Travel, tourism & transport Feed

10 ways to cut travel costs in PNG

| Academia Nomad

PORT MORESBY – Unfortunately, travel within Papua New Guinea is expensive. I write this following a visit to New Ireland, a destination which is unbelievably beautiful but does not attract as many local tourists as it should.

The return flight for just one traveller will easily run up to K2,000 ($AU850). Accommodation for three nights at a lodge may cost another K1,500 ($640), and breakfast and dinner about K150 ($64) a day (about K400 if you stay for three nights).

Continue reading "10 ways to cut travel costs in PNG" »

I brave open sea to visit New Hanover

| Academia Nomad

KAVIENG - The first time I took a banana boat ride out to open sea - from Kavieng to New Hanover - was the scariest day of my life. There were six of us including the skipper with only one lifejacket on board.

The other passengers were from coastal provinces so naturally I assumed the lifejacket was intended for me as the only Highlander (and non-swimmer) on board.

Continue reading "I brave open sea to visit New Hanover" »

Remote Indian Ocean territory seeks our help


Cocos    Karlina See Kee. Read about Island Girl D iscovery here
Writer and traveller Karlina See Kee on Home Island in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Read more about Island Girl Discovery here 

HOME ISLAND - Last year we created one of the largest marine sanctuary areas in the world – the globally significant Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands marine parks.

With your support we protected an area bigger than Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT combined.

Continue reading "Remote Indian Ocean territory seeks our help" »

Rippling journey brought 400 books to Kelkei

| Melanesian Women Today

Teacher Regina Manga shows the new books to her students at Kelkei Elementary School

BAINBRIDGE, USA - The impact of one book on a community is incalculable. But what about 400 books?

Over a two-year period, the group Melanesian Women Today has diligently worked to provide an essential resource to a small, remote school at Kelkei near Kendeng village in Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Rippling journey brought 400 books to Kelkei" »

Australia needs to take a hard look at itself



TUMBY BAY - Towards the end of this year, Australians will be asked to vote in a referendum to change the Australian Constitution.

They will be asked whether it should be changed to establish a permanent, independent advisory body, known as The Voice, to advise federal parliament and the government on matters relating to the Australia’s Indigenous population.

Continue reading "Australia needs to take a hard look at itself" »

Overwhelming joy as aviation comes to Wetap

| MAF Nederland

MT HAGEN - When Wilfred and Richie got off the plane in Wetap, people immediately came running and hugged the two pilots.

"It was very interesting to open a runway where no one has ever been," Wilfred recounted.

“Suddenly you have to decide whether you fly the circuit right or left. What is better, what is safer?

Continue reading "Overwhelming joy as aviation comes to Wetap" »

A tale of 3 families who found new life in PNG

Three families, seeking new lives of adventure and fulfilling careers, look for a paradise and find it in Papua New Guinea, experiencing the best and worst of times



Papua and New Guinea Life Stories by Hans von Chrismar, edited by Rita Spence. Windmill Publishing, 2022, 246 pages. ISBN-10.‎ 0645522007. Purchase here from Amazon: Paperback $77.04. Kindle $9.99

SYDNEY – ‘Life Stories’ traces the lives of three families that came to the then Territory of Papua and New Guinea: a Chinese family, a Dutch family and a British family.

It describes the traumatic effects of the Japanese occupation, which isolated the Chinese family for three years on a small island off the coast of Wewak.

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Private notes for understanding friends

Keith portrait
Keith, September 2020


“The game's afoot: / Follow your spirit, and upon this charge / Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!” (Henry V by Wm Shakespeare, c 1599)

“Old age sure ain’t no place for sissies” - Bette Davis, movie star (1908-1989)

“I'll be glad to leave here. I feel like eating palm trees. I don't like this place. It's for people with arthritis. They come here to play golf and to die” - Ernie Holmes, American football hero (1948-2008)

“We are here to help each other through this thing, whatever it is” – Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)


NOOSA – Well, here we go again: 120 kilometres to Brisbane and the Wesley hospital for more surgery on my spine.

