Offering a heady mix of bright encounters with traditional tribes, off-the-beaten-track exploration in wildlife-rich jungles and world-class diving metres from pristine beaches, this astounding collection of islands is as diverse as they come. Despite having long been a destination for Australian hikers, eager to tackle the remote and testing Kokoda Track, Papua New Guinea is one of the last few countries on Earth able to claim that it is unspoiled by tourism. And that’s exactly why the team at Regent Holidays are so excited about it; for us, the further from the beaten track, the better.
Its lack of modern infrastructure combined with perfectly preserved traditions and lush green-carpeted peaks that descend to idyllic remote beaches tantalise travellers in search of pioneering adventure.
The intriguing cultures that remain here rival the astounding natural environments and vie deservedly for your attention. With front-row seats on a Regent Holidays group tour, watch the men of the Baining Tribe celebrate coming of age with an extraordinary fire dancing ceremony, in which adolescent men leap through naked flames as the tribe elders chant and drum. Our Cultures & Customs of Papua New Guinea group tour gets under the skin of this colourful nation. Set course for the highlands where the native wiId life presents a kaleidoscope of vibrant feathered birds and lush vegetation of every shade of green, before travelling to discover a turquoise coastline, harbouring marine creatures of seemingly every colour possible.
And that’s without even mentioning the striking painted faces and extravagant headdresses of the hill tribes. At the Warwagira & National Mask Festival, traditional headdresses and masks are displayed, surrounded by dance, storytelling and ritual performances.
Begin this event with the Kinavai Ceremony on the beach; performed by the local Tolai tribe, dukduks and tumbuans (masked forest spirits) emerge from the sea in canoes to dance as kundu drums beat.