Papua New Guinea & the Goroka Festival - A Marco Polo Journey (2020)

Witness cultural traditions rarely seen by Western eyes as you cruise the Karawari River in search of remote tribal villages, spot a dazzling array of exotic birdlife and marvel at the brilliant spectacle of the Goroka Show.

Journey Overview

Witness cultural traditions rarely seen by Western eyes as you cruise the Karawari River in search of remote tribal villages, spot a dazzling array of exotic birdlife and marvel at the brilliant spectacle of the Goroka Show.

Journey Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in vibrant tribal cultures that have remained unchanged for centuries, while cruising rivers and exploring some of the most remote corners of the globe
  • Join a gathering of more than 100 local tribes for the Goroka Show, a dazzling, two-day spectacle of song, dance, pageantry and tradition celebrating Papua New Guinea’s independence
  • Enjoy the convenience of flying in and out of the Goroka Show via private charter on each of the two days of the festival
  • Take a three-night cruise on the Karawari River, winding past unspoiled villages and pristine rainforests of the Sepik Region
  • Relish intimate interactions with distinctive cultures spanning Lake Murray, the Mount Hagen region and the remote river villages along the Sepik
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Cairns, Australia

Upon arrival in Cairns, you are met and transferred to your hotel. Refresh from your travels and prepare for the exciting journey to come. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner served at the hotel.
Shangri-La Cairns | Meals: D

Day 2: Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea | Island Gateway

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Papua New Guinea, an island chain of undisturbed indigenous tribes and sweeping natural beauty. Arrive in Port Moresby and connect to Mount Hagen. Upon arrival, travel overland through the upper Wahgi Valley, a rich, fertile farmland that witnessed some of the world’s earliest agriculture. Continue on to Rondon Ridge for spectacular panoramas of the verdant valley.
Rondon Ridge | Meals: BD

Day 3: Mount Hagen, Lake Murray | Lush Canopy of the Western Province

This morning, board your charter flight to Lake Murray in the Western Province. The countryside here is unlike anywhere else in Papua New Guinea and offers an ideal destination for photographers and lovers of flora and fauna. This afternoon, set out on a guided nature walk. Lake Murray is one of the best birdwatching areas in the Province. Visit a local village and market before returning to your lodge.
Lake Murray Lodge | Meals: BLD

Day 4: Lake Murray | The Pari Tribe

This morning, embark on the first of two days of cultural touring among the tribes that inhabit the Lake Murray region. Begin with a full-day visit to the Pari tribe. After breakfast, board a river boat for a scenic cruise to the village. On arrival, you are greeted by members of the Pari tribe and have an opportunity to witness and participate in a number of traditional activities including traditional sing sing, arts and crafts, face and body painting, tribal warrior demonstrations, and a chance to share stories with the villagers.
Lake Murray Lodge |Meals: BLD 

Day 5: Lake Murray | The Kuni Tribe

Enjoy another full-day excursion revealing the culture of the Kuni tribe. Begin with a scenic riverboat cruise to the village. During your visit, try your hand at traditional archery, weaving, warrior displays, face painting, fishing or canoeing.
Lake Murray Lodge | Meals: BLD 

Day 6: Sepik Region | Secluded Riverine Wilderness

This morning, travel by charter flight to Karawari, where you board ‘Sepik Spirit,’ your floating home for the next three nights. Settle in to life aboard this three-level, 98-foot river cruiser featuring a lounge, dining room, bar, screened-in observation deck, air conditioning and nine comfortable cabins with en suite bathrooms. Your riverboat home is an oasis in this remote jungle, affording an exceptional vantage of the riverine wilderness that surrounds you. After lunch on board, embark on your voyage of discovery along the Karawari River, a remote tributary of the mighty Sepik.
'Sepik Spirit' | Meals: BLD 

Day 7: Sepik Region | Villages of Black Water Lake

After breakfast aboard, disembark for a full-day excursion to the remote villages of Black Water Lake. Bask in your warm island welcome as you observe a way of life that has remained largely unchanged for centuries. Learn about the local rituals, warfare, ceremonies and ancestral beliefs, visiting the various houses of the village. Browse tribal handicrafts such as masks, flutes and spirit figures in the villages’ low-pressure markets. Relax with a picnic by the densely forested banks of the Karawari River, watching as local men gather on their clan’s bench, children paddle canoes to school and women fish with hand lines.  
'Sepik Spirit' | Meals: BLD 

Day 8: Sepik Region | Tribes of the Mumeri & Mindimbit

Disembark onto the banks of Mumeri, a remote village whose people have preserved their ancestral traditions for centuries. Take in the same warm village welcome enjoyed here by pioneering anthropologist Margaret Meade over 80 years ago. Next, cruise to the confluence of the Krosmeri and Karawari rivers, where you rendezvous with ‘Sepik Spirit’ for lunch. Continue on to visit the villages of Mindimbit, taking in the spectacular carvings and elaborate coming-of-age rituals of the locals. Re-join ‘Sepik Spirit’ for your final night on board, cruising back toward Karawari.
'Sepik Spirit'  | Meals: BLD 

Day 9: Mount Hagen | Birder's Paradise of Rondon Ridge

This morning, fly by private charter to Mount Hagen. Upon arrival, travel overland through the upper Wahgi Valley, a rich, fertile farmland that witnessed some of the world’s earliest agriculture. Continue on to Rondon Ridge for spectacular panoramas of the verdant valley. After lunch at your lodge, set out on a guided nature walk and birding tour of the grounds. Over 180 species of birds have been recorded in the rainforests surrounding Rondon Ridge, including 10 species of birds of paradise. The pristine rainforest also boasts numerous vibrantly coloured orchid species. Roam the vast trails, racking up exotic sightings with help from your expert guide.
Rondon Ridge | Meals: BLD 

Day 10: Mount Hagen | Goroka Show

After breakfast at the lodge each day, transfer to the airport for your convenient, privately chartered flight to the Goroka Show, a two-day celebration of Papua New Guinea’s independence. Following each day’s festivities, return by privately chartered air to Mount Hagen and your lodge in time for dinner.
Rondon Ridge | Meals: BLD 

Day 11: Port Moresby | Goroka Show

Enjoy another opportunity to immerse yourself in the dazzling spectacle of the Goroka Show. This vibrant kaleidoscope of song and dance draws over 100 local tribes every year, affording an authentic glimpse into a rarely witnessed tradition dating back to 1957. This afternoon, fly to Port Moresby, a capital of sprawling suburbs scattered throughout the hills, and transfer to your accommodations nestled in a lush botanical garden.
Airways Hotel | Meals: BLD 

Day 12: Cairns, Australia | A Parting Glimpse

Today, fly to Cairns. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner and recap your amazing experience with your fellow travellers.
Shangri-La Cairns | Meals: BD 

Day 13: Depart Cairns

After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport for your departure.
Meals: B

Journey Details

Minimum age is 10 years.
First group event: welcome dinner at 6:00 p.m. on Day 1.
Last group event: farewell dinner at 6:00 p.m. on Day 12.
Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 8 guests.

Program Note: Travel in this remote region entails lodging in basic accommodations and active elements such as walking over steep, uneven jungle terrain.

Show Full Itinerary
Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Sep 10, 2020 - Sep 22, 2020
Price AU$22,675pp Single Supplement AU$6,515 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire
Notes:

Availability shown here is updated weekly and indicative only. Availability on any product or journey shown here is not specific to a category of travel and may not denote availability at the cheapest ‘From’ price. For real time availability, talk to your travel agent or call Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 851 800.