Having travelled quite intrepidly, we wanted a trip that wouldn't fall into the traditional category of 'honeymoon' -- so we decided on Papua New Guinea.
Set in the eastern highlands of Papua New Guinea, Goroka is approximately 5,149 feet (1600 meters) above sea level. Given its elevation, Goroka is a cool, comfortable town with a year-round spring-like climate. It is known for is known for its nearby coffee plantations as well as the famous Asaro Mudmen tribal people.
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Visit a tribal village of the Asaro Mudmen. They earned the name “mudmen” centuries ago when, according to Asaro legend, their warriors went to battle covered with grayish-white chalk in order to look like ghosts and intimidate their enemies. Their dance technique of advancing slowly with graceful movements was also designed to scare off rival tribes.
After watching a demonstration of the Asaro war dance, go into a village family home and participate in a mumu, a traditional feast. The menu usually includes chicken or pork, yams, sweet potatoes, taro and bananas, which are mixed together and sealed tightly inside banana leaves, flavored with coconut, and then cooked on red-hot rocks for several hours.
J.K. McCarthy Museum
Named for an Australian soldier, the J.K. McCarthy Museum contains World War II relics, unique cultural artifacts native to Papua New Guinea, and a series of photographs dating from the 1930s, taken by the first foreigners to enter these highlands.
Held in mid-September, during the national independence celebrations, the Goroka Show is the premier cultural event in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, with over 100 tribes as participants. It features energetic dancing, unique tribal rituals, and traditional music.
Raun Raun Theater
A well-regarded group that debuted to national and international acclaim, the Raun Raun Theater is New Guinea’s premier performing group. Established amidst the turmoil of the 1970s, the Raun Raun Theater proved instrumental in creating a national identity and narrative, weaving together village plays, folk theater, and incorporating masks and critiques of the Australian colonial occupation.
Climb Mount Wilhelm, the highest mountain in all of Papua New Guinea at just under 15,000 feet (4,572 meters). Because of the mountain’s height, climbers will find themselves faced with temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) – despite the fact that they are in such close proximity to the equator. At the summit, high above the clouds, take in the birds-eye view of the surrounding highlands.
Papua New Guinea Coffee Festival
Held in the first weekend in May, the Papua New Guinea Coffee Festival offers displays on gold and silver prospecting in the region, a sing sing, or traditional tribal gathering, and information on coffee cultivation, roasting, and preparation. Needless to say, samples of high-quality coffee are plentiful at this event.
Venture into wild Papua New Guinea on this comprehensive 12-day luxury journey. This getaway balances ventures to remote natural locations with rustic adventures. Flit between trekking in the Sepik Region and catching breathtaking views from Mount Hagen for an unforgettable experience.
Gear up for the adventure of a lifetime on this 14-day exclusive itinerary through the stunning, natural country of Papua New Guinea. Begin with a thrilling canoe trip and finish with plenty of time for relaxing on the pristine white sands. Meet the folkloric Asaro Mudmen and learn about an incredibly remote culture.
A cultural phenomenon and delight - the Goroka Festival - is unlike any other festival in the world. Papua New Guinea showcases its wide variety of traditions during this 14-day adventure. Meet local chieftains and observe traditions including wild authentic dances when attending the colorful cultural show.
The Bird of Paradise is the best hotel in Goroka, and while hardly posh, it is relatively clean and comfortable. It has 52 rooms, cable TV, IDD telephones, laundry, room service, an outdoor heated pool and gym. The Lahani Restaurant offers exotic dishes such as crocodile, buffalo, venison, and pigeon as well as fresh Highland vegetables and fruit. The hotel also has a more casual café with outdoor dining, the Deck Bistro, and a bar called Birdy's Piano bar. The Bird of Paradise is conveniently located in the center of town near the J.K. McCarthy Museum, Raun Raun Theatre and Mount Gahavisuka Provincial Park, an 8,000-acre park featuring walking trails, a scenic lookout, and a variety of native flora and fauna. Amenities include an outdoor heated pool, game room, fitness center, on-site squash club, business center and broadband Internet access. The hotel is only five minutes from the Goroka Airport (GKA).