Doini Island, Papua New Guinea
Located off the remote eastern tip of Papua New Guinea’s mainland, Doini Island is an all but deserted landmass in the Solomon Sea. It’s a place where mountain trails wind through dense jungle and tiny villages hark back to tribal times. It’s also a place where you’ll feel a million miles away from home, despite the fact you’re just a hundred or so kilometres away from Australia’s most northerly point of Cape York.
Plantation style bungalows, turquoise waters and more than 1,100 hectares of coconut trees surround beautiful Doini. With turtles nesting, a myriad of birdlife and bushwalking experiences plus world class snorkelling and diving, there’s plenty of nature based experiences for visitors to sink their teeth into from the get-go.
Cruise visitors will arrive in Milne Bay, a sheltered deep water harbour off the coast of Doini Island. A small resort on the privately owned island welcomes cruise visitors and those wishing to linger, making Doini an idyllic and remote getaway on Australia’s doorstep.
Cruise ships dock in Milne Bay Harbour on the western side of the island. Passengers are then brought to shore by tender boats to the Doini Island jetty. P&O and Princess cruises are among the cruise ships that make Doini Island a port of call.
Nearly all of the facilities on the island are centred in and around the Doini Island Plantation Resort. There are no actual port amenities available.
Resort facilities include:
- Open deck restaurant and bar, seating up to 150 people
- Small shop selling pharmaceuticals and other traveller items
- Boat connections to Alotau on PNG’s mainland (approximately 2 ½ hours)
- Tennis courts
- 9 hole golf course.
The major swimming and snorkelling lagoon is located adjacent to the Doini Island resort jetty, close to where most of the resort bungalows are located along the beachfront.
How to Get Around
There are no roads on Doini Island, so cruise visitors will arrive by tender and will explore Doini on foot. Most commonly, visitors will wander around the resort and towards the island’s airstrip, about a 10 minute walk from the jetty. The island is small but hilly, allowing great views across Milne Bay to surrounding islands.
There is also the potential for boat rides to the surrounding islands of Samarai and Kwato islands, depending on daily schedules. The resort reception staff are happy to provide more information, prices and advice on how to best get around Doini and other places easily within reach.
- Currency - Papua New Guinea uses the Papua New Guinean kina (PGK), which is available in 5, 10,20 50 toea and 1PGK coins, and 2PGK, 5PGK, 10PGK, 20PGK, 50PGK, and 100PGK banknotes.
- Time Zone – Doini Island operates on Papua New Guinea (PNG) time, which is 10 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
- Weather - Warm temperatures and high humidity characterise most of Papua New Guinea, especially the Milne Bay Province. Cyclone season is considered to be between January and April. The average yearly temperature for coastal areas is 28 degrees Celsius.
- Manta Ray Cleaning Station – The island resort can organise a trip to Gunebalabala Island, 800 metres off Doini Island, where one of the few known manta ray cleaning stations in the world is located. Below the water’s surface, a natural coral-covered spire rises from the sea floor. Countless fish congregate here and help to clean microscopic parasites off giant manta rays. Doini is considered one of the best places on earth to watch this rare phenomenon.
- Bushwalking to Skull Cave - A slightly steep 1.5 hour return hike through jungle leads visitors up rough stone and coral steps to the Skull Caves where around 100 human skulls are littered. Locals traditionally buried dead upwards leaving their heads exposed in the belief their ancestors could better watch over them. The practice has long finished, but still the incredible sight remains for visitors to see.
- Snorkelling - Visitors can easily spend hours swimming and snorkelling in Milne Bay, admiring the underwater worlds teeming with colourful fish and coral. Snorkels, goggles and fins can be hired from the resort for the day for 25PGK. This fee will be refunded upon returning the equipment.
- Wildlife Watching - Doini Island features a huge bird aviary full of exotic birds, as well as scores of marine turtles who annually nest along the sandy beaches. Be sure to keep a lookout while snorkelling and hiking for several tropical fauna, shore birds and other wildlife found throughout the unspoiled island.