Raggiana Bird of Paradise © Jun Matsui

PNG Greatest Hits

This 13 day tour visits a number of the top birding sites on mainland Papua New Guinea (PNG) including Varirata National Park on the Sogeri Plateau above Port Moresby, Kumul Lodge in the Highlands and the lowland and hill forest destinations of Kiunga and Tabubil in Western Province.

While we will be concentrating on getting as many species of Birds of Paradise as possible, we will also be looking for other New Guinea specialities particularly the brighter and more colourful parrots, pigeons and kingfishers. There are excellent photographic opportunities at various locations during the tour.

  • Reviews 0 Reviews
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  • Tour Duration
    13 days
  • Difficulty Level Moderate
    3/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    6
All about the PNG Greatest Hits.

This 13 day tour visits a number of the top birding sites on mainland PNG including Varirata National Park on the Sogeri Plateau above Port Moresby, Kumul Lodge in the Highlands and the lowland and hill forest destinations of Kiunga and Tabubil in Western Province.

While we will be concentrating on getting as many species of Birds of Paradise as possible, we will also be looking for other New Guinea specialities particularly the brighter and more colourful parrots, pigeons and kingfishers. There are excellent photographic opportunities at various locations during the tour.

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 14 Arrive Port Moresby

    Arrive in Port Moresby. A short tour of the Port Moresby area can be arranged for those who arrive in time to take advantage of it.

  2. Day 2 Varirata National Park (1)

    Full day 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 species of dove not to mention Red-cheeked Parrots, Barred Owletnightjar and perhaps a Chestnut-backed Jewel-babbler or Painted Quail-Thrush.

  3. Day 3 Varirata National Park (2) & PAU Ponds

    A second morning up at Varirata should prove very rewarding with an afternoon visit to the PAU ponds,where Wandering and Spotted Whistling Ducks, Papuan Frogmouth and Fawn-breasted Bowerbird are amongst the species which can be seen.

  4. Day 4 Fly to Kiunga

    We take the early plane over to Kiunga on the Fly River in Western Province. Located in the midst of a huge area of lowland rainforest this is a great birding destination. Palm Cockatoo, Greater Bird of Paradise, Trumpet Manucode and Obscure Honeyeater are all possibilities here.

  5. Day 5 Travel upriver to Kwatu

    Taking a boat up the Fly and Elevala Rivers to Kwatu landowner lodge we enter an area of pristine rainforest. We will be looking for 12-wired and King Bird of Paradise , Channel-billed Cuckoo, Common and Little Paradise Kingfishers, Hooded and Red-bellied Pittas, Blue Jewel-Babbler and the huge Southern Crowned Pigeon. Nightbirds can include the almost unknown Wallace’s and Starry Owlet-nightjars, and Marbled Frogmouth.

  6. Day 6 Kwatu area birding

    Full day birding the Kwatu area.

  7. Day 7 Kwatu area birding & return to Kiunga

    Morning around Kwatu then return to Kiunga by boat.

  8. Day 8 Travel to Tabubil

    With an early morning stop at the Flame Bowerbird lek, travel up the narrow winding road we will head towards the mining town of Tabubil in the foothills of the Star Mountains stopping at various birding sites along the way. Pesquet’s (Vulturine) Parrots can often be seen flying over the road.

  9. Day 9 Tabubil area birding

    Full day guided birding in the Tabubil area. Salvadori’s Teal, Greater Melampitta, Magnificent Riflebird, Carola’s Parotia and Obscure Berrypecker are amongst our target birds.

  10. Day 10 Fly to Mt Hagen

    Taking the early flight over to Mt Hagen we will spend the next 3 nights at Kumul Lodge, a photographer’s dream where birds of paradise are amongst the visitors to the feeder. Brown Sicklebill, Ribbon-tailed Astrapia, Archbold’s Bowerbird, Brehm’s Tiger Parrot, Crested Berrypecker, Fan-tailed Berrypecker and Smoky Honeyeater can all be seen in the vicinity of the Lodge.

  11. Day 11 Kumul area birding (1)

    Full day birding the Kumul area. Superb and perhaps Lesser Bird-of-Paradise likely.

  12. Day 12 Kumul area birding (2)

    Morning birding the Kumul area, checking a site for the rare Blue Bird of Paradise and another trail for the spectacular King-of-Saxony Bird of Paradise, with the afternoon option of a cultural tour to the local village, with birding on the way.

  13. Day 13 Fly to Port Moresby & onward flights

    Leaving Kumul on the early flight we take fly back to Port Moresby and then transfer across to the international terminal in time for our onward flights to Brisbane.

Tour Accommodation

In Port Moresby and Tabubil we use comfortable, western style hotels of a good standard. Kiunga Guest House is a small but comfortable locally run guest house. Kumul Lodge is a comfortable landowner lodge made of local materials and situated in the Highlands of New Guinea near Mt Hagen at an elevation of about 2600m. It can be cold at night at this altitude so warm clothes are advised. At times there are problems with hot water, but the staff really look after you well. There have been some issues with local landowners in recent years and we have to be aware of this. In the past, while it has meant that some areas are out of bounds it has not impacted on the overall success of the visit.  Kwatu is a very basic lodge with pit toilets and bush showers. However the excellent birding in the vicinity of the Lodge make it a very worthwhile destination.

Participants need to be in good health and of a reasonable fitness level. Papua New Guinea is a country of steep rainforest clad mountainsides and while we try to keep them at a minimum there can be steep muddy trails to be negotiated somewhere during the trip.

Expect rain at various locations and while the area around Kumul at 2600m will be quite cool and even cold at night around Port Moresby and Kiunga it may be hot and humid.