Papua New Guinea tour, cultures & customs

“A 19 day, small group tour of Papua New Guinea, fully guided and staying in small hotels and homestays. With some internal flights to access this great country more quickly. A pretty active trip too. ”

Highlights

Port Moresby | Eastern Highlands | Visit to Asaro Mudman village | Climb to Mount Gurupoka | Chimbu village | Madang | Boat trip to Siar Island | Rabaul, New Britain Island | Mt Tavurvur | Kinavai Ceremony | Annual Warwagira & National Mask Festival | Mount Kombui | Port Moresby Adventure Park | Daugo Island | Manila

Description of Papua New Guinea tour, cultures & customs

This Papua New Guinea tour is an adventurous one, discovering a truly pioneering destination with many areas still largely unexplored and unexplained. Travel on our 19-day small-group tour to this exciting corner of the world and discover the culture of this sparsely populated Oceanic country.

The Eastern Highlands offers tribal encounters and wonderful sing-sings performed by local villagers in traditional dress: partake in a spot of weapon making and enjoy a tasty 'mumu' lunch. Cruise Madang Harbour and dive into the azure-blue sea for a spell of snorkelling the colourful coral reef which teems with marine life.

Journey to East New Britain Province and immerse yourself in the culture and customs of the region. Meet curious village children on a visit to the truly stunning Duke of York Islands and come face to face with troublesome Mt Tavurvur on the windswept Gazelle Peninsula. Witness the traditional dawn Kinavai Ceremony which marks the start of the Warwagira & National Mask Festival in Rabaul town: experience the thrill of the procession of dukduks and tumbuans (masked forest spirits) emerging from the sea mist to the sound of tribal drums. Marvel at the spectacle of the fascinating Baining Fire Dance. This rite of passage applies to adolescent males who compete to attempt ever more daring charges through leaping flames to the accompaniment of chanting and singing from village elders: a once in a lifetime experience.

Embark on an adventure in Port Moresby, the bustling capital, with visits to the interesting National Museum and Parliament Haus which is built in the style of a haus tambaran (spirit house) before meeting the residents of nearby Fisherman's Island to discover PNG community life for this small fishing community.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1Fly to Manila.
Day 2Land Manila. Transit and board the late flight to Port Moresby.
Day 3Land Port Moresby and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy the day at leisure to relax after the flight. (B/D)
Day 4Return to the airport and fly to Goroka, located in the Eastern Highlands. Journey out to the Asaro Mudman village and discover their history and lifestyle: the Mudmen are an iconic image of PNG with an amusing story behind their bizarre appearance. Watch a traditional fire making ceremony and enjoy a tasty "mumu" lunch before watching a thrilling mudman performance. End the day with a stop at the Daulo Pass for spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. (B/L/D)
Day 5Don those walking shoes and enjoy a climb to Mount Gurupoka accompanied by a local mountain spirit guide. Enjoy fabulous views of the Asaro Valley and Daulo Mountains and visit an ancestral cave. Enjoy a unique Ghost Dance performance. Spend the afternoon in Goroka town exploring the busy local market, the coffee factory and the JK McCarthy Museum. (B/D)
Day 6Spend today getting under the skin of village life in a local Chimbu village. Learn all about the traditional art of weapon and instrument making and why not try your hand at making a bilum, a sturdy string bag used throughout PNG by locals. Watch a traditional courting ceremony before enjoying the afternoon free at leisure. (B/D)
Day 7Head out on the road and commence the scenic drive towards Madang. The road winds through lush countryside before arriving at Kamaliki Village where the local villagers will perform a traditional dance for you. End the day in Madang Province early evening and enjoy dinner at the hotel. (B/L/D)
Day 8This morning depart the hotel early on a bird watching experience. In the still of the early morning search for some of the many endemic bird species including the fabulous bird of paradise. Return to Madang town. Visit the small local market which sells an array of goods to locals and visitors followed by time in Madang Museum. Here a number of ceremonial headdresses can be seen as well as a range of local jewellery, weapons and musical instruments. End at the Coastwatchers Memorial Beacon which acts as a lighthouse for the town. End the day back at the hotel. (B/D)
Day 9This morning drive to Hobe Village where you will meet the homestay guests and all enjoy a traditional sing sing performed by Hobe villagers. These performances date back many years and are a way for neighbouring villages to peacefully share traditions. Enjoy a local Madang-style lunch and return to the hotel via Bialek Habitat, home to a small population of river turtles and eels. (B/L/D)
Day 10Jump on a boat today and head out into the harbour for a scenic cruise. Cruise out to Siar Island and enjoy a spot of snorkelling in the pristine waters. Enjoy a BBQ lunch on one of the surrounding islands. Return to the hotel and enjoy a free afternoon. (B/L/D)
Day 11Today is a travel day with a flight to Rabaul, in East New Britain Province , flying via Port Moresby. This is a long transit so there is the option to visit Port Moresby Nature Park (entrance fee not included). Lunch at Airways airport hotel is included. Land and transfer to the hotel. The afternoon is free to relax or maybe take a stroll along the beach. (B/L/D)
Day 12Depart Kokopo and drive to Rabaul town. En route visit the U-boat tunnel which houses landing barges used by the Japanese army during WWII. Explore the nearby war tunnels, there is also the chance to climb to a scenic lookout point. Enjoy lunch in the iconic Rabaul Hotel and drive through ash-choked streets to the Gazelle Peninsula to get a look at Mt Tavurvur up close. Visit the foot of the volcano and meet the local Matupit villagers. The villagers dig the eggs of the mysterious local megapode birds who lay their eggs in the volcanic ash to incubate them. From the peninsula head to the Volcanology Observatory. Return to the hotel. (B/L/D)
Day 13An early start today! Rise early and head down to the beach for the traditional Kinavai Ceremony which marks the commencement of the Annual National Mask Festival. Watch dukduks and tumbuans emerge from the sea mist accompanied by the beating of traditional kundu drums by village elders, this is truly a fascinating experience. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before a Rabaul harbour cruise which takes you close to both Mt Tavurvur and Mt Kombui and passes by the 'beehives' which sit in the middle of Simpson Harbour. Return and discover Kokopo town with a visit to the local market, the Vunapope Church and the museum. (B/D)
Day 14Spend the day at the festival venue. The Warwagira & National Mask Festival was introduced in 1995 and is an annual event designed to promote the varied mask culture of many of the provinces in PNG. After a day at the festival and an early dinner drive to nearby Kainagunan village and witness the spectacular Baining Fire Dance. The ceremony is performed by adolescent male villagers who compete to ever more daring charges through the open flames accompanied by chanting and singing from village elders. This is a sacred custom for the villagers and a rite of passage for the adolescents. (B/L/D)
Day 15Fly from Rabaul to Port Moresby. Arrive and drive to the interesting Port Moresby Adventure Park which is home to a range of indigenous wildlife including Victorian Crowned Pigeons, Cassowaries and the rare Bird of Paradise. Return to Parliament Haus and the very interesting National Museum located just next door. Overnight Port Moresby. (B/D)
Day 16After breakfast take a short ride across the bay to Daugo Island, also called Fisherman's Island. Stop at the pristine white-sand beach for time to enjoy a swim before exploring this close-knit island community which sees very few visitors despite its convenient location to the mainland. (B/L/D)
Day 17This morning fly from Port Moresby to Manila. Land and transfer to the hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure. (B)
Day 18Today will be spent exploring the hustle and bustle of Manila via air-conditioned jeepney. Visit interesting Fort Bonifacio and the Walled City of Intramuros. Visit the San Agustin Church which is the country's oldest stone church and Fort Santiago which was once Manila's main line of defence against coastal invaders. End the afternoon in Quiapo, regarded as the heart of Manila which boasts interesting bazaars. (B/L)
Day 19Return to the airport and fly back to the UK. (B)

