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Visit Papua New Guinea with Pope Francis.    Explore the Volcanic Wonder of Rabaul & The Iconic Goroka Show & Asaro Mudmen
Rabaul is Home to Peter To Rot - Beatified in 1995 by Pope John Paul ii

attend Two major Papal Events, View Port Moresby's Highlights &    Explore East New Britain's Rabaul, & Duke of York Islands     See The Highlands Iconic Goroka Show & Famous Asoro Mudmen

Rabaul is the home of Peter To Rot, beatified by Pope John Paul ii in 1995 and who may be canonised as a saint during Pope Francis's PNG September visit.

  Saturday 7th to Monday 16th September 2024   
  10 Days / 9 Night   Fully Escorted & Safe Small Group Tour 
AUD6,395  p.p 

TWIN SHARE

Single Supplement AUD490 P.P.

INCLUSIONS : All Meals, Accommodation, Guides, Sightseeing, Entry Fees , Porterage, Transfers, Land Transport & Experienced Australian Tour Leader.

Exclusions : Visa costs, alcoholic and soft drinks or any meals not included in the itinerary.  International Airfare - Ex Brisbane approximately AUD750 Return & Domestic Airfares - Port Moresby to Rabaul,  approx. AUD550 return, Port Moresby to Goroka, approx AUD700 return. NOTE : Flynn's Tours will advise on the most suitable air route for your International travel and how to submit your visitor visa.  

Why not combine this 10 Day Short Stay tour with other interesting destinations within Papua New Guinea including Mt Hagen's Birds of Paradise and the intimacy of the stunningly scenic Lake Kutubu Festival. This is a once in a Lifetime Opportunity ! Longer package options are available. 

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Air Nuigini Flights depart on Saturday 7th of September 2024  from Brisbane at 10.40 am arriving in Port Moresby at 1.50 pm. Depart from Cairns at 7.00 am arriving in Port Moresby at 8.30 am. Depart from Honiara, Solomon Islands at 11.40 am arriving in Port Moresby at 1.00 pm. Friday the 6th of September departures will have you arrive from Sydney in Port Moresby at 3.15 pm on Friday, from Hong Kong at 5.30 am on Saturday, From Manila at 5.00 am on Saturday.  A flight from Singapore on Saturday at 10.35 pm will have you arrive in Port Moresby at 5.15 am on Sunday and after an early check-in and rest will have you arrive in time to join in the 2 days of the  Papal visit events in Port Moresby. 

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Day By Day Itinerary - 10 Day Papal Visit Tour

Day 1– Saturday 7th Sept.–Arrival in PNG & visit renowned Nature Park

Arrive at Jacksons Airport, Port Moresby on your flight from your airport of choice. Transfer to your hotel with early check-in for those arriving on early morning flights. In the afternoon  we will visit the Port Moresby Nature Park. Spread over 30 acres the park is home to over 250 native animals and birds along with hundreds of plant species, many of which are rarely seen outside of PNG. The Nature Park has won a number of international awards for its works. We will spend the evening in comfortable accommodation in Port Moresby where you will be briefed on the tour that you will enjoy  with some of the rarest and authentic experiences a global traveller could wish for.

Sanctuary Hotel Resort and Spa - Port Moresby or similar

Day 2 – Sunday 8th Sept - Attend Mass with Pope Francis

Following Pope Francis's arrival from his visit to Indonesia on Friday 6th and his  official meetings with PNG government officials and a gathering of the PNG Council of Churches on the previous Saturday the Pope will meet the passionate people of Papua New Guinea. This morning Pope Francis will have a breakfast meeting with the Prime Minister James Marape. Prime Minister Marape has expressed his appreciation that the Holy Father is visiting Papua New Guinea on the eve of the country’s 49th Independence anniversary. Prime Minister Marape said the National Government is happy and ready to welcome him and “make the visit a success”. It will be the 87-year-old Pontiff’s first visit to the country and the Oceania region. Pope Francis is the 266th and current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, a title he holds ex-officio as Bishop of Rome, and sovereign of Vatican City. 

This morning we will attend the Sir John Guise Stadium where Pope Francis will conduct the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the ritual re-enactment of the Last Supper and of the death of Jesus, commemorated by the consecration of the Host (bread) and wine. After this important event we will safely explore Port Moresby attending the Boroko Craft Market and the Ela Beach Craft Market where you can pick up hand-carved masks, drums and ornaments, jewellery made from shells, paintings by Papua New Guinea artists, and the woven bags used by Papua New Guineans called bilums.

