YOUR PILOT AND GUIDE Dick Lang has been flying in Papua New Guinea for over FORTY years. He was introduced to the beauties and subtleties of this magnificent country by such legends as Bill Gammage, Chris Vass (ex Kiap), Bob Bates and Dik Knight. He is permitted by the PNG CAA to fly into remote airstrips – where few other Australian pilots are allowed on tour. His thirty seven years of flying has given him a healthy respect for the great care and attention needed in this environment. On the ground he has a deep and sympathetic knowledge of the traditions and life-styles of the local tribal people.
ADELAIDE – BIRDSVILLE – NORMANTON – HORN ISLAND – DARU – TARI – MOUNT HAGEN – WILDERNESS LODGE – GOROKA – MADANG – NADZAB – BULOLO – MENYAMYA TRACK – PORT MORESBY (LOLOATA ISLAND RESORT) DARU – HORN ISLAND – LONGREACH – BIRDSVILLE – ADELAIDE
DEPART FRIDAY AUG 3/18
DAY 1 ADELAIDE – HORN ISLAND
Depart General Aviation Terminal, Adelaide Airport, at 8.00am, flying north over wheat, barley and canola paddocks, past Wilpena Pound, flying north along part of the Birdsville Track, over Coopers Creek to Birdsville for fuel. Past the tiny town of Bedourie, Boulia and the Channel Country, Mt Isa, Cloncurry, the Gulf Country, the Flinders and Norman Rivers into Normanton to refuel. Depart Normanton along the coastline of the Gulf of Carpentaria, over the mining township of Weipa, across the Jardine River to land at Horn Island. Overnight in a small interesting motel, with historical displays.
DAY 2 HORN ISLAND – DARU – HUGE FLY RIVER BASIN – PORT MORESBY
Clear Customs and Immigration. (Note that you pay for your own personal Departure Tax from Australia). Across Torres Strait to PNG Customs at Daru, where, within forty minutes you are in a different world – time and appointments take on a new meaning. Across the giant Fly River estuary Past prominent mountains sticking up through the distant cloud, along the Owen Stanley Ranges, to land at Port Moresby. Here we may be picked up by Dik Knight, an old friend. An interesting tour around modern Port Moresby to view the original coastal village, the port, the business centre and the magnificent Parliament House (subject to being open). Overnight in a large modern motel on the edge of Port Moresby.
DAY 3 PORT MORESBY – KOKODA TRACK
We set out on a drive into the very high mountains that back onto Moresby. We visit the very sad, but beautifully maintained, WWII Bomana war cemetery, where thousands of young Australian men are interred. We drive up the steep gorge that reaches into the Owen Stanleys, along the clay and dirt road that runs past Ower’s corner (a WWII staging post), before a last steep pinch onto the head of the Kokoda Track, with its memorials and huge mountains in the background. Please note that, if there is any rain, we cannot drive this route. Overnight Moresby.
DAY 4 PORT MORESBY – MADANG
Depart Moresby flying high over the giant Owen Stanley Range – see Kokoda if there is no cloud – and across the edge of the Bismarck Sea, along the edge of the Earth’s fault line, known as the Pacific Rim. There are frequent volcanoes – seen as islands, then landing at Madang, called by many, “the most beautiful harbour in the world”. A tour of this coastal town, a visit to the market, then lunch at a beautiful coastal resort. After lunch, visit a Japanese WWII airstrip and view the wreck of a long-ruined aircraft. Overnight splendid resort with swaying palm trees and the Bismarck Sea crashing at your door.
DAY 5 MADANG – BULOLO
Fly from Madang around the very high Finisterre Ranges and past Shaggy Ridge, scene of some of the most desperate fighting in WWII, then into the Ramu Valley, leading down to the Markham Valley. Land at Nadzab, transfer to 4WD vehicles, cross the huge Markham River, through interesting villages and up through the magnificent Watut River Valley scenery to the mountains of Bulolo. Afternoon drive to see long-abandoned huge gold dredges and alluvial goldfields. A visit to village families sluicing gold from this once-famous, roaring river. Overnight Pine Lodge. A really fascinating day.
DAY 6 BULOLO – MOUNTAIN DRIVE ALONG MENYAMYA ROAD – BULOLO
Please note that today’s drive is very much subject to heavy rains, landslides and deep, impassable mud on the road. However, just trying to get through reveals amazing primitive, untouched country through unforgettable scenery towards the Menyamya area. It is one of the most spectacular drives in PNG. View remote villages on mountain ridges and beautiful remote people, the famous Kukukuku, now known as the Anga People. If the area is cloud-free, rain-free and has no landslides, this drive is the most spectacular in PNG. O/N Pine Lodge.
