Join us on an incredible adventure a world away to the “Islands in the Clouds”. We’ll journey to the most remote, wild and fascinating place on earth, home to 1000 different tribes. In the truest sense, Papau New Guinea (PNG) is the Last Frontier where many areas remain untouched by Western influence. This huge equatorial island will thrill nature lovers with a dramatic coastline, virgin rainforests, smoldering volcanos, razor sharp mountains and exotic birdlife. But the draw is the people who take self-expression to extremes. Imagine dancing with a yellow faced Wigman wearing a human hair wig laced with feathers and shells. Locals love to perform and passionately teach visitors their way of life. The highlight is the hugely popular National Mask Festival, an “ancient theatre” that draws tourists from around the world because it dramatically showcases ALL the cultures in one place, where you’d normally have to fly around the country to see them!
We’ll encounter tribes of the Wagni, Simbu, Kaguel and Asaro Mudmen in flamboyant costume. Visitors can interact with singsings, dance expressions, fire dancers and ancient traditions. Masks play a central role in their culture and you’ll learn about their fascinating history. Our Kokopo Beach Resort is so sought after, we deposited 20k a year ahead to reserve your rooms. There’s snorkeling, diving, trekking and more.
Papau New Guinea is always an expensive destination but we designed this with the wisest value by adding sparkling Brisbane with thrilling activities involving koalas to wineries. July is dry and the ideal time to visit.
This is the perfect adventure for our intrepid seasoned travelers. (Mind the crocs). Only in PNG can you find hundreds of different languages (840) with thousands of different traditions. Who wouldn’t want to brag that they’ve visited this country with supreme drama and its unimaginable array of unique events. It’s our most epic and exotic AFS trip yet!Book Now!
Air to be presented later in Trip Tips
(Cross International date line – loose a day on way there & gain a day on the way home.)
Discover Brisbane, the sunny, sophisticated capital city of Queensland and gateway to its many famous attractions. Combine art and outdoor adventure, where South Bank's cultural institutions and restaurants meet riverside gardens and a lagoon. Take a paddlesteamer or ferry down the Brisbane River, bike ride through the city’s Botanic Gardens.
On arrival you will be met at airport by our guide. Transfer as a group to the Grand Chancellor-Brisbane. Our flights arrive in the morning, since check isn’t until 2, we head out to visit the fabulous Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary with over 130 koalas. Hold a koala anytime, hand feed kangaroos and meet a large variety of Australian wildlife in beautiful, natural settings. Afterwards, your coach will drop you back at your hotel (photo)
Our hotel, Grand Chancellor-Brisbane is a vibrant hotel located with the best of Brisbane at your doorstep – just a quick stroll to city’s most popular sites. Shop at the Queen Street Mall, stroll South Bank and grab a bite to eat with the locals. You can get around easily using local public transport including CityCat ferries. Your room has all the modern amenities, including a flat-screen TV, iPod docking station and WIFI. You can take a dip in the outdoor pool and savor modern Australian cuisine at Straits Café.
Overnight: Grand Chancellor-Brisbane
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Papua New Guinea on Air Nuigini.
Port Moresby, located in New Britain on the Gazelle Peninsula containing the towns of Rabaul & Kokopo is built on the crest of a dormant volcano with one of the deepest harbors in the world. This area has remarkable history with 5 different ethnic tribes, Talai, Baining, Pomio, Taulil and Sulka people. You’ll learn about their customs, like shell money, scarring rituals and bride ceremonies.
On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel, Kokopo Beach Bungalows. You will wake to the sound of waves lapping on our private beach in your spacious, modern, air-conditioned bungalow, ensuite bathroom with all the amenities. The resort has a fully licensed bar and restaurant built in the authentic Haus-win style. Float in the lagoon pool, walk on the volcanic sand beach or go for a swim in Blanche Bay. Perch yourself on the new treetops deck which provides panoramic views of the islands and the volcano.
Tonight dine with your fellow AFSers to get to know each other over a Group Dinner at the hotel.
To do: Tour Kokopo town or take a cruise through Simpson's harbor. There’s fishing, trekking, caving, snorkeling or diving in the crystal waters teeming with sea life.
Overnight: Kokopo Beach Bungalows B, D
Where else in the world could you get up close and personal with an active volcano. Located in crescent shape New Britian, Gazelle Peninsula lies directly on a volatile tectonic zone. One of the most volcanically active islands on earth with 5 active and 16 dormant volcanoes. In 1994, the active Mt Tavurvur erupted and still sends out shots of steam today.
For bird watchers and nature lovers we have an abundance of bird life with the most well-known being the Megapod birds, which lay their eggs in volcanic ash. Locals mine for these eggs by digging down through meters of ash to find them - a true test of resilience and commitment.