We will view stilt houses, or pile dwellings perched above the sea, which used to be very common in PNG’s capital Port Moresby. Today there are only two stilt villages left – Hanuabada on the north-west outskirts of the city and Koki at the eastern end of Ela Beach. We will collectively choose a great place in Port Moresby  for an early afternoon meal choosing  from some considered suggestions depending on the groups tastes and preferences. We will also visit PNG’s National Parliament House. 

Sanctuary Hotel Resort and Spa - or similar - Port Moresby

Day 3 – Monday 9th Sept. - Join the Pope's Youth Festival - for all ages

This morning we will attend the Youth Festival to be held at Sir John Guise Stadium. More information will be provided as it comes to hand from Fr Lawrence Arockiaraj , the General Co-ordinator of the Papal Visit. But it will be a very colourful and vibrant event. Papua New Guineans are experts when blending traditional culture into their modern celebrations. In a land of over 800 tribes, each with their own customary dress , a proudness of their land and tribal connections is expressed in song, dance and dressing up. To date, over 98% of Papua New Guinea citizens identify as Christian. Catholicism represents the largest Christian denomination in the country with an estimated 4 million people — about 25% of the total population. You will enjoying in a fabulous celebration of the countrys strong bond with Christianity. Children and youth will be central to Pope Francis’ visit to Papua New Guinea and Father Giorgio Licini, secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Solomon Islands said young people are central in the planning of the papal trip to Papua New Guinea. In the Catholic Church, “the level of participation by laity and youth is high,” he said. “Everything is ‘young’ in PNG: church, country, modern civilization.” Isabella Saleu, a young laywoman working for Caritas Papua New Guinea — the justice, peace, relief, and development agency of the Catholic Church in the country — said she looks forward to the youth festival planned with the Pope and believes his visit will be a “spiritually enriching experience” that will reinforce the Catholic identity in the country. “The world needs us young people and all the enthusiasm we have to make it better, safer, happier and more Christ-like,” Saleu says “Over the years, the Church has not only evangelised but [also] has contributed immensely to delivering basic services by providing schools and institutions, hospitals, clinics and aid posts, safe houses, and facilities for pastoral and social services.” 

Participants of the 4 Day Tour Package will visit a couple of the pastoral facilities around Port Moresby to meet the workers and get a feel for the challenges that they and most importantly the people they help face on a daily basis.

Participants of the 7 and 10 Day Tour Packages will transit to Jacksons Airport for a 3.25 pm Air Nuigini flight to Rabaul on East New Britain.

4 Day Package Participants -Sanctuary Hotel Resort and Spa - or similar- in POM
7  Day & More Package Participants - Rapopo Plantation Resort  in Kokopo
Day 4 – Lukim Kokopo & The Gazelle Tour

This morning we arise early to attend an early mass at the Cathedral at Vunapope Catholic mission before returning to the hotel for breakfast. We then embark on our Flynn’s Tours “Lukim Kokopo Tour” that includes a scenic tour of the Gazelle Peninsula. You will observe cocoa, copra and palm oil cultivation undertaken in the rich volcanic soil, noting the area’s significant contribution to the national economy. Kokopo, named Herbertshohe in the earliest colonial period, was from 1884 to 1910 the capital of the German New Guinea colonial empire. You will visit the historic German cemetery and the Kokopo Lookout. View the beachside  landing site at Kabakaul from where Australian military forces advanced in 1914 to capture the German wireless station at Bita Paka. This battle was Australia’s first major military engagement of the First World War. Bita Paka War Cemetary is now the resting place of over one thousand Australian and Allied soldiers who met their fate during World War 2, when “Fortress Rabaul” became the South Pacific headquarters and staging post for the Japanese Imperial Forces. It was occupied by 100,000 Japanese soldiers. Closer to Kokopo we visit the Agmark cocoa fermentary where the method of processing cocoa for export to the world’s chocolate makers is explained by the fermentary management.  Enjoy stunning views and stand on “Emma’s Steps” and hear stories about the achievements and exploits of Queen Emma Coe. We visit the Kokopo Museum which houses an impressive range of war relics along with an informative display of colonial, military and natural history. The afternoon ends with a swim and some snorkeling on the home reef with an abundance of marine life at the  laid back beach environment at Kulau Lodge Beach Resort. Enjoy a hearty meal a good nights rest.