It feels like it may be the denouement of an unfinished 40-year long drama about the steady creep of arthritis.

Continue reading "Private notes for understanding friends" »

There’s no escaping a hothouse earth

We're on a path to 3 degrees by the end of the century, or sooner. At 3 degrees much of planetary life would end. McGuire argues that changes to the biosphere are now at the point of no return


| Pearls & Irritations

NORTHERN NSW - A couple of months ago I set off with my partner to the northern hemisphere for a prolonged stint in Canada.

I’ll admit I was excited and relieved to be getting away from the rain-soaked Northern Rivers.

The region had been robbed of sunlight for months on end and the trauma of the floods earlier in the year was deeply ingrained, even though I was among the lucky few whose house was spared.

Continue reading "There’s no escaping a hothouse earth" »

Kokoda Trail fails when bureaucracy prevails

The legislation smacks of colonialism and will result in PNG becoming the only country in the world to manage its most popular tourism destination as an environmental resource

Kokoda trail

Adventure Kokoda | The National

SYDNEY - The proposed Kokoda Track Management Authority Bill is based on a false premise.

It is not a Papua New Guinea bill. It was developed in secret by an Australian aid official from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Canberra.

Continue reading "Kokoda Trail fails when bureaucracy prevails" »

The curse of motorcars & their insane drivers

Drivers compete with each other for a few metres of advantage and swap insults with hand signals to assert their rights of domination

Cars top
Traffic in Port Moresby


TUMBY BAY - Dervla Murphy, the Irish travel writer who died aged 90 last month, had two particular dislikes. The first was capitalism and the second was motorcars.

In the early 1960s she rode an old fashioned gearless pushbike from Waterford in Ireland to India. She subsequently undertook many more similar adventures on her trusty wiliwil.

Continue reading "The curse of motorcars & their insane drivers" »

Bougainville to revive tourism after Covid

Bville siwai topNEWS DESK
| New Dawn FM

BUKA – Bougainville vice-president and commerce minister, Patrick Nisira, has said the number of tourists visiting the province has declined because of the continuing Covid pandemic.

He said most present visitors to Bougainville are business people whose work is connected to the development of the province.

Continue reading "Bougainville to revive tourism after Covid" »

Cruisin’, schmoozin’, boozin’ & bruisin’

Missile cruiser Moskva (121) moored in Sevastopol  August 2018
Missile cruiser Moskva (121) moored in Sevastopol,  August 2018. Biter was bit by a couple of Ukrainian missiles and now graces the bottom of the Black Sea


“We are here to help each other through this thing, whatever it is” – Kurt Vonnegut

NOOSA – This memoir extracted from my 2011 scribblings, ‘Private Notes for Understanding Friends’ , covers places of contemporary interest such as Yalta, Sevastopol and Odessa, names from wars past which leap at us from headlines present.

These reminiscences of a cruise that circled the Black Sea take on a special flavour for me today as we mark the sinking by Ukrainian missiles of the cruiser Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet which ventured out of her home port of Sevastopol and came to grief.

Continue reading "Cruisin’, schmoozin’, boozin’ & bruisin’" »

Track’s horror story unites the present

Lark japanese rabaul
Japanese troops parade after the fall of Rabaul, late January 1942. On 4 February 160 Australian Lark Force soldiers who escaped the invasion were captured and murdered in the vicinity of Tol and Waitavalo plantations

| Ples Singsing

TOL, NEW BRITAIN - The Lark Force Track is a little-known wartime walking trail with a big history.

Located in East New Britain Province, it runs from the Warongoi River in the north to Tol, Wide Bay, along the south coast.

The track is named after the 2/22 Lark Force Battalion, an Australian force sent to guard Rabaul and its important harbour.

Continue reading "Track’s horror story unites the present" »

The mighty Moke is back for a 21st C spin

A 1967 Moke - 'moke' is British slang for donkey


TUMBY BAY - I had my first prang in a Mini Moke, and I can’t quite remember how it happened.

