Rabaul Mask Festival and Fire Dance
Rabaul Mask Festival and
9 days Tour
Friday 30th June to Saturday 8th July 2023
The New Guinea Island of New Britain offers a wonderland of cultural expression and historical intrigue set against the most dramatic of natural landscapes. Kimbe Bay is one of the world’s most ecological diverse marine environments and also hosts many beautiful endemic bird species on the slopes of its jungle clad volcanoes. Attend East New Britain Mask Festival where ancient animist beliefs are celebrated in enthralling performances of music and dance. Relax on the idyllic Duke of York Islands. Climb Mount Tavurvur, the active stratovolcano, that steams menacingly above the lunar like landscape of Rabaul Township. Learn about the key roles this island played during the 2 world wars and the colonial characters that shaped its current status as a hub of economic advancement.
*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:
Arrive in Papua New Guinea to travel by plane to Kimbe, West New Britain in the New Guinea Islands. Transit to the Resort with it’s beautiful beach front views of Kimbe Bay that capture a tranquil ambience.
Enjoy a jungle climb through tall primary forest up the Mt Gubuna volcano and view an array of prolific birdlife, steaming vents, volcanic rubble and hot streams. Bathe in river water heated by the volcano with swirling pools, mini waterfalls and sticky mud.
Day 3: Marine Marvel
Explore what Kimbe’s coastline has to offer with boating, fishing, an island visit and excellent snorkelling off white sandy beaches. Sea kayak and dive amongst the beauty of Kimbe Bay, one of the worlds most ecological diverse marine environments.
Day 4: Birdwatching
Birdwatching in Kimbe at dawn can be rewarding with over 50 bird species recorded in the immediate area. Fly to East New Britain where Rabaul in it’s halcyon days was called the “Pearl of the South Pacific”. View plantations on the fertile Gazelle Peninsula. Check into your Resort.
Day 1: New Britain Beauty
Early morning climb of the active volcano, Mt Tavurvur. View steam vents, hot springs and the megapode egg hunters. Visit Vulcanological Observatory and Rabaul Market. Interact with locals in a coastal island village, enjoying a traditional feast and beach relaxation.
Day 2: Natural Wonderland
Attend the “Kinavai” heralding the arrival of the Tolai Tumbuans at dawn. These men are from the Tumbuan, a Duk-Duk secret society, part of the Tolai people’s traditional culture. View the extravaganza of cultural dancing, ritual performance, display, story telling and exchange.
Day 6: Rabaul Mask Festival
View more activities at the Mask Festival as it includes impressively dressed dancers from other provinces, in particular, from West New Britain and New Ireland. Their costumes and elaborate ancestral and spirit masks vary in style, size and meaning and represent their unique cultural identity.
Day 7: Culture & History
Ramble around the apocalyptic lunar like landscape of Rabual Township. Explore the WW2 Japanese military command bunker of Admiral Yamamoto, barge and hospital tunnels. See the spectacular night time performance of the Bainings Fire Dance. Relax beachside in your plantation resort accommodation.
Day 5: Volcano Climb
Plane departs Rabaul for Port Moresby. Visit the Port Moresby Nature Park. Connect with the flight returning you to your home country.
Day 9: Nature Park and then Home
Did you know?
The Mask Festival is the only festival of its kind in Papua New Guinea. Together with their amazing costumes, groups from all across the islands gather in the coastal town of Kokopo to showcase their elaborate ancestral and spirit masks whilst performing ritual dances, each style forging the unique cultural identity of a tribe.
Witness the 'Kinavai' opening ceremony at dawn, as the arrival of ancestral spirits are welcomed to chants and the beating of kundu drums by elders and initiated young men on canoes.
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. Join us as we experience one of the most fascinating festivals Papua New Guinea has to offer.