PG1 PAPUA NEW GUINEA TOUR

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Featuring the Goroka Show

A performer of Goroka Festival in Papua New Guinea (photo J Hodgson)
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Meeting local villagers; myriad cultures Highland & Lowland scenery, flora & fauna; Beautiful, comfortable, environmentally sensitive lodges; Annual Goroka Show

  • DATES & PRICES
  • FULL ITINERARY
  • MAP & HOTELS
  • TRIP INFORMATION

Dates & Prices

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Prices are in US Dollars (USD), before taxes (see note below, if applicable) - All pricing reflects twin-sharing, per-person pricing for the TOUR AND INTERNAL FLIGHTS ONLY; however, we can book flights from your home airport to join the tour for an added cost. Contact us for a no obligation quote.


Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Thu 13 Sep 2018Mon 24 Sep 2018 $8880 USD
Thu 12 Sep 2019Mon 23 Sep 2019 $8880 USD

Due to strict booking terms applied by PNG, a $1000 deposit is required. Contrary to our regular terms and conditions, this deposit is non-refundable and NON-TRANSFERRABLE once our tour is 'guaranteed' (ie cannot be applied to another tour, fully or in part). An additional $1000 advance payment is payable once our tour is 'guaranteed.'

Optional Single Supplement: $1600 USD (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $1600, if twin-sharing accommodation is unavailable.


Tour Overview


We are delighted to have secured 2018 space at some of PNG's most renown wilderness lodges at a time that coincides with the famous Goroka Show, a thrilling traditional costume and dance competitions where you will witness a huge diversity of cultural groups from all regions of the country in all their traditional finery, singing and dancing to the beat of Kundu drums.

PNG is, in the truest sense, the last frontier on earth. The first explorers to the country only arrived a little over a hundred years ago, and then, only hovered on the fringe; the vast expanses of thick jungle and razor sharp mountains proved too daunting for even the most intrepid explorer. The rich wealth of flora and fauna will thrill the nature lover, while the strong and vibrant culture that dominates every day life in Papua New Guinea will fascinate the most seasoned traveller. If PNG is on your "to do" list, this is the trip for you!

Regions visited: Oceania And South Pacific
Countries visited: Papua New Guinea


Full Itinerary

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Day 1 Arrival in Port Moresby
Welcome to Papua New Guinea!

Port Moresby is the capital and largest city of Papua New Guinea (PNG). The city is on the shores of the Gulf of Papua. Its population is around 300,000 and growing quickly. The indigenous people of the area are the Motu-Koitabu. Moresby, as it is commonly known, got its name from Captain John Moresby who arrived in 1873 as the first European visitor.

Due to our early flight tomorrow, and because Port Moresby is lacking redeeming qualities (and proper security), we choose to spend tonight at an airport area hotel.

Overnight in Port Moresby.

Included Meal(s): Dinner

Day 2 Port Moresby - Goroka
This morning we fly to Goroka.*

Goroka, a small outpost station in the 1950's, has developed into an attractive town with modern facilities and relaxed atmosphere. It is a major Highlands commercial centre of 25,000 people and, with an altitude of 1600 m (5,280 feet), it has the climate of perpetual spring.

Today's activity is a highlands village experience. A scenic drive from Goroka brings us to Kemase, a rural village. Here the local people farm the land to support themselves with food, and grow cash crops such as coffee and market vegetables to raise income to buy clothing and other needs, and pay school fees for their children. On arrival at the village you will receive a traditional welcome and meet the village people. A small crowd of enthusiastic "guides" will show you around the village, including private homes, the village school, village church, and important village artifacts such as bride price ornaments and traditional money.

You will be taken to the village gardens and shown how yams and other staple vegetables are cultivated. The spiritual connection between the village people and their gardens will be explained to you: the locals believe that people's behaviour affects the growth of the garden crops.

We drive back to Goroka town, having made a gamut of new friends who we will surely bump into again at the Goroka Show tomorrow.

