” This is fabulous. Absolutely, heavenly, fabulous. An endless summer of beauty as nature intended.
I used to paddle this bay in canoes, walk the length of its powder white beaches, and swim the turquoise waters wearing goggles to watch out for the sea anemone and the fury of its inhabitants, the clown fish. They are curious and always come to inspect and protect their base.
The walks from the beach uphill into the forest is an exciting contrast to the sea. Away from the water world it is still an interesting expedition up into the hills.
As long as communities are an inclusive part of tourism with benefits accruing shared at the local level, small scale tourism (including eco-tourism) has a future and bodes well in the region”
Uruna Bay, is one of a number of bays and quays around Pokpok.
Its natural beauty and settling here is like a dream come true from childhood years. In fact it is like a number of dreams still coming through. I decided first on a family beachfront home in 1989. When we moved in eight years later as peace was taking hold after the bloody conflict, we had to readjust and regurgitate coming back to devastated family members and the village community as a whole.
All I can say truthfully is that God has been kind to the population after the devastating conflict. But more importantly, we returned to find a resilient population that was determined not to dwell in the past but look ahead.
Tourism if done with foresight, conscience and careful planning is one way of looking forward like having a vision beyond the horizon.
Uruna Bay Retreat, Pokpok Island is a community effort and hence a pride of the Island community. So is Batama Beach Bungalows, more recently completed and run by another family with involvement and support from the community on the Island as well.
The people’s resilience and joy is what is expressed in the cultural chants, dances and songs that welcome travellers here. A lot of heart, soul and joy goes into the performances for the visitors
The travellers, tourists, visitors and friends of many nationalities turning up here is quite daring. It is what has spurred us thinking about retreats and bungalows where people can stop, stay, enjoy or just pass by. You cannot hide or keep a good thing to yourself is true of Bougainville today.
Developing and growing tourism in Bougainville as we find our feet should be more than just about hard cash and bottom lines. The overriding impetus and interest as Bougainville maps, detours and decides its way to the future it should also be about promoting the beauty, the hard-won peace, unity and serenity of the Island, its environment and art, culture and the people.
Reminiscences about good times in the past is a good thing. So is imagining Bougainville as my generation and I found it growing up here as a children.
With the annual visit by a cruise ship ‘True North’ every December, the Dive Boat ‘Taka’ adding Uruna Bay on its stops between Solomon Islands and Rabaul it is fantastic. And now with ‘Endless Summer’ the first Super Yacht of its kind to visit Kieta it is fabulous.
We must embrace and savour real opportunities and any serendipitous times and moments on Bougainville.
Endless Summer’ has added a rather personal touch and dimension with the tours here being arranged by someone who spent some of their childhood growing up in Arawa, a part Morobean who feels and obliges like one of us in promoting Bougainville.
As long as communities are an inclusive part of tourism with benefits accruing shared at the local level, small scale tourism (including eco-tourism) has a future and bodes well in the region.
Uruna Bay Retreat – Pok Pok Island Bougainville
“Simple pleasures should be affordable, not expensive and out of reach “
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