I was coming around a bend on a slippery orange clay road just out Mount Hagen in 1968 and somehow slid into the barat (ditch) that ran alongside it.

Continue reading "The mighty Moke is back for a 21st C spin" »

Billion kina bridge-build will boost Highlands

Bridge at Ukarumpa Easterm Highlands
Washouts on the Highlands Highway are common. Bridge at Ukarumpa,  Eastern Highlands, 2016


AUCKLAND – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $325 million (K1.1 billion) to the Papua New Guinea government to upgrade 430 kilometres of the Highlands Highway.

The massive project, which will be a boon to three million people living in the Highlands, was signed by the ADB's Pacific director general, Leah Gutierrez, and PNG treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey

Continue reading "Billion kina bridge-build will boost Highlands" »

29 days: Nanjikana & Qoloni’s big drift

29 days adrift
Lost on their boat in the Solomon Sea for 29 days, Livae & Junior were rescued by a lone fisherman

| Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation

HONIARA - Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni have beaten big odds in surviving 29 days lost at sea on a 400 km drift from Solomon Islands until their rescue off the coast of West New Britain last Saturday.

The intended trip already had its risks, a 200 km sea journey in a 24-foot open raebo (ray boat) driven  by a single 60 horsepower Yamaha outboard.

Continue reading "29 days: Nanjikana & Qoloni’s big drift" »

'Hot-cake' Maseratis now a bargain. Maybe

BBC - Maseratis
Some of the controversial and much unused Maseratis. It's said spare parts may be a problem in PNG but those street mechanics will turn their hands to that

| British Broadcasting Corporation

LONDON - Papua New Guinea has admitted making a ‘terrible mistake’ after struggling to sell a £4.2m (K20 million) fleet of luxury cars bought to impress politicians during a meeting of regional leaders.

The then-O’Neill government boasted the Maseratis would be snapped up after being used for the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference.

Continue reading "'Hot-cake' Maseratis now a bargain. Maybe" »

Roads to the Future: Early days in Baiyer

 Ukini tribe couple
Roche - Ukini tribe couple in Lgeg area circa 1974. The man is wearing a badge ‘Baiyer River Local Government Council – Ward Committee’ (Roche)


MAYNOOTH - Jim Moore’s article, ‘A Baiyer court case, a good kiap reflects’, brought back some memories and some questions.

The questions simply involved my wondering what specific tribes were involved in the court case Jim presided over, and where in Baiyer the conflict occurred.

Continue reading "Roads to the Future: Early days in Baiyer" »

A very pleasant Monday’s drive indeed

Isaac from Kongara-Kerei  Patrick  my island clansman and Bariona from Darutue
Isaac from Kongara-Kerei;  Patrick my island clansman; and Bariona from Darutue who prepared a dozen old fern tree posts (kusinai) with his volleyball team boys


KIETA - After spending most of Sunday at sea, the drive to South Nasioi on Monday was a welcome change, travelling past Marai as far as Darutue on the road to Kongara in the foothills of Mt Takuang, the second highest mountain on Bougainville.

The dirt road was rough, in parts atrociously so but still trafficable. Never mind, however, the scenery at slow pace more than made up for the bumpy ride.

Continue reading "A very pleasant Monday’s drive indeed" »

Barets, barter & buai on the Sepik

The baret allows people from Korogu village on the Sepik to travel inland to trade their fish for buai, saksak and other crops

| Auna Melo

KEMBIAM, SEPIK RIVER - The Sepik River has hundreds of lakes (raunwara), maybe more than hundreds, that are 300-500 meters from the main river.

These lakes are connected to the river by narrow waterways that allow people to access the lakes from the river.

Continue reading "Barets, barter & buai on the Sepik" »

Slow boats, banana boats & stopped buses

MV Ialibu
MV Ialibu - a slow boat to Lae now being replaced by an even slower boat

| Sipikriva Girl | Edited

FINSCHHAFEN - I live in Finschhafen, Morobe, where the only way to reach Lae is to travel the 80 kilometers east by watercraft.

