To many people the Pacific paradise of the South Seas islands was and still is one of the most exciting dream destinations. There is no question that experiencing typical advertisement-like stereotypes such as snow-white beaches, coconut palm trees and crystal clear blue-turquoise water in person is a lifetime experience par excellence. Though the South Seas true gem is a varicoloured dialogue taking place between the locals, their fascinating tribal culture and a diverse unique nature that is captivating above as well as below the sealine. That beautiful togetherness gets only disturbed when the Earth’s most powerful forces get unleashed, when at the Pacific side of our planet all things called tectonics and volcanism are literally setting the place on fire as Oceania is part of the highly active circum-pacific Ring of Fire.
|The attribute ‘remote’ would be a pretty benevolent characterisation for the world’s third largest insular state Papua New Guinea. On the other hand that is surely one of the main reasons why over there a distinctive and vivid tribal culture and a unique flora and fauna could have developed and survived. Also for Papua’s isolated tropic islands volcanism and tectonics are playing a major role. Being located at or even right on the trench lines of several bordering microplates, earth as well as sea quakes are a daily occurrence as well as volcanic eruptions. At places like the spectacular Rabaul Caldera the volcanic boiling pot becomes evident not only by volcano Tavurvur but also in geothermal manner. However, it is basically the Tavurvur whose highly explosive and furious eruptions are taking influence on the life and nature of Gazelle peninsula, the eastern-most end of New Britain island, a place being conquered back by nature as well as humans every time anew.|
|Giant Clams and Golden Jellyfish|
|The Palau archipelago is located right in the middle of the big blue of the Pacific Ocean and somewhere between the Philippines and Papua New Guinea as the crow flies. Being more than 2 hours away from the next larger mainland, 356 big as well as small islands are arising from the Philippine oceanic ridge. Palau’s densely wooded rock islands remind of giant green mushrooms popping through the waterline. Many of them are accomodating stand-alone ecosystems, for example a world wide small unique marine lake where thousands of golden jellyfish are swimming to the beat of the shining sun.|
|Fireworks on the other Side of the World|
|The Vanuatu archipelago is located about 2000km in the east of Australia and is said to be one of the places with the biggest lust for life in the world. All islands’ existence is due to the high volcanic activity of circum-Pacific Ring of Fire and on Tanna Island the permanently active volcano Yasur gives an impressive example what that means for life and nature. When carefully getting closer then Yasur let’s you sit on its shoulder and shows you a real-life experience of the biggest force of nature as it is erupting up to 500 times a day and shooting dozens of lava bullets through the sky every time anew.|