Globetrotters are consistently searching the next exciting, unique, and awe-inspiring destination. If this includes seeing a variety of cultures, hilltribes, unchanged lifestyles, untouched jungle, and everyday tribal life, then Papua New Guinea, in the South Pacific, is worth considering.
Goway has chosen this exciting destination as a special and unique Holiday of a Lifetime. Clients will engage with local villagers, learn about various tribes and tribal culture, search for the elusive Bird of Paradise, and explore beautiful lush countryside in both the Highlands and Sepik River areas. Rich in culture, history and nature, Papua New Guinea is a destination not to be missed!
The journey begins up at Mount Hagen in the Highlands, the very place that the Leahy brothers discovered as recently as 1933. Visitors will be welcomed by the Melpa people, as they travel up to their accommodation at Rondon Ridge which overlooks the Wahgi Valley. This is a stunning location which features a panoramic view of the Valley, easy nature trails for a short walks, superb dining, and overall relaxed atmosphere. Guests should not be surprised as local children wave to them as they drive through small villages. Throughout Papua New Guinea, the locals are just as excited to see visitors as visitors are to see them. The welcoming smiles say it all.
While at Mount Hagen, we will tour around the area, delving into the Melpa people’s traditions and customs for this particular region. A special mini sing-sing will be arranged for the group. A sing-sing is a traditional gathering of tribes or villages where locals paint and decorate themselves and showcase their distinct culture, dance and music in a peaceful setting. It’s a great treat for the senses.
The next destination on the journey will include a 45 minute charter flight down from the Highlands to the Sepik region. From the cool, spring-like weather of the Highlands, the temperature will change to hot, humid conditions of this dense tropical lowland rainforest region, one of the great, untouched rainforests on the globe. The group will then continue on their journey to the Sepik Spirit, a deluxe floating lodge on the river, for a two night stay. Not only will you explore the rivers’s teeming birdlife and fascinating village life, but you will get a chance to visit spirit houses decorated with carved ancestral figures, hear mysterious ritual flutes and the rhythmic rattle of dancers’ shell jewelry, as well as interact with the friendly village locals.
Next stop is the stunning Karawari Lodge, our home for the next 2 nights. Not only was the Lodge built to blend in to the landscape using local materials, its remote location and setting on a ridge, overlooking the river and jungle-clad basin, makes it one the most unique lodges in the world.
The second day in this region will be exploring the river basin by boat, watching life unfold along the river as dug-out canoes glide past full of goods, women fishing, and kids shrieking and splashing in the water. Traditions and culture in this area will be very different from what was experienced in the Highlands. It’s the remoteness of Papua New Guinea and the amount of tribes throughout the country that make it so unique even from one small area of the country to the next.
The day includes visits to villages along the river, interaction with locals, along with a sago-making demonstration. Sago is the staple food of the river people and the process to get it from a tree trunk to an edible flour is very labour-intensive. A picnic lunch will be enjoyed along the river.
We are then off again by charter plane to Tari, the main service centre for the Southern Highlands. This is one of PNG’s most remote, undeveloped regions where the traditional warrior cultures of the Huli and Duna Wigman have thrived for thousands of years. In fact the whole region was not “discovered” until 1935! From the airport we are met and transferred up into the mist-shrouded mountains to fabulous Ambua Lodge. Ambua Lodge was built with an eclectic mix of modern and traditional design, incorporating traditional building materials while maintaining a first class standard for the international visitor. The afternoon can be spent enjoying a nature walk.
The following day starts early with a guide, in search of the elusive but beautiful Bird of Paradise, which Papua New Guinea is famous for.
After our bird-watching adventure, we head back to the hotel for breakfast before heading off on our full day tour into a world where clan dominance, war-like mentalities, ancestral spirits, sorcery, and pig wealth govern daily life. From watching a Huli Warrior dance, to learning more about the secrets of the wigman’s headdresses, it will be another day where all our senses are engaged. Additional early morning and late afternoon bird-watching can be arranged for anyone who is interested.
During our 3 night stay at Ambua Lodge we have arranged for two informal chat sessions. One session will be with a local Huli woman who will talk to the group and share her feelings and experiences of growing up and living in the Huli culture. This is a great opportunity for the group to ask questions and delve deeper into the culture. The other session will be a talk with the group to discuss the history and politics of Papua New Guinea. The lodge also offers an opportunity to do a hike to a waterfall, stroll through the lush gardens, visit an orchid farm, or just relax in the lounge area.
Our last night and farewell dinner will take place in Papua New Guinea’s largest city, Port Moresby. The group will then depart Papua New Guinea for their journey home, but not before spending 3 nights in Australia, visiting the Great Barrier Reef. We will fly into Cairns, then transfer north to the resort town of Port Douglas. Travellers will relax for 3 nights at the Pullman Sea Temple Resort and Spa, enjoying a day cruise to the Great Barrier Reef and a day at leisure.
Papua New Guinea is truly an undiscovered gem and is not widely visited by mass tourism. This, however, is changing, making now the perfect time to plan a visit.
Goway’s 16 day, fully escorted Discover Papua New Guinea Holiday of a Lifetime is the best way to explore this unforgettable destination. There is just one special departure left for this unique tour – April 14, 2016.
Like with all other of Goway’s Holidays of a Lifetime, Discover Papua New Guinea includes the iconic sights of the country, combined with unique dining at quality restaurants, meeting the “locals” in their natural environment, and more. The Tour Directors are extremely experienced and very knowledgeable about the destinations, and fully understand the needs of the travellers. Goway also includes all tipping, and offers a “Twin Share Guarantee” for single travellers. Your special Goway guide will be Barbara Norton, the General Manager of Goway Groups, who has travelled previously to Papua New Guinea.
For full details, please visit our website at www.goway.com.