Lutheran Shipping Services has scheduled boats which pass through Finschhafen once or twice a week.

Continue reading "Slow boats, banana boats & stopped buses" »

Patrolling not all mountains: Messing about in boats

MV Aveta ready for patrol  c1970
MV Aveta ready for patrol, c 1970


ADELAIDE – As a newly minted Assistant Patrol Officer in 1969, I was assigned to Kerema in Gulf Province, seen by new kiaps as a fate worse than death - perhaps exceeded only by a posting to Western Province.

Old hands confidently expected that junior kiaps posted to the Gulf would flee back to Australia, unable to cope with living in the estuarine delta, full of pukpuks and binatangs.

Continue reading "Patrolling not all mountains: Messing about in boats" »

Land Rover, the prince of vehicles

New chalkies hit the road near Wewak  November 1963  aboard the Land Rover we came to know so well
New chalkies hit the road near Wewak,  November 1963.  Yes, there were 10 of us aboard the Series 2 Land Rover. That was fortunate. It took all of us to get it out of a bog later in our journey (Keith Jackson)


TUMBY BAY - When Prince Philip married Elizabeth, the future British queen, in November 1947 my mother was two months pregnant with me.

Like a lot of English women besotted with the handsome prince she decided to name me after him. My Irish father had little say in the matter.

Apart from that tenuous and rather embarrassing connection, Prince Philip has otherwise been entirely irrelevant in my life, as no doubt I have in his.

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My first return to Papua New Guinea 4

Orion anchored outside the reef at the Tami Islands


Continuing my diary of a sea journey in October 2006 when I returned to Papua New Guinea for the first time in 30 years.

TAMI ISLANDS, SUNDAY – These islands, situated 13 kilometres south-east of Finschhafen, are best known for their great natural beauty and magnificent across-the-grain carvings which are traded as far south as the Trobriand Islands.

Continue reading "My first return to Papua New Guinea 4" »

My first return to Papua New Guinea 3

Ingrid with Captain Peter Greenhow
Ingrid and Captain Peter ('Call Me the Driver') Greenhow find amusement in my struggle with a recalcitrant camera, MY Orion, 2006


My Papua New Guinea odyssey continues as, for the first time in 30 years, I set foot in Rabaul, the Sepik and Madang. It's my wife Ingrid's first contact with the country

BISMARCK SEA, THURSDAY - Orion wound her way out of Simpson Harbour yesterday evening on her way to the Sepik River.

Since our arrival in Rabaul early Monday, Tavurvur volcano has continued to belch a thick cloud of black ash which the prevailing south-easterly caused to drift remorselessly over Rabaul leaving the town, and us, grubby and sulphuric.

Continue reading "My first return to Papua New Guinea 3" »

My first return to Papua New Guinea 2

Ingrid on the Uepi Track
Ingrid on the Uepi Track. Orion visited the Solomon Islands en route to Rabaul. We made the most of the opportunity


In October 2006, I returned to Papua New Guinea for the first time in 30 years. This is my diary of that journey on the motor yacht Orion

MAROVO LAGOON, FRIDAY - Jill and Grant Kelly have spent 25 years developing and then enhancing their small but exquisite resort on Uepi (you-pee) Island in the Western District of the Solomon Islands.

Continue reading "My first return to Papua New Guinea 2" »

My first return to Papua New Guinea 1

MY Orion enters Cairns harbour
Orion enters Trinity inlet at Cairns, October 2006


In October 2006 (PNG Attitude had been born in February), I returned to Papua New Guinea for the first time in 30 years on the motor yacht Orion. This is my diary of that journey, slightly edited. To mark the fifteenth anniversary of this blog, I wanted to bathe myself in nostalgia and this short memoir of my rediscovery of a great country is my indulgence.

CAIRNS, SATURDAY - MY Orion berthed at Trinity Wharf in Cairns right on seven o'clock this morning after a passage from Darwin after she had cruised to the the Kimberleys and Timor.

