This year for the first time YPT is taking you even deeper into Papua New Guinea. After the big success of last year’s Mount Hagen Festival tour, we’ve decided to see more of the country and will go to Bougainville, a province until recently stuck in the civil war. Here you will meet people rebuilding their part of the world under the new hopeful motto of “United in Diversity”. Bougainville is a land filled with history as it was an important part of WWII in the Pacific but also a land with its own very unique cultures. We will learn more about these very seldom seen cultures as we will witness our very own sing-sing, or traditional dance and song festival. This tour takes us all around the province, starting in Buka, renowned for its passage and the many world-war II shipwrecks it contains. We’ll stop and visit the parliament house as well as Japanese bunkers. We will head deeper in the province, passing by a decommissioned mine, the biggest in the world when it was in operation, stopping along the way for many breathtaking views. Expect boat rides, either on banana boats or on the iconic Austronesian out-riggers, with some island hopping on the way and visits to villages where we will be amongst the first non-locals to visit. One of these villages includes a living bridge made out of vines, which the bravest amongst us will get to cross! Knowing that Bougainville is not your everyday tourist destination, we do it the right way as our tour includes expert local guides and security everywhere we’ll go. If you thought our tour to Mount Hagen wasn’t off the beaten-track enough or have seen it already, this is the tour to get ever deeper into Papua New Guinea!
Arrival in Port Moresby with a shuttle service organised to take you to Citi Boutique Hotel
Citi Boutique Hotel can organise transportation to go to the Port Moresby Yacht Club. Pretty much the only attraction in town.
Wednesday 21st August – Buka
Early transfer by shuttle from Citi Boutique Hotel back to the airport.
Meet the rest of the group as well as your tour leader on air-side as they are coming back from Mount Hagen.
We take our 9:00 am flight to Bougainville.
Arrival at Buka airport where we will be met and greeted by our local Bougainville team and escorted to our accommodation at Masalang Village
After resting and settling down for a while, we will tour around the village and visit a traditional clay pot making place.
Lunch at a local restaurant
In the afternoon, we will take a bus ride to Kubu where we will see the parliament house and access a gorgeous viewpoint allowing us to observe the whole of Buka passage, a strait filled with shipwrecks of WWII.
On our way back we will stop to visit ruins of Japanese WWII bunkers in Hahela.
Dinner and Overnight in Masalang village
Thursday 22nd August – Buka/Arawa
After breakfast, we will ride our bus to a historical site located next to the police station in Buka Town. This site is known as the Mass graveyard for the Bougainville Revolutionary Army during the Bougainville civil war. Our local guide will take this time to explain to us what has happened during those troubled times.
We hop on an iconic banana boat and cross the Buka passage.
On the other side, called Kokopau, we will take a 4 hour bus ride to Arawa with stops along the highway for photo opportunities and visit a roadside market
Just before we arrive in Arawa we will visit the decommissioned Panguna Mine. It used to be the biggest open cut mine in the world with a width of 2 kilometres and a depth of 430 metres. In fact, it was the farmers protests for its closure in 1989 which sparked the secessionist movement in Bougainville and the Civil War. Locals still come here to pan, hoping to find gold. We will visit the abandoned installations of this monstrous monument to careless exploitation.
Overnight and dinner in Pidia village, which we will reach by boat from Kobuan bay. At night, we will watch the 2012 movie Mr. Pip, staring Hugh Laurie, which tells the story of a girl in Pidia village going through the events of the Bougainville Civil War. It happened here!
Friday 23rd August – Pidia
We wake up in Pidia village for breakfast and head out for a village tour.
We’ll find a out-rigger canoe which we will have the chance to row. Outrigger canoes are the quintessential Austronesian mean of transportation and an important part of the local villagers everyday transportation.
Afterwards we‟ll get on a banana boat and travel to a cliff over the sea, called “Eberia”. “Eberia” literally translates as ‘’this way‟ in the local language and according to local folklore is rumoured to be the gateway to the Underworld. It is a truly unique and spooky sight.
We cross to the other side of the cove towards Pokpok Island. On our way we’ll stop and check the abandoned Arovo Island Resort. Its services were disrupted by the Civil War.
We will check in at Uruna Resort to drop our baggages before we head out for an afternoon of Island Hopping.
During our Island Hopping afternoon, we can swim, snorkel and fish in untouched waters. We are in one of the least visited part of the world!`
On our way back to the Lodge, we’ll stop by a WWII memorial by the town of Kieta where a zero plane and a Japanese tank are exposed.
Overnight in Uruna Resort
Saturday 24th of August – Arawa/Topinang
After breakfast this morning, we will take a boat to Tubiana and will be picked up by vehicle there to go visit the market of Arawa.
We head to Topiniang village where we will finish our trip with a bang. Here villagers will welcome us to stay with them. Amongst other things, they will show us their flowers gardens as well as a live bridge made up of vines from a Ficus Tree. The most intrepid of us will get to cross this bridge which goes over a mountain stream and takes us to pools and caves waiting only for us to explore them.
Back in the village of Topinang, we will see women weaving a traditional fan called Biruko and relax in the afternoon by the beach.
The villagers will send us off with our own personal singsing and a night of storytelling
We have dinner and sleep in a homestay in the village.
Sunday 25th of August – Kieta
After an early breakfast, we transfer to Kieta Airport to catch Airlines PNG flight at 8:05 back to Port Moresby by 11:20 including a layover in Rabaul.
End of tour, numerous international connections are available to Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and others.
– Visa fees for Papua New Guinea if applicable (most countries get a free visa on arrival, YPT can assist for those of countries which don’t)
– International Flights to and from Port Moresby
– Tips for local guides
– Drinks and souvenirs
We have expert guides ready to help answer any questions you may have.