For nature and culture at its most primal, it's hard to top Papua New Guinea, where ever-changing landscapes harbor hundreds of unique species, and tribal life goes on much as it has for centuries. For active travelers and cultural enthusiasts, our Papua New Guinea adventure will take you to a world beyond your wildest dreams - a world of fire dancers, sorcerers and mud men. MT Sobek's diverse itinerary will introduce you to the nation's people and their ancient customs, as well as its looming volcanoes and stunning tropical fjords.
Board the group flight in Brisbane, Australia to Port Moresby. Meet your guide at Jacksons International Airport, Port Moresby, and enjoy a fabulous lunch at the Gateway Hotel before catching your transfer flight to Oro Province and Tufi. Often described as "Scandinavia of the Tropics," you'll be amazed by Tufi's soaring tropical fjords as you settle in at Tufi Resort. Gather for a cocktail and a full briefing, then savor a welcome dinner surrounded by masks, sculptures, and carvings depicting village life in Papua New Guinea.
After a short boat ride down the coast, follow a goat track through thick untouched rainforest to the beautiful Boulders Waterfall. The sparkling waters of the rainforest cascade down either side of a huge boulder into a rock pool, where you can cool off with a refreshing swim. Enjoy lunch and then take a relaxing cruise through the stunning fjords - rich with breathtaking flora and fauna. Sit back and have a drink (there is an on-board bar) while the captain shares insights into the area's remote villages. Return to the resort for dinner.
This morning, take a McLaren Harbour cultural boat tour into one of the fjords. Here you will meet local villagers, board their traditional outrigger canoes, and head up river - deep into the inner reaches of the fjord. A rainforest walk takes you to a sacred area, where villagers share knowledge of bush medicines, fire making, mat making, traditional tattooing, and the use of sago in pancakes and puddings. After paddling back, enjoy a famous Sunday BBQ luncheon on beautiful Komoa Beach.
Board an early-morning flight from Tufi back to Port Moresby, then check in for the flight to Kokopo. Kokopo literally rose from the ashes after Rabaul was flattened by the ever-rumbling Mt Tavurvur, which forms a dramatic backdrop to the bay. On the drive to the hotel, see vast plantations of coconut, cocoa, and balsa wood that line the road in this ultra-fertile region. Then check in at the top-rated Kokopo Beach Bungalow Resort, overlooking Saint George's Channel and Blanche Bay.
Head out of Simpson Harbour, along the edge of the smoking volcano (Mt Tavurvur), and dock at Little Pigeon Island for a snorkel in the coral gardens and a picnic lunch on the beach. Next, cast off Western ways and be prepared to live the life of a South Sea Islander in the idyllic Duke of York Islands! Sleep in a thatched bungalow, experience traditional village life, and learn skills from locals - from cooking in ground ovens to paddling outrigger canoes. It's an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Wake for a trip to the beautiful island garden of Kabakon, from where you will cruise back to the luxury bungalows in Kokopo. Later, take in the sights of Rabaul, Mt Tavurvur, local museums, and the Rabaul Volcano Observatory. There is plenty for war-history buffs too. A special treat is in store tonight: performances by the spectacular Baining fire dancers. These masked dancers don't just walk on coals - they attack the roaring fire with kicks and thrusts to create the sparks that emulate the volcanoes of the surrounding area. Be amazed!
Fly back to Port Moresby and transfer to the Gateway Hotel, our base for exploring the city. First, take is a guided walk in Port Moresby Nature Park, the nation's leading botanical and native zoological park and garden, and then explore the National Museum & Art Gallery - showcasing the history and national heritage of New Guinea. Visit PNG's Parliament House, built in the distinctive Sepik-style, and learn about Melanesian politics. Dinner tonight is at your leisure.
Goroka is a bustling provincial capital and home to the annual Goroka Show, one of PNG's most famous and exciting tribal gatherings and cultural festivals. Perfectly timed by MT Sobek, you will arrive in Goroka on the eve of the two-day festival! After touching down, transfer to the hotel for lunch and then explore the Asaro Valley. Here you will find the legendary Asaro Mudmen and witness them theatrically re-create battles in their distinctive clay masks.
Rise early to witness the excitement as over 1,000 Goroka Show participants from 70 tribes prepare for the highly anticipated annual event. Return to the hotel for breakfast before venturing to the showgrounds to watch the groups enter. Your special-access ticket gets you up close with performers before the crowds arrive. Dazzling preparations continue for hours as villagers from across the country jostle to enter the performance area. The sights, sounds, and diverse cultural performances of this two-day sing-sing are truly astounding.
Celebrate the final day of the Goroka Show and see hundreds of performers vie for the show's best cultural performance title. The extraordinary sounds, kaleidoscope of colors, and electric enthusiasm of the performers and spectators are simply incredible. Later this afternoon, leave the festival and venture out to a nearby village, replete with picturesque suspension bridge, to see what contemporary life holds for the modern highlander. Enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel tonight.
Enjoy a farewell breakfast before traveling to the airport in Port Moresby, where we'll catch our connecting flights to Brisbane and beyond.
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MT Sobek has been offering unique and immersive adventures in Papua New Guinea for 3 years - with every departure a sell-out success.
Our itinerary has been crafted in consultation with expert local guides who understand the complexities of traveling in Papua New Guinea.
This itinerary is one of the few to include special passes to the famous Goroka Show, an incredible annual event with over 1,000 participants.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Immersive cultural encounters, fjord cruising with opportunities for swimming and snorkeling, rainforest walks, and the amazing Goroka Show.
Enjoy stays in beautiful beachside resorts and comfortable hotels. Spend one night in a traditional village in the Duke of York Islands.
The lowland and hot coastal areas have temperatures from 75°-95°F with high humidity. The highlands are colder with temperatures ranging from 54°-82°F with less humidity.
Drinking tap water in Papua New Guinea isn't recommended. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and to peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
No, you can return to the resort at the end of the day instead of staying the night on the remote island.
The majority of crime happens in the urban area of Port Moresby. The areas we visit (e.g. Rabaul, Goroka, and Tufi) are not high crime areas. Currently, there are no US State Department travel warnings for Papua New Guinea.
The color, costumes and spectacle of the Goroka Festival make for incredible travel shots. Make sure you bring a spare camera battery and always ask someone if you want to take their picture while they're out and about.
They is no health requirements to enter PNG. PNG does carry a small malarial risk. The CDC currently recommends being up-to-date on standard vaccinations.
All visitors to PNG are required to have a valid passport. A visa is required for all visitors to PNG and can be obtained on arrival at Jackson's airport, Port Moresby.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
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"I have taken 12 trips with MT Sobek. Each has left a positive imprint on me-widening my view of the world and its peoples."
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