Her raked bow and sleek lines gives Orion the most elegant appearance; and her diminutive size is perfect for expedition cruising and getting into lagoons and harbours that would defeat larger vessels.

Continue reading "My first return to Papua New Guinea 1" »

Sojourn in Balimo: beautiful people, culture & nature

Balimo lagoon
Balimo lagoon

| My Amazing Paradise | Edited extract

ON THE ROAD - Balimo is beautiful. The sun rises and sets on the most beautiful lagoon in Papua New Guinea.

It’s created by the floodwaters of the dark, freshwater Aramia River that winds its way down from the highlands of Western Province.

Continue reading "Sojourn in Balimo: beautiful people, culture & nature" »

Roof of PNG: Climbing Mount Wilhelm, 1974

Mt Wilhelm peak  1974
Mt Wilhelm peak, 1974 (Garry Roche)


MAYNOOTH, IRELAND – The late Francis Nii, quoted in the just released book, ‘Man Bilong Buk’, wondered how many Papua New Guineans might have stood atop PNG on its highest mountain, Mt Wilhelm.

This set me reminiscing back to 1974, when I was based at Rebiamul, the headquarters of the Catholic Diocese of Mt Hagen.

Continue reading "Roof of PNG: Climbing Mount Wilhelm, 1974" »

A wind of change in Maramuni

Dr Lino Tom MP meets the people of Maramuni
Dr Lino Tom MP meets the people of remote Maramuni


KOKOPO - Maramuni, a poorly developed region in Enga Province, is experiencing the wind of change as a new road project, initiated by national government minister Dr Lino Tom, takes shape.

The Maramuni local level government is located 250 kilometres north-west of Wabag, the provincial capital.

Continue reading "A wind of change in Maramuni" »

Trekking Goilala in the 1979-80 drought

Tapini airstrip 1972 (Graham Syphers)
Tapini airstrip, 1972 (Graham Syphers)


YUNGABURRA, ATHERTON TABLELANDS - Just two months after I started work in Papua New Guinea in 1980, the wet season in Central Province stopped abruptly in mid-March and it did not rain again until December.

The rainfall records at Laloki Plant Quarantine and Horticultural Research Station went back to its establishment in 1949. The average rainfall was 1,500mm, which to an Australian is a lot of rain.

Continue reading "Trekking Goilala in the 1979-80 drought" »

Hello from ADELE-aide

Samantha kusariSAMANTHA KUSARI

ADELAIDE - I attributed my desire to study in Adelaide to one of my favorite British singers Adele.

I think there is a striking resemblance between her songs and the place Adelaide, apart from the name of course.

Adele sings beautifully. She’s got the voice of an angel and she sings heartbreaking songs. I wonder why such a beautiful woman like her sings sad songs! Does her heart really get broken or are they just songs?

Continue reading "Hello from ADELE-aide" »

Tell Robert Oeka ‘mi go lukim pinis lo Kerema’

Kerema - Daniel and a friend on the mud
Daniel and friend on the mud in K-Town


PORT MORESBY - I have finally satisfied my curiosity to see Kerema, the town about which top musician Robert Oeka penned the words ‘Yu yet kam lukim’ - a sort of challenge for people to visit his part of our beloved country.

I’ve flown over Gulf Province many times since arriving in Port Moresby in early 1975 to attend Form 4 at Idubada Technical College, transferred there after Lae Technical College experienced a shortage of electrical instructors.

Continue reading "Tell Robert Oeka ‘mi go lukim pinis lo Kerema’" »

PNG’s K700 million tourism industry looks set for more growth

Photo Credit - David Kirkland
Photo Credit - David Kirkland

LISA SMYTH | Paradise, in-flight magazine of Air Niugini | Edited

PORT MORESBY - In May, Intrepid Travel released its 2019 Adventure Travel Index and Papua New Guinea topped its list of most ‘under-touristed’ countries, with a tourism density ratio of only 2.75%.

