The word conflict may conjure up images of struggle and discontent, but this group of 21 islands encircling an enormous lagoon on the rim of a sunken volcano is an undiscovered Shangri-La. Named after their discovery in 1886 by HMS naval survey ship The Conflict, the islands were purchased by Australian businessman Ian Gowrie-Smith in 2003 whose goal is to preserve and protect this pristine ecosystem. Sheltered by an untouched reef system, the island is abundant with marine life and perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. Whether you prefer activities fast and furious or slow and steady, you're sure to find paradise. What more could you wish for in an island destination?
More about Conflict Islands, Papua New Guinea Points of Interest
There's an endless supply of family friendly experiences and activities in the Conflict Islands so get ready to swim, snorkel, paddle a kayak, or witness the wonders of the sea aboard a glass bottom boat.
Stretching out a mere 158 acres, this exclusive resort that includes a club house, spacious dining and lounge facilities, boasts clean white coral sand with fringing coral reef, turquoise waters and a jungle-like interior.
A 984-foot-deep off shore wall sits at the center of the atoll and measures about 13 miles in length and six miles wide creating a spectacular iridescent blue lagoon.
Whether by boat, canoe or kayak, a cruise over the bluer-than-blue waters offers a breathtaking look at paradise and the marine life that calls it home: colorful fish and corals, reef sharks, and turtles.
Escape the crowds and find refuge on one of the sun-drenched beaches that make up the Conflict Islands. Kick those shoes off, work on your tan, and find a peaceful place under a swaying palm tree.
The renowned CICI relocates sea turtle eggs of endangered species from islands with a high level of poaching with the hope that more sea turtles will be able to hatch safely and survive until adulthood.
Special Child Pricing Available! Children age 12 and younger, savings up to 50%.
Conflict Island on Foot
1.5 hours | Conflict Islands | CF2-400
Take in the smell of the fresh, salty air; the sound of the waves; and the warmth of the sun as you follow your guide on an exploration of this beautiful tropical isle. After you tender ashore, you'll marvel at the long stretches of talcum-powder sand, aquamarine waters, tall palm trees that sway in the breeze and soft sandy pathways. As you follow your guide, you'll learn that 21 islands make up the Conflict Islands and are privately owned by entrepreneur and conservationist Ian Gowrie-Smith. Located 94 miles from the tip of Papua New Guinea, the island group stretches out over 926 miles around an atoll abundant with lagoons and coral reefs, and mostly uninhabited, unspoiled and unknown islands. During your idyllic walk you'll stop for a cold drink of fresh coconut water then continue on to a demonstration where coconut kernels are dried and turned into copra.
Take off on a voyage of discovery as you venture out onto the cerulean waters aboard a glass bottom boat. Once you take your seat under the canopy and gaze through the glass bottom, you'll delight in the fascinating up-close peek at this startling underwater world. Have your camera handy-you'll behold a spectacular array of otherworldly beauty: fish in colours that could rival a box of crayons, giant gorgonian fans, hundreds of different types of coral, regular sightings of turtles and reef sharks, and some of the most pristine, untouched coral reefs in the world. As the captain steers the boat across the water, your friendly guide will share his knowledge of this underwater paradise (did you know that the Conflict Islands are home to 430 species of coral, 950 species of molluscs and over 1,100 species of fish– some found nowhere else in the world).
Be a part of a world that's slowly disappearing. The 'sailau', unchanged in design and used for millennia, is being replaced by the speed and convenience of motor-powered dinghies. When you take a ride on this traditionally-built outrigger canoe, you're cruising back in time to when island locals transported people, animals and goods between the islands. Throughout history, they were widely-used in ceremonies and rituals and meticulously crafted from special woods such as malauwi, all under strict customs to derive the best results and appease the gods. With strong sea breezes, a sailau can attain speeds up to 15 to18 knots and can sail between 10 and 30 miles. Hand hewn by master carvers, a sailau varies in length from 16 to 39 feet and holds one mast. Used throughout Milne Bay Province until 2000, these canoes are a reminder of a gentler time gone by.
Ooh and ahh at the eye-popping beauty of the Conflict Island atoll. Made up of 21 islands, mostly uninhabited and surrounded by a spectacular lagoon, it's one of the most remote locations in the Coral Sea. You're guaranteed to feel a million miles away from everyday life as you enjoy a scenic cruise around this beautiful, untouched corner of the world. Keep a look out for some of the islands' marine inhabitants including turtles, dolphins and manta rays playing in the tropical waters. On board the 80-foot Undersea Explorer, you can relax on the shaded top deck while listening to informative commentary about the islands and the history of Milne Bay region or, you can sit in the air-conditioned lounge and watch the clouds go by. Enjoy freshly baked banana muffins, a local fresh fruit platter, fruit juice and of course tea, coffee, and water.
If your idea of a vacation is to lay back and soak up the sun, then leave the crowds far behind and play castaway (even if it's for a day!). Enjoy a boat ride across the Conflict Islands Atoll as you feel the wind in your hair and sun on your back as you cruise over the sparkling sea and to a private and remote tropical beach. Once you arrive you can unpack and enjoy a private picnic of fresh island fruit, coconuts, cheese platter, crackers and wine. Then, the rest of the day is yours to do as you please. Stroll or stretch out on the powdery-soft sand and watch the clouds roll by or you can choose to go snorkelling, stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking. If you had to become a castaway what better place to be?