Kulau Lodge Beach Resort - Rabaul
Day 5 – Volcano Climb , History Galore & the Beatified Peter To Rot

Be ready to enjoy spectacular views on an early morning climb of the active volcano, Mt Tavurvur. While the climb is challenging, it’s not beyond most people’s capability to reach the top. Flynn’s Tours has had an octogenarian comfortably complete the ascent. During the visit to Rabaul we will visit the church and memorial in the village of  Rakunai where the beatified catechist Peter To Rot was born. Locals are hoping that during Pope Francis's visit to Papua New Guinea he may Canonise Peter To Rot, elevating him to Sainthood. You can take in further views of Rabaul’s picturesque harbour and its six volcanoes from the Vulcanological Observatory on Tunnel Hill. An informative talk delivered by an onsite vulcanologist will enlighten you of the workings of volcanoes, lava, magma and related geological, geophysical and geochemical phenomena.  You will tour the area of current volcano activity and clamber around Mount Tavurvur. See the hot springs, sulphurous steam points and the megapode egg hunters who burrow metres into the black sand emerging with the prized eggs. Megapodes do not incubate their eggs with their body heat as other birds do, but bury them. Their eggs are unique in having a large yolk, making up 50-70% of the egg weight. The birds here are burrow-nesters which use geothermal heat. Some species vary their incubation strategy, such as building mounds to bury them in, depending on the local environment. We travel around the remains of old Rabaul town (including its airport) which resembles a lunar landscape, following its burial in volcanic ash during the dramatic eruptions of 1994. Prior to the burial of Rabaul town it was revered as “the Pearl of the South Pacific”. East New Britain’s commercial hub has been re-established in a modernised Kokopo over the past 30 years. Rabaul was also badly damaged during an earlier eruption on 6 June 1937, five years before the occupation by Japanese military. We visit Matupit Island whose people and settlement survived the worst of the 1994 volcanic eruption despite their location immediately beneath it. Visit old Rabaul Township and see the resulting destruction caused by the 1994 volcanic explosions. Discover the pre-European settlement history and recent colonial occupations by German, Japanese and Australian administrations at the New Guinea Club and Rabaul Historical Display. Explore the Japanese military command bunker of Admiral Yamamoto where maps of the surrounding area are etched into the bunkers ceiling at head height. Tonight we again relax in idyllic surroundings at Kulau Beach Lodge, Kabakada Village in Talia Bay on the North Coast Road.               

Kulau Lodge Beach Resort - Rabaul
Day 6 –  Duke of York Islands & "Pang Pang Sand Bar "  Sea Adventure

This morning we travel by boat across the St. Georges Channel to the Duke of York Islands and their picturesque lagoons. This idyllic paradise is made up of a dozen or so islands set among a mesmerizingly, forever changing backdrop of colourful tropical landscapes. The natural beauty is interspersed with scenes of village life as the happy villagers go about living beside the tranquil waters they share with an abundance of marine life. The welcoming host of Corey’s Eco Sea Lodge will ensure that your traditional village style accommodation is comfortable, secure and restful as where we are based is a largely uninhabited island called Ulu. We will dine on plentiful amounts of delicious and freshly harvested fruit, vegetables and fish. Relax whilst birdwatching on the many enchanting jungle trails or beachcomb at your leisure. Learn from hands-on agricultural demonstrations of cocoa, coconut and native garden cultivation and harvesting.  We will visit Kabakon “the garden” Island and the aclaimed Pangpang “sand” Island. The natural beauty is interspersed with the scenes of happy villagers on Karrawara Island who go about living beside the tranquil waters they share with an abundance of marine life. Be enthralled with the playful dolphins and mysterious dugongs. In 1902, the 25-year-old German health reformer, August Engelhardt, who practiced sun worship and a strict coconut diet, retreated from Bavarian university life to Kabakon Island in the Duke of York Islands, which he purchased from his mother country with an inheritance. The first few years were idyllic. Engelhardt established a coconut plantation and called his followers to join him in this brave new world. They called themselves Sonnenorden and practised sun worship and nudity and lived off coconuts. But it didn’t last. Learn out why! We make our way from the islands by boat to the mainland on East New Britain where we will transit to the airport for our afternoon flight to Port Moresby. Transit from Jacksons Airport , Port Moresby to our hotel accommodation for the evening meal and a well earned rest.

