Ribbon-tailed astrapia © Phil Gregory

Gentle New Guinea

A 14 day New Guinea introduction for those who, while still active birders, feel they would not enjoy the exacting pace of the usual New Guinea Tour. This tour is particularly suitable for those who want a more relaxed tour with a return to the hotel for lunch  and a rest an option for most days.

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  • Tour Duration
    14 Days
  • Difficulty Level Fairly Easy
  • Group Size Small Group
All about the Gentle New Guinea.

A 14 day New Guinea introduction for those who, while still active birders, feel they would not enjoy the exacting pace of the usual New Guinea Tour. This tour is particularly suitable for those who want a more relaxed tour with a return to the hotel for lunch  and a rest an option for most days.

While there will still be some walking, venues have been carefully chosen to avoid steep muddy trails and the more difficult sites. Accommodation is in comfortable western style hotels throughout. Visiting the lowland areas around Kiunga, the montane heaths and forest of the Tari Valley and the savannah areas around Port Moresby, while we concentrate on the more spectacular and easily seen New Guinea Birds, there should be plenty of birds of paradise and a full supporting case of New Guinea specialities.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Accommodation as per itinerary
  • Checklist
  • Guide services of tour leader
  • Group tips & gratuities
  • Transfers once tour has started
Whats not included in this tour.Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Travel insurance and other emergencies
  • Visa fees and entry clearing fees
  • Flights (Domestic & International)
  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Laundry
  1. Day 1 Arrive Port Moresby

    Arrive PNG where you will be met at the airport. Transfer to hotel.  An afternoon town tour can be organised if you would like but this will depend on your arrival time and will be an extra cost.

  2. Day 2 Varirata National Park (1)

    A full days guided birding at Varirata National Park. Located on the Sogeri Plateau above Port Moresby this is a great birding spot. The Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise have a lek tree here, there are 6+ species of Kingfisher including Brown-headed Paradise-Kingfisher and Yellow-billed Kingfisher, plus at least 7 specides of dove not to mention Red-cheeked Parrots, Barred Owlet-nightjar and perhaps a Chestnut-backed Jewel-babbler or Painted Quail-Thrush.

  3. Day 3 Fly to Kiunga

    Today we take an early morning flight to Kiunga where we will be met by our local guide. We transfer to our guest house and then spend the balance of day birding the local area. Trumpet Manucode, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Pesquet’s Parrot and Obscure Honeyeater can all be seen in this area.

  4. Day 4 Fly River boat trip & birding

    Making an early start we will take a boat trip up first the Fly River and then up one of it’s tributaries, the Elevala river where we will disembark to check out the birds. Although we will be spending a long time in the boats a considerable variety of species can be seen along the river, including White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Great-billed Heron (when water levels are low), Collared Imperial-Pigeon (locally common here), Large Fig-Parrot (scarce), Double-eyed Fig-Parrot, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Papuan Spinetail, Shining Flycatcher, the diminutive King and the incredible Twelve-wired Bird-of-paradise (with an early start), Golden and Yellow-faced mynas, and huge flights of flying-fox fruit-bats.

  5. Day 5 Kiunga area birding

    Full day birding the Kiunga area.

  6. Day 6 Kiunga to Mt Hagen

    Birding around Kiunga in the morning before our midday flight to Mt Hagen. The balance of the afternoon will be spent on the lodge balcony overlooking the feeders watching the Brown Sicklebills, Ribbon-tailed Astrapias, Smokey Honeyeaters and Brehm’s Tiger Parrots that come in to feed.

  7. Day 7 Kumul area birding

    Full day around Kumul. All the 7 endemic bird families of PNG can be seen in the Kumul area though some are easier elsewhere. The morning will be spent away from the lodge, the destination depending on local guide advice at the time. The afternoon will be spent birding the Lodge grounds and visiting the local orchid gardens – which are good for birds as well as orchids.

  8. Day 8 Transfer to Rondon Ridge

    After breakfast transfer to Rondon Ridge. This very comfortable Lodge is on the other side of the Waghi Valley from Kumul and at a different height band. It offers us some different birds including the possibility of Yellow-breasted Bowerbird, Black Pitohui and Blue-faced Parrotfinch. Streaked Berrypecker and Mottled Berryhunter are easier here than at Kumul.

  9. Day 9 Rondon area birding

    Full day birding the trails around Rondon Ridge.

  10. Day 10 Fly to Tari

    Today we take the TNT charter flight in the morning over to Ambua Lodge in the Tari Valley. The flight time will be confirmed later by TNT. This is one of the world’s premier birding sites. With an amazing thirteen species of birds of paradise, Ambua and the Tari Gap is a mecca for birders seeking these amazing and colourful birds. Close to the lodge, birds that are commonly seen include the Buff-Banded Rail, Long-tailed Shrike, Pied Chat, Mountain Peltops, Friendly Fantail, Willie Wagtail, Blue-grey Robin and Hooded Mannikin.

  11. Day 11 Ambua area birding (1)

    Full day birding the Ambua area. There is an option to enjoy some cultural tourism. Tari is the headquarters of the Huli wigmen and a visit to their wig growing area can be a good addition to the tour.

  12. Day 12 Ambua area birding (2)

    Full day birding the Ambua area.

  13. Day 13 Fly to Port Moresby

    Today we leave Ambua and travel back to Port Moresby where we will be met at the airport before transferring to our hotel. After lunch, we will head to the PAU Ponds where birding is reminiscent of northern Australia and Fawn–breasted Bowerbird and Spotted Whistling Ducks can be found.

  14. Day 14 Onward flights home

    After a relaxed breakfast head to the airport for your flight home. You are advised to be there 3 hours before departure.

Tour Accommodation

Accommodation in Port Moresby & Kiunga is in comfortable western style hotels. Ambua lodge & Rondon Ridge are two of the premier lodges in PNG. The rooms all have private bathrooms and electric blankets for those colder highland nights. Kumul Lodge is a more upmarket than usual landowner lodge made of local materials. The rooms have private bathrooms. And there is electricity and hot water as long as the generator is working.

Photos from the tour
Raggiana Bird of Paradise © Jun Matsui
Raggiana Bird of Paradise © Jun Matsui
Blue-capped Ifrit © Jun Matsui
Blue-capped Ifrit © Jun Matsui

While every effort has been made to ensure that the steepest and muddiest trails are avoided New Guinea is still a country of thickly forested mountain slopes without a contiguous road network which necessitates a number of flights often in small planes. many roads are unsealed and can be bumpy.

Rain is likely at all times, in all areas and while the lowlands may be hot and humid it can be cold at the higher altitudes. Participants need to be in good health but only need a reasonable level of fitness.

We will take a boat up the Fly and Elevala Rivers at Kiunga. The boat has seats and lifejackets but you will need a hat and sun block. There are no toilets on the boat but we do stop along the way.  Some people like to wear earplugs to cut out engine noise but then miss birdsong and information being given out along the way.