The availability of microbiological and geochemical data from island-based and high-arsenic hydrothermal systems is limited. Here, the microbial diversity in island-based hot springs on Ambitle Island (Papua New Guinea) was investigated using culture-dependent and -independent methods. Waramung and Kapkai are alkaline springs high in sulfide and arsenic, related hydrologically to previously described hydrothermal vents in nearby Tutum Bay. Enrichments were carried out at 24 conditions with varying temperature (45, 80 °C), pH (6.5, 8.5), terminal electron acceptors (O2, SO4 2−, S0, NO3 ), and electron donors (organic carbon, H2, AsIII). Growth was observed in 20 of 72 tubes, with media targeting heterotrophic metabolisms the most successful. 16S ribosomal RNA gene surveys of environmental samples revealed representatives in 15 bacterial phyla and 8 archaeal orders. While the Kapkai 4 bacterial clone library is primarily made up of Thermodesulfobacteria (74 %), no bacterial taxon represents a majority in the Kapkai 3 and Waramung samples (40 % Proteobacteria and 39 % Aquificae, respectively). Deinococcus/Thermus and Thermotogae are observed in all samples. The Thermococcales dominate the archaeal clone libraries (65–85 %). Thermoproteales, Desulfurococcales, and uncultured Eury- and Crenarchaeota make up the remaining archaeal taxonomic diversity. The culturing and phylogenetic results are consistent with the geochemistry of the alkaline, saline, and sulfide-rich fluids. When compared to other alkaline, island-based, high-arsenic, or shallow-sea hydrothermal communities, the Ambitle Island archaeal communities are unique in geochemical conditions, and in taxonomic diversity, richness, and evenness.