This means that in 2017, PNG had fewer than three visitors for every 100 people.

PNG’s vast natural, cultural and historical resources need to be protected, but this ranking shows that, if done responsibly, PNG’s tourism sector has a lot  of opportunity for positive growth.

Continue reading "PNG’s K700 million tourism industry looks set for more growth" »

Is Papua New Guinea a safe place for travel in 2019?

Papua New Guinea - a beautiful and exciting place where, with some basic precautions, you can be quite safe

NEWS DESK | The Broke Backpacker | Edited extracts

LONDON - Papua New Guinea is virtually an untrodden destination. It’s got a ton of things to explore, from World War II era wrecks, adventurous hikes in the jungle and a lot of tropical islands to discover – over 600 of them.

But like many awesome places, it’s not exactly paradise. Combine a deep gang culture and rampant violence with natural threats from tropical cyclones, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and it’s no wonder you’re probably wondering “Is Papua New Guinea safe?”

This is one place that we’d say is definitely for the more adventurous travellers, and we want you to be able to travel smart and safe when you visit.

Papua New Guinea is pretty cool, we’re not going to lie. World War II relics, a super diverse culture (including over 800 languages!) and beautiful lush nature.

Continue reading "Is Papua New Guinea a safe place for travel in 2019?" »

‘I'm glad we took a chance on Papua New Guinea’

FriendsLORNA THORNBER | Stuff New Zealand

WELLINGTON, NZ - When there was a shooting on the street outside his hotel on his first night in Papua New Guinea, David Lee wondered whether he had made the right decision, accepting a job in the country that had seen his wife and children move there with him.

Lee, who hails from Lower Hutt, knew that running insurance company Capital Life in Port Moresby was a great career opportunity, and he and his wife Lydia thought their sons Jayden and Jack, aged five and almost three respectively, were young enough to adapt to a different way of life. But they got a bit of a shock when they began reading up on the place.

"What we read and saw focused mainly on the negative stuff, which made us pretty nervous," David, 38, says.

While the shooting initially exacerbated their fears, David says they have come to see PNG as a beautiful, and beautifully diverse, country that, for expats, offers an enjoyably exotic lifestyle.

Continue reading "‘I'm glad we took a chance on Papua New Guinea’" »

Kokoda tour operators: Please improve your game

Lynn Morrison
Charlie Lynn with Australian prime minister Scott Morrison. Lynn was an MP in Morrison's home state of NSW

CHARLIE LYNN | Adventure Kokoda Blog | Edited extracts

SYDNEY – I’ve had documents forwarded to me that include some remarks made to a recent Kokoda Tour Operators Association (KTOA) forum in Port Moresby.

KTOA was established to look after the interests of a small but vocal group of Australian based operators of eco-tours in Papua New Guinea.

According to the documents passed to me, Association president Sue Fitcher told the forum:

“It is time to call out those who would choose to damage and destroy the industry for whatever warped vested interests they have – who would know.

“We have talked about some of the claims and accusations that have been made earlier; it is interesting to note that [these] are rarely, if ever, made in person but through others or from the safety of sitting behind a computer and ranting through social media.

Continue reading "Kokoda tour operators: Please improve your game" »

Trail bureaucrats hijack $5 million Kokoda trekker payments

Campsite toilet on Imita Ridge (Lynn)
Campsite toilet on Imita Ridge (Lynn)


SYDNEY - Over the past decade more than $5 million (K11.8 million) has been hijacked from Kokoda trekkers by unaccountable Australian and Papua New Guinean bureaucrats.

This money had been paid in good faith to meet trekkers’ basic needs in the form of adequate campsites and a safe trail. The fees were also meant to provide for shared community benefits for villagers along the trail.

However, since Australian government officials assumed control of the emerging Kokoda trekking industry in 2008, not a single dollar has been spent to improve campsites, toilets or management systems to meet the needs of the trekkers.

Nobody knows where the money has gone because the bureaucrats involved have never produced an audited financial report.

