Papua New Guinea Adventure
Highlands & Islands
Port Moresby – Mt. Hagen – Goroka – Port Moresby – Rabaul – Port Moresby
Discover Papua New Guinea…
Day 1 Port Moresby – Mt. Hagen
Welcome to Papua New Guinea – The Land of the Unexpected. You will be met by your tour leader at Jackson’s Airport before departing Port Moresby on your flight to Mount Hagen. Our local guide will meet us upon arrival. Mt. Hagen is the second largest city in PNG and provides a cultural immersion into the Highlands lifestyle of the local people. We transfer to a beautiful lodge at the foot of Mount Hagen (3800m) – the 3rd highest peak of Papua New Guinea and an extinct volcano, our home for the next 3 nights. Magic Mountain Lodge is about a 20 – 30-minute hike from the main road. The road is too steep for buses hence porters or a small support vehicle will help carry your bags up to the Lodge. Magic Mountain Nature Lodge consists of a row of stand-alone bungalows with ensuite bathrooms, and a common dining room, situated in a large garden of native plants especially coloured orchids, lichens, mosses and fungi that grow well at this high altitude. If time allows we take a drive to look for the rare Bird of Paradise, a symbolic bird in Papua New Guinea that is featured on the country’s flag. Heavy mist envelops the mountain at about 17:00 hours every day and the temperature drops rapidly, so it is a good idea to settle quickly into your bungalows on arrival. The Lodge is connected to the town electricity grid and there is a back-up generator. Not far from the Lodge, the summit of Magic Mountain is a round-shaped peak which appears to look the same no matter from which angle you look at it, thus the name “magic”. Due to the altitude (2500m) the temperature drops quite quickly after dusk and it can get cold. (D)
Note: Our accommodation is located remotely. We recommend purchasing alcohol (spirits) duty free upon arrival. Beer is available in local shops in Mt. Hagen Town. Snacks, water and soft drinks can be purchased at the local supermarket in Mt. Hagen Town. Your guide will make sure the group has opportunities to buy any necessary items.
International arrivals should be before midday this day or the day before in order to catch the connecting afternoon flight to Mount Hagen and for the program to run as planned. Air Niugini flies daily out of Brisbane and Cairns, with regular flights from Singapore, Sydney, Manila, Bali and Hong Kong.
Day 2 Mt. Hagen
Wake up early. Enjoy breakfast sitting on a big terrace overlooking the valley below Mount Hagen, surrounded by high-altitude moss forest. After breakfast we take a drive-around tour of Mt Hagen area by private-hire bus or open-back passenger truck stopping at places of interest including the main market – the biggest and liveliest market in PNG and an experience not to be forgotten. We travel out of Mt. Hagen to witness a performance by the Skeleton Boys, their bodies painted with charcoal and white clay, doing a Spirit Dance. After the dance the village leader will explain the story behind the performance. We continue to Paiya village, a typical Highlands village. Visit the Men’s House and the skull house where the bones of ancestors are kept. Meet the village chief and his 3 wives and take a tour of the village before sitting down to a local style “mumu”. Meat and vegetables have been wrapped in leaves and cooked in a pit under hot stones and you will see the parcels of cooked food removed from the earth “oven” and opened before your eyes. After lunch the village people will take you for a walk through their gardens and show you how they cultivate the vegetables that they eat every day. Before departing witness a traditional sing sing – traditional presentation of song, dance and dress, performed by some of the ladies from the village. If time allows visit the local school for a game of football, volleyball or rugby with the kids – a warm experience and possibly one of the highlights of your trip! Return to Magic Mountain Lodge, dinner and free time to rest. (B,L,D)
Day 3 Mt. Hagen
Today your PNG Adventure Tour will include a full day of nature hiking. After breakfast, depart Magic Mountain Nature Lodge for full day of trekking to the summit of Mount Hagen (3800m) with guides and packed lunch, arriving back at Magic Mountain late afternoon. (B,L,D)
This is not a technical climb, but it is challenging, with some steep sections. The track runs through the jungle and grasslands. It is very muddy all year round due to heavy rainfall. Effects of altitude can be felt and altitude sickness can occur (possible Nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath). You need to be in good condition fitness wise and warm clothing is necessary. Trekking boots also recommended. (If you have any doubt about your ability to gain the summit, you can wait at the lodge. The trek is optional – No one will be pressured to do the trek.)
