A combination of the wilds of the highlands and one of the most immersive cultural shows in the country, paired with coastal exploration in West New Britain.
Expect colour, custom and culture as tribes comes together to celebrate their heritage and folklore as you experience a full day at the Mount Hagen Cultural Show. Experience village life as you head further into the highlands and explore sacred sites of sacrifice and learn of unique initiation ceremonies and practices. West New Britain will slow you down as you slip into community life and live like a local in a remote island community. Soak in the beauty of Papua New Guinea’s impressive coastal and marine world.
Welcome to Papua New Guinea and to the town of Mount Hagen. (Tok Pisin: Maun Hagen) is the third largest city in Papua New Guinea, with a population of 46,250. It is the capital of the Western Highlands Province and is located in the large fertile Wahgi Valley in central mainland Papua New Guinea, at an elevation of 1,677 m. The city is named after the old, eroded volcano Mount Hagen, located about 24 kilometres to the north-west. Traditional culture and beliefs remain strong in Mount Hagen and its surrounds. The Mount Hagen show was first staged in 1961, before PNG’s Independence, as an event to unify warring tribes; but since then, the show has become more of an attraction for those seeking to witness the fabulous sight of thousands of painted warriors dancing, and singing to the beat of Kundu drums.
Enjoy a city tour around Mount Hagen this afternoon, with a stop at the tea and coffee plantations that this region is renowned for before checking in to your hotel. Enjoy exploring the city and feel the buzz in the air as local prepare for the biggest event of the year. (D)
2 nights Jiwaka Mission Resort or similar
Enjoy an early breakfast this morning before you depart to visit the Sing-Sing groups (tribal gathering groups) from different provinces outside the arena. Witness how their body decorations, colourful traditional costumes and vibrant face painting is done. Your guide will offer explanations outlining the various types of costumes and their significances in the differing cultures of these tribes people.
Follow the tribes into the showgrounds where you will witness hundreds of warriors, all dressed in their very finest traditional regalia, dancing and chanting – each group has their own cultural style and language with the intention of outclassing all the other groups. You will then have the truly unforgettable opportunity to walk amongst the dancers, even shake their hands and meet them, before enjoying a picnic lunch at the showground. Later in the afternoon, you will return to the hotel. (B,L,D)
This morning you will depart from Mount Hagen and drive through the Waghi Valley towards Goroka, stopping at the Asaro Mudmen Mokomoko village. Along the way you will stop at Waigar village to see the traditional bamboo flute men playing their bamboo sounds learnt during their initiation into manhood as part of their tribal traditions.
As you continue along the highway towards the Asaro village, you will wind your way up and down hills and through valleys, passing small townships along the way. Once you reach the Asaro Valley, it is a short walk up to your home for the next two nights. Dinner and overnight stay at Korekoreto Lodging Huts. (B,L,D)
2 nights Korekoreto Lodging Huts or similar
Note: Korekoreto Lodging has single beds and double bedrooms with flush toilets and showers in the room. Electricity power supply is a portable generator that turns off at 10.00pm and resumes at 06:00am. There is no TV or internet but mobile phone signal is available.
This morning after breakfast you will take a guided walk to Mt Gurupoka, stopping at a breathtaking lookout over the Asaro Valley, and visit secret cave, and sacrifice site. Returning to the village you will see the Mudmen perform traditional dances and their Mokomoko dance. Lunch today will be a traditional Papua New Guinean mumu on the Earth. Mumu is a traditional method of cooking large quantities of food throughout Papua New Guinea, as well as other islands in the Pacific. It consists of an earth oven that is filled with hot coal or stones, with the food placed within the coals and slow-cooked under the ground.
The afternoon is at your leisure to relax and explore the village. Interact with the locals and watch their day-to-day activities. Your guide will be on hand for any extra walks or activities you would like to try. (B,L,D)
This morning, drive to Goroka Airport (approx. 30 mins drive). From here you will fly to Hoskins via Port Moresby. Our suggested flights are:
Flight PX161 departing Goroka at 10:20am arriving Port Moresby 11:10am
Flight PX244 departing Port Moresby 15:40pm arriving Hoskins 16:55pm
(Flights not included)
On arrival in Hoskins, your West New Britain adventure begins. This province of Papua New Guinea is located on the island of New Britain. The provincial capital is Kimbe and throughout the islands there are seven major tribes, the Nakanai, Bakovi, Kove, Unea, Maleu, Arowe, speaking about 25 languages.
People from West New Britain are referred to as “Kombes” in Papua New Guinea, in reference to the significant Kove (or Kombe) people.
West New Britain produces palm oil for export with large oil palm plantations on the north coast of the province especially in the Kimbe region. The bustling town of Kimbe is the third largest port in Papua New Guinea and is the fastest growing city in the South Pacific.
Arriving at Hoskins Airport, your guide will meet and transfer you to your hotel in Kimbe for dinner and a relaxing evening. (B,D)
Overnight Liamo Reef Resort or similar
Early this morning, you will depart Kimbe Town and head to Garu village on the sea front. This will be your stepping off point for a boat transfer out to one of the small islands a small way off the coast of Garu. Transfer by boat, to one of the Kombe Islands where you will disembark and be welcomed into the island village. Here you will be greeted by the island people and you will become part of the community, living with them on the island for the next few days.
Your afternoon is at leisure to explore the island, swim in the crystal turquoise waters and laze on white sand beaches. Maybe take a canoe and paddle out, try your hand at spear fishing or snorkelling or arrange a boat to take trip to visit other island villages. You could even try making shell money or necklaces or baskets with the village women. The kids will be happy to have an extra set of hands for a game of cricket or soccer if you’re up for it! (B,L,D)
3 nights accommodation in a village hut
Note: As this is a traditional village, you will be staying in the homes of locals. Your accommodation will be shared rooms with mosquito nets and mattress and a pillow with sheets.
Toilet are pit toilet with squat or seat toilet. There is no hot water, showers are bucket showers. There is no power or electricity but a portable generator supply is available for a limited time each day. There is no TV, internet or phone connection.
Spend your next two days fully immersed in local life. There is a huge range of sea or land activities that locals undertake as part of everyday life – gardening, cooking, fishing and social activities with the locals. The island is not a tourist destination, so this is a truly unique, one in a lifetime experience. (B,L,D)
Late morning, you will farewell your island family, and a boat will collect you to return to Garu and then drive back to Kimbe Town. Arriving in Kimbe Town, check into Liamo Resort. The rest of your final day in West New Britain is at leisure. You may wish the spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool side or beach or choose to go into town to visit the local market. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travellers. (B,L,D)
Overnight Liamo Resort or similar
After breakfast this morning, you will be transferred to Hoskins airport for your flight back to Port Moresby. (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.