It was late afternoon and we were on the way to the magical Kabakon Island.. This deserted land is free of people . Only 1 house on the island. Thats PNG to you...
"Kabakon or Kaka Kon Island is a small island in group of Duke of York Islands in the Bismark Archipelago, Papua New Guinea.August Engelhardt chose Kabakon as the island to establish his Sun-worshiping sect, notable for only eating coconuts, from 1902 until his death " Wikipedia
Engelhardt wrote a book called A Carefree Future in 1898,which described a colony of fruit and vegetable eaters, specifically cocoivores (coconut eaters) he was founding in the then Bismarck Archipelago (now Papua New Guinea) in the South Pacific a place known for its headhunters.After graduating from Erlangen University in physics and chemistry, he conducted an 18-year experiment on Kabakon island, living a natural life on coconuts. However, in the writings of Engelhardt's contemporary Arnold Ehret, a pioneer of Vitalism, the lack of transition diet contributed to his weakened vitality.
You can still hear local people talking about this person . Although some details might have faded , still story is out there.
He obtained on 2 October 1902, from Queen Emma Kolbe's Forsayth Company, a coconut and banana plantation of 75 hectares on the coral island of Kaka Kon (Kabakon) for 41,000 marks. Kabakon was in Neu-Lauenburg (the Duke of York Islands in the Bismarck Archipelago, now part of Papua New Guinea) and 28 miles from Herbertshöhe (today Kokopo), where the German New Guinea imperial administration was based at that time. The other 50 hectares were a protected nature reservation inhabited by natives.
On Kabakon, as the only white man among 40 Melanesians, he built a three-room hut and began implementing his ideas of living close to nature. He gave up clothes completely and fed exclusively on a vegetarian diet, mostly from coconuts. He developed a philosophy that assumed that the sun was the venerable source of all life, and since the coconut was the fruit that grows nearest the sun, it must be the most perfect food for people. This view, called cocoivorism, culminated in Engelhardt's statement that the constant consumption of coconuts leads man to immortality. Engelhardt also made a living trading in coconuts, dried coconut, and coconut oil. After developing an ulcer on his right leg, he adopted a coconut monodiet, blaming tropical fruits for his condition.
According to a New York Times article from 15 October 1905: "His plan was to have his sect worship the sun. He held that man was a tropical animal, not intended to live in caves called houses, but to wander, as Adam did, with the sun beating upon him all day and the dews of heaven for a mantle at night. Living such a life, he believed that the healing and curative powers of the sun would in time render a man so immune that sickness could be overcome". The further Engelhardt's philosophy developed, the more dramatic was his testimony. He claimed that the noblest organ of the human body was the brain, because it is nearest to the sun, and he denied that such a noble part of the body receives its strength from the deep and dirty digestive tract. He suggested instead that the brain receives its energy from the hair roots, which in turn are fed by sunlight.
More to this story in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Engelhardt
Kabakon Island is located only about 45 minutes from Kokopo Town . And about 1 hour from Rabaul Town . People do not actually live on the island, but just right next to it. Kabakon Island is used a farming ground!
Local people try to grow pineapple , bananas , coconut and papayas. Locals live on the next island called Karawara. And in between islands is a perfect fishing area for locals to supply for their table to be self sufficient !
It is possible to rent little house of Kabakon and stay overnight as a tourist. Simply ask at your resort! If you simply show up , well you might end up being asked money on the spot or simply end up sleeping on sand with no water, fire or anything else. Might be better to ask around before as resort will normally bring everything with them to have a bed and food .
There is more information about Kabakon Island project in Looping. PNG news website
I think this place is perfect for someone simply wanting some nature time and learning new things from locals . From the moment you arrive you can start learning from local ladies to cook , or local man to catch fish for example. You truly get a sense of village life and PNG lifestyle.
At night , the best part always will be incredible sky view filled with stars as there is no light pollution and sunrise is always magical !
Would recommend !
Dont forget mosquito spray !!