Start Planning Today
Swain Destinations
  • Islands to Highlands

Email   |   Print   |   PDF

Islands to Highlands

Journey through the famed islands and highlands of Papua New Guinea. Explore Madang, an area of remote mountain communities, river stilt villages, and deep fishing communities. Hear traditional stories inside village based theaters. Admire skilled carvings, hand crafted clay pots, and traditional artwork. Afterward, travel to Mount Hagen to experience the iconic highlands. The hundreds of languages, blending of cultures, and remote atmosphere offer an experience like no other.

Trip Type: Adventure, Cultural

Islands to HighlandsIslands to HighlandsIslands to Highlands

Day By Day

Day 1 – USA to Port Moresby
Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary. Please note, international air has not been included in this package price.

Day 2 – Cross the International Date Line
Cross the International Date Line, an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth that runs from the North to the South Pole - and defines one calendar day from the next. Crossing the International Date Line adds one day (24 hours) traveling west, and subtracts one day (24 hours) traveling east.

Day 3 – Welcome to Port Moresby
On arrival into Port Moresby you will need to clear customs and make your way through the main arrivals hall from where you will meet your local transportation to your accommodation.

Set amidst palm trees and lush tropical gardens overlooking volcanic islands in the Bismark Sea is a most magical and peaceful retreat - Malolo Plantation Lodge.

Malolo Plantation Lodge is a 45-minute drive north of Madang Town on a sealed road. Guests are accommodated in 14 air-conditioned rooms, each with en-suite bathroom, private balcony and stunning ocean views. The main lodge building with its restaurant, bar and comfortable lounge area is set amidst extensive lawns and palm trees, a mere stones throw away from a tranquil private beach and fresh water swimming pool.

Starting Accommodation: Malolo Plantation Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 4 – Touring Madang - Full Day
Daily cultural tours visit nearby coastal villages where local people still live mostly off the ocean, the forests and the land, living in complete harmony with their natural surroundings. Learn how these gentle people use the forests plants and fruits for medicinal and ceremonial purposes and watch women make skirts, as they have for centuries, from local grasses, colored from the natural dyes of forest plants, berries and earthen clay. All tours at Malolo are accompanied by knowledgeable local guides and guests travel in air-conditioned buses.

Starting Accommodation: Malolo Plantation Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 5 – Touring Madang - Half Day
Madang boasts remote mountain communities, perched on ridges amongst the clouds, river people with stilt villages, coastal agriculturalists and deep sea fishing communities from the islands. Due to the relatively recent contact with the western world, many cultures and languages remain intact and people are continuing to live a similar traditional lifestyle.

The artistic side of traditional cultures offer visitors a marvelous array of artworks and performances. Sing-sings are regularly performed to the beat of Garamuts (slit drums) and Kundus (hand held drums) with the dancers brightly decorated with Bird of Paradise plumes, leaves and paints. Bamboo bands, utilizing the unique Madag bamboo base and guitars encourage more contemporary dancing. Village based theaters tell traditional stories and morality tales. Carvings of great variety and skill, clay pots, drums, bowls and kitchen utensils, bilum bags and weapons are still made in the traditional style and are available for purchase.

Starting Accommodation: Malolo Plantation Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 6 – Touring Madang - Half Day
Today will include additional excursions to the surrounding islands and tribes.

Starting Accommodation: Malolo Plantation Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 7 – Madang to Mount Hagen
Mount Hagen City is the business heart of the Papua New Guinea highlands supporting a number of important industries such as tea, coffee, mining and transportation. It is a city where stone meets steel and where tradition and history is juxtaposed against modern ways.  

A comprehensive touring program takes you on a journey through the traditions and customs of the Melpa People. First contact with the Melpa was made in the mid-1930s when the Leahy brothers were prospecting for gold. The Melpa are said by anthropologists, to be 'predisposed to capitalism' because of their complex traditional society in which 'big men' earn status by accruing wealth and then giving it all away in a ceremonial exchange called "Moka". The Lodge has a variety of new touring vehicles and all excursions are accompanied by experienced local guides from the area.

Starting Accommodation: Rondon Ridge (B, L, D)

Day 8 – Mount Hagen Touring - Full Day
Over 180 species of birds have been recorded in the rainforests around Rondon Ridge including ten species of Bird of Paradise. The surrounding area is pristine rainforest and home to numerous orchid species. The lodge has hours of walking trails providing ample opportunity to explore the unique ecology of this area. All nature and birding walks are accompanied by experienced and knowledgeable nature guides. Comprehensive bird and orchid lists are available for Rondon Ridge.

Starting Accommodation: Rondon Ridge (B, L, D)

Day 9 – Mount Hagen Touring - Full Day
Today will include additional excursions to the surrounding highlands and tribes.

Starting Accommodation: Rondon Ridge (B, L, D)

Day 10 – Mount Hagen to Port Moresby
Today you will leave Mount Hagen on a charter flight to Port Moresby. After arriving into Port Moresby, you will transfer to your international flight out.

Read MoreRead More
Read LessRead Less


MadangMalolo Plantation Lodge
Mount HagenRondon Ridge


Pricing for this package is on request. Please call a Swain Destinations Specialist to customize this journey.

Terms and Conditions

Prices are per person, twin/double share in USD. All highlighted savings are reflected in the price. Travel may be limited to certain days of the week. Hotels and tours remain subject to availability. Cancellation penalties and other booking or alteration restrictions may exist. Please note blackout dates may apply to Christmas, New Year and local special event periods. Pricing may increase over Holiday and special event periods and may not be reflected in price grid. Prices indicated remain subject to change without notice. Prices are not guaranteed until full payment is received and processed. CST #2012413-20 See our full Terms and Conditions: