Papua New Guinea

“More than 840 languages are spoken in the jungle. We’ll teach you how to say hello, offer thanks and ask the way to the loo – without speaking one of them.”

  • Rowers in a boat in Papua New Guinea
  • Two young girls from Papua New Guinea
  • Volcano lake in Papua New Guinea
  • People in Papua New Guinea
  • Waterfall in Papua New Guinea

Discover Papua New Guinea

Every great trip is to some extent a journey into the unknown. But the fact is it’s becoming increasingly difficult to venture well off the grid and experience a genuinely life-changing glimpse into another world. In Papua New Guinea, though, it’s still possible. Trekking through the jungles of this small island nation – located in the Pacific just north of Australia, with a land mass roughly the size of the UK – you’re in one of the least explored regions on the planet and can pretty well count on being the first outsider to experience many places. And even better, we can get your there in trademark Brown + Hudson style.

f it’s unspoiled nature you’re after, Papua New Guinea has it in surreal abundance. During a day’s walk with an expert naturalist, you’ll discover hundreds of species you’ve never seen before – and stand a good chance of finding a couple that no one else has, either. As for encounters with people, there are hundreds of distinct native societies hidden deep in the jungle, all with their own culture and beliefs, not to mention unique languages. Taken together, they account for 12% of the languages spoken on earth – and not one has a translation for tour guide, money exchange or coach parking at the rear. This is a place where bespoke adventures don’t simply make sense; they’re the only way to go.

Start your journey in the central Papuan mountains, whose alpine meadows overlook the mist-shrouded rainforest canopy. We’ll fly you by helicopter to Mount Giluwe, where you can discover the remote breeding grounds for exotic birds of paradise – 13 different species, as our ornithologist will point out. Or put on your hiking boots for a trek in search of rare orchids in the spectacular Wahgi Valley – a region only discovered by outsiders in 1934, when three Australian gold prospectors hacked their way through the dense jungle. Here we’ll introduce you to the Melpa people, whose way of life has remained largely unchanged for thousands of years. 

Venturing even deeper into the wilds, our local guides will take you by outrigger canoe down the Karawari River, stopping for a while among the Sepik people who live in isolated villages along its banks. And to help you document the expedition, why not augment your party with an award-winning documentary filmmaker, and maybe a respected anthropologist from Oxford? We can arrange it.

From the jungle interior you can head east by chartered plane to explore the coastal waters of the New Guinea archipelago. Home to more than 2,000 species of reef fish – along with six of the world’s seven sea turtle species – these secluded islands and atolls form part of the Coral Triangle, whose 600 varieties of coral create a multi-hued paradise for divers and snorkelers. Aboard your private catamaran, sail to places like beautiful New Ireland, where you can dive among the wrecks of WWII Japanese aircraft, then relax each night under the stars, dining on freshly caught snapper and crayfish.  

In August, the Mount Hagen Sing Sing is a must. Indigenous people from all over Papua New Guinea gather on the volcano’s slopes, their bodies covered in wild red, blue and yellow dyes, to perform traditional dances before celebrating in a huge all-night feast – not your average native-dancers-by-the-hotel-pool fare. August is also the perfect time to hike the famed Kokoda Track, a 96-km jungle path that winds upward through the Owen Stanley Range. Along this arduous route, Japanese and Australian forces fought a series of intense battles in 1942. More recently it’s become a kind of pilgrimage trek: we’ll team you up with members of an elite Australian armed forces unit for a real test of endurance – as always in Papua New Guinea, amidst some of the most spectacular scenery imaginable.  

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