Embessa Cultural Trek

Designed for experienced trekkers with a passion for discovering new and remote areas. The Embessa Cultural Papua New Guinea Trek is beyond anything you have experienced before.

Home to an extraordinary array of vegetation and wildlife, the area has sustained indigenous people for thousands of years. Stunning scenery, pristine wilderness and the remoteness of the Papua New Guinean jungle. This is a hidden world of dense tropical rainforest, fast flowing rivers, rugged mountain ranges and savannah grasslands. Papua New Guinea is one of the world’s last wild frontiers.

Your experience will take you from coast to coast, as we travel by bus from Port Moresby to the start of our trek, by foot for 11 days and by boat to finish our adventure at Oro Bay. Getaway Trekking is the only operator offering this trek, and you will revel in this pristine environment, where few white people have been before you.

You will be captivated by the welcome you receive from these beautiful and gentle people, humbled by their hospitality and generosity, and awed by their traditional costumes, dancing and culture.

The Embessa Cultural Trek is more than just a trek and is an experience you will never forget.

Price: from AUD4595 per person

Duration: 15 Days

Trek Ratings: Activity 2 / Conditions 2 / Accommodation 3 / Training/Preparation 4

Best Season: June, July, August & September

Country Visited: Papua New Guinea

Trip Start: Port Moresby

Trip Ends: Port Moresby

Trip Route: Port Moresby-Yanu Station-Aisa River-Mountain Garden-Domearu-Jari-Yauri-Safia-Busi-Odessa-Emboss-Foru 2-Oro Bay-Popondetta-Port Moresby

Trip Style: Guesthouse to Guesthouse Trekking

Activity: Remote Jungle Trekking

Max. Altitude: 1450 m /4757.22 ft

Activity Per Day: Approximately 4-6 hr walking

Trip Category: South Pacific Region

Day 01 Arrival Jackson’s International Airport. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 02 Drive to Moreguina and then Yanu Station. Overnight at Guesthouse or School.
Day 03 Trek from Yanu Station to Aisa River. Overnight at Bush Camp.
Day 04 Trek from Aisa River through Owen Stanley Ranges to Mountain Garden. Overnight at Bush Camp.
Day 05 Trek from Mountain Garden to Domearu via Ukumu River. Overnight at Guesthouse.
Day 06 Trek from Domearu to Jari. Overnight at Guesthouse.
Day 07 Trek from Jari to Yauri for a swim in the Foosi River. Overnight at Guesthouse.
Day 08 Trek from Yauri to Safia. Overnight at Guesthouse.
Day 09 Trek from Safia to Busi for an afternoon at leisure. Overnight at Guesthouse.
Day 10 Trek from Busi to Odessa, crossing the mighty Musa River. Overnight at Guesthouse.
Day 11 Trek from Odessa to Emboss, via Naora. Overnight at Guesthouse.
Day 12 Trek from Emboss and conclude walk in Embessa. Overnight at Guesthouse.
Day 13 Travel by boat from Embessa to the seaside village of Foru 2 . Overnight at Riverside Guesthouse/Huts.
Day 14 Travel by boat to Oro Bay and by road to Popondetta, then a short flight to Port Moresby. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 15 Transfer to airport for international departure.

Day 01 Arrival in Port Moresby.
Arrive in Port Moresby. You will be collected at the airport and transferred to our accommodation for the evening. We will hold a brief this afternoon, and you will have the opportunity to get to know your fellow adventurers over dinner.

Overnight at Hotel
No meals included

Day 02 Yanu Station.
Today will be your first taste of breaking new ground in PNG. After breakfast we meet our transport for the drive down the Magi Highway to Moreguina. On arrival, we will visit the Primary School and re-connect with our friends there who have shown us such hospitality in the past. Very few outsiders visit here, and you will enjoy the unspoilt nature of this area. This is your first taste of the warmth of the welcomes you can expect over the coming days. Waving goodbye, we will climb aboard and take the short drive to Yanu Station, at the very start of our track.

Overnight at Guesthouse or School
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 03 Uma River.
An early morning start sees us trekking along one of the many rivers in the foothills of the Owen Stanley Ranges. We pass by the impressive Gamgee Falls on the Uma River, named after one of our intrepid leaders who enjoyed an impromptu swim here! The day is not a particularly difficult one, but our legs have not yet toughened to the environment and we need to watch each step. We will set up our overnight camp on the banks of the Uma River, enjoying a relaxing swim before dining under the stars. What could be better?

Overnight at Bush camp
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 04 Aisa River.
A varied day awaits us as we tackle some steep climbs over the Owen Stanleys before dropping to the Aisa River. The stillness of this beautiful country is striking – no emails, no phones and no-one to distract you from simply enjoying your day! Our track takes us along and through the river, and we can enjoy the beautiful serenity of this valley, leading us