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The Bainings Firedance Festival – 4 Days / 4 Nights

Based in East New Britain province, the Baining Firedance Festival is a cultural spectacle that awakens all the senses. Held across two days, the unique cultures and subcultures on display at the Firedance Festival gives an insight into how diverse the region is. There are over 50 masked performances and each one is as exclusive as the next. Unlike other festivals and events in Papua New Guinea where the show ground is within town, this festival takes you directly into the villages. It gives a more authentic and genuine experience. Giving further insight into each individual cultural performance, Dr Jacob Simet has translated the narrative of each individual cultural group so that you could see, hear, feel and understand each performance at the festival.

Itinerary

Duration: 4 Days / 4 Nights

Day 1: Australia – Kokopo

Welcome to Rabaul, Kokopo and East New Britain!!

Your local tour leader will arrange for your complimentary airport shuttle from Tokua Airport to your hotel. Check into your hotel and meet in the foyer at 630 pm for your tour briefing, which will be held at a suitable location within the hotel grounds. Make sure you have your insurance details ready for collection by your guide this evening. After dinner, settle into the hotel for the evening.

ACCOMMODATION

Gazelle International or Kokopo Beach Bungalows (1 night)

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer

Tour Briefing

MEALS INCLUDED

Dinner

Day 2 & 3: Firedance Festival

Today we head up to the highlands of the Gazelle Peninsula where we will spend the next two days at the Firedance Festival. As we near the Village Show Grounds, we will witness a traditional Melanesian welcoming ceremony. It is common within the Melanesian culture that a host welcomes guests into the village, it shows the rest of the village that these are welcomed strangers and there are no hostilities between the village and the visitors.

There will be an array of organic village fruits as well which are sourced from the village plots surrounding. We will also have a western option available for you should you not want to eat traditional food. Performances within the village are performed are a form of entertainment for the villagers as well as tourists – don’t be surprised if the Firedance performances go on all night. You will notice that bundles of firewood are added to the bonfire by villagers throughout the performance. The Firedancers will need to perform until the last flames are put out.

Today’s performances are from the Bainings region. Over 25 different masks will perform culminating in the Linganga the famous Firedancers.

ACCOMMODATION

Gazelle International or Kokopo Beach Bungalows (1 night)

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Firedance Festival

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4: Wild Dolphin Swim & Kokopo Tour

This morning we will be treated to a swim with the resident spinner dolphins of East New Britain. As a genuinely magical experience, you will never forget. We will swim with the dolphins for around 1 hour before we head back for breakfast. You will need good walking shoes or waterproof sandals today, as there will be some walking on uneven surfaces.

This includes a visit to Bita Paka War Cemetery, where the first Australians who fought here in World War I and World War II have been laid to rest. Hear about the 2nd 22nd Battalion and the rich war history of Rabaul. A stop off at Kokopo Markets. Here we take a stroll around the markets to explore. Make sure that you have some small denominations of PNG Kina (5-10 kina notes), so you can pick up some trinkets here as well as try some local fruits or snacks. Blue Lagoon where we see some Japanese Barge Tunnels built by the Japanese to conceal their Barges and to protect them from the bombing raids of the Allies in WWII.

ACCOMMODATION

Gazelle International  (1 night)

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5: Farewell, Not Goodbye

Farewell your group and leader today after breakfast. There are no activities included today and you are free to depart at
any time.

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast

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