Continue reading "Trail bureaucrats hijack $5 million Kokoda trekker payments" »

Amazing Moresby: more attractions than you dreamed of

POM - National Parliament House Waigani
The Haus Tambaran - PNG's national parliament house


PORT MORESBY – National Capital District governor Powes Parkop has branding Papua New Guinea’s capital as ‘Amazing Port Moresby’.

It’s his contention that this city goes far beyond just being another big town in the Pacific.

And it’s true, when you look around the city you’ll notice many of the modern buildings have been inspired by traditional totems.

People who appreciate architecture will rejoice in some of Port Moresby’s iconic buildings which boast innovative design and impressive mosaic facades. The striking national parliament is one such.

Built in Haus Tambaran [spirit house] style, the towering mosaic façade depicting Papua New Guinean motifs. Inspired by the traditional sacred houses of the Maprik region of East Sepik Province, the rocket-shaped roof pointing to the sky gives the building a futuristic look.

Continue reading "Amazing Moresby: more attractions than you dreamed of" »

The extraordinary mask festival & other Rabaul attractions

Kinjap - Rabaul National Mask Festival participantsPETER S KINJAP

PORT MORESBY - The National Mask and Warwagira Festival is an annual event in East New Britain where the local tribes gather to display their culture and traditions.

The festival starts at dawn on the beach with a Kinavai ceremony, when the mysterious and feared Dukduk and Tubuan arrive on canoes from their villages accompanied by the chanting and beating of drums.

The Kinavai ceremony is spiritually important for the local Tolai people, who reportedly migrated to East New Britain from Namatanai in New Ireland Province. The ceremony signifies their landing on the shores of East New Britain.

Impressive-looking men in red laplaps stand out from the crowd as they walk leisurely around grass huts selling refreshments, food and crafts.

Continue reading "The extraordinary mask festival & other Rabaul attractions" »

Bougainville’s many festivals present a delight for visitors

Mona - Bougainville men
Bougainville men display a model of the traditional mona vessel used for warfare, exploration and fishing


PORT MORESBY - Festivals and events are part of the indigenous lifestyle in Papua New Guinea. Everywhere you go there is always a celebration close by and many of them have turned into tourist attractions for the country.

The Mona canoe race event in Bougainville is one event that is hosted annually with other activities. In 2014 Bougainville set dates for Bougainville festivals including this one that started in August the same year.

The Mona Festival (sometimes referred to as the Canoe Festival) is held annually in Buka to celebrate the seafaring tradition of Bougainvilleans.

The ‘mona’ is a large sea going canoe which was used for trade or to conduct lightning raids on other communities and islands in the Solomon Sea.

Continue reading "Bougainville’s many festivals present a delight for visitors" »

DWU cultural festival promotes students’ ethnic heritage

DWU - Welda woman from Western Highlands
A Welda student from the Western Highlands


PORT MORESBY - Divine Word University community in Madang is always pleased to host its DWU Cultural Festival every year in the third week of August.

It’s a lively event with traditional songs and dances as students from all 22 provinces in PNG, Solomon Islands and Fiji take centre stage showcasing their cultures in what is something closer to a Pacific festival.

The people of Madang and visiting tourists and the growing expatriate community of Chinese, Filipinos and Europeans usually take the chance to see a sampling of the diverse cultures and traditions of Papua New Guinea and the Pacific.

Many students had their parents, guardians and extended relatives on campus to assist them with the preparations and performances as well.

The inclusion of mostly highlands parents was a testament to the level of pride and support they have for their student sons, daughters, nephews and cousins.

The highlands students usually appear more spectacular when their elders put the finishing touches on the face painting and traditional attire.

The annual festival is set by the university administration for the students to acknowledge their indigenous roots in traditional song, dance, costumes and folklore.

Continue reading "DWU cultural festival promotes students’ ethnic heritage" »

Karkar Island bilum festival strives to maintain cultural values

Students parade with bilums
Karkar Island students parade with bilums


PORT MORESBY - With all the hype of tourism as a sleeping giant for Papua New Guinea economic prosperity, the community-based cultural festivals throughout the country remain a major asset.

