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REMOTE PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Birdquest's Remote Papua New Guinea tour will allow you to experience a very different and rarely seen side of this island nation. Our Remote Papua New Guinea tour features the islands of New Ireland, Tench, Mussau, Manus and D’Entrecasteaux, as well as the remote Adelbert Range and the Huon Peninsula on the mainland, as we go in search of numerous endemic specialities including gorgeous birds-of-paradise, bowerbirds and pittas.

Saturday 7th July — Wednesday 1st August 2018
(26 days)


Leaders: Mark Van Beirs and Josh Bergmark

Group Size Limit: 7

Tour Category: Easy to moderate walking for the most part and comfortable to basic accommodations

The stunning Fire-maned Bowerbird is endemic to the Adelbert Mountains and is one of the main targets of this tour (Ian Reid)

The stunning Fire-maned Bowerbird is endemic to the Adelbert Mountains and is one of the main targets of this tour (Ian Reid)

During this exciting tour we will visit some of the least-birded parts of Papua New Guinea, including the little-known Adelbert Range and the Huon Peninsula on the north coast of the mainland, and set foot on a whole range of islands with alluring names like New Ireland, Tench, Manus and D’Entrecasteaux. For the adventurous birder, a splendid array of exciting endemics is waiting in this little visited region.

Probably the main reason for the birder to travel to Papua New Guinea is the occurrence of what is, without a doubt, the most amazing bird family in existence, the birds of paradise. No other bird family shows such an incredible variety of nuptial plumages and such elaborate courtship displays. On this unusual tour we aim to find five of the least known members of this family.

On the D’Entrecasteaux islands, off the eastern tip of New Guinea, the gorgeous Goldie’s Bird of Paradise with its golden back and red plumes and the bizarre Curl-crested Manucode with its crinkled feathers and unusual twisted tail will be our targets.

On the Huon peninsula on the north coast we will search for three very restricted range species: the glorious Huon Astrapia with its superb glossy-purple tail, the magnificent Emperor Bird of Paradise with its white plumes and green bib, and the striking Wahnes’s Parotia with its brassy-coloured ‘pompom’.

The bowerbird family is also well represented in New Guinea and one of its most exquisite members is the fabled Fire-maned Bowerbird that we should find in the remote Adelbert Range.

Our standard tour to Papua New Guinea offers a splendid itinerary through the richest habitats of this huge island and neighbouring New Britain, but there are a lot of exciting birds apart from birds of paradise to be seen off the beaten track, especially on some of the outlying island groups.

Much of Papua New Guinea is still primitive and undeveloped, but tourism-level facilities are now very expensive indeed (only a few nights of this tour are in basic accommodations). Roads are rather poor and few and far between. There are some steep mountain trails to cope with in places, so you need to be determined to get the best from this adventure, as well as psychologically prepared for the inevitable logistical problems involved in trying to reach remote areas.

First we will explore the remote D’Entrecasteaux archipelago by liveaboard boat. Here, on Fergusson Island, we shall encounter Goldie’s Bird of Paradise and Curl-crested Manucode.

New Ireland holds nine endemics and shares another fourteen with New Britain, and in the densely forested mountains we will search for White-naped Lory, New Ireland Boobook, the marvellous Paradise Drongo and many others.

While based in New Ireland we also plan to visit the remote islands of Tench and Mussau by boat. First we will explore the splendid island of Tench with its enormous seabird colonies and the rare Atoll Starling, then we intend to reach even more remote Mussau with its three endemics; Mussau Fantail, White-breasted Monarch and Mussau Triller.

The next part of our adventure will see us return to the mainland of Papua New Guinea to visit the Huon peninsula with its three endemic birds of paradise and many other interesting birds.

Our next port of call will be the Adelbert range near Madang, where the magnificent Fire-maned Bowerbird will be waiting for us.

The final part of our journey will see us travelling to rarely-visited Manus Island in the Admiralty Group, which holds eight endemics, of which the near-legendary Superb Pitta will be our most-wanted quarry.

Birdquest has operated tours to Papua New Guinea since 1986.

Important: Flight schedules in Papua New Guinea change frequently, and delays are also not uncommon, so participants need to be aware of this and have a flexible and relaxed approach. Changes to the order in which the localities are visited may occur and changes to the amount of time in each area may also occur. The itinerary has some built-in safety margin to allow for such eventualities.

Accommodation & Road Transport: The hotels are mostly of good or medium standard. The small hotels or guesthouses in the Silom district on New Ireland and in the Adelbert Range are fairly simple. In the Huon Peninsula (4 nights) we will have to stay in basic village accommodation, with the group sleeping in one or two rooms and with primitive washing/toilet facilities. While visiting the D’Entrecasteaux Islands, Tench and Mussau we will travel on comfortable ‘liveaboard’ boats (that usually cater for scuba divers) with double occupancy cabins (some single occupancy may be possible at the time, depending on boat and group size). Road transport is by minibus or 4x4 vehicle. Roads are rather poor and few and far between, but then we do not have to travel long distances on them.

Walking: The walking effort is mostly easy to moderate, but there are some steep and fairly strenuous trails in some areas.

Climate: Generally warm or hot, dry and sunny at lower altitudes, but cooler in upland areas. Overcast weather is quite regular and there is very likely to be some rain, perhaps heavy at times. It will be humid.

Bird Photography: Opportunities are worthwhile.