* PLEASE NOTE that, due to an extreme shortage of accommodation during show time, single accommodation may not be possible in Goroka. If we are forced to double-up single travellers (same sex), your single supplement, if chosen, will be reduced by US$945.

Overnight in Goroka.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3 The Goroka Show
Each year the highland tribes of Papua New Guinea gather in Goroka to celebrate ancestral traditions that are still an integral part of daily life -- known as the 'Sing Sing,' the Pidgin English word for a sing along! The Goroka Cultural Show generally takes place in mid-September and is not put on strictly for the tourists but is a tradition passed down through the centuries from family member to member.

This thrilling song and dance competition will be a highlight of your trip. During the show you will witness a diversity of cultural groups from both the Highlands and the coastal regions of the country gathered here singing and dancing to the beats of their Kundu drums. Witness hundreds of tribespeople as they proudly display their unique dances, chanting and drumming. Bodies decorated with cassowary plumes, kina shells, aromatic leaves, brightly painted faces and elaborate head dresses will surround you. Mingle with the local people during the day's events and take the most incredible photos ever!

Overnight in Goroka.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4 Goroka Continued
We have another full day in Goroka to enjoy the Goroka show.

The tourist grandstand has good views of the performance area and your pass gives you blanket permission to enter the performance area if you wish to take close-up photographs.

The Goroka Show is partly an agricultural show and partly a highlands 'singsing.' Since colonial days the people of the Eastern Highlands have come together once a year to display samples of their best crops and livestock to compete for prizes, and to show off their most colourful and energetic dance traditions. The pride of each tribe is vested in its dancing groups which vie for attention and prominence on the dance ground -- often there are several groups performing at once in different parts of the arena. Sparks fly occasionally on the field as jealousy and competition fuel conflict between tribal groups. At the end of the show, judges award prizes to the best dancing groups: cash awards have now taken the place of pigs and brides.

Overnight in Goroka.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5 Goroka - Tari: Ambua Lodge
Today we fly by charter aircraft to Tari, a thrilling flight past the twin peaks of Mount Giluwe and over the alpine grasslands of the Tari Gap. On arrival we transfer by road to Ambua Lodge located high on the slopes of the Tari Valley.

Ambua Lodge, located at 2100 m (7,000 ft) in the Tari Gap area, borders on pristine mid- montane rainforest and the beginning of the valley grasslands. This location promises the visitor spring-like temperatures and magnificent views of the Tari Valley. The forest canopy, a dense mass of interlocking tree tops of all shades of green and the occasional bright splash of colour, provides a natural setting and an exhilarating climate for venturing along the graded nature trails -- crossing traditional vine bridges, discovering secluded waterfalls. High altitude orchids, gingers, rhododendrons and many more will be highlighted by the guide. Your guide will also point out the ways in which the Huli people utilize the abundant natural resources around them and also the great variety of plants and animals found in the area.

After the nature walk you will take advantage of the birding in the Tari Gap area where one may chance to observe up to 13 species of the birds of paradise. As the birds of paradise display in the late afternoon you may be lucky enough to see the King of Saxony, Stephanie's Astrapia, Ribbontail Astrapia, and the Sicklebill Bird of Paradise.

Overnight at Ambua Lodge.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6 Tari Area
The great Tari Basin and surrounding mountain slopes are the home of the Huli Clans, one of the largest ethnic groups in the Southern Highlands and one of the most culturally intact in all of PNG. The Huli were only discovered in 1935 and were one of the last groups to come under government control. The men take great pride in their appearance, cultivating everlasting daises and collecting bird of paradise feathers to decorate their wigs. They were particularly skilled in warfare and merciless to the opposing clans. Huge inter-connecting trenches (dug by hand with wooden paddle-like spades) were used to delineate clan boundaries, to control the movement of pigs and as secret passageways for warriors during clan fights.

