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Kavieng, Papua New Guinea

Kavieng is the largest town on the island of New Ireland, as well as the capital of its eponymic province, the northernmost in Papua New Guinea. Dutch explorers first charted New Ireland in 1616, although it would be another 270 years before German colonialists arrived; Kavieng was founded in 1900 as the main port for shipping copra and other products grown on their plantations. The island was ceded to Australia after World War I, then occupied by the Japanese during World War II, when Kavieng’s harbor was frequently bombed by Allied aircraft. War remnants include numerous ship and plane wrecks, as well as a gun bunker that offers extensive views across Balgai Bay. The area is a surfing hotspot thanks to consistent North Pacific swells, while scuba enthusiasts discover some 600 coral species, massive schools of pelagic fish, and phenomenal dive sites like the signature Albatross Passage. Paddle a kayak around reef-fringed islands, go birding in the rainforested interior, or cycle along part of the 120-mile-long, white-coral Bulominski Highway that stretches the length of the island.