Discover Papua New Guinea and The Solomon Islands in the company of your family experiencing ancient rituals, essential conservation, and wildlife encounters. Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse and unexplored countries in the world, whilst the Solomon Islands boast dramatic landscapes, virtually untouched by the modern world.
When to go
May - October
East New Britain
Arrive in Rabaul, East New Britain where you will be met by your guide. Witness Mount Turvurvur, the active volcano that constantly oozes black smoke into the sky. These ever-present plumes create a dramatic backdrop against which you will begin your island-hopping adventure.
You and your family will visit some key historical sites in Rabaul which will give you some context on this fascinating region. Enticing peoples from Melanesian seafarers to German colonists, the evidence of Papua New Guinea’s storied history takes the form of downed aircrafts, barge tunnels, and Admiral Yamamoto’s bunker, a mark of the Japanese South Pacific Operations. Meet your captain and make your way to your yacht. Meet your crew and get settled in before enjoying dinner on deck.
Duke of York Islands
Arise early and head out in one of your vessel’s tenders. With a local guide cruise to a nearby bay where you and your family will get the chance to swim with inquisitive Pacific spinner dolphins that play in the bow wave of your tender. Return to your vessel for a restorative breakfast before a morning of spearfishing with local tribespeople. Learn how to manoeuvre local outrigger canoes and you will be taught how to successfully spearfish alongside tribal initiates. Try your hand at climbing a coconut tree and preparing any fruit you collect grating and processing the coconut milk before preparing a local delicacy with leafy greens and fresh fish on the barbecue.
Visit the Tokai tribe who will demonstrate their bold initiation ritual. Take to the water and snorkel above lost Japanese tanks that sit just four metres below the surface of the water. Seeing them is a surreal and eerie experience.
Helicopter inland and land among the Baining Mountains. Here you and your family will take part in a cultural experience like no other. The Baining Fire Dance is part of an initiation ceremony for young men who, adorned in ornate masks dance in the shadows and sparks of the raging fire. Enjoy an exhilarating drive back down the mountain as you return to your vessel for the night.
Tavui and Wide Bay
Wake up and enjoy a refreshing breakfast before setting out to climb Mount Tuvurvur. This active volcano is a stunning moonscape with bubbling lava. You and your family can adhere to local customs and throw a sacrificial coconut into the crater.
Setting off early will allow you to beat the heat of the day and you get the chance to witness the suns ascent from this magnificent viewpoint. Returning to the bottom of the volcano, join local Matupit hunters as they dig for the huge eggs of scrub fowl that are buried in the sulphuric soil at the foot of the volcano. After working up an appetite, sit down for lunch with these egg hunters before taking a tender back to your vessel.
Heli over to the Southern Tip of New Ireland and make your way ashore to see the remnants of La Nouvelle France Marquis Del Rey settlement. Created in the late 1800s, this ill-fated colony saw the death of 120 would be Italian colonists. Spend the afternoon fishing and exploring in tenders and helis before rejoining your vessel at its new anchorage.
Head out on a helicopter and fly to the Nakanai Ranges where you can witness the Mysterious Rivers of New Britain. The Nakanai Mountains are up to 2km high and they span over 55,000 hectares. This swathe of land is known as the “cockpit Karst” and is covered in dense tropical forest. So dense and unexplored is this area that river effluxes and cave entrances are still being found.
Witness huge, rushing waterfalls that pour from the sides of mountains and see volcanoes that constantly spew ash and volcanic gases. This is a remote and mysterious part of the planet that is ripe for exploration and discovery. Follow the beautiful Pomio river upstream to the Blue Hole where you can swim and enjoy a delicious, wild picnic lunch.
Visit stunning, impossibly blue, volcanic crater lakes where you can cool of and learn about the origins of Obsidian mining on the island. Fly back to your vessel watching the world’s largest sinkholes pass by below you. Back on board, you will have time for kitesurfing, kayaking, or jet skiing before being joined by local tribes who will teach you how to perform and take part in the specular Sing Sing on the sun deck or on the beach.
Arise early for a final kayak, paddleboard, or heart-pumping jet ski before you embark on a 24-hour cruise to The Solomon Islands. Spend your time onboard resting and recharging as you cruise through the calm blue waters. Get the chance to receive talks and lectures from local anthropological or natural experts. They will teach you about local customs and history and share some of their amazing stories and insights with you. After your time onboard with these experts, you will be well-equipped to better understand the diverse ecosystems and rich cultures of Papua New Guinea.
Arrive in Gizo where your crew and captain will take care of customs and immigration while you enjoy a leisurely breakfast. Head out in a chopper and fly over and around the Kolombangara crater. Setting out early means that you will be able to view the crater while the weather is clearest allowing you to fully appreciate the dense forest that you will later be exploring. Your guides will tell you about the ongoing battle to save the precious island and its ecosystems from unscrupulous loggers and timber companies. Learn how you and your family can support and take part in their efforts to save Kolombangara.
Hike along the main ridge dropping down steeply into the river for a swim before continuing to discover a stunning secret waterfall and a wild picnic set up waiting for you. Walk back towards your vessel along a different but equally stunning route, hopping into a canoe for the final part of your journey.
Tender to a tiny islet on the beautiful Vonavona Lagoon, the resting place for the skulls of countless vanquished warriors as well as a shrine for the skulls of Rendovan chiefs. Your local expert will guide you through the island teaching you about its fascinating and varied history.
Accompany the Tetepare Rangers as they patrol the island and monitor resources used by local harvesters. This is a perfect opportunity for you and your family to see first-hand, the conservation work going on on the island. There is an astounding variety of animals that make their home in the Tetepare’s 120 square kilometre of lowland rainforest, some of the last of its kind in Melanesia. You and your children will get the chance to spot some of the 81 bird, 25 reptile, and 13 mammal species that inhabit this natural haven.
You and your family will be welcomed to lunch in a tiny, local village where your lunch will be cooked on hot rocks. In the afternoon strap on flippers and a snorkel and take a dip in the lagoon snorkelling over a sheltered bay that brims with giant clams. Swim between mighty barracuda and bumphead parrotfish as well as with rare green turtles.
If your adventure coincides with turtle nesting season, you can have the chance to take part in the turtle conservation programme. You may even get to see the magical sight of a nest hatching. Snorkel in the lagoon at twilight and get the chance to encounter dugongs that feed on the seagrass meadows.
Enjoy dinner on board before embarking on a moonlit walk with your guide to see the giant but surprisingly sneak coconut crab. Feed them on the sand before watching them scuttle back into the undergrowth. Stay on the shore in a traditional Melanesian leaf house enjoying the simplicity of sleeping in nature.
Return to your vessel in the morning for breakfast before helicoptering over Marovo Lagoon, the largest saltwater lagoon in the world and a world heritage site. Land and enjoy exploring this amazing natural phenomenon snorkelling, kite surfing, and jet skiing over the water.
Fly over Kavachi, the world’s only active underwater volcano. Snorkel nearby where you will be safe whilst still being able to hear the loud rumbling of the volcano.
Enjoy lunch on board before taking a cultural tour of the most culturally intact village in the region. Proud local guides will show you around sacred sites including the birthing cave, sacrificial altars, and skull shrines. Villagers here practiced cannibalism until well into the 20th century and you will learn about the village’s history and traditions.
Visit the Marovo master woodcarvers renowned for their skill and precision, working with some of the world’s most beautiful and rare hardwoods. Enjoy a wild dinner on the beach listening to the sounds of a traditional Solomon Islands Bamboo Band performing and later teaching you how to play their unique instruments
Say farewell to your crew and captain before making your way back to the mainland to begin your journey homeward.
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