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.
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, a capital of sprawling suburbs scattered throughout the hills. Begin your exploration of Papua New Guinea’s distinctive island cultures at the National Museum, home to a fine collection of local artifacts. Transfer to your accommodations nestled in a lush botanical garden.
Tari | Birder's Paradise of the Southern Highlands
Board your flight to Tari, soaring over the dramatic peaks of New Guinea’s Highlands. Upon arrival, transfer to your secluded lodge perched at 7,000 feet in Papua New Guinea’s spectacular Southern Highlands. In the afternoon, set out on a guided nature walk through the lush forest, keeping an eye out for the exotic birds of paradise. A favorite destination of birders, the rainforests surrounding the lodge have starred in many wildlife documentaries. A staggering 217 species of exotic birds have been recorded here, including 13 different species of birds of paradise. Stroll among a plethora of orchids, rhododendrons, vine bridges, mountain streams and secluded waterfalls, logging your exotic sightings as your expert guide shares insights perfect for novices and seasoned birders alike.
Tari | Ancestral Legacy of the Huli Wigmen
Embark on two days of cultural touring among the tribes of the Tari. The Highland people of Tari employ body decoration and face painting, as well as the wearing of decorative wigs, flowers and moss. The Huli Wigmen are widely regarded as one of the most immediately recognizable of Papua New Guinea’s indigenous peoples. Experience the Huli Wigmen’s captivating dances, dazzling displays fashioned after the mating rituals of the birds of paradise. Take in the magic of the scene, absorbing an indelible impression of the vibrant tribal traditions so carefully preserved for generations.
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. After lunch on board, embark on your voyage of discovery along the Karawari River. 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.
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 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. Rejoin ‘Sepik Spirit’ for your final night on board, cruising back toward Karawari.
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 colored orchid species. Roam the vast trails, racking up exotic sightings with help from your expert guide.
Mount Hagen | Goroka Festival
After breakfast at the lodge each day, transfer to the airport for your convenient, privately chartered flight to the Goroka Festival, a two-day celebration of Papua New Guinea’s independence. 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. Following each day’s festivities, return by privately chartered air to Mount Hagen and your lodge in time for dinner.
Cairns, Australia | A Parting Glimpse
Today, fly via Port Moresby to Cairns. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner and recap your amazing experience with your fellow travellers.
After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport for your departure.