Price

$3795 AUD per person

$1405 AUD Single supplement

Inclusions

  • Meet and greet service on arrival Port Moresby and Rabaul
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • English speaking local guide
  • All activities as per itinerary
  • Private transportation
  • Entrance fees, sightseeing and permits
  • Scrubba Wash Bag

Exclusions

  • International and domestic flights
  • 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

The Mask Festival is the only festival of its kind in Papua New Guinea. Together with their amazing costumes, groups from all across the islands gather in the coastal town of Kokopo to showcase their elaborate ancestral and spirit masks whilst performing ritual dances, each style forging the unique cultural identity of a tribe.

Witness the 'Kinavai' opening ceremony at dawn, as the arrival of ancestral spirits are welcomed to chants and the beating of kundu drums by elders and initiated young men on canoes.

Experience the spectacular Baining Fire Dance from the Tolai’s of the mainland of East New Britain Province, where in this night-time traditional dance, initiated young men perform harrowing dances through blazing fires amidst evocative chanting by their elders.  Join us as we experience one of the most fascinating festivals Papua New Guinea has to offer.

Day 1 - Arrival Rabaul

Welcome to Papua New Guinea. Upon arrival in Rabaul, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This evening, meet your tour leader for a welcome meeting at 6:30pm in reception followed by dinner. (D)

4 nights Rapopo Beach Resort or similar

Day 2 - Rabaul and Opening Ceremony

After an early breakfast, you will visit Admiral Yamamoto’s command bunker before exploring the town markets. From here drive up to the Malmaluan lookout for a  wonderful view of the town below. Check out the wartime airstrip of Vunakanau and finally visit the Toma lookout for panoramic vistas across the Kerevat River valley to the Bainings Mountains before returning to your hotel for lunch.

Following lunch, witness the opening of the Wagwira and Mask Festival. Welcome the Taubuans, who have paddled their canoes from their villages. The elder men wearing fiery masks and leading the initiated boys towards the festival area with the beating of the kundu drums.

The Kinavai ceremony is a re-enactment of the landing of the Tolai People in Rabaul. You will hear the rythmic chanting long before you will see the canoes paddling across the water. The stillness in the air coupled with the chanting makes this a very special experience. (B,L,D)

Day 3 - Mask Festival/Bainings Fire Dance

After breakfast this morning, your tour leader will give you a briefing on what to expect at the show before transferring to the show grounds for the festival. Today you have free reign to explore the festival at your own pace and take in the spectacular sites and sounds. Witness an amazing assortment of colours, songs and musical instruments as dance groups perform throughout the day. Each clan has its own unique beat and each culture has distinct dances on show. (B,L,D)

Day 4 - Mask Festival or City tour

Enjoy another day at the festival and become totally immersed in this fascinating cultural display.

You may wish to return to the hotel for a refreshing swim before an early dinner.

After dinner, you will be transferred to Kainagunan or Gaulim Village (approx. 90mins) in the Bainings area. This evenings spectacular Bainings Fire Dance is performed only by men from the Bainings clans, where they immerse themselves into the flames of the fire and escape completely unharmed. This amazing ritual is not performed anywhere else in the world.

One of few cultures in Papua New Guinea who do not use the Kundu drum as their rhythmic percussion instruments, the Bainings clan instead use bamboo, and the sound is just as unique as the fire dance itself.  After the performance, return back to your hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 5 - Departure

Farewell your group and tour leader after breakfast today. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Port Moresby. Upon arrival, transit to international departures to meet your onward flight. (B)