Sanctuary Hotel Resort and Spa - Port Moresby or similar

Day 7 – Goroka – Iconic Asaro Mudmen

This morning we transit to Jacksons Airport, Port Moresby for an 9.15 am flight to Goroka arriving at 10.05 am to transit to our accommodation for check-in.

We visit the McCarthy Museum. The museum houses collections of artefacts and specimens from the Highlands region including wooden dishes, stone mortars, stone blades, magic stones and sandstones for making stone blades. There are also some WWII relics on display including a P-39 Airacobra.

We attend the agricultural show component of the Goroka Show that highlights the farming activities of the Highlanders. Displays include unique floral species produced by the vibrant local floriculture industry. The regions crops include broccoli, kau kau or sweet potato, carrots, ginger and peanuts are examples of produce that grow well here; nearby Bena Bena is known for its pineapples.

We visit the Komunive Village, a traditional highlands village of the iconic Asaro Mudmen. Legend has is that once, when the local tribe had been attacked, those not killed or captured fled into the Asaro River to hide from their attackers. Here they became covered in the white river mud. When dusk fell they decided to return to their village, still caked in mud – though not deliberately so. When the enemy tribe, still in village, saw the men now caked in mud they fled, believing them to be spirits or the avenging ghosts of the villagers they had earlier killed.

Pacific Gardens Hotel  - Goroka

Day 8 – Goroka Show - Eastern Highlands

Today we attend the iconic Goroka Cultural Show including the pre-show costuming preparations. Papua New Guinea’s premier cultural event, the Goroka Show, is the longest running annual cultural festival in Papua New Guinea and is held during the nation's Independence Day celebrations. More than 100 tribes participate in the event performing extraordinary displays of 'sing-sings' - traditional songs, dances and ritual performances. The staging of the Goroka Show began in 1957 and was first introduced and organised by Australian patrol officers known locally as 'kiaps'. Kiaps from each district built round houses typical of their districts where they displayed the various and unique cultures of the people living there. The kiaps brought in 'sing-sing' groups from surrounding areas. It created an entertaining weekend for everyone, and still does 60 years later. The “Sing Sing” enables a limited number of Western tourists to experience up close, the colour, movement and music performed by the largest gathering of diverse tribes in the South Pacific. Your camera clicking finger will earn a rest, having recorded some of the most memorable days of your global travels.

Pacific Gardens Hotel  - Goroka

Day 9 – Goroka Show - Eastern Highlands

We attend day two of the iconic Goroka Show and your guide will explain the customs of the great variety of tribal groups and where they source the many materials that are woven into their colourful and visually striking costumes and also the substances that they decorate their bodies with. We will pop back into the agricultural displays to see anything we couldn’t see on Friday and check out who the prize winners are.

We visit a coffee plantation to view a coffee processing mill and  enjoy fruit wine tasting. You will be taken through the growing as well as the factory process from factory door to preparing the green bean ready for export. This enterprise is assisting in improving Papua New Guinea’s declining coffee production, including supplying seedlings by the thousands, as well as increasing the quality of its product. Coffee is Papua New Guinea's second largest agricultural export, employing tens of thousands of people. We will view a tea plantation and visit a local village where we observe horticultural activities and also eat sumptuously tasty foods prepared by traditional methods in a beautiful panoramic setting.

Sanctuary Hotel Resort and Spa - Port Moresby or similar
Day 10 – Port Moresby & Home 

Today you can fly home with direct Air Niugini flights to Brisbane at 6.30 am  Cairns at at 9.35 am & 5 pm, Sydney at 6.20 am, Manila at 4.55 pm, Honiara at 9.45 am & Singapore at 2.50 pm.  

A range of air carriers provide flights to all the above destinations.

YOU CAN CONTINUE ON FROM THE GOROKA SHOW TO THE INTIMATE LAKE KUTUBU FESTIVAL AS PART OF THE MELANESIAN WONDERLAND ADVENTURE

OF AN EXOTIC PAPUA NEW GUINEA.

The Photos below are a taste of other amazing destinations across PNG

Did you know?
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As Pope St. John Paul II remarked at Peter To Rot's beatification in 1995, his fearless defense of marriage exemplifies a refusal to compromise moral principles, even in the face of adversity.

Locals are hoping that Pope Francis may Canonise Peter To Rot, elevating him to Sainthood during his visit to Papua New Guinea.

