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The National Mask Festival – 7 day / 7 nights – Guaranteed Departures

The Warwagira & Mask Festival was initially introduced in 1995 and is staged as an annual National event to promote the Mask Cultures of East New Britain, New Ireland and other areas in Papua New Guinea where masks are significant projections of cultural expression.

The Mask Festival is held over a 3-5 day period with a unique exhibition of cultural dances, ritual performances and a variety of arts and crafts on display.

Traditional masks will be on display during the festival – some many decades old brought over from New Ireland Province and other parts of Papua New Guinea. Many of these Tubuans are sacred and are not meant to be viewed or transported to alien places, hence the ceremonial ‘Kinavai’ which acts as a cleansing or appeasement ritual for the broken taboos and to pay respects to the Tolai people of East New Britain.

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The Warwagira & Mask Festival was initially introduced in 1995 and is staged as an annual National event to promote the Mask Cultures of East New Britain, New Ireland and other areas in Papua New Guinea where masks are significant projections of cultural expression.

The National Mask Festival

Duration: 7 days/ 7 nights

Trip Inclusions

Islands of East New Britain

Rabaul and Kokopo

Inclusions

Accommodation

  • Twin Share accommodation
  • Meals stated in the tours below
  • All activities stated in the tour below

Not included

  • International Flights
  • Domestic Flights
  • Alcohol and meals not stated in the itinerary below

Day 1 Rabaul – 6TH JULY 2021

These evening Hotels – Gazelle International

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES:

Information evening hosted by your guide and team

A welcome drink at the bar will await you at the poolside while your guide will give you your tour brief about what to expect in the next coming days.

We will have a welcome meal prepared by our local women fellowship groups.

Day 2 Duke of York Island Day Trip - 7 TH JULY 2021

This evenings Hotel – Gazelle International Hotel

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES: Dolphin Swim, Island Tour, Village guest homestay

This morning we will be treated to a swim with the resident spinner dolphins of East New Britain. As truly magical experience you will never forget. We will swim with the dolphins for around 1 hour before we head off to the Duke of Islands for our island villages stay.

Each island around East New Britain has its own personality, its own story and its own set of traditions.

The Duke of York Islands is the place to really explore and experience the real PNG. We will cruise around the islands and hear some of the histories whilst taking in the wonderful array of colours and vibrancy of this small archipelago.

On our voyage watch out for more dolphins, the fanciful dugong and local fishing canoes. The waters around here is crystal clear, azure blue lagoons with white sandy beaches and lush green vegetation, paradise in its truest form!

On the Island, we will be hosted by the village and learn more about traditional weaving, cooking and fishing. Your leader will arrange for an island tour. It is advised to wear some comfortable water shoes such, as crocs are sandals.

We will depart the island back to Kokopo around late afternoon.

Dinner will be served at the hotel this evening.

Day 3 - Rabaul / Kokopo Tour – 8 TH JULY 2021

This evenings Hotel – Gazelle International Hotel

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES: Rabaul Tour,  Dinner at the Ralum Country Club

After an early breakfast, your guide will give you a brief on what to expect today before we depart the hotel and explore Rabaul town, its history and its people.

You will need good walking shoes or waterproof sandals today, as there will be some walking on uneven surfaces.

Our tour of the area today will include:

Kokopo Market – The main supply of trade in the province.

Bita Paka War Cemetary 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

Rabaul Markets – A stops off at Rabaul 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.

Yamamoto’s BunkerYamamoto’s bunker. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was the genius behind Japan’s early naval successes during World War II. He was based in Rabaul for a long period and commanded the Japanese Pacific fleet from a small bunker in the centre of town.

Old Niugini Club Across the street from Yamamoto’s bunker we visit the remains of the Old Niugini club where we will gain some insight of Rabaul Pre –eruption and Pre Independence.

Japanese Submarine BaseThe Submarine Base where the Japanese stored their Submarines during the war before a stop off at the Volcano Observatory – a lookout over Old Rabaul and a fantastic photo spot.

Japanese Tunnels and Barge Tunnels at Karavia Bay The Japanese Tunnels. We take a walk in the maze of tunnels, which goes down around 20 m deep. The tunnels consist of 3 stories, including a kitchen and a myriad of escape routes.

ACCOMMODATION
  • Hotel (1 night)- Twin Share
INCLUDED ACTIVITIES
  • Rabaul – Old Niugini Club
  • Rabaul – Japanese Submarine Base & Tunnels
  • Rabaul – Rabaul Markets
  • Rabaul – Yamamoto’s Bunker
  • Rabaul – Karavai Ceremony
MEALS INCLUDED
  • Breakfast , Lunch and Dinner

Day 4 – Mask Festival - 9 TH JULY 2021

This evenings Hotel – Gazelle International Hotel

Kinavai Ceremony/Rabaul Mask Festival

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES: Kinavai Ceremony Rabaul Mask Festival, Bainings Firedance

We leave our hotel at 4.30 am to view this cultural experience. The Kinavai ceremony is a reenactment of the landing of the Tolai People into Rabaul. The canoes paddle across the water at the break of dawn and you hear the canoes and the chants long before you see them. The stillness of the morning air coupled with the chants makes this a very unique experience. After the Kinavai we return to the hotel for breakfast.

We then enter our first day of the Mask Festival and witness local PNG cultures on display. Dance groups perform throughout the day here and you will witness an amazing assortment of colours, songs and instruments throughout the entire day. Each clan has a unique beat and each culture has distinct dances on the show.

Spend the day entering the show grounds at your leisure as our hotel is situated right next door to the Rabaul Mask Festival grounds.

After an early optional dinner, we will transfer the group up to Kainagunan or Gaulim Village in the Bainings area, which is approximately 50 min drive from the hotel.

Men from the Bainings clans immerse themselves flames of a massive bonfire and escape without sustaining any injuries at all. The Bainings clan is one of few cultures in PNG, which do not use the Kundu drum as their rhythmic percussion instruments. They instead use bamboo and the sound is just as unique as the fire dance itself. This is an exciting and unique ritual, which is not, performed anywhere else in the world. After the performance, we will return back to our hotel.

Day 5 - Rabaul Mask Festival 10TH JULY 2021 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES: Rabaul Mask Festival

After breakfast, your leader will give you a briefing on what to expect today at the show. We will then transfer the group to the show grounds for more of the festival. You will be given free rein to around the festival at your own pace and take in the sites

MEALS INCLUDED
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 6 - Rabaul Mask Festival 11 TH JULY 2021

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES: Rabaul Mask Festival

After breakfast, your leader will give you a briefing on what to expect today at the show. We will then transfer the group to the show grounds for more of the festival. You will be given free rein to around the festival at your own pace and take in the sites. 

There will also be an option for a swim at a local beach should there be some free time today.

Feel free to take a walk around Kokopo Town. We can organize a guide to show you around for a small tip to the local guide.

Day 7 - Rabaul Mask Festival- 12 TH JULY 2021

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES: Transfer to Airport

Farewell your group and leader today after breakfast. There are no activities included today and

you are free to depart at any time.

Included transfer to Tokua Airport for your flight out of Kokopo

  • Breakfast

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