Day 4 Mt. Hagen – Goroka
Depart Magic Mountain Lodge after breakfast, stopping at the local supermarket for snacks, water, soft drinks. We depart the capital of the Western Highlands Province for Goroka, approx. a 5-hour drive depending on road conditions, with a lunch stop at a hotel in Kundiawa. Admire the Highlands landscape along the way and stop at Daulo Pass (2400m) scenic point overlooking Goroka Town below. Overnight in a local hotel. (B)
Day 5 Goroka
Spend the day visiting 2 local villages. Travel to Asaro to see a cultural performance by the famous Asaro Mudmen. The Asaro Mudmen are famous for wearing fierce looking masks, with their bodies covered in white mud which made them look like ghosts emerging from the morning mist, when attacking their rival tribes. After a village walk through Asaro we continue to Akemeku Village where you will meet the local people, experiencing some cultural performances and taking in traditional village life. Due to the condition of the road the vehicle cannot make it all the way and a 20-minute trek is required to reach the village. The villagers will greet you with a welcome dance and walk you into their home. Try your hand at archery, see a traditional sing-sing and help prepare a traditional Mumu lunch. In Akemeku the food is stuffed into bamboo pieces and these placed on hot rocks. The whole stack is covered by banana leaves and soil. While the food is cooking we enjoy the various performances the villagers have prepared for us and then take a walk to a nearby waterfall, walking through the village’s coffee plantation. After lunch it’s time to say goodbye as we head back to our vehicle. Return to your hotel late afternoon. (B,L)
From the Highlands to the Islands…
Day 6 Goroka – Port Moresby – Rabaul
Today our PNG Adventure Tour leaves the Highlands to embark on the next leg. Transfer to the airport after breakfast accommodation for our AM flight to Port Moresby, then connect through to Rabaul. Arrive late afternoon and transfer from Kokopo to your hotel located in Rabaul, approx. a 45-minutes drive depending on road conditions. Rabaul was the provincial capital and most important settlement in the province until it was destroyed in 1994 by falling ash of a volcanic eruption. During the eruption, ash was sent thousands of metres into the air and the subsequent rain of ash caused 80% of the buildings in Rabaul to collapse. After the eruption the capital was moved to Kokopo. Rabaul is continually threatened by volcanic activity as it is surrounded by six volcanoes. If time allows visit the Bitapaka War Cemetery located a short distance out of Kokopo. Bitapaka cemetery is managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The cemetery contains the Australian and Commonwealth graves of those killed during operations in New Britain and New Ireland during World War II, or who died while prisoners of war. The cemetery also contains World War I Australian and German graves of those killed during operations in the Occupation of German New Guinea, which were relocated to the cemetery. We also stop at the Kokopo Markets, a nice experience and opportunity to buy some local produce and artifacts. (Bitapaka War Cemetery and Kokopo Markets visit subject to change depending on arrival time.) (B)
Day 7 Rabaul – Little Pidgeon Island, snorkeling & Simpson Harbour Cruise
In the morning depart for Little Pidgeon Island, a little island located not far from the mainland offering amazing snorkelling and diving (scuba diving possible at extra cost. Must be booked in advance). The island has a white sandy beach compared to the gazelle coastline and the tropical setting is an experience to immerse yourself in. You will spend some time snorkeling in the tranquil waters, discovering the abundance of fish life and reef. Enjoy a packed lunch on the island, while sitting under the palm trees. On the way back there are opportunities to see passing school of fish, turtles and dolphins which are a common sight for curious onlookers. If there are dolphins present you may even get a chance to jump in for a swim with them – an unforgettable experience! There is also the opportunity to see a submerged Japanese Fighter plane from WWII while snorkelling. The return trip gives you a horizontal pictorial view of the coastline of the Kokopo Township. On the way back take a 3-hour boat cruise around the two harbours (Simpson & Matupit) nested within the Blanche Bay with close up views of Mt Turanguna (South Daughter), Mt Tavurvur (active volcano), and Mt Kombiu (Mother) – all volcanoes. You will have legends and myths told about how the harbour and the volcanoes came to form. The cruise continues out of Matupit Harbour, past Karavia Bay and then in toward the Simpson Harbour. You will see close up views of the dormant Vulcan volcano and the Dawapia rocks (“Beehives” as they are called these days), which are a pair of volcanic rocks emerging from the middle of the harbour. The cruise goes around the Beehives and ends back in Rabaul. Arrive back at the hotel late afternoon. (B,L)
Note: Rabaul-Kokopo offers fantastic diving opportunities: reefs, WWII wrecks, abundant fish life. If you are interested in diving please let us know.
Day 8 Rabaul
Today we embark on a discovery tour of Rabaul learning about some of its history and the military occupations. WWII highlights of the morning include a visit to the site of a crashed WWII Japanese Betty Bomber, General Yamamoto’s Bunker, the Rabaul Museum, tunnels dug by Japanese forces to house their hideouts, barge tunnels to hide their barges and an old British floating crane. Rabaul and its surroundings have remnants of WWII which this tour will reveal. Continue up to the Volcano Observatory for a panoramic view of Rabaul and the Simpson Harbour. We head out of town across the peninsula to a little lodge located right on the beach and nestled within a small village. Spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach, go snorkelling on the house reef or take a walk through the village and meet the locals. More diving can be arranged if required in the afternoon. (B,D)
Day 9 Rabaul
This morning we visit the local school for a short cultural exchange. The children will tell you about their traditions and listen to stories about the customs and traditions from your homeland. Head back to the lodge and take a boat out to one of the islands for some snorkelling and lunch. Return late afternoon and transfer back to Rabaul for free time with a stop to see the Rabaul Markets. (B,L)
Note: as the children living here do not have access to a lot of the basics such as coloring pencils, notebooks, pens etc. any such donations/ gifts will mean a lot to them.
