Step foot into a world few ever experience as we explore the rich history, cultures and wildlife of Papua New Guinea. You are welcomed on our journey by the vibrant people of Papua New Guinea as we are whole-heartedly embraced into traditional village life. With a strong focus on cultural exploration, you will also uncover the incredible birdlife, explore ancient caves and the countries incredible coastline home to masses of fish and coral gardens.
**Please note that Mount Hagen to Madang operates in reverse for 19th – 24th October 2023.**
Welcome to Papua New Guinea! This morning, you will arrive into Mount Hagen, a bustling commercial centre where wealth from coffee and tea plantations has brought rapid change to traditional lifestyle. If you want to visit the last frontier of Papua New Guinea, this is it. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to Kumul Lodge, one of the best-known landowner ecotourism lodges in Papua New Guinea. Made out of local materials, entirely owned and managed by the local community and employing local guides, you can be sure that your money is helping to support the local community. Your presence here helps to preserve the surrounding forest as a home for some of the most beautiful and unusual birds in the world. Your travels here are working to raise local environmental awareness and in time, hope that our ongoing efforts will lead to the area being declared a National Park. Enjoy an afternoon guided nature walk along the forest orchid for a birding observation walk. This is the only bird lodge in New Guinea where Bird-of-paradise are amongst the regulars at the lodge feeders, offering fantastic photo opportunities. Other regulars at the feeders include Brehm’s Tiger Parrot, Smoky Honeyeater, Belford’s Melidectes and Island Thrush. Chestnut Forest Rail is occasionally seen beneath the feeder while Crested Berrypecker and White-winged Robin are often seen nearby. This evening, watch the bird feeding activity from the lodge grounds before dinner is served. (L,D)
2 nights Kumul Lodge – Deluxe Rooms or similar
Setting off at 8am this morning, enjoy a guided tour of the village nearby which provides a fascinating insight into a unique way of life still following very much a traditional lifestyle. Return to the lodge for lunch. This afternoon is at leisure. Take your time to walk along the many forest trails to see the stunning orchids and birdlife. (B,L,D)
Departing at 8am, drive through Mount Hagen city towards Mindima Village where you will experience the Omo Masalai Skeleton dancers. Painting their bodies in black and white to look like skeletons, their dance is a dance of death and often has a wolf involved which the skeleton ‘attack’ during their tribal dance. The way the skeletons lurk and creep as part of their performance, will make it seem like they have literally clawed their way out of the ground.
Following this impressive performance, continue onto Goroka. Goroka is the capital of the Eastern Highlands Province. Mountains encircle the town. At 1600m, Goroka enjoys a pleasant year-round climate of warm days and cool nights. More relaxed than other highlands towns, endowed with essential services, Goroka is one of PNG’s more attractive towns.
Goroka’s main cash crop is coffee and you’ll see it growing under the canopies of larger trees in the hills throughout the district. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure. (B,L,D)
2 nights Bird of Paradise Hotel – Premier Rooms or similar
This morning, you will depart at 8am to Korekoreto village. Drive out through the fertile Asaro Valley, past coffee plantations and vegetable gardens bursting with sweet potatoes, bananas, taro cassava and sugar cane.
Walk through the village as you start your path to Mt Gurupoka to see the ancient caves. Learn about the mythology associated with these caves whilst taking in incredible views of the valley below.
Return to the village where you will see the Mudmen Warriors perform their eerie war dance and see the Mokomoko warriors dance. Spend time in the village with the local people as they prepare and cook a meal in a traditional earth oven, called a ‘mumu.’ You will have the opportunity to taste their cooking and enjoy a snack with the local villagers. Return to your hotel. (B,L,D)
On the road again today, departing at 8am as you head north towards the coastal town of Madang. The drive is approx. 106km and the road conditions are fairly good. Travel along the Okuk Highway passing through scenic landscapes as you wind your way to Kainantu town. Cross Kassam Pass and descent into Markham Valley. Pass palm plantations at Ramu Gusap as the scenery changes dramatically as you venture from the hinterland to reach the coastline. Enroute, you will have plenty of photo opportunities at Yonki Hydro Dam and Kassam Pass look out. On arrival in Madang at 4.30pm, check into your hotel. (B,L,D)
Overnight Madang Resort International Hotel – Deluxe Rooms or similar
Following breakfast at your hotel, the morning is at leisure until it is time to transfer to the airport for your onward flight (flight not included). (B)
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**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.
* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.
* A minimum of 4 adults is required to guarantee this departure.
A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.