Forgotten Islands Of The Louisiade Archipelago
….explore the destination so wild, remote and beautiful they will exceed your imagination as you encounter indigenous cultures that will enrich even the most experienced traveller.
Paddle to Panasia. 12 days. Ex Cairns, Australia.
At the northern extent of the Coral Sea and far away from the maddening crowds, there is a chain of islands freckled across a canvas of blue. This island chain is a place of legend; a place so renowned for it’s beauty that sailors and explorers only dare whisper it’s name among friends. A place untouched by tourists and whose islands are so ideal for kayaking that it’s hard to believe places like this still exist on Earth. The only true way to understand the magnitude of this destination is to experience it firsthand. So, join us for the journey of a lifetime to the forgotten islands of the Louisiade Archipelago.
The Louisiade Archipelago is situated between Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Within the Louisiades lie a chain of atolls called the Calvados Islands. This chain is our destination and an awe inspiring place to paddle. These islands feel isolated like a place time forgot. The native people still live in grass huts relying on a subsistence lifestyle of fishing and farming. They travel by dugout canoe and sailing outriggers and are some of the friendliest people you could ever meet. If the charm of these people is not enough, the islands themselves offer just rewards for the adventurous traveller. Imagine paddling into the lagoon of an atoll atop azure waters and iridescent corals to a storybook ‘South seas’ style island with white sandy beaches, overhanging coconut palms and friendly locals welcoming you. This is the reality of the Calvados Islands. Most of the islands are only a few miles apart allowing for relative ease of travel and choice of which beautiful island to camp on.
As idyllic as the islands might sound, this destination is remote and arguably one of the world’s last great sea kayaking frontiers. It is a true expedition and only for the adventurous soul. As a member of the expedition team you will be required to chip in and help out to make this expedition a success.
Region X is committed to sustainable and sensitive tourism development in these islands and hopes that through Sea Kayak tourism, essential basics like healthcare and reliable drinking water can be supplied to the friendly people of the Louisiades.
On our 12-day expedition, we will meet in Cairns for a briefing and outfitting of your folding double kayaks before flying the short distance to Port Moresby. From Port Moresby we fly a further 2 hours into a remote airstrip on Misima Island and spend the rest of the day prepping gear, buying provisions and exploring Misima Island.
The following day we will load all our gear into two motor boats that will shuttle us 2 hours into the Calvados Islands and from then on we are on our own. We will have approximately 8-9 days to paddle from our eastern drop off point through to the island of Panasia at the western end of the chain. Panasia Island is an enchanting place and comparatively different to the other atolls; it’s a breathtaking limestone island more akin to the islands of southern Thailand. From Panasia we fold up our kayaks and load them onto a Sailau, which is the name the locals call their traditional sailing outriggers and the preferred craft in these islands. We will enjoy a traditional cruise aboard a Sailau until we reach Utian Island where we will meet our motor boats for our shuttle back to Misima Island and our flight home the following morning.
The Calvados Islands are predominantly trading islands and so money is of little value to these people. Along the way to acquire fresh produce to supplement our expedition menu we will trade a variety of goods; items like fishing line and hooks, nails, lighters and swimming goggles/masks are valuable items in the islands so a worthy trade for fresh vegetables and fish. The locals love the opportunity to trade as due to the remoteness of the islands they do not have access to most of these goods.
On average we will paddle our folding kayaks approximately 15km per day. This allows time for trading, beachcombing and some of the greatest snorkelling on our blue planet! This region of the Coral Sea is renowned for its diving. The corals are not only intact, but flourishing. The sea life is vibrant and the reef alive with thousands of colourful fish.
We run only small group expeditions in this region. So if this sounds like your kind of adventure, book soon to avoid disappointment.
For more information including a full itinerary please contact us on 1300 001 060 or email us at email@example.com.