Papua New Guinea holiday, Tribes & Traditions

Description of Papua New Guinea holiday, Tribes & Traditions

Explore the unique tribes and traditions of Papua New Guinea on this 12-day small group adventure tour. Discover the rugged beauty and friendly villagers of the highlands in Goroka. Enjoy sing-sing performances which are a true reflection of the culture of the country. Visit local villages and involve yourself in the art of face painting or try your hand at a spot of archery. Climb Mt Gurupoka for fabulous views of the picturesque Asaro valley and Daulo mountains and plunge into jungle landscapes in search of the fabulous bird of paradise. Head underwater and experience colourful marine life on a snorkelling adventure. The tour ends in the sleepy coastal town of Alotau, gateway to Milne Bay province, to attend the Kenu & Kundu Festival, a celebration of the canoes so essential to this seaside community's way of life.
Single room supplement: 890 per person
Some images copyright of David Kirkland

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1Fly from Singapore to Port Moresby. Land and board the onward flight to Goroka. Transfer to the hotel to check in. This afternoon visit an Asaro Mudman village. Enjoy a performance performed by village mudmen of all ages before enjoying a tasty mumu lunch. End the day at the Daulo Pass lookout point for spectacular views of the surrounding valley. (L/D)
Day 2Don your sturdy shoes this morning for a hike up spiritual Mt Gurupoka. Accompanied by a village spirit guide, hike to the summit for fabulous views of the Asaro valley and Daulo Mountains. Explore an important ancestral cave and return to the village. The Mokomoko village men will perform a traditional ghost dance for the group. Return to Goroka town for free time to enjoy lunch at the hotel. This afternoon head into town for a visit to the local market, a colourful cacophony of produce and people, before touring a local coffee factory. End the day at the small but interesting JK McCarthy Museum which houses an interesting display of local weapons, clothing and musical instruments from the region. Return to the hotel for the evening at leisure. (B/D)
Day 3This morning will be spent in a local Chimbu village. This is a very well maintained village with well kept gardens and fabulous views. Stroll through village pathways and enjoy interacting with villagers. Learn about the art of making traditional weapons and musical instruments and there is also the chance to enjoy a sport of face painting and archery. Watch a traditional courtship performance before returning to the hotel. The afternoon is at leisure. (B/D)
Day 4Today is a long day on the road driving from Goroka to Madang. The roads in the country are not in a great condition. This is one of the main navigable roads so you can expect a bumpy journey. En-route stops will be made to enjoy a sing-sing performance at Kamaliki village and at the Yonki Hydro dam which is sometimes a good spot to enjoy your packed lunch. Overnight Madang. (B/L/D)
Day 5An early start this morning - depart the hotel at 5am and head into nearby jungle in search of the resident birdlife. Papua New Guinea is a bird watchers paradise with nearly 400 endemic species including the flamboyant bird of paradise. Spend time in the cool of the early morning looking for the birdlife. Return to town and stroll the local market. This is a very ordered market selling a range of goods from fruits and vegetables to wood carved souvenirs. Continue to the small but interesting Madang Museum which has a good display of ceremonial headdresses, weapons and jewellery. Return to the hotel with a brief stop at the Coastwatchers Memorial Beacon. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B/D)
Day 6This morning drive to nearby Hobe village to watch a sing-sing performance by local villagers. These sing-sings are a great expression of local traditions and provide a real insight into local life. Enjoy lunch in the village before returning to the hotel. En-route a stop will be made at Balek Habitat to see the river turtles and river eels. (B/L/D)
Day 7Jump aboard a small boat and head out for a cruise around Madang harbour. Head further out to tiny Siar Island and enjoy the chance to snorkel with the tropical fish on this colourful reef (home to a number of clown fish colonies). Enjoy a BBQ lunch on the island before returning mid-afternoon for the remainder of the day at leisure. (B/L/D)
Day 8Return to the airport and fly south to Alotau via Port Moresby. The evening is at leisure. (B/D)
Day 9Enjoy a half-day tour of Alotau, the gateway to Milne Bay and famous for the 1942 Battle of Milne Bay. Visit the small harbour which is the bustling heart of the town and visit the local market where the fishermen's wares are sold. After lunch visit the festival ground and enjoy a cultural performance as part of the 15th Annual Kenu & Kundu Festival. The evening is at leisure back at the hotel. (B/D)
Day 10This morning board a boat and head to Wagawaga Island for the War Canoe Festival. The war canoes are elaborately decorated for the event and villagers will be wearing traditional warrior dress. Watch the war canoe races and enjoy a traditional sing-sing performed by local villagers and lunch in a nearby lodge. This afternoon if you wish, there is the option to head out on a nature walk on the island for a spot of bird watching or you can relax at the lodge. Return to the mainland. (B/L/D)
Day 11Take a boat trip to Skeleton island for a spot of swimming and snorkelling including a picnic lunch on the island. Return to Alotau for dinner at the hotel. (B/L/D)
Day 12Fly back to Port Moresby and then onwards to Singapore. The tour ends in Singapore with the option to add onward flights or services in the city if you so wish (supplements apply). (B)

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Responsible tourism

Papua New Guinea holiday, Tribes & Traditions

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.


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.

All hotels are locally owned, run and in keeping with local builds. 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.

While out exploring, 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.


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.

All hotels on the itinerary are locally owned, managed and run.

When visiting any of the villages on the itinerary our local agents will pay them for their services, ie for performing the sing-sings, preparing food, acting as spirit guide on the hike up Mt Gurupoka and demonstrating their traditional crafts. If any of the village visits include lunch then the food is provided by our ground agents and the villagers then prepare it for our guests. Any excess food is not wasted, it is consumed by the villagers. Payment for the village experiences goes directly to the village elder or chief who manages the purchases for the village.

Our clients are encouraged to take appropriate gifts for the village children. This does not include sweets but things like crayons, drawing paper and books.

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.

For every booking to Papua New Guinea we provide clients with a traditional, handmade bilum (string bag) on arrival. Not only is this is a practical gift for clients to use during their stay but each one has to be made specifically for our group so it is also providing the maker an extra source of income. Our clients also receive a small gift of a packet of Goroka coffee direct from the coffee factory we visit on the tour. Again this is a nice little treat for our clients but it also provides extra income to the coffee factory.

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