School visit subject to change in case of public or school holidays.
Day 10 Rabaul – Mt. Tavurvur trek
Rabaul is surrounded by six volcanoes and the tour today will bring you up-close with the liveliest of them all – Mt. Tavurvur. With its most recent eruption being only a few years back (2014) this volcano is far from dormant and trekking to the rim carries risk and adventure. Departing the hotel early to avoid the heat the trek will take approx. 1,5 hours to the top (time may vary due to fitness levels). Enjoy the views and a short rest before heading back down the hill. Good footwear should be worn and plenty of water taken on the trek. Once back in Rabaul, freshen up and enjoy lunch at the hotel. Free time in the afternoon and a farewell dinner in the evening at the hotel restaurant. (B,D)
Note: trekking Mt. Tavurvur or any other volcano in the Rabaul area carries risk. Each person trekking does so at their own risk. Prior to commencing the day’s activities the guides will contact the Volcano Observatory to get a report on the state of the volcanoes in the area. Another trek may be recommended should conditions be deemed too risky.
Day 11 Rabaul – Port Moresby
Very early wake up. Transfer to Rabaul Airport for your AM flight to Port Moresby and onwards flight out of Papua New Guinea. End of tour.
SAFE ONWARDS TRAVELS!
Price per person: AUD$4390
(Prices based on a group of min. 6 pax/ max. 16 pax | Price subject to change | Price for Individuals available on request)
- Accommodation based on twin/ triple or quad-share rooms:
- Magic Mountain Lodge 2*, Mt. Hagen (3 nights)
- Birds of Paradise 3*, Goroka (2 nights)
- Rabaul Hotel 3* (4 nights)
- Kabaira Beach Hideaway, 2* (1 night)
- Tours and activities unless listed optional
- Meals as per program (B,L,D)
- Local guides
- Transport in private vehicles (buses, open back trucks or 4WD pick-ups/ utes)
- No Limit Adventures group leader/ tour coordinator
- No Limit Adventures arrangement and coordination of whole program
- International & domestic flights
- Visa charges (if applicable)
- Accommodation before or after the tour in Port Moresby if required
- Travel insurance
- Meals not specified in program
- Extra activities not specified in the program
- Meals not specified in program
- Alcohol and drinks
Magic Mountain Lodge: standalone bungalows with ensuite with one double and one single bed, common dining area.
Birds of Paradise Hotel: three-star hotel, twin or double standard rooms incl. breakfast. Hotel has a pool, restaurant and bar. Centrally located.
Rabaul Hotel: three-star hotel, twin or double standard rooms incl. breakfast. Hotel has a pool, restaurant and bar. Centrally located.
Kabaira Beach Hideaway: guesthouse/ lodge style accommodation. Standalone beachfront bungalows with various bedroom configuration, all bungalows are ensuited. Accommodation will be twin/ double, triple or quad-share.Important notes:
- Accommodation is subject to change pending availability. No reservations have been made and rooms are not being held.
- The above itinerary takes you into some very remote and isolated regions of Papua New Guinea. Although all arrangements are made to ensure the safety and smooth running of the tour clients travel at their own risk. No Limit Adventures takes no responsibility for any losses, accidents, injury or any other personal misfortune, which may occur during the duration of the tour.
- The above itinerary is subject to change at any time, including during the duration of the tour. Possible causes for change are unpredictable forces such as weather, local issues such as land disputes, political unrest and the like. No Limit Adventures takes no responsibility for such changes, but will attempt – where possible – to offer an alternative route to make up for any losses.
- No Limit Adventures takes no responsibility in any delays that may lead to missed flights. In any such case the clients will be able to claim any losses through their personal travel insurance.
- Motorized canoes on the Sepik River may not carry sufficient safety equipment.
- Recommended dive level is min. OWD.
- Alcohol: bottles of strong alcohol such as vodka, whisky etc. are difficult to purchase. We recommend buying your own duty-free. Beers, wine and spirits are available at most bars.
- Visas to Papua New Guinea are required and, in some cases – depending on nationality, can be obtained upon arrival (VOA). Each participant is responsible for checking his/her visa requirements and application.
- Comprehensive travel insurance is highly recommended including evacuation cover.
- Participants are advised to be in reasonable physical condition when traveling to Papua New Guinea.
- There is a certain level of patience required for PNG, as everything happens at a slow pace and is not always based on the time of day, the time on your ticket, or arranged meeting.
- Each participant will be obliged to sign a legal liability disclaimer prior to commencing the tour
By paying a deposit the participants confirm they understand the risks involved.
Payment terms and cancellation policy:
- 30% deposit required at the time of booking (if more than 31 days out from tour commencement)
- Full payment required no later than 42 days prior to tour commencement
- Cancellations made inside 30 days of tour commencement will incur a 100% cancellation fee
- Cancellations made 31 – 60 days of travel will incur a 50% cancellation fee
- Cancellations made 61 – 90 days of travel will incur a 20% cancellation fee
- No refunds in case of no shows