Melanesian Wonderland-Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
18 days Tour
USD 10,560 p.p
Monday 4th to Thursday 21st September 2023
As the most extensive and expansive PNG tour on offer anywhere in the country, expect an array of cultural expression, arts, crafts, customs and historical intrigue like nothing on earth. All set against the most dramatic of natural landscapes in one of the world’s most ecological diverse and intact environments. Travel along the mighty Sepik River - the largest uncontaminated freshwater wetland system in the Asia-Pacific region- interacting with carvers of intrinsically created artworks inside the largest of Spirit Houses. Traverse three Highlands provinces photographing Birds of Paradise at close quarters and attending extraordinary displays of 'sing-sings' - traditional songs, dances, rituals and unique customs including attending the iconic Goroka Show. Discover the mystic of Lake Kutubu and the Digaso and Kundu Festival. Visit the New Guinea Islands including the lunar like landscape of Rabaul, climbing the active stratovolcano Mount Tavurvur and experience Bougainville with it’s big rivers and reefs, big jungle and even bigger smiles.
*This tour includes return International flight departing Brisbane and all PNG Domestic Flights, all accomodation, transport, meals, taxes, local guides & Australian Tour Leader
**Price adjustment will apply to packages non including the return flight from Brisbane to Port Moresby
Day By Day Presentation:
Day 1: Port Moresby
Arrive in PNG national capital , Port Moresby. Spend the afternoon exploring the Varirata National Park and nearby waterfalls. Visit the iconic Kokoda Track on the Sogeri Plateau. Stay in boutique hotel accommodation with Birds of Paradise in the gardens.
Day 2: Sepik River
Travel by plane to Wewak, in the East Sepik Province. Travel overland to the Middle Sepik River region. Visit Korogo and Palembei villages in motorised dugout canoe. Stay in Kangananman village in the spiritual shadow of the largest and oldest Spirit House on the river.
Early morning birdwatching on Chambri Lakes in a motorised dugout canoe. Visit Aibom, renowned for pottery and Kamanimbit village where villagers artfully produce magnificent wood carvings. Crocodile spotting and “talk talk” accompanied by customary music in the Kanganaman Spirit Haus at night.
Day 3: Lakes, pottery & carvings
Day 4: Highlands Highlights
Early departure to travel upstream on the Sepik River in a motorised dugout canoe to Pagwi for overland return to Wewak airport. Plane departs for Port Morseby where you can enjoy a birdwatching activity and then relax in your boutique hotel accommodation.
Depart from Port Moresby flying by plane to Goroka in the Eastern Highlands. Visit the Asaro Mud Men’s village. Enjoy a traditional meal in a village setting with locals. See a Coffee processing mill and taste fruit wine. Jungle walk to see farming activity in traditional village setting.
Day 5: Mud Men Village
Day 6: Goroka Show
Attend Day One of iconic Goroka Show with it’s magnificent colour and excitement when dances, chants and songs are performed by many hundreds of tribes people dressed in a mindboggling array of traditional costume.
Travel overland to Mt Hagen on the picturesque Highlands Highway. Visit the 9,500 year old Kuk farming site. Stay in the luxurious Rondon Ridge Lodge high above the Wahgi Valley. Jungle walk for Birds of Paradise and exquisite orchids.
Day 7: Highlands Highway
Day 8: Birds of Paradise
Enjoy early morning birdwatching at a lower altitude to view the Blue Bird of Paradise, the Superb Bird of Paradise and demonstration of Highland farming practices. View exquisite orchids at the only bird lodge in PNG where Birds of Paradise are amongst the regulars at the lodge feeders.
Day 9: Birds Galore
Early morning birdwatching at your highlands Lodge. Fly from Mt. Hagen to Port Moresby. Visit National Museum of Art and Culture and view PNG National Parliament House. Stay in boutique hotel accommodation with Birds of Paradise in the gardens.
