Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Papua New Guinea National Mask Festival tour

Papua New Guinea National Mask Festival

Intrepid Travel Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.7 . Excellent
98%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
9 days
From: $ 3,765 $ 418 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • 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

Short Description

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.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City Rabaul
End City Rabaul

Cities & Attractions

York

Activities

N/A

N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1 Rabaul

Welcome to Papua New Guinea! Touch down at Rabaul Airport (aka Tokua Airport), where you'll be transferred to your hotel. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6.30 pm in the reception area. You'll learn a bit about the history of Rabaul from the hotel owner, enjoy a welcome drink at the bar, and perhaps head out for an optional dinner with fellow travellers. If arriving early, be sure to explore and get a feel for the town. Rabaul’s nickname 'Pearl of the Pacific', though apt, was replaced with 'Pompeii of the Pacific' after the devastating eruption of Tarvurvur volcano in 1994. Despite this loss, Rabaul is still an alluring destination of beauty and depth.

Day 2 Duke of York Islands

Marvel at the force of Mother Nature from the base of an active volcano. From here you will be picked up by your vessel and transported to the Duke of York Islands. While each island around East New Britain has its own personality and story, the Duke of York Islands are where you'll experience the real PNG. Cruise around the islands and hear some local history while taking in a wonderful array of colours. Keep an eye out for dolphins, dugong (sea cows with forked tails) and local fishing canoes. The waters around here are crystal-clear blue lagoons, the beaches are white, and the vegetation is lush – it's a real slice of paradise. Today's tour includes a barbecue lunch cooked on one of the beaches. Afterwards there will be plenty of time to relax and enjoy the hospitality of the locals. You'll also make a stop at Mioko Island to learn more about traditional weaving, cooking and fishing. Enjoy a traditional sing-sing (a gathering of tribes for cultural performance) and an overnight village stay.

Day 3 Rabaul

Rise for an early breakfast and take in scenes of local life. After a briefing on the rest of the day's activities, you'll depart the Duke of York Islands and be dropped back at Vunagum by mid morning. Your tour of the area includes a trip to the Rabaul Markets (keep some small denominations of PNG Kina (5–10 kina notes) handy for trinkets or local fruits and snacks). Visit Yamamoto’s Bunker to learn more about the genius behind Japan's early WWII naval successes. Then, across the street, check out the remains of the Old Nuigini Club and gain some insight into what Rabaul was like both pre- and post-eruption, and pre-independence. After a visit to the Japanese Submarine Base, make a stop at the Volcano Observatory for a look out over Old Rabaul – a fantastic photo opportunity. Also explore the Japanese tunnels and barge tunnels at Karavia Bay. There's a fascinating maze extending some 20 metres underground, made up of three stories, a kitchen and various escape routes. Lunch today will be at a hotel in Rabaul. In the evening, enjoy some free time to relax back at the hotel.

Day 4 Rabaul Mask Festival

Your reward for a 4:30 am start today is the Kinavai ceremony, a re-enactment of the landing of the Tolai People into Rabaul. The canoes paddle across the water at the break of dawn, and you can hear the canoes and the chants long before you see them. The stillness of the morning air coupled with the chanting makes for a riveting spectacle. Then, after breakfast back at the hotel, it's time to delve into the first day of the Mask Festival, so get amongst the colourful array of PNG cultures on display. Dance groups perform throughout the day here, and you'll see and hear an amazing variety of songs and instruments. Each clan has a unique beat, and each culture a distinct dance. After an early optional dinner, head up to Kainagunan or Gaulim Village in the Baining area (approximately 50 minutes from the hotel). Here you'll watch as the men from the Baining clans immerse themselves in flames and escape unscathed. It's an exhilarating ritual performed nowhere else in the world. Interestingly, the Baining people are one of few cultures in PNG that doesn't use the Kundu drum; they use bamboo instead.

Day 5 Rabaul Mask Festival

Enjoy a free day to soak up the festivities. With your hotel situated right next door to the festival grounds, you can come and go as you please, exploring at your own pace.

Day 6 Kokopo

Travel around to see the sights around Kokopo today. Your tour of the area includes a visit to the Bitapaka War Cemetery, where the first Australians who fought here during the first and second world wars have been laid to rest. Hear about the 2nd/22nd Battalion and the interesting war history of Rabaul – namely the Battle of Rabaul, also known by the Japanese as Operation R. You will also visit the Blue Lagoon, where you can see some Japanese barge tunnels. These tunnels were built by the Japanese to conceal their barges and to protect them from the bombing raids of the Allies in World War II. Finally, check out the nearby volcano and hot springs. Here you can stand at the base of the volcano and marvel at the force of Mother Nature.

Day 7 Matupit Island

Located directly across the bay from the currently active Tavurvur volcano, Matupit Island boasts a population of 200–300, many of whom have resettled throughout the province following the 1994 eruptions. On arrival you will be greeted by the islanders with frangipani leis (garlands) and be taken through the village, stopping by the locals schools, church and craft market. Take the opportunity to make purchases and participate in traditional crafts and activities. You'll get a sense of how the local inhabitants survive on a day-to-day basis by seeing how important fishing and the collection of Megapode eggs are to the local economy (another major revenue stream is the coconut). You might find your own Megapode egg – or buy one from the local villagers – to take back to the hotel and have it cooked for your breakfast. Lunch today will be a traditional one, cooked right on the beach by your local friends. In the evening, return to Kokopo and check into the Rapopo Plantation Resort, your base until the end of the trip.

