Known as "The Pearl of the Pacific", and also the "Pompeii of the Pacific" Rabaul has an incredible history of perseverance. The city is well-known to history buffs as there is a lot to be told of WWII and the role that Rabaul played ... More info ›
Known as "The Pearl of the Pacific", and also the "Pompeii of the Pacific" Rabaul has an incredible history of perseverance. The city is well-known to history buffs as there is a lot to be told of WWII and the role that Rabaul played. Perhaps the most recent memory many have of Rabaul is the famous eruption of Mt Tavurvur in 1994. The volcano blew ash thousands of meters into the air and the weight of the ash caused the majority of the buildings in Rabaul to collapse. The city has since been rebuilt and is stronger than ever and is popular for its scuba diving, snorkelling, volcanoes, flora and fauna, and a harbour that hosts plenty of cruise ships throughout the year.
The Rabaul Mask Festival is a one of a kind spectacle. Held just 20kms from Rabaul the festival is a showcase of traditional dance, rituals, and ceremonies. On this tour, you will have a chance to experience the show as well as plenty of other highlights including a tour of Rabaul and its surrounding areas.
Day 1: Upon arrival, you will be met and greeted by your guide and you will transfer to your lodge in Kokopo and check-in. Here you will meet your group leader who will go over the itinerary and answer any questions. There is a restaurant available at the lodge and dinner is optional this evening.
Day 2: After an early breakfast, we will make our way to Bit Paka War Cemetary before heading to Kokopo Town and Rabaul Market. As we stroll through the market, this is a great opportunity to pick up some small souvenirs, fruits, or snacks. We will then transfer to the Rabaul War Museum and take a walk down memory lane as you explore the history of the German and Australian settlers. Next, we will stop at the Blue Lagoon to see some Japanese barge Tunnels. Our next stop today will be at a nearby volcano where we can enjoy the natural hot springs before visiting Admiral Yamamoto's Bunker and the Old Niugini Club. We will stop and enjoy lunch today at Hamamas Hotel in Rabaul. After lunch, the tour will take you to the Submarine Base and the Volcano Observatory. The observatory offers an incredible view of Old Rabaul and is great for photos.
Day 2: Today will be a great day as we visit Mt Tavurvur. The entire day offers an insight into the life of the locals of the area and how their day to day life is. Here, you can also purchase and/or participate in traditional handicrafts and activities.
Day 3: Today we will transfer to see the Kinavai Ceremony. The ceremony is a reenactment of the Tolai people into Rabaul. The whole atmosphere of the early morning mixed with the chanting of the locals makes the experience more than memorable and very special. After the ceremony, you will head back to the lodge for breakfast. After breakfast, the first day of the Mask Festival Begins. Today will be a full day spent at the festival before heading back to the lodge for the night.
Day 4: This morning you will transfer back out to the show grounds for a full day of the festival. Today is the opening of the Warwagira and Mask Festival as they welcome the Tumbuans. The beating drums coming from the canoes as they approach the festival is a feeling that is truly unique and cannot be replicated. Later this evening, we will head back to the lodge to freshen up before we go back to the grounds to experience the world-renowned Baining Fire Dance. After the performance, you will transfer back to your hotel for the evening.
Day 5: Today we will explore the Duke of York Islands, a great place to explore an absorb true PNG culture. The waters around the islands are a picture perfect turquoise complete with white sandy beaches, and even dolphins in some areas. This evening you will return to your hotel for the last evening.
Day 6: This morning after breakfast, you can be transferred directly to the airport for your flight back to Moresby, or later if your flight departs in the afternoon.
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