SOME people dream of buying an island. Australian Ian Gowrie-Smith bought an entire archipelago — sight unseen.
P&O Cruises Pacific Jewel has made history by becoming the first cruise ship to visit the remote Conflict Islands, putting the idyllic atoll — and their fascinating owner — briefly in the spotlight.
The 21 islands ranging from 1ha to 97 ha gathered in a pear shape around a sheltered lagoon are about 150km from Alotau at the eastern tip of Papua New Guinea.
With pristine reefs and abundant marine life, these serene remnants of an extinct volcano were named after British ship HMS Conflict which charted them in 1886.