Day 10: Lake Kutubu
Visit some more Port Moresby highlights before flying over the Gulf to the Southern Highlands to Moro. Transit to Lake Kutubu for your dugout canoe journey up the 20 km long Lake to the “Island in the Clouds” and it’s Lodge with a mesmerising view.
Day 11: Digaso Festival
Travel through the jungle to Daga village for the Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival that highlights the Foi peoples unique customs and rituals. See warrior like men, bodies glistening with the tigaso (digaso) oil that is harvested from the Kara’o tree.
Day 12: Customs & Rituals
Enjoy another day of festival activities and a dugout canoe tour of Lake Kutubu or Ibu Kua or “Mother of Water” as the local name goes. The Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival celebrates the Kutubu peoples continuing connection with their beautiful surrounds
Day 13: Canoe Racing
Participate in the festival canoe races and cultural activities on the shores of Lake Kutubu. Understand the importance cultural expression plays in conserving the lake and the surrounding forest and how the lake dwellers warm hospitality strengthens your fondness of their spectacular landscape.
Day 14: Skull Caves
Visit the Skull caves and Yobo village with it’s traditional long house and enjoy “ talk talk” with the village elders. Observe the production of the sago tree into its edible by-products and water plant harvesting.
Day 15: Spectacular View
Leaving the entrancing views of Lake Kutubu, seen from your “Eyrie”, you will descend the hundreds of moss encrusted steps to the awaiting dugout canoe for the last time. Fly by plane to Port Moresby to enjoy a Balinese massage at your boutique hotel accommodation
Day 16: "Pearl of South Pacific"
Fly from Port Moresby to Rabaul on East New Britain island, known in it’s halcyon days as “the Pearl of the South Pacific”. Relax beachside in your plantation resort accommodation. Learn about the key roles this island played during the 2 world wars. See the spectacular night time performance of the Bainings Fire Dance.
Day 17: Volcano Climb
Early morning climb of the active volcano, Mt Tavurvur. View steam vents, hot springs and the megapode egg hunters. Visit the Volcanology Observatory and Rabaul Market. Ramble around the lunar like landscape of Rabual Township. Explore the WW2 Japanese military command bunker of Admiral Yamamoto, barge and hospital tunnels.
Day 18: Extend your Stay?
Plane departs Rabaul for Port Moresby. Visit the Port Moresby Nature Park. Connect with the flight returning you to your home country.
Did you know?
The Sepik River is the longest river on the island of New Guinea, and after the Fly and the Mamberamo the third largest by volume. The majority of the river flows through the Papua New Guinea (PNG) provinces of Sandaun (formerly West Sepik) and East Sepik, with a small section flowing through the Indonesian province of Papua.
The Sepik has a large catchment area, and landforms that include swamplands, tropical rainforests and mountains. Biologically, the river system is often said to be possibly the largest uncontaminated freshwater wetland system in the Asia-Pacific region. But, in fact, numerous fish and plant species have been introduced into the Sepik since the mid-20th century.
From the headwaters to the mouth, the river flows through at least 12 different Sepik languages, each corresponding to one or more culture regions of related villages that exhibit similar social characteristics. The largest language and culture group along the river is the Iatmul people.
The ‘Goroka Show’ is the longest running annual cultural festival in Papua New Guinea 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 cultural practices of the people of Lake Kutubu result in their wise use of natural resources. They illustrate on a daily basis the importance that traditional methods and cultural expressions play in conserving the lake and it’s surrounding forest.
The Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival celebrates the Kutubu peoples continuing connection with their beautiful surrounds
Experience the spectacular Baining Fire Dance from the Tolai’s of the mainland of East New Britain Province, where in this night-time traditional dance, initiated young men perform harrowing dances through blazing fires amidst evocative chanting by their elders.
Any question or want to make a booking, contact us Here:
Or why not choose from 3 of the outer island short stays
including 4 days in either
West New Britain