|25 Oct - 07 Nov|
Fly to Papua New Guinea and head to the Eastern Highlands to discover the life of a Highlander: enjoy village visits and colourful sing sings in Goroka district and enjoy a fascinating Asaro Mudman performance which you’re unlikely to forget! End in Milne Bay Province at the colourful Kenu & Kundu Festival which celebrates the importance of traditional canoes in the lives of the locals.
Images: copyright David Kirkland
Fly overnight to Manila.
Land Manila. Transit and board the onward flight to Port Moresby.
Today will be spent exploring the city. Visit the Port Moresby Adventure Park and National Orchid Gardens, home to a range of indigenous wildlife including the elusive Bird of Paradise. Return to the city via the moving Bomana War Cemetery which sits in well-maintained gardens. Continue to the impressive National Parliament (Parliament Haus) built in the style of a Maprik-style haus tambaran (spirit house) and explore the neighbouring National Museum (if open) which has a very good selection of local artifacts including masks, shields, totems, war relics and some contemporary art. (B/D)
Land Port Moresby. Transfer to the hotel for check-in and breakfast. The afternoon is at leisure to relax after the long flight. Enjoy a tasty buffet dinner tonight as a group in the hotel restaurant. (B/D)
Take the flight to Goroka. Land and transfer to enjoy an Asaro Mudman village tour. Historically the Asaro Mudmen had a pretty bad run of luck against enemy tribes and it is said that, on one such occasion the tribe was chased into the Asaro River. Legend has it that the tribe emerged at sunset covered in a think layer of mud which the enemy tribe thought were evil spirits and fled in fear. As a result the Asaro Mudmen have become the guardian symbol of the Asaro villages and traditional dances are performed by tribal members covered in mud and wearing large mud masks at events and festivals throughout the year.
Witness a traditional fire making ceremony and after a tasty “mumu” lunch (food cooked in an earth oven) enjoy front-row seats to a thrilling mudman performance. End the day at the Daulo Pass which offers spectacular views of the lush landscape. (B,L,D)
Embark on a short climb to Mount Gurupoka from where you can see fantastic views of the whole Asaro valley and Daulo Mountains. Visit an ancestral cave and enjoy a Ghost Dance performance by the local villagers.
This afternoon, explore compact Goroka town. Visit to a traditional coffee factory and the informative JK McCarthy Museum. (B,D)
This morning visit the bustling local market with its colourful produce proudly displayed by local sellers. Continue to a local Chimbu village. This village is extremely picturesque and one of the best villages we will visit with well maintained gardens and a fabulous view. Learn about the making of traditional weapons, musical instruments, and bilum (string bags) and try your hand at a spot of face painting and archery.
There will also be a demonstration of a traditional courting ceremony. The experience aims to give you a first hand experience of traditional village life showcasing traditions, techniques and methods which haven't changed for many years.
The afternoon is free at leisure. Dinner will be served at the hotel. (B,D)
Depart Goroka en-route to Madang, this journey is a full day drive so expect to arrive at the hotel early evening. As you depart Goroka a stop will be made at Kamaliki Village to enjoy a traditional dance performed by villagers. Continue on the journey towards Madang: the drive is a scenic adventure via a winding and often bumpy road passing through lush terrain. Many local birds can be seen along the way including hornbills and white cockatoos so keep an eye out! End the day in Madang Province. (B,L,D)
This morning depart the hotel for an early morning bird watching experience. Papua New Guinea is a bird watchers paradise with nearly 400 endemic species with many locations throughout the country offering an abundance of birdlife. We will head out to a nearby village where the fascinating bird of paradise and many other birds can often be sighted in the cool and quiet of the early morning. Spend time looking for the birdlife before returning to Madang for a late breakfast (sightings not guaranteed).