In a recent statement, tourism, arts and culture minister Emil Tammur said a policy submission to the parliament is pending for the national government to fund major cultural events, shows and festivals throughout the country.

“Maintaining and promoting cultural events and festivals is not only important for tourism but also for our identify as a unique and culturally-diverse national in the world,” Mr Tammur said.

Continue reading "Karkar Island bilum festival strives to maintain cultural values" »

KTA echo chamber – deaf ears, silos, checklists written in steam

Rashmii colour illus
Rashmii Amoah Bell - Can anyone effectively stand up for the Kokoda guides and carriers?


BRISBANE – How to best articulate the past eight months of futile dialogue with Kokoda Trail management and subsequent non-results for welfare reform for carriers and guides of the trek tourism industry?

It’s a question I much contemplate my unanswered pleas and the patrician-like silence of the key recipients of Papua New Guinea’s multi-million kina number one tourism activity.

The counsel to ‘write often’ and ‘write from the heart’ motivate my efforts to reinforce the repeated requests of the young Papua New Guinean men of the Trail – guides and carriers (porters) - who are asking the industry to enforce, with strict regulation, lighter-weight 18 kg packs, uniforms, safe sleeping gear, better safety measures and increased wages.

My observation and first-hand experience have been characterised by the uncomfortable reality that this is an industry that is controlled commercially by Australians and functioning relentlessly irrespective of Papua New Guinean decision-making and conflict-resolution. The time-rich, and I would argue more appropriate, Melanesian Way having been cast aside.

Continue reading "KTA echo chamber – deaf ears, silos, checklists written in steam" »

The Kokoda shame: A continuing tale of a Trail of Woe

Rashmii and Tracie
Rashmii  Amoah Bell and Tracie Watson, general manager of Adventure Kokoda, which imposes standards Rashmii believes all trek companies should observe


BRISBANE, DECEMBER 2018 - His question came as I expected it would and as it echoed through the earpiece, I felt a movement of the boulders of anxiety wedged in my chest.

Shifting from one heel to the other, leaning back against the kitchen countertop to steady myself, I proceeded with the conversation.

DE was calling from somewhere along the road that snakes it way up to Sogeri. His calls were irregular but always brief and purposeful.

Seconds passed as my mind quickly arranged a response of uninspiring words. Words unworthy of the travel DE had undertaken from his village and his effort in borrowing a mobile phone from his cousin.

Unlike several of his Adventure Kokoda counterparts whom I ‘friended’ online, my trek carrier’s resistance to social media meant that I received a phone call. The boulders settled uneasily in the pit of my stomach.

Sensing my unease, DE’s kind nature moved him to banter. With Christmas approaching, he humoured me with instruction to not get carried away with indulgences and I playfully interrogated him about the shenanigans of his recent birthday in November.

Continue reading "The Kokoda shame: A continuing tale of a Trail of Woe" »

The Mount Hagen Show will be bigger & better this year

Icon of the show
Welda girl from Mt Hagen (Peter Kinjap)


PORT MORESBY - 2019 has brought changes to the Mount Hagen Cultural Show committee in setting priorities designed to regain corporate sector confidence leading to the staging of another colourful cultural extravaganza in August.

A successful team lead by John Bonny has brought forward K30,000 from last year to enhance preparations for this year’s annual cultural festival.

Members representing various organisations have come together to form a strong team including Phil Kelly from Tinining Limited, Pim Mamandi from Paiya Tours, Pauline Grove from Trans Niugini Tours and James Wakapu from Western Highlands Provincial Tourism, Arts and Culture.

John Bonny said the K30,000.00 forms the basis for raising funds this year and he stressed the importance of business community involvement along with key government departments and schools to ensure that one of the world’s great shows will be maintained.

Continue reading "The Mount Hagen Show will be bigger & better this year" »