In the mid-1870’s, German companies established the first trading ties within the area that would become German New Guinea. In 1884, the German flag was raised over several coastal towns, and the Neu Guinea Kompagnie was chartered to administer the area in 1885. This included the ability to administer postal services.
A post office was opened at Berlinhafen on 22 May 1898.
On 1 April 1899, the German government assumed responsibility for administering the colony, citing the inability of private sources to finance the necessary development within the colony.
Berlinhafen was renamed Eitape, the local native name, effective 1 October 1912. Eitape would then close on 4 December 1914 upon the arrival of Australian troops.