The Conflict Islands Group is located in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea approximately 80 nautical miles due east of Alotau, the capital of Milne Bay. It is an atoll comprised of 21 tropical islands in an oval shape with the largest islands of Irai in the West, Aroroa in the east with the main island of Panasesa located in the North-West. Panasesa Islands is the island you will be visiting and is the only developed island with any infrastructure within this tropical island paradise.
This part of the world is famous for its marine environment with the Conflict Islands boasting some of the highest marine biodiversity in the world. Spectacular drop-off reefs around the outside of the atoll, sometimes plunging down as deep as 2,000m, provide nutrient rich up-wellings from cooler, deeper waters flushing the reef with a constant supply of food enabling these reefs to remain healthy and most importantly cool from warming ocean temperatures. The colours of the reef and abundance of reef life are nothing short of spectacular offering some of the most rewarding in-water nature opportunities known.
PANASESA ISLAND EXPERIENCE
You will first land on Panasesa Island at either our fixed South-East Lagoon Beach Fixed Jetty or our 200m long floating jetty on the West side of the island. Depending on the time of year and predominant wind direction, we coordinate with the ships to ensure the best and safest landing location on your special day.
The south-east location is the preferred landing site for all ships offering a safe anchorage inside the protected atoll lagoon. You will be welcomed by our friendly staff at the Welcome Centre who can assist you with directions and information whatever you may planning. The main hub for activities, food, drinks and water sports is on the ocean beach side where our floating jetty is located. Here is where our shore tours departure is also located along with beautiful beaches perfect for swimming. Our beach activities centre can also hire you kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and snorkelling gear. Alternatively, please feel free to settle anywhere on the island if you wish to beat the crowds and relax in peace.
When winds do not allow landing at our favoured South-East side which is usually between June -October, you will disembark on our newly constructed floating jetty stretching 200m from our West side back beach to the drop-off. This floating jetty offers you an immediate glimpse of the fish and corals living at the reef drop off. Once onshore, you land directly in the hub of our back beach activities area. Large signage is located throughout the island but please feel free to download our newly updated PDF map (whole island, lagoon beach area and ocean beach area) allowing you to explore the island knowing where the next bar or toilet stop can be located.
As a privately owned island, we take pride in respecting your privacy so you will find there is no pressure to buy anything during your visit allowing you to enjoy this tropical paradise in peace and quiet. If you do decide you would like to buy some souvenirs there is a souvenir shop conveniently located at the ocean beach hub so feel free to browse. These are stocked with a range of carefully sourced products from talented and sustainable local producers bypassing mass market production and ensuring that quality and traditional heritage is maintained with each purchase. Our range of carvings are all created by talented local islanders from around the Milne Bay region and are all allowed into Australia on your return, so you can shop freely knowing you will be able to show your friends and family at home some beautifully locally carved creations. Our coconut bar has a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages with some food and bar snacks also available such as pies and ice cream.
NATURE & CONSERVATION
Here at the Conflict Islands, one of our main purposes for eco-tourism is to conserve and protect our unique islands and marine eco-systems. As well as boasting some of the most incredible coral reef and fish life in the world, the Islands are a well-known breeding and nesting site for both the endangered Green Turtle and critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle species and is an incredibly important habitat for the survival of the turtles within Papua New Guinea and Australia. You will notice juvenile turtles popping up to breathe along the shores of the islands during your visit here especially whilst larger turtles will be cruising around the reefs if you decide to venture out into the water. During the turtle nesting season between October and March, we conduct turtle tagging and research activities through our very own NGO, Conflict Islands Conservation Initiative (CICI). CICI brings out volunteers from all over the world to help conserve these critically endangered reptiles. For more information on how you can help his to conserve this spectacular marine environment, please visit www.cici.net.au or our Conflict Islands Conservation Initiative Facebook page.
Other inhabitants of the islands include large birds of prey such as White Bellied Sea Eagles and Ospreys. They cruise around with the wind patrolling the shallow waters whilst Kingfishers sit on a tree branches keeping a close eye out for unsuspecting prey. Frigate birds, Boobies, Terns and several others sea birds all seek shelter at the islands whilst scouring the high seas for their next meal. Pelagic fish all move around with the currents at the atoll feasting on the hundreds and thousands of baitfish that spawn here on a regular basis.
Whilst in the water, we also regularly see Manta and Mobula Rays in areas of strong currents with rich food sources whilst Manta Rays and Eagle Rays regularly cruise the reefs surrounding the islands and visit cleaning stations locations in the lagoon. Spinner and Bottlenose Dolphins also call the Conflict Islands home constantly following the currents around in search of their next meal often consisting of squid along with occasional visits of False Killer Whales, Pilot Whales with even Sperm Whales sighted on the Eastern part of the atoll. Needless to say the Conflict Islands Atoll is a regular hangout for many different species of marine life which need to protected for future generations to enjoy.
With so much to do here on Panasesa Island, it may sometimes be hard to decide but there are a variety of options to help you enjoy this tropical paradise to the fullest. You can visit our friendly activities centre which offer a range of water sports equipment for hire or just hang-out on the beach, hire a reclining beach chair and enjoy the peace and quiet. Various one or two man Kayaks, Stand-Up Paddle Boards (SUP’s) and Snorkelling equipment are also available for hire at PGK 50/hr. Payment for these items can be made using EFTPOS.
Our see-through kayaks are very popular. The entire kayak is made of clear plastic enabling a fantastic view under the water. Please note: these kayaks are designed for calm sheltered waters and should not be taken a long way out far from the beach.
Clear Bottom Kayaks:
Our clear bottom kayaks are slightly more stable than the see-though kayaks but also offer the chance to view the underwater world through a large clear plastic panel underneath you. Venture out and see further afield whilst staying dry. Available in one or two man style.
Available in one of two man styles and enable a little more stability and power in the water.
Stand-Up Paddle Boards:
Large and stable SUP’s are available for hire and enable a great standing viewing platform into the water with the ability to view turtles and other marine life.
Mask, snorkels and fins are all available for hire to those that want to explore the reefs by themselves without going on the snorkelling tour. Please note that it is advised that only confident and experienced snorkelers venture out away from the beach due to unpredictable currents and conditions.
ISLAND PAYMENT SYSTEM
We try to make payment for goods and activities on the island as easy as possible whilst minimising using of cash with our cashless EFTPOS system for all sales and service locations. We also appreciate that some passengers may have left over cash from previous stops on the cruise and will of course accept the use of cash where necessary. PLEASE NOTE: The island does not hold cash of any currency and so we encourage those with left over local currency to spend it before your visit if The Conflict Islands is your last stop.