Bush Walking: Untouched cloud-forests with gorges, waterfalls and craters.

Activity Info


    All the walks are through the amazing untouched rainforest of Kolombangara, but being a rainforest it is often wet and slippery. Good walking shoes are recommended and are essential for the longer walks and rain jackets are needed at high elevation.  For those taking on the big walks this is serious walking.  At high altitude wind chill and rain can bring temperatures down to just a few degrees overnight.  Come properly prepared so you can properly enjoy the experience.  For the overnight walks you need to come with your own equipment including warm weather clothing, jackets, packs, tents and sleeping bags.  For many walks guides are mandatory to ensure your safety.  Porters can also be arranged to allow you to enjoy the experience more.  We will arrange equipment for the guide and porters.

    Note that if the weather is wet some walks along the Villa river are not possible due to high river levels.  Guides will advise if it is unsafe.

    A selection of the main walks follows graded from easiest to hardest.  All times are based on a reasonable level of fitness:-

    Imburano to pig camp (1 hour one way) – An easy steady climb along the ridge towards mount Tepelmengutu.  Takes you through stunning rainforest dominated by giant Schizomeria and Calophyllum trees.  Just walk part of the way if you want a shorter walk.  No guide needed.

    Imburano to Villa river (40 minutes one way) – A short but steep and when wet slippery descent from the lodge down to the beautiful Villa river which flows out of the crater.  Take a swim in the river and enjoy the raw beauty.  No guide needed.

    Imburano Villa river loop (4 hours return) – Can be done in either direction.  Walk up to pig camp, then take the steep descent down to the Villa river.  Be careful not to miss the skull burial site on your way down.  Follow tracks back down the river crossing the river regularly.  Finally take the short but steep ascent back up to Imburano.  Enjoy the river gorge, amazing Terminalia forest giants and have a swim in the icy cold water of the Villa.  It doesn’t get much more stunning than this.  Guide is essential as track can be unclear especially the point at which you leave the river.

    Imburano to Miles falls (4-5 hours return) – Take the steep descent down to the Villa then follow up the river until it branches.  Take the left branch to the beautiful Myles falls.  Our most popular day walk.  You’ll be tired by the end, but totally blown away by what you have seen.  Guide essential to ensure you stay on the correct track.

    Imburano to camp one via pig camp (2 hours one way) – Walk to pig camp and then gets more challenging with some steeper climbs as you ascend to camp one.  Can camp overnight here and enjoy the views out to Rendova and Vona Vona lagoon through a rare gap in the forest. Guide recommended.

    Imburano to Ringgi via the Villa river (tough full day) – This is our toughest day walk, but the rewards are well worth it.  Can be done in either direction but is recommended from Imburano to Ringgi as rain regularly occurs in the afternoons so it is better to be on the lower part of the river if this happens.  Leaving early (no later than 8am) descend from Imburano to the river.  Swim and walk your way down the river enjoying the stunning beauty and the amazing forests.  Keep you eyes open for pieces of Japanese plans that crashed during the war as we have found sections of the planes in the river.  The track is a mix of walking on tracks beside the river and walking in the river bed.  As the gorge opens up watch the river slowly change to become a semi braided stream in places.  This involves river walking on lose and sometimes wet stones so good shoes and a stick are best.  The authors personal favourite walk because it is just so indescribably beautiful!  Fisherman may want to carry a rod and try to cast lures for the plentiful jungle perch and the rare spotted bass.  This is only for fit people who are steady on their feet and confident to take on a tough rewarding walk.  A guide is essential.

    Imburano to Mount Tepelmengutu (2 or 3 days) – Day one climb the 4-5 hours to camp two.  Setup camp and replenish your water.  If you have time you might attempt the summit return the same day but you will need at least another 4-5 hours daylight.  Next day start early and climb the much steeper track towards the top of the volcano rim.  At points you’ll be on your hands and knees climbing over and under fallen trees and pulling yourself up the slope which can be as extreme as 30 degrees.  In 2-3 tough hours you’ll be on top of Tepelmengutu the second highest point along the volcano rim.  The last part of the climb will take you into amazing moss covered cloud forest found in only a few places around the country.  A totally different feel to the rest of the walk the transformation of the forest is amazing.  If you arrive early enough and are lucky there will be views in places on the climb up and at the top.  From nearly 1,800m above sea level you can see the world spread out at your feet.  Stay away from the nearly vertical 600m plunge into the crater!  Return back to camp two and either camp the night or pack up and walk back to Imburano the same day. Guide essential and porters recommended.

    Imburano to Mount Veve (3 or 4 days) – This walk can be done different ways depending on the groups fitness.  Most people climb the 4-5 hours to camp two on day one.  Day two they take on the much tougher climb (especially with packs) up to the top of Tepelmengutu (2-3 hours) then walk along the up and down crater rim track to camp three (2 hours).  Setup camp at camp three and replenish your water with the help of the guide.  If you have time you might attempt the summit and return the same day but you will need at least another 4-5 hours daylight.  At the summit try falling into the thick beds of moss as deep as you are tall.  Better than any bed you will ever lie in!  Not many people have stood on this spot as you’ll see by the almost total lack of any evidence of humans.  Well done.  Next day either head to the summit and on return pack up and return back over Tepelmengutu to camp two. Camp the night and the next day descend back to Imburano and a well earned rest.  You’ve climbed and ascended about 3,500m so the legs will be feeling it.  Enjoy relaxing for a few days.  Guide essential and porters recommended.

    Imburano to Crater Centre (2-4 days) – Descend to the Vila River from Imburano Lodge either directly from the lodge or from pig camp.  Walk about a day and a half to reach inside the crater along rough paths and the river bed, crossing the river constantly.  The gorge gets more and more pronounced as you get closer to the crater with the walls towering up 600m either side of you to the rim of the volcano.  Explore the many creeks and waterfalls joining the villa as you ascend into the crater.  There are three possible camp sites along the walk including one inside the crater.  Inside the crater you’ll feel the enormity of the crater with the towering walls rising to the sky all around you and water running down the steep cliff faces in many places.  This is a beautiful walk to one of the most rugged untouched places you will ever see.  You must carry extra food for 2-3 days as if it rains heavily the river can become impassable through the gorge section and you may need to wait a day or two for the levels to drop again.  As long as you are prepared this is just part of the adventure. Guide essential and porters recommended.

    Visit our What to bring page for gears that you need to bring for bush walking activities. Please note that gears are not provide by us or available for hire.

    Activity Video