Explore Madang local market which sells everything from fruit and vegetables to tourist souvenirs made from coconut shells and local woods. Visit the small but interesting Madang Museum to see ceremonial headdresses, jewellery, weapons and musical instruments from the region. Follow this with a visit to Machine Gun Beach and the Coastwatchers Memorial Beacon which dates back to WWII and still acts as a lighthouse. (B,D)
This morning drive to Hobe village. En-route a short stop can be made at a small local village which is famous for local pottery. Watch a traditional sing sing performed by the local villagers. These performances date back many years with the aim of bringing local tribes together and reducing inter-tribe conflicts.
The sing sing reflects a tribes distinct culture and music allowing you a small insight into the history of the village. Enjoy a local Madang-style lunch before returning to the hotel. Stop to visit Balek Habitat which is home to a small population of river turtles and river eels. (B,L,D)
Board a small boat today and head out on a Madang harbour cruise which sits on a peninsula and is surrounded with picturesque islands. Head out to tiny Siar Island and there may be the chance to snorkel the colourful reefs around Pig Island. Enjoy a BBQ lunch on one of the islands. (B,L,D)
This morning transfer to Madang airport and fly to Port Moresby. Transit and board the onward flight to Alotau in Milne Bay Province. Land and drive to the hotel. The evening is at leisure. Milne Bay Province is home to a 160 named islands and 500 cays and atolls spread over 250,000 square kilometres of ocean. (B,D)
This morning enjoy a half-day tour of Alotau. This small town is the gateway to Milne Bay Province which is home to a number of remote island communities. Visit the harbour which is a busy hub for this small town to see fishing vessels and brightly coloured island boats off-loading their wares. Continue to the bustling local market to see the fresh produce including yams, taro and fresh fish. Return to the hotel for lunch (not included). This afternoon visit the festival ground to witness a cultural performance as part of the 15th Annual Kenu & Kundu Festival.
Canoes and kundu drums are a significant part of the lives of the people of Milne Bay and are widely used in traditional ceremonies and rituals in Milne Bay. The 'war canoes' are especially crafted from special woods under strict customs to derive the best results and ensure their use is a successful or victorious one. This event is a celebration of the canoes and the people who make and use them. Return to the hotel for the evening at leisure. (B,D)
This morning board a boat and head to Wagawaga Island for the War Canoe Festival. War canoes bear elaborately decorated prows and seat up to 50 men dressed in traditional warrior dress. Participants prepare many month's in advance often undergoing sacred rituals in isolation. Traditionally participants come from remote Island communities. Often the participants face rough seas and weather conditions just to reach the festival site and the journey can take several days. Paddlers travel with their canoes loaded with food, pigs and cultural dance groups for the feasting exchange ceremony during the festival.
Enjoy a cultural sing-sing performance as part of the festival followed by lunch at a local lodge.
This afternoon there is the option to head out on a nature walk on the island which is home to a range of birdlife including birds of paradise and many native orchids. Return to the mainland via boat for the evening at leisure. (B,L,D)
Today take a boat trip out to nearby Skelton Island for a swimming and snorkelling excursion. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the island before returning to Alotau. Dinner at the hotel. (B,L,D)
This morning fly back to Port Moresby. Land and transfer out to the Sogeri Plateau and discover
impressive Rouna Falls and Varirata National Park. Return to the hotel. (B,D)
Say goodbye to PNG and fly from Port Moresby to Manila. Land and transfer to the hotel for the afternoon at leisure. (B)
Spend today with a guide exploring the city. Visit the American Cemetery & Memorial Park before continuing to Rizal Park and Fort Santiago which overlooks the busy Pasag River and Manila Bay. Continue the trip to San Agustin Church before a local lunch. End the day with a stroll through the streets of Chinatown and the chance to discover the unusual Chinese Cemetery with its ostentatious mausoleums in honour of departed relatives. (B,L)
Return to Manila airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)
|Itinerary Dates||From Price||Single Room Supp.|
25 Oct 2020
07 Nov 2020