You will meet these proud people and learn much of their traditions and way of life which are still governed by their belief in ancestral spirits and sorcery. We will also witness a Huli Sing Sing, a women's village wig school, and witness a marriage ceremony.

Overnight at Ambua Lodge.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7 Tari - Karawari
Fly by charter aircraft to Karawari airstrip over some of the most rugged and impressive landscapes in the world.

The country between Ambua and the Sepik region is an amazing array of jagged limestone that seem to rise and drop at impossible angles. From the airstrip, we will be transferred by river boat to Karawari Lodge. Sitting on a ridge above the Karawari River, Karawari Lodge boasts a spectacular view over hundreds of kilometers of dense tropical jungle. Inspired by local architecture and built with traditional materials, while still providing modern comforts. Located on a ridge overlooking the Karawari River, in the Sepik region is a time-warped mixture of pre-technological and technological architecture -- is the perfect base for some old-fashioned jungle, river and village exploration. You are in the middle of Arambak country -- locals' pole dug-out canoes, the drums throb, the wild birds call, and, traditional village lifestyles continue largely unchanged.

Proceed with lunch then follow by an afternoon visit to Kundiman village for sago making demonstration. Sago is the Staple food for the river people.

Overnight Karawari Lodge.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8 Karawari & Sepik Region
Today we have a day excursion along the jungle-fringed waterways of the Karawari River where boatmen, standing upright, paddle their slender dugout canoes with sculpted silhouettes of crocodile masks. Village life including carved totems, drums, woodcarvings and different expressions of art are also experienced. See bountiful bird life along the rivers and nearby lakes. Excursions will enhance your understanding of traditional village culture in the Sepik region, including a Yimis village to see a fish Sing Sing ritual and a visit to the basket weaving villages of Manjemai and Konmi.

Overnight Karawari Lodge.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9 Karawari - Mount Hagen - Rondon Ridge
We enjoy an early breakfast before our transfer to Karawari airstrip for departure.

We fly by charter from Karawari to Mount Hagen, during the flight mountains rise up to startling heights out of the flat lands of the Sepik Basin. Mount Hagen Town is in the upper Wahgi Valley – a valley with some of the oldest evidence of agriculture in the world. Upon arrival we continue by road to Rondon Ridge, located at 2164 m (7,100 ft) above sea level on the outer fringes of the Kubor Range. Our lodge boasts panoramic views of the Wahgi Valley below and provides luxury in a remote and rural setting.

Proceed with lunch then follow by an afternoon guided nature walk around the trails at Rondon Ridge.

Overnight at Rondon Ridge.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10 Rondon Ridge
We enjoy a full-day tour featuring the unique culture and tradition of the Melpa people who live near the Mount Hagen City, the business heart of the Papua New Guinea highlands, supplying a number of important industries, such as tea, coffee and mining. It's a city where stone meets steel, and where tradition and history are juxtaposed against modern ways.

A comprehensive touring program takes us on a journey through the traditions and customs of the Melpa People. First contact with the Melpa was made in the mid-1930s when the Leahy brothers were prospecting for gold. The Melpa are said by anthropologists, to be "predisposed to capitalism," because of their complex traditional society in which "big men" earn status by accruing wealth and then giving it all away in ceremonial exchanges.

Overnight at Rondon Ridge.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11 Rondon Ridge - Mt Hagen - Port Moresby
Today we fly back to Port Moresby. Flight time-permitting, we may be able to have a quick look around Port Moresby upon arrival.

Overnight in Port Moresby.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 12 Departure
Departure from Port Moresby.

BON VOYAGE!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

Tour Map

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*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


Hotel List


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Airways Hotel

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Port Moresby
Country: Papua New Guinea

The hotel is nestled in its own botanical gardens, offering world-class accommodation set in an oasis of understated luxury in
... of the Pacific’s most striking and inspiring settings.
Read More.

