Alotau is a small, laid-back, port town in Papua New Guinea (PNG). It’s the capital of Milne Bay Province. There are not many places to visit here. It’s actually a place to relax and enjoy the nature. It also serves as the gateway to the most beautiful, enchanting beaches of Papua New Guinea.
Alotau Sightseeing Attractions
Following are among the popular attractions in and around Alotau you should not miss out:
1. The main town
Visit the Alotau town for shopping or just hanging around. You will mainly find food and craft shops here. This is a good place to mingle and communicate with the natives.
2. Turnbull War Memorial
This is an old memorial that honors the soldiers who fought against the Japanese army in the Second World War. The storyboards outline their contribution. It should not take you more than 10-15 minutes here.
3. Sanderson Harbor
Enjoy sightseeing at Sanderson Harbour of Alotau. You can see colorful boats, one-man canoes, and tugboats here.
4. Dodobana Village
With picturesque coastline and captivating bay side hamlets along the way, the journey to this village is as beautiful as the destination itself. Located about 7 km from Alotau, Dodobana village is a must-see for real cultural experience. You can learn about the traditions and day to day life of the local Melanesian people while enjoying cultural performances and traditional skill demos like basket weaving, Magololo or grass skirt making, clay pot cooking, etc.
5. Top Town Lookout
Top Town Lookout offers a stunning, panoramic view of Milne Bay. Almost all the sightseeing tours of Alotau cover this uphill scenic location.
6. Fergusson Island
You need to take a boat ride to reach this geothermal island. There are several hot springs, geysers and volcanoes here. This is also a good destination for bird watching. You can see many rare species of birds here, like Goldie’s bird-of-paradise and Curl Crested Manucode.
7. Trobriand Islands
Trobriand Islands, with attractive beaches, are the perfect location for honeymoon trips and romantic getaways with your soul mate. People here are friendly and peace loving. The hereditary chieftains exercise tremendous power in their social system.
8. Samarai Island
A short boat ride from Alotau can take you to Samarai Island. It used to be the capital of Milne Bay province, and has historic significance attached to it. Fearing occupation by the Japanese, Samarai town was completely destroyed on the orders of the British during the Second World War.
9. Misima Island
Formerly known as St. Aignan, Misima is a volcanic island inhabited by Polynesians since as early as 1500 BC. Gold was discovered in Misima towards the end of the nineteenth century.
10. Woodlark Island
Known among the local residents as Muyua or just Woodlark, this island is inhabited by the people of Melanesian lineage. They are known for their wonderful wood carving skills.
Things to do in Alotau
Here are some ideas to keep you busy in this tiny, sleepy town:
1. Walking and Trekking: Go around the town, meet the locals, feel the culture, and buy something you like in the market. If you are looking for a longer walk, try trekking from Wedau to Alotau.
2. Observing Culture and Festivals: The Kenu and Kundu festival is held in November every year. The nearby Trobriand Islands hosts another awesome festival called Milamala yam harvest festival from June to August.
3. Bird watching: Alotau is home to a wide species of birds. Some good nearby areas for bird watching include Fergusson Island, Goodenough Island, and Normanby Island.
4. Diving: Alotau is just the perfect destination for diving but since this place gets very less visitors, there are no diving facilities here. However, you need not go very far for this. There are several diving and snorkeling spots in the nearby islands. Tawali Resort and Goodenough Island are among the best places for diving in Milne Bay province.
5. Cruising: Hire a small boat for short distance cruising. To explore longer distances, you’ve got more luxurious options like Melanesian Discoverer.
6. Island hopping: This is yet another fun way to explore remote islands of Milne Bay. Several airlines offer to and fro trips for sightseeing.
Best time to visit Alotau
Alotau has a hot and humid climate with temperatures soaring around 30 °C. It receives rainfall round the year. The best time to visit Alotau is in the months of June, July, August, and September, when the temperatures would be few degrees cooler. But if you want to experience the annual Kenu and Kundu festival, then plan your trip in November.