Mount Hagen Festival & West New Britain

10 Days
from AUD$ 6,885

Highlights

  • Experience the Mount Hagen Cultural Show
  • Witness the Asaro Mudmen’s performance
  • Immerse yourself into island life – village homestay
  • Spearfish and cook with locals

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.

Journey map

Fitness level

Easy
Moderate
Challenging
Tough

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival at Mount Hagen

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

Day 2 - Mount Hagen Festival

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)

Day 3 – Asaro Mokomoko Village

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.

Day 4 - Asaro Mokomoko Village

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)

Day 5 – Goroka to Kimbe Town

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

Day 6 – Kimbe Town to Kombe Islands

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.

Day 7 and 8 – Local Village Stay

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)

Day 9 – Return to Kimbe Town

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

Day 10 – Departure

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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What’s included

  • Meet and greet service in Mount Hagen
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • 9 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • English speaking local guide
  • All activities as per itinerary
  • Private transportation
  • Entrance fees, sightseeing and permits
  • Crooked Compass Escort
Exclusions
  • International and domestic flights
  • Domestic flights required: Day 1 Port Moresby to Mt Hagen, Day 5 Goroka to Hoskins, Day 10 Hoskins to Port Moresby
  • Visas
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • All services, meals other than those indicated above
  • Personal porters
  • Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program
  • All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc

**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.

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Availability

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Availability
Price
Start Date
16th Aug 2024
End Date
25th Aug 2024
Duration
10 Days
Availability
Available
Price
$6,885 AUD
Start Date
15th Aug 2025
End Date
24th Aug 2025
Duration
10 Days
Availability
Available
Price
$6,990 AUD