Bird of Paradise Hotel

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Goroka
Country: Papua New Guinea

The Bird of Paradise Hotel is conveniently located right in the centre of town, overlooking the surrounding mountain ranges. The
... heated swimming pool in semi-tropical gardens, with a well-stocked Soda Bar only steps away. A la carte Lahani Restaurant, popular for its seafood buffet, and the Deck Bistro are the town's most popular meeting places, with Enzo's Pizzas available each day.


Read More.

Bird of Paradise Hotel

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Goroka
Country: Papua New Guinea

Goroka’s Iconic Landmark, the Bird of Paradise Hotel is conveniently located in the centre of town, accessible to major business
... and close to the airport. The Bird of Paradise features an outdoor swimming pool, the pleasant surroundings of the Deck Bistro, offering Buffet and A la Carte dining options, featuring mouth watering modern dishes from around the globe.
Read More.

Ambua Lodge

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Ambua Lodge
Country: Papua New Guinea

Ambua Lodge, located at 7,000 feet in the Tari Gap area borders on pristine mid montane rainforest at the beginning
... the valley grasslands. This location promises the visitor eternal spring weather and magnificent views of the Tari Valley. Guests are accommodated in thirty individual units set in a sea of flowers, each unit featuring 180-degree picture windows, en-suite bathroom, and electric blankets and continental quilts for the cool highland evenings. Ambua generates twenty-four hour clean electricity from its own mini hydroelectric power plant.


Read More.

Rondon Ridge


Location: Mount Hagen
Country: Papua New Guinea

Guests are accommodated in twelve tastefully appointed rooms with warmed king beds for those fresh highlands nights, with modern en-suite
... Rondon Ridge has 24-hour, eco-friendly electricity, provided by its own hydroelectric power plant that generates clean, natural energy from a nearby mountain stream.

Read More.

Rondon Ridge

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Mount Hagen
Country: Papua New Guinea

7,100 feet above sea level, on the outer fringes of the Kubor Range, lies Rondon Ridge. Boasting panoramic views of
... Wahgi Valley below, Rondon Ridge is the pinnacle of luxury in a remote and rural setting. It is a spectacular introduction to our lodges on arrival and a welcome stepping stone to civilization before departure from Mount Hagen.
Read More.


Trip Information

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Inclusions

Most meals (at hotels and lodges). Tour Leader services, all transport, twin-share accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers.

Exclusions

Tour Leader gratuity, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), departure taxes, visa fees, domestic and international air taxes (if applicable). Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs, weather, what to bring, recommended reading and shopping.

Seasonality and Weather

Papua New Guinea lies just south of the equator. The climate is generally warm with a 'wet' and 'dry' season, the timings of which vary from one part of the country to another. The wettest months for most regions are Nov-March. Temperatures around the coastal areas are reasonably stable and vary between 25 and 30 C (78-85 F) with high humidity. The Highlands are cooler and temperatures can fall dramatically at night.

Our September trip coincides with the famous Goroka Show (see itinerary).

Transport and Travel Conditions

Ground transport via nus or mini bus is provided locally. Internal flights via scheduled carriers and charters on light aircraft with VERY limited capacity for luggage (maximum 10 kg).

This is not a strenuous trip per se, but it is busy with nature walks and village visits on pathways and uneven surfaces. Heat may be a factor in some locations. We visit remote locations where our access to modern medical treatment is very limited.

Though food provided is hearty and plentiful, travellers with very specific dietary restrictions or preferences may find their needs challenged at this destination.

Accommodation

Well-located, air-conditioned hotels / lodges with en suite toilet and bath throughout (maybe shower only, no tub). Single rooms are EXTREMELY limited in number and are likely smaller than doubles. Porter service is usually available at hotels though you should be independent with your luggage, especially at airports.

Singles may also be required to share in Gorokoa; if this occurs we will prorate the single fee by US$945. Please also note that if you have selected our share program and we fail to pair you, the mandatory single supplement is 100% of the regular single supplement fee.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader, drivers, local guides in several locales.

Group Size

8-13 (plus Tour Leader)