings people, and finally the Tolais invaded, and the land was transformed into the hugely productive lush, green, tropical landscape it is today.

For your comfort and safety, we recommend…

We recommend good walking shoes/boots, loose clothing, sun lotion, hat, sunglasses, water, and camera at the ready to catch those unexpected burps of gas and ash (above).

Call now to book or discuss your options

Call now to book or for information: +675 7270 9261 or email using the form at right.

Tarvurvur volcano burps out a cloud of acrid smoke and featherweight , abrasive ash (don’t rub it off — rinse it with plenty of water) from time to time.
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