Born in 1912, Peter To Rot's narrative finds its origins in the 1870s when Methodist missionaries introduced Christianity to the New Guinea  Islands around East New Britain. Subsequently, the Catholic Missionaries of the Sacred Heart arrived, notably winning over many islanders, including influential figures like Angelo To Puia, who embraced Catholicism in 1898. Angelo's conversion spurred his village and neighboring communities to follow suit, establishing a flourishing regional Catholic community. Among the missionaries and clergy who were scarce in the vast Oceania region, lay catechists played a crucial role in nurturing the local Church. Blessed Peter To Rot stood out among them, demonstrating piety and teaching skills that propelled him into a leadership position. Despite the sparse presence of clergy, To Rot dedicated himself to strengthening the faith of his community, even after marrying Paula Ia Varpit in 1936.

The Japanese invasion of the island in 1942 posed a significant threat to the New Guinea Church. To Rot, entrusted with continuing the work of a departing missionary, defied Japanese attempts to undermine Church teachings, particularly regarding marriage. Despite the risk, he organized secret religious gatherings and resisted the re-introduction of legal polygamy by the Japanese, staunchly defending monogamy. His steadfastness led to his arrest and eventual martyrdom in July 1945, underscoring his commitment to the faith and the sanctity of Christian marriage.

Celebrated each year on July 7th, the feast of Blessed Peter To Rot, commemorates his exemplary courage that  holds special significance amidst contemporary challenges to traditional marital values. In a culture increasingly diverging from conventional views on marriage, the Church's teachings face growing opposition. Yet, like Blessed Peter, may married individuals remain unwavering in both living out and advocating for these teachings. As Pope St. John Paul II remarked at To Rot's beatification in 1995, his fearless defense of marriage exemplifies a refusal to compromise moral principles, even in the face of adversity.

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The Tubuan Society of the local Tolai people who have strict laws and taboos.

Learn of the Ingiet stone carvings associated with the powerful Ingiet sorcerers and the secret men’s society, outlawed by the German administration in 1905. Early missionaries and travellers to New Britain found it to be the only area in the Pacific region they had come across where the locals had a true money currency of a standard value. The Europeans were intrigued by the local monetary system and the way in which Tambu was intricately woven into the very texture of social life. It still plays its role in Tolai society today, maintaining its cultural significance, particularly as part of the bride price or gift giving to the father of the would be bride.

Queen Emma Coe was a Polynesian Princess and daughter of an American sailor and Samoan mother who in the late 19th century brought commerce to East New Britain, through her savvy business sense and huge land holdings, upon which she grew an abundance of copra and cocoa. The steps are 140 years old, built in 1882 to grace Queen Emma’s famous bungalow Gunantambu. They were climbed by Governors, Ambassadors and Officers representing German Kaiser, American President and kings of England, France and other European nations along with assorted bishops and world-renowned scientists, explorers, anthropologists and adventurers. Gunantambu gatherings were famous throughout the South Seas.

The densely populated Highlands region of mainland Papua New Guinea was “discovered” as recently as the 1930’s by Australian gold prospectors, Mick Leahy and Michael Dwyer. Melanesians have occupied the highland interior of New Guinea Island probably for more than 30,000 years, developing advanced plant cultivation and irrigation technologies at 1,500 metres above sea level, possibly 10,000 years ago, establishing themselves amongst the world’s earliest agriculturists. The oldest evidence for this is in the Kuk Swamp area, where planting, digging and staking of plants, and possibly drainage have been used to cultivate taro, banana, sago and yam.

Sago is extracted from Metroxylon Palms by splitting the stem lengthwise and removing the pith which is then crushed and kneaded to release the starch before being washed and strained to extract the starch from the fibrous residue. The raw starch is suspended in water and then collected in a settling container.

Digaso oil is rubbed on the skin to give traditional dancers a shiny black look. It comes from the Digaso tree found growing among sago palms. The pinkish-white heartwood produces abundant clear exudes which react with oxygen to form black oil. The Kutubuans oil is stored in long bamboos, kept in the longhouses and traded for modern money, traditional shell money and pigs. Traditionally the oil was traded with the Huli people for pigs, Nipa people for stone axes and the Enga people for salt. In the past it was also used to protect against lice and heal sores.

The Rabaul Caldera was created about 1400 years ago with an explosion which erupted 11 cubic kilometres of rock. This massive outpouring of gas, lava, rocks and ash produced the largest volcanic dry fog in recorded history. A mysterious cloud that blocked sunlight for 12 to 18 months over Europe, China and the Middle East in 536 AD is linked to this mighty eruption.                                                           

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