The flight from Cairns to Buka via Port Moresby was about AUS$1,200 return. For the moment the only access to Bougainville is via Buka and 4WD to Arawa etc. The cost of the trip from Buka to Arawa is around K50 per person ($20) or you can hire your own 4WD and driver for K600 per day ($240). In my view the hire is a much easier option, as there is a distinct lack of public transport etc.
Most of the Island is open and free to people, with the exception of Panguna. I was invited to go up to Panguna while I was up there, but found out how quickly things become twisted when I was on our way up..nothing violent, the people are really back to normal, just a lot of politics and crap I was really not in the mood to listen to. I left and was later asked to go again the following day but refused. Next time I go back, in a few months I will have some photos of the pit etc for your site.
The Aravai guesthouse in Arawa is a really nice stay at K120 ($48) per night for the deluxe (Double Bed and Aircon while the generator is on) or K90 standard. This cost did include breakfast (I think). Dinner was K18. Booking can be made by E-mail or Telephone.
The fishing from anywhere is an absolute blast --- 8kg-coral trout from the beach at Pok Pok Point!!!!!
There are now regular Japanese guests travelling to the island, so they are quickly becoming accustomed to entertaining again. Food is simple but nice to eat and plentiful. The cook at the guest house is actually a white lady from Brisbane!!!!! Sandra is her name and she is married there and been there for a few yeas now. She runs the guesthouse for the owners. The guesthouse doesn't have a website but somebody built a communications centre smack-bang with all mod cons, including a broadband internet café, in the middle of Arawa so that using the internet is the new craze with a lot of people, including Sandra from the guesthouse who takes bookings by email.
I'll email you their phone number and email address later. If you need help setting up a trip around the island, your best bet is to contact the guesthouse (Sandra or Nancy) and get them to do it all.