Day 8 Kokopo

Enjoy some free time today. You might like to partake in further activities, all of which are optional. Keen scuba divers can take a half-day trip to explore the incredible coral reefs and underwater World War II wreckage. Deep-sea game fishing is also possible. Those looking to relax and unwind might like to indulge in an 'Island Massage', sure to reinvigorate you after your week of adventuring. This is available at the resort. Otherwise, simply relax, unwind and take a refreshing swim in the pool. Say goodbye to your local leader, and perhaps enjoy dinner with your fellow travellers for one last celebration.

Day 9 Kokopo

Your trip comes to an end after breakfast. With no further activities planned, you're free to depart at any time. A transfer to the airport is included.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 3,765
Price Per Day: $ 418 per day
Check Availability
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Jul-05-2020Jul-13-2020$ 4,085YesSold Out Reserve
Jul-07-2020Jul-15-2020$ 4,165YesSold Out Reserve
Jul-05-2021Jul-13-2021$ 3,840Yes7 spots left Reserve
Jul-07-2021Jul-15-2021$ 3,765Yes12 spots left Reserve

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Stride Featured in

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3,182 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

98%
4.7 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 2,376
Great 625
Average 101
Disappointing 37
Terrible 38
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Papua New Guinea National Mask Festival

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Company Reviews

Fantastic Trip in Southern Africa

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals5.0
We did this trip, Explore Southern Africa, from Aug 9 - 26 this year and we thought it was probably our most memorable trip ever. The variety of wildlife (we saw the big 5 plus giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, hippos, hyenas, wildebeests, impalas, baboons, ...) and our proximity to them that we experienced was unparalleled. The scenery was like nothing we had ever experienced before (our first time anywhere in Africa). Although it was winter time there when we went and many areas were looking very dry it was an experience not to be missed. Additionally we were made to feel welcome everywhere that we went. The highlights of the trip for us would be the two days to the Okavango Delta, the optional game drive through Chobe National Park and day 13 with our guide tracking rhinos in Matabos and going to the African village. Our tour leader, cook and drivers were excellent as were our co-travellers. The meals that were prepared for us tasted great, were well balanced and no one ever left hungry. The 2 person tent accommodations weren't the most luxurious but they allowed one to stay right in the "middle of the action" with the animals in close proximity to our overnight homes. This being the case, we never felt unsafe in our tents at any point. The overlander vehicle didn't have air conditioning, as is standard, however if you made sure to open windows for air circulation during the drive the heat wasn't so bad. If one is prepared to put up with these few inconveniences and willing to help out with camp set up, vehicle clean up, and meal clean up afterwards (this is a participatory type of trip where certain tasks are required of the travellers) it is an experience not to be missed. It all makes one more appreciative of the luxuries that we have at home that many do not have in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
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Only excellent value for money and memories to last a lifetime.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Faultless service and incredible trips, at a really good price. Plus they are all really nice peeps, by email or phone, and we need more of that in the world.

So far, and still counting, I've used them for:

Alaska
Tanzania
Kenya
Uganda
Northern India
Lombok
Bali
Russia
Mongolia
China
Nepal

Never had a bad experience, only excellent value for money and memories to last a lifetime.
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The Trip from Hell Avoid Intrepid Travel

2.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities5.0
Lodging3.0
Transportation1.0
Meals3.0
The Trip from Hell
Avoid Intrepid Travel!
My daughter and I recently returned from a tour in Central Asia booked through Intrepid Travel. After about 24 hours of travel, we were not met at the airport nor did we have a room. After getting that straightened out, the next morning we were informed that the vehicle we would be traveling in had no air conditioning. The temperatures were over 100 degrees to about 115 degrees or more. The heat was unbearable and no one inquired about how we were coping or their health. Our welfare was ignored. So ww left the tour early so we wouldn’t have to camp in the desert for two nights.
The tour leader booked our flights to Istanbul but neglected to tell us we would have to rebook our flights to Los Angeles. Upon arriving at the airport in Istanbul, we were told we couldn’t get on the flight. New tickets cost us $1800 EACH!
Intrepid Travel has refused to take responsibility or provide any satisfaction in this matter.
BEWARE!
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It was an incredible experience!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We just wrapped up a Tanzania family safari. It was an incredible experience!

Even the cook made sure my picky teenager would like his breakfast by fixing him his scrambled eggs the way he likes them.

I’ve been dreaming of this trip with my son for a long time and I’m glad I booked it with you guys! We’ll cherish the memories we made for ever

If you’re looking for a real adventure kinda trip then go with Intrepid!

Thank you Thank you Thank you
Johan & Maxime
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Perfect Itinerary, Guide spoiled a lot of the trip

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide2.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals4.0
The perfect itinerary allowed us to efficiently visited all the top sites with great lodgings. Unfortunately, the guide cut short stops at the Bahai Gardens, Acco, Tel Aviv, and Jerrico on days when we got to our hotel room in the early afternoon--all group members were upset by this. This Palestinian Christian guide emphasized unimpressive churches and minimized all sights that were secular, Muslim, Jewish, ancient, or other faiths. He made bizarre strident political comments about how great Mao Zedong was, praised Putin, said Palestinian people "had never done anything wrong in their history," talked about the Jews killing Jesus--all with a lot of anger. He knew a lot of about Christinaity, not much about anything else. He did a lot to make what could have been the perfect trip, mediocre.

(I would recommend the trip, but only if I knew it was a different guide.)
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I loved the history of this trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I loved the history of this trip, as well as the spectacular scenery. Our guide was knowledgeable and helpful. Having arrangements made for places to stay and transport, plus some activities, but with plenty of free time, made for a perfect balance for me. Breakfasts were delicious!
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Details

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Accomodations

Hotels (7 nights),Homestay (1 night)

Guides

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Additional Information:

Finish point

  • Kokopo Beach Bungalows
  • 1 Kurur Place
  • Kokopo
  • Rabaul
  • East New Britain
  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Trip ID#:

intrepid-TESRS

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