Overnight: Kokopo Beach Bungalows B, L
After breakfast, we’ll be transferred to the fabulous annual mask festival. In July of each year, Kokopo hosts the National Mask Festival which brings together a wide array of cultural dancers. The Festival operates for 4 days opening with the spectacular 'Kinavai'. The 'Kinavai' represents the Tolai people travelling across the sea and landing on the shores of East New Britain.
Commencing just before dawn, you will hear them chanting and drumming as they come across the water from Matupit Island in canoes towards their landing place at Kokopo.
Cultural dancers from all over the country including the Asaro Mudmen, the New Ireland Malagan dancers and many more perform over 4 days at the Kokopo Showgrounds. VIP Tickets are included for unlimited access and we provide a courtesy stall for our guests to get a drink and cool off in the shade. So come and join us to experience this unique event.
Overnight: Kokopo Beach Bungalows B
In accordance with tradition, the Kinavai will be staged at the beach at dawn featuring the Tubuans. The Kinavai ceremony marks the opening of the Mask Festival. The Mask Festival showcases a variety of Papua New Guinea Mask Dances from various provinces as well as some unusual dances from East New Britain. Always popular are the West New Britain Kandrians, the Asora Mudmen and the Baining Firedancers. The Warwagira showcases traditional string bands, traditional sing sings, local rock bands, choirs and even gospel bands. The combination of Mask dances and traditional Music makes for an exciting event.
Overnight: Kokopo Beach Bungalows B, D
Early this morning you will be transferred to the airport.
Rabaul to Port Moresby (1.5 hr) and Port Moresby to Brisbane (3 hr)
On arrival transfer to our hotel Crown Plaza-Surfers Paradise hotel on the Gold Coast!
Our hotel towers over one of Australia’s favorite stretches of coastline, and perfectly nestled between the Surfers Paradise entertainment strip and Broadbeach’s chilled local shopping and dining scene. Relax on your own private balcony overlooking the beach followed by a refreshing dip in the ocean, only a short stroll away from the hotel.
Spend the day basking in the sun, order an umbrella drink from the pool bar as you float in one of two outdoor pools. Soak in the awe-inspiring sunset whilst indulging in the fresh seafood and central Mediterranean dishes served in Queensland’s only rooftop revolving restaurant, Four Winds 360°.
Overnight: Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise B
Day at your leisure for total R&R or countless activities.
Optional AFS Tour: Springbrook & Tamborine Rainforest Tour ($116 USD)
Explore the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area. This tour takes in both the rainforests of Springbrook and Tamborine National Parks. See 2 beautiful waterfalls set in a natural sub-tropical rainforest. Walk through the filtered light of the forest surrounded by the towering rainforest trees with their tangle of vines, moss covered trees and that rich ‘earthy” smell of the forest. A chance to spot the forest wildlife including the shy pademelons (rainforest wallabies), brush turkeys, goanna and water dragons. You will marvel at the unique Natural Bridge (Arch) with the waterfall plunging into the cave below.
Mount Tamborine brings a break to explore the Tamborine Village “Gallery Walk” (free time) before visiting a winery and enjoying a restaurant lunch overlooking the vineyards. Afternoon includes a guided tour of the award winning Glow Worm Caves at Cedar Creek. A unique experience. We finish the day with a rainforest walk to Curtis Falls before your coach takes you back to Brisbane by late afternoon.
Includes Park fee, admission to Glow Worm caves, Lunch, Cedar Creek Winery.
Overnight: Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise B
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
2. I have no trouble walking and if necessary, can walk for 3+ miles. Uneven surfaces are not a problem. I do not need a cane or walking device.
This out-of-this-world adventure, for our seasoned travelers, will fill quickly. Don’t miss it - book NOW! Limited to 38 participants.
A $500 deposit will secure your reservation. (January 2017, deposit is no longer refundable.)
Land Cost: $2995 + 4 domestic internal flights on Air Nuigini ($886.00)
Air: You can get your own international air USA roundtrip to Brisbane, or you can meet us in New Guinea.
Includes first class accommodation, all transfers by private luxury coach, meals as indicated, guided tours with entrance fees as stated, licensed English speaking guides, VIP Mask Festival Unlimited Pass, AFS GTL.
Not included: Gratuities, internal flights & international air.
Based on a minimum of 18 people.
24 hour lay-over in Brisbane article
Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS. Group air - Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and are ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until we either group air is set or we advise - dates can change! Itineraries are prepared often a year in advance. Though not likely, AFS and our suppliers reserve the right to change or modify such to meet local conditions. Although rare, hotels can change – all hotel rooms are run of the house. Our prices are based on current taxation structures. In case any revision in taxes, sudden fluctuation in currency levels, change in Visa fees or increase in fuel charges, we will amend our prices and inform you accordingly. Land price is based on minimum number of trip participants.