Papua New Guinea may be the last untouched frontier for wanderers seeking the greatest off-the-beaten-path travel adventure. Situated in the South Pacific, and amid the lush and varied landscape, you’ll discover friendly villages nestled on the banks of meandering rivers, punctuated by rows of imposing peaks and roiling volcanoes. Pristine beaches, azure waters ideal for diving, and vast rainforests teeming with life, beckon visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In short, Papua New Guinea is the hottest destination for intrepid travellers.
What To Do
Cruising the majestic 700-mile Sepik River reveals a world untouched by time. Mysterious ethnic groups whose cultures span many millennia display elaborately carved masks and shields – treasures for lovers of ancient arts. Witness the spectacle of a Wahgi Sing-Sing, a tribal festival packed with colourful costumes, lively music and chants, and spirited dancing.
Don’t miss a stay on the Sepik Spirit, a “floating lodge” with 18-seat jet boats, equipped to navigate the tributaries and lakes that take you up close to the tribal villages.
Papua New Guinea’s endless coastline is a sought-after diving destination. The abundant marine life and coral reef live up to their reputations as an underwater photographer’s paradise. In fact, the waters off the island’s coasts have appeared in some of the most famous and internationally recognized underwater photos.
With nearly 800 native species, 76 unique to the country, Papua New Guinea is a haven for bird watching. The mystical blue bird of paradise and rare fire-maned bowerbird are notable finds. Papua New Guinea’s biodiversity is also on display in its lush rainforests.
Visit the Highlands region and trek Mount Wilhelm. Explore Mount Giluwe, a striking volcanic plug. The Kokoda Track, one of the most dramatic and challenging single-foot thoroughfares in the world, traverses the Owen Stanley mountain range.
Where To Go
Port Moresby, the capital city and home of Jackson’s International Airport, contains attractions such as the botanical gardens and the National Museum and Art Gallery, home to indigenous crafts. Alotau, with its unusual black sand beaches, is the gateway to Milne Bay and the remote island region.
Lae, the second largest city, opens to the Highlands region, the most populous area in Papua New Guinea. Its rugged mountains and fertile valleys are home to the country’s coffee plantations. The highland town of Goroka is known for its spring-like climate and the Goroka Show, or Sing-Sing. Natives of the Melpa culture, unknown to the world until 1935, inhabit Mount Hagen and the Wahgi Valley region.
Tari, in the Southern Highlands, offers views of the Tari Valley and some of the best bird watching in the world. It’s not unusual to see local villagers in traditional tribal garb throughout the year in Tari, which is also home to the Huli wigmen, one of the most prominent tribes.
On the north coast, the dazzling city of Madang draws divers and snorkellers to its underwater ecosystem. The city is also known for its impressive population of “flying foxes” – giant fruit bats decorating the trees. Sleepy Wewak is a beach town known for its surfing and snorkelling.
The Tufi area unveils Papua New Guinea’s fascinating fjords. In addition to its scenery, Tufi is famous for its tapa cloth made from mulberry bark. The ruins of two boats that sunk there during World War II have become a popular dive destination.
The Best Tours to Take
Our Discover Papua New Guinea – Holiday of a Lifetime vacation package is an exclusive 16-day Pacific adventure delivering an intimate, personal vacation experience. Holiday of a Lifetime tours feature perks and privileges, such as full luggage service, sumptuous welcome dinner, riverside picnics, and travel amenities including a neck pillow, luggage tags, travel wallet, and flight bag. Only one departure dates is being offered: April 14, 2016.
This Papua New Guinea tour includes luxury touring coaches and first-class hotels and accommodations specifically chosen by Barbara Norton, our experienced Group Travel Manager who has explored Papua New Guinea extensively.
The Discover Papua New Guinea Holiday of a Lifetime tour introduces guests to Papua New Guinea’s sights and adventures. The tour begins with two nights at the Rondon Ridge Lodge. You’ll explore the Mount Hagen region, including a mini Sing-Sing. From the lodge, you’ll travel to the Sepik River area and spend four days immersed in tribal culture. You’ll visit several villages and discover the traditions associated with Papua New Guinea’s native cultures. Discover mysterious Spirit Houses, enjoy dancing and singing, and witness fishing, sago making, and basket weaving. Two nights on the Sepik Spirit display a panorama of wildlife and village life.
From the Sepik Spirit, guests enjoy four days exploring the Highlands region, including bird watching in the Tari Valley. You’ll spend three nights at the Ambua Lodge, an eco-resort nestled in the Doma Peaks at 7,000 feet. You’ll experience a Huli warrior dance, visit an orchid farm, and trek through an alpine forest.
From Tari, you’ll fly to Port Moresby for a farewell dinner before travelling to Port Douglas, Queensland in Australia, and three nights at the 5-star Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort and Spa. You’ll also spend a day on a Sail-away ship exploring the Low Isles and the Great Barrier Reef before returning home on Day 16.
These packages start at $14,039 and include transfers, taxes, most meals, all sightseeing, and tips. If Papua New Guinea has remained an elusive destination in your globetrotting roster, this Holiday of a Lifetime experience assembles history, leisure, culture, nature, and sightseeing into a half-month of adventure and discovery in the Pacific.