Milne Bay located on the north-eastern tip of Papua New Guinea was the scene of bitter fighting during the Battle of Milne Bay in WW2. It was an Allied forward operating garrison occupied by Australian and US units, mostly engineers responsible for the construction and support of its airfields. The Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF) No.75 and 76 squadrons, and two Australian infantry brigades were pivotal in removing over 2000 Japanese who tried to take Milne Bay. The battle was the first-ever land defeat by the Allies on the Japanese since their unstoppable conquest through Asia and the Pacific. Australian casualties from the fighting included 167 killed in action, 205 wounded in action, and 5 missing presumed killed.
Milne Bay is rich in culture and filled with traditional and modern history. It’s a sought-after destination for many visitors from around the globe, mainly from land-based tours and cruise ships shore excursions. There are many things you can see and do in Milne Bay, like taking a guided tour of battle sites of the Battle of Milne Bay, or attending the famous Kenu and Kundu festival which takes place annually in November. Infact, our Milne Bay tours in November includes the Kenu and Kundu festival. During the festival, carefully crafted war canoes are put into action and displayed against their rivals, and tribal groups showcase their culture through colourful traditional dancing using wooden drums (or kundu).
Centuries-old ubiquitous art of witchcraft still persists in many societies in Milne Bay despite the intervention of Christianity and science to discourage its use. The proof is a visit to caves within the province which house human skulls, prized possessions of its witchery past. Milne Bay is a naturalist wonderland where traditional practices conform to the laws of natural science passed down through generations.
This stunning maritime province is incredibly beautiful with islands, atolls and sandy beaches. The people of Milne Bay are some of the friendliest people you’ll come across in PNG. If you plan on a tour of Milne Bay, go back to our tours page or you can contact us for more information.