February 17, 2018:  Rabaul, a night's sailing from the Vitu Islands.

We left Rabaul 40 years ago having lived there for a few years before the massive eruptions of 1994 that buried the place in ash and pumice, destroying a beautiful town - mixed feelings about going back, but it was fine.

Back to Rabaul after 40 years

Welcome back!

In the 1994 eruption the original Rabaul town (the flat green area to the left) was totally destroyed; the jungle is taking over

Rabaul about 1970 (photo courtesy Garry Honour)

Mango Avenue, once the bustling main street of Rabaul

Another street in Rabaul - we are disoriented without the buildings and shops 

WW2 map of Rabaul on the wall of Yamamoto's underground headquarters 

There's still volcanic activity - hot springs at the base of the volcano

We knew this a the Matapit Japanese Betty Bomber (since identified as a Sally Bomber) 

"Please ensure your seat belts are fastened for takeoff" - lined up on the old Rabaul Airport

Looking down at Rabaul - Simpson Harbour caldera is about 8 km across

Meeting up with Evelyn and Simon Foo at their Kokopo Beach Bungalow Resort ... 

... where we had a great local meal, all fresh from the Kokopo market

View from Kokopo Beach Bungalow Resort

Bita Paka War Cemetery near Kokopo commemorates the Allied soldiers killed here in both World Wars

Japanese barge tunnel dug out by prisoners of war - the barges have decayed in the last 40 years

The Beehives - these rocks stick up out of Rabaul's Simpson Harbour 

Rainbow over the active Tavurvur Volcano as we leave Rabaul