Papua New Guinea Tour Prices: Prices in Papua New Guinea are very high by any standards, but there are reasons for this. In the first place accommodations in PNG are mostly very expensive, as is transport for tourism purposes. PNG is a country with only a thin ‘meniscus’ of development that sits on an otherwise very undeveloped part of the world. Costs of operation in the country are very high indeed and the very limited but often very comfortable layer of infrastructure that tourism uses generally comes at an exceedingly high price.

Tour Price: £10890, €12410, $14270 Port Moresby/Port Moresby. Single Room Supplement: £980, €1117, $1284. Deposit: £1350, €1620, $1760.

Includes surface transportation, accommodations, meals, water, entrance fees and tips/gratuities.

Also includes these flights: Port Moresby-Alotau-Port Moresby, Port Moresby-Kavieng-Port Moresby, Port Moresby-Lae, Lae-Wasu, Wasu-Madang, Madang-Port Moresby, Port Moresby-Manus-Port Moresby. Flight schedules change regularly in Papua New Guinea, so routings may also change.

The single room supplement excludes the Huon Peninsula and the nights on the ‘liveaboard’ boats. Some cabins may be available for single occupancy at no extra charge, depending on boat and final group size, but we cannot determine this in advance. The leader will decide at the time how any available single occupancy cabins are allocated.

Base prices for this tour are in US Dollars. The exchange rates applied at the time of costing were: £1 = $1.310 and €1 = $1.150.

Air Travel To & From The Tour: Our in-house IATA ticket agency will be pleased to arrange your air travel on request, or you may arrange this yourself if you prefer.

The stunning Superb Pitta is one of the potential highlights of the tour (painting by tour participant Steve Young)

The stunning Superb Pitta is one of the potential highlights of the tour (painting by tour participant Steve Young)

The fabulous Goldie's Bird of Paradise is endemic to the D'Entrecasteaux Islands and seeing it display will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the tour (Mark Van Beirs)

The fabulous Goldie's Bird of Paradise is endemic to the D'Entrecasteaux Islands and seeing it display will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the tour (Mark Van Beirs)

The cute Yellow-billed Kingfisher is a widespread and vocal species all over the New Guinea lowlands which prefers to hide in the subcanopy (Pete Morris)

The cute Yellow-billed Kingfisher is a widespread and vocal species all over the New Guinea lowlands which prefers to hide in the subcanopy (Pete Morris)

The Melanesian Megapode (or Scrubfowl) is easiest to see on tiny islands: it flies great distances to reach its nesting colonies in geologically active areas (Ian Reid)

The Melanesian Megapode (or Scrubfowl) is easiest to see on tiny islands: it flies great distances to reach its nesting colonies in geologically active areas (Ian Reid)

127 photos View Gallery Photos From REMOTE PAPUA NEW GUINEA
The cracking Fire-maned Bowerbird is easiest to find in fruiting trees (Steve Young)

The cracking Fire-maned Bowerbird is easiest to find in fruiting trees (Steve Young)

We will encounter the small island specialist Atoll Starling on the remote islet of Tench (Steve Young)

We will encounter the small island specialist Atoll Starling on the remote islet of Tench (Steve Young)

The much-wanted, peculiar and almost legendary Nicobar Pigeon is still common on remote Tench island (Steve Young)

The much-wanted, peculiar and almost legendary Nicobar Pigeon is still common on remote Tench island (Steve Young)

The White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike is a widespread bird in the region (Steve Young)

The White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike is a widespread bird in the region (Steve Young)

The Bismarck Woodswallow is a beautiful, but rather uncommon Bismarck endemic that we will find on New Ireland (Mark Van Beirs)

The Bismarck Woodswallow is a beautiful, but rather uncommon Bismarck endemic that we will find on New Ireland (Mark Van Beirs)

We will reach the remote submontane forests of the Huon peninsula after an exciting flight in a small airplane (Mark Van Beirs)

We will reach the remote submontane forests of the Huon peninsula after an exciting flight in a small airplane (Mark Van Beirs)

We hope to be entertained by the marvellous Marbled Frogmouth during our stay at wonderful Keki Lodge (Ian Reid)

We hope to be entertained by the marvellous Marbled Frogmouth during our stay at wonderful Keki Lodge (Ian Reid)

With a bit of luck we should be able to locate the somewhat nocturnal Hook-billed Kingfisher (Pete Morris)

With a bit of luck we should be able to locate the somewhat nocturnal Hook-billed Kingfisher (Pete Morris)

The Mountain Peltops is one of a fascinating pair of species whose taxonomic affinities are still to be decided (Pete Morris)

The Mountain Peltops is one of a fascinating pair of species whose taxonomic affinities are still to be decided (Pete Morris)

The shy Fawn-breasted Bowerbird leads an unobtrusive life in fairly open habitat, but attracts attention by its rather harsh voice (Steve Young)

The shy Fawn-breasted Bowerbird leads an unobtrusive life in fairly open habitat, but attracts attention by its rather harsh voice (Steve Young)

The attractive Buff-banded Rail can often be seen in open areas on this tour (Jack Clark)

The attractive Buff-banded Rail can often be seen in open areas on this tour (Jack Clark)

Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOL Certificate

Birdquest Ltd is Registered in England, Company No. 01568270. The address of our registered office is Two Jays, Kemple End, Stonyhurst, Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 9QY

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