DAY 7 BULOLO – GOROKA
Drive down into the Ramu River, to Nadzab to fly up into Goroka, a beautiful township set high in the mountains with a lovely climate – at the head of the majestic Nambaiyufa Valley. Visit the small Jack McCarthy Museum, where you can see rare, historic cultural items and a good spread of WWll artefacts. We visit the vibrant, extensive outdoor market which is a bedlam of colour and produce. Visit a local coffee factory, where we are well known and where you are able to see your own coffee roasted, ground and packed. We may be able to see the hand-intensive preparation of this famous Highlands Arabica coffee. What a story for coffee drinking friends at home ! It is cool, busy and pleasant. Even though our stay here is at the world famous “Bird of Paradise”, there is a small note about occasional water and hot water disruptions in this famous hotel. Overnight at this renowned, comfortable motel. Please note that at times the hot water and also the water supplies to the Hotel are interrupted by local factions, but it is restored quickly.
DAY 8 GOROKA – WILDERNESS LODGE
Fly along the stunning scenery of the mighty Wahgi Valley. High above us, mountain peaks tower up to the highest mountain in PNG (and Australia), Mt Wilhelm. Descend around huge white towering clouds into Mt Hagen, a busy township set in the Highlands with a lovely climate. Everywhere is the strong, dominant influence of the very important garden culture of these farming people. It is so impressive to see their cultivation of high, steep mountain slopes to create areas for gardens. Near the peaks of the mountains, well above clouds, we come to our pleasant, locally-owned lodge. This is built conventionally, but of traditional bush materials. Each room is self-contained. Please note that it is a huge difference from the night before, but it is clean, comfortable and they try very hard to please us. The advantage is that in the grounds there are a large number of spectacular Birds of Paradise. There are more birds to be seen here than anywhere else in PNG. It is another of the highlights of our journey in PNG. It will be quite cool and very pleasant. It is another of the highlights of our journey in PNG. It will be quite cool and very pleasant. Note that there may be interruptions to the hot water supply due to power problems. However, in this case, they will fire up a huge old hot water boiler. Make certain you have a torch and shower when you have hot water !
DAY 9 WAPENAMANDA – WABAG
This is what we have been looking forward to! Through Wapenamanda into one of the most remote parts of PNG – the Enga Province to remote Wabag. Here at their new Cultural Sing Sing there is a stunning show of thousands of tribal men and women with their huge human hair wigs, painted faces and pounding drums. They are encouraged by many thousands of villagers. It is absolutely awe-inspiring. This show is so remote and so amazing that we are sponsors, to encourage and assist its operation. Please note that we have not included the Show Entry as it has not yet been set (Usually about $100- well worth it). Our passengers are given special treatment by the local committee because we are sponsors. It is absolutely awe-inspiring. By mid-afternoon, some of the tribal groups are moving off so we return to our vehicles for our drive back through majestic mountain passes, to our mountain lodge.
DAY 10 BIRD OF PARADISE LODGE – RIDGE TOP LODGE – AMBUA.
The superb blue cordillera of the Papua New Guinea Highlands surrounds us as we fly high into the remote Tari Region, the home of the proud and once fierce Huli people, renowned for their beautiful flower wigs. The change from the Mt Hagen is overwhelming – it is cool and pleasant and you immediately see the huge variation in the different tribal people around you. The area has undergone some transformation due to massive oil and gas finds in the surrounding mountains and it is a fast developing area. We take a 30 minute drive in our bus, high up into the ridges to our world renown beautiful lodge. If it is not raining, there could be a walk to a high and beautiful waterfall nearby. There are numerous Birds of Paradise birds in the grounds. It is another of the highlights of our PNG visit.
DAY 11 WILDERNESS LODGE – DARU – Mt ISA
Fly high, up out of the mountains surrounding Tari and then a long descent down to the Fly River Basin to Customs at Daru. Across Torres Strait to Horn Island. Make certain that you check your bag for unwanted or inappropriate material to clear Customs. (Note: Because it varies so much, according to diplomatic arguments with Australia, you pay for your own personal departure tax, which we will advise you of – it won’t be a lot). Fly down the Cape York Peninsular to Mt Isa, for our stay in a modern, very pleasant Motel, in the Centre of Mt Isa – a huge world away from this morning. lodge.
DAY 12 MOUNT ISA – BIRDSVILLE – LEIGH CREEK – ADELAIDE
Take off across the vast outback of Western Queensland. We are back in the vast, sunburnt FLAT land of Australia, as many hundreds of kilometres roll by past , the Channel Country, to land at Birdsville, with time to explore the township before a light lunch in the Birdsville Hotel. Fly out over Cooper Basin country and the vast outback of South Australia, before landing at Leigh Creek to refuel and back to Adelaide by 5pm.
DEPARTS: FRIDAY, AUGUST 3, 2018. PRICE: TWO PEOPLE TRAVELLING TOGETHER AND SHARING ACCOMMODATION: $11,990. PERSON TRAVELLING ON OWN, SINGLE ACCOMM: $12,790