• Local Living adventure 

    Scuba dive with giant Manta rays

    Gonubalabala Island, Papua New Guinea




    Season 2: November 2016 - January 2017

  • Join us for a once in a lifetime

    in partnership with Manta Watch Camp 

    Why join us on Gonubalabala?

    1. Co-Living:

    Become part of this beautiful Papua New Guinean village, get your hands dirty in the yam gardens, go fishing in canoes with the local fishermen, help out on new construction projects such as building compost loos or local style wood & bamboo tribe homes, or lend a hand in the kitchen

    2. Adventure

    Immerse yourself in island life, customs and traditions that have been going on for thousands of years. We will be living 100% off the grid, with only the energy from the sun and lanterns at night, only the water harvested from the rain and only the food grown locally or freshly fished

    2. Scuba Dive, Swim & Island Hop:

    Swim on the spectacular coral reef right off the beach, Scuba dive with conservation experts with giant Manta Rays, island hop to nearby deserted beaches

    4. Eat

    Fresh fruit, fresh coconuts straight from the palm trees, delicious coconut bread, home-grown yams & greens and fresh fish make for a traditional local diet










  • Welcome to Gonubalabala

    Join Filippo on a tour of the island

    November 2015

  • We are looking for intrepid pioneers who want to immerse themselves in island life and live differently for a little while.


    Tribewanted has partnered with the community of Gonubalabala and the Mailulu clan to bring you an

    incredible island adventure and cultural experience.


    We support the 20 island inhabitants' goal of building a simple off-grid eco-tourism site.


    The project is currently hosted by our partners Adam and Carmen from Manta Watch Camp. We formed our collaboration together as we shared the same vision for developing a community through sustainable ecotourism. Manta Watch Camp is a marine conservation project aimed at protecting the giant manta rays.

  • The Gonubalabala Island 

    Co-living Experience


    Scuba dive every day with Manta Rays on the coral reef

    Marine conservationists Adam Beard and Carmen Toanchina will be your international hosts on the island. Helping you discover an abundance of manta rays whilst snorkeling or scuba diving, right off the beach you will find vibrant coral reef and a natural manta ray cleaning station.

    Building paradise

    Working with the people from the community, we have built our first beach accommodation, pit loo, a bucket shower and a chicken coop. There are regular building activities going on on the island, lend a hand to the local carpenters.


    100% off-grid sustainable living

    The community of Gonubalabala lives 100% off grid. Growing their sweet potatoes, yams, fresh fruit and coconuts in their veggie-garden, catching fresh fish and harvesting rain water. A truly full immersive experience in ancient sustainable living practices.

    Hammock society: Hang out on the idyllic beach

    Swing, camp, chill - this is your wild beach.

    Island hopping

    Jump in the dinghy and enjoy a snorkel, picnic and sundowner on nearby deserted beaches or a hike to the skull cave on Doini Island.

    Kenu Kundu festival

    4th - 6th of November 2016

    This impressive festival that takes place in Alotau is the southern region's major event of the year and showcases coastal commuities way of life particularly through traditional sailing canoes (kenu) and traditional drums (kundu).

  • Bring your own tent

    or rent a local bungalow


    We only ask that you come with an open heart, clean up your plate after meals and respect the local culture

  • Accomodation & Pricing

    Prices include accommodation, all meals, 6 dives a week and island activities

    Transport not included

    Private Bungalow

    One week: $700 per person / $1200 per couple

    One month: $2500 per person; $4000 per couple*


    Shared Bungalow

    One week: $600 per person/$1000 per couple

    One month: $2200 per person/$3500 per couple *


    Extra dives $30


    * Includes 24 dives per person per month

    * Family package available


    All arrivals and departures on Mondays

    Not included international and local transport

  • Our accomodation

    From private bungalow built by our first footers in November 2015 to camping on the beach - shared pit loo and bucket shower for all guests

    Our new Private Bungalow,
    for two

    Built by the Mailulu Clan and Tribewanted firstfooters in November 2015


    Shared Bungalow,
    for three

    Shared accomodation for three next to our community area


    Posh pit loo & bucket shower

  • Gonubalabala Island and the Mailulu Clan

    The three hectare island is located 90 minutes from Alotau by boat, in the Samarai archipelago, in the Milne Bay province in Papua New Guinea. The Mailulu clan moved to the island of Gonubalabala in 1930.


    Fishing and gardening are the daily activities on Gonubalabala up to this very day.

    Visit paradise - Gonubalabala is a quiet, relaxing and peaceful island, with a stunning white sandy beach.


    The Mailulu clan of Gonubalabala island is proud to still have four generations living on the island - a father, a grandfather, great grandfather and a clan chief Mr. Gansen Ledibo. Their ancestors lie in the skull cave at nearby Doini island.

  • JOIN Carmen, Adam, Nydia, Nelson, Pastor Steven, Cinderella, and the local Gonubalabala team for an unforgettable island experience

    Meet the lovely Mailulu clan

    From left to right: Nydia with little Stevie, Pastor Steven and his wife Cinderella, Felix and his Mum Leone

    Carmen & Adam

    Carmen has been diving for more than 10 years and is devoted to the sea where her passion lies in teaching and conservation. The voluntary position arose in many different conservation organisations and wanted to make the difference herself. Together with Adam, they started Turtle Watch Camp last year which has been a great success with over 4700 hatchlings released. This year, by founding Manta Watch Camp, their aim is to provide vital data through research and education for conserving the most majestic creature in the Ocean.


    Adam has grown up in Devon and the ocean has always been close to his heart. Combining his two main passions, diving and photography, was a natural progression of his career into diving and conservation looking after the oceans habitat. Both Adam and Carmen are the founders of Turtle & Manta Watch Camp and they have moved across the world  to some of the most remote areas in order to conserve these beautiful underwater animals while helping the local inhabitants benefit from Eco Tourism.

  • Our Blog

  • Getting to Gonubalabala


    Search online through skyscanner and kayak for best fares.

    For more flexibility book via an agent like Flight Centre or STA Travel.  

    All flights to destination Alotau touch down in Port Moresby.


    1. Longhaul to Port Moresby (POM), PNG:

    - Check out Bali and join the Tribewanted Bali startup tribe on the way

    - Otherwise recommended route via Cairns, Dubai, Doha, Hong Kong, or Singapore



    2. From Australia to Port Moresby (POM), PNG:

    - Airlines: Quantas, Air Niugini

    - Best connection via Australia is Cairns (no overnight stay in Port Moresby necessary)

    - Regular flights also from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth with overnight stay in Port Moresby




    3. From Port Moresby (POM) to Alotau (GUR) - approx. 230 US$ return:

    - Daily morning flights from Port Moresby to Alotau

    - Airlines: Milne Bay Air, Air Niungini, Airlines PNG




    4. We can help arrange transport from Alotau airport to Sanderson Bay port and on to the unspoiled island of Gonubalabala

    - Price airport taxi to the port (20 minutes/20US$ per taxi)

    - Price boat from Alotau to Gonubalabala (90 minutes/50$ per person tbc)


  • Make an enquiry.

    Let's get you to Gonubalabala.

    We'll get back to you within 24 hours on availability.


    Explore our other projects in Europe, Asia and Africa


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