"The Admiralty Islands" Lorengau by Bwana_Brown

Lorengau Travel Guide: 11 reviews and 22 photos

It gets a bit repetitious saying that the Admiralty Islands are a 'remote' destination. However, given that the country of Papua New Guinea itself is rather 'remote', there were a lot of small places in it's far corners that were even more remote! This chain of islands, comprising almost the most northerly part of PNG, are located in the Bismarck Sea, only 2 degrees south of the Equator, and includes over 200 individual islands. By far the largest of these is Manus Island, consisting mostly of limestone and covered with tropical jungles. The present-day population of 43,000 people has almost doubled since I was there, but Lorengau still remains the chief port and administrative centre for the Islands.

The population of Pacific Melanesian people speak 30 different languages, as well as the more common ones of English, 'Pidgen' English and Motu, allowing the tribes to communicate with each other. Europeans first discovered this group of islands in 1616 when Dutch explorer Willem Schonten stumbled upon them. However, it was not until New Guinea became a German protectorate in 1884 that Europeans in some sort of numbers began to take notice of the place. After World War I, the League of Nations awarded the islands to Australia (1920) as a Mandated Territory, until Papua New Guinea itself became an independent nation in 1975.

I made a 3-day trip to these islands, about 2-years into my 3-year stay in PNG, as another one of my fact-finding/repair trips into all the little generating stations that the PNG Electricity Commission was responsible to keep operating. Please see my 'General' tip for a map showing the location of the Admiralty Islands in relation to the rest of PNG.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:It is a spot not many people get to!
  • Last visit to Lorengau: Sep 1981
  • Intro Updated Sep 7, 2005
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Reviews (7)

Comments (16)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    Glenn, fantastic little page about a place I haven't even heard off before, but I quite like the colouful stamps of Papua New Guinea.

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Jul 25, 2009 at 11:10 PM

    Another interesting account of your adventures on your lifelong mission of bringing light to people in remote lands. The river with the dugout canoes and the stamps look lovely.

  • Jun 30, 2008 at 3:00 PM

    Although my job takes me around the world, I never get the opportunity to visit such an off-the-beaten path location like this. I envy you.

  • Jan 6, 2008 at 10:20 AM

    I was there in 1945...ship repair unit...Navy 3205..............What is there now.......how may I obtain some pictures/ Will pay......

  • Jul 31, 2007 at 1:08 AM

    Have you seen the old plant near Lorengau with the Fairbanks Morse Diesel engines and Alternators. I used to be a powerplant operator there in the middle 40's with the US Navy CB's. Had a good friend name of Moses Banai. Have a bunch of pix of Manus. Dean

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2006 at 8:13 PM

    Always enjoy these little PNG insights in your pages, Glenn. Apart from the heat, I reckon a visit there would be fascinating.

  • Aug 23, 2006 at 4:50 AM

    Attached to the RAN base in 1972/73 when Lae,Ladava, Aitape, Madang and Samarai.Attack Class patrol boats. Power station was maintained & run by the RAN, brownouts happened. Cos Diesel rationing due to late arrival of the ship.Greatest years of my life!

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Sep 6, 2005 at 9:39 PM

    Another of your pages that makes dream ! It must be exciting to be the lightkeeper of a whole city and more !

  • quartinb's Profile Photo
    Aug 23, 2005 at 7:25 AM

    ...yesterday u brought light to lorengau, with blackstone and lancashire dynamo & crypto ( gee!..just the name gives it a lot of power):-)! now u bring it ,to all of us here on VT! ...keep shinning, Glenn, keep shinning!

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Jul 18, 2005 at 3:20 PM

    These local boats make the Mekong trip in Laos look pretty mainstream. Quite the locale, Glenn.


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