Travel Team

If you would like some help or advice, or just want to discuss your ideas for your next trip, do give us a call.

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
28 Jun 2019
6845
including UK flights
Full
 
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Papua New Guinea tour, cultures & customs

Environment

Papua New Guinea is a country where 'green' policies and principles are not exactly buzz words so it's all about the little things adding up to slowly start to make a difference. We are always talking to our local ground agents about the importance of stressing to clients the importance of basic responsible principles such as appropriate waste disposal, not to waste water, turning off lights on leaving the room in hotels, not replacing towels and bedding daily etc.
Our local agents are also keen to stress to visitors the importance of not straying from marked trails at historic sites, an important step towards maintaining the sites for future generations.

As a company we have introduced responsible practices in our UK office including paper, cardboard, aluminium and plastic recycling. We also support local UK charities including the RNIB and various charities around the world. 50% of our office staff use public transport (bus and train) and cycle to work. Management encourages this with their introduction of the cycle to work scheme which offers subsidised cycle ownership.

Community

By the very nature of life in Papua New Guinea all services are provided by local people. This includes your local English-speaking group guides, the drivers, local guides at various monuments/sites and hotel staff. All staff are paid a fair wage for Papua New Guinea and all wages are kept within the local communities thereby supporting local people. Furthermore, by visiting these hotels and sites additional income is brought into the region, further helping to develop the local area.

Importing food stuffs into Papua New Guinea can be prohibitively expensive so all of the food for meals included on the itinerary is sourced locally whether it is served in hotels or a local restaurant. All hotels on the itinerary are locally owned, managed and run.

Possibly one of the key positive benefits of visiting Papua New Guinea is the albeit sometimes small influence outside attitudes and cultures can make on the people of the country. Papua New Guinean's are always welcoming and friendly and keen to learn a little about Western ways. This holiday helps to allow each culture to learn a little about the other.

1 Reviews of Papua New Guinea tour, cultures & customs

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 15 Jul 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Braining Fire Dance in East New Britain

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for the unexpected - good and bad roads - some long days travelling

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Provide employment

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very good for the serious traveller - not for someone who wants comfort all the
way

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