Discover the beating heart of Papua New Guinea in a one-of-a-kind multicultural spectacle
There’s so much more to Papua New Guinea than the Kokoda Track. Rivers, valleys, gorges, mountains, volcanoes, lagoons and inlets carve up this country like it’s nobody's business, and this has allowed a multitude of cultures to develop in virtual isolation to each other – and the outside world. There’s no better window to Papua New Guinea’s diverse tribal tapestry than the National Mask Festival – a spectacle of song and dance, rhythm and drama, costume and colour. Take in the re-enacted canoe landing that kicks off the Kinavai Ceremony, watch grown men dance through flames at the astounding Baining Fire Dance, and, either side of the festival itself, discover the fascinating wartime sites, unique local markets, friendly island villages and volcanic hot springs that many visitors overlook.
Marvel at an active volcano, tuck into a shoreline barbecue and experience a traditional sing-sing in the Duke of York Islands
Discover how the World Wars played out in the Pacific. Visit the War Museum in Rabaul and head underground for a tour of the Japanese tunnels in Kokopo
Be mesmerised by the chants of the Kinavai ceremony as the canoes paddle across the magical dawn
There's nothing in the world like the Baining fire dance. Watch as men engulf themselves in flames to the beat of the bamboo drum and escape unharmed
Gain an insight into small village industry on a day trip to the tiny Matupit Island
Relax and unwind at the plush Rapopo Plantation Resort when it's all over
With very limited departures per year, this is a niche trip. It's perfect for those interested in tribal cultures, war history, village life or volcanic landscapes – or who simply love to take the path less travelled.
There are lots of water-based activities, so being comfortable on a boat is essential.
We spend one night in a village community without running water and electricity, in basic accommodation. The experience, of course, is well worth the sacrifice of creature comforts!
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Papua New Guinea National Mask Festival trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. An arrival & departure transfer is included on this trip. Please provide us with your flight arrival & departure time no later than 7 days before your trip commences. If we do not receive this information we will not be able to meet you at the airport. Late night arrivals in particular will be difficult and daunting to make your way to our starting point on your own.
2. Due to including the Rabaul Mask Festival, the July departures will follow an amended itinerary to the one in these Trip Notes. Exact itinerary will be confirmed with your leader on Day 1 at the group meeting.
3. A Single Supplement is not available on this trip - accommodation is all based on twin (hotels) or multishare (home stay).
Our Papua New Guinea National Mask Festival trips score an average of 4 out of 5 based on 3 reviews in the last year.
Overall, this trip was good - a four out of five stars. Being operated by an independent third-party tour company, the trip did not have the unique "feel" of a typical Intrepid "classic" trip though. It felt more like what I believe an Intrepid "comfort" or perhaps a Peregrine tour would be like (so I've heard--I've only taken Classic and Geckos trips in the past).
Review submitted 26 Jul 2017
Such a wonderful trip with a very culturally immersive itinerary. The mask festival was particularly interesting and the scenery especially later in the trip was truly stunning. The home stay was my favorite experiences. We had a few couples and many solo individuals on this trip who were a good group of open minded travelers. If you come with an open mind and a sense of adventure you'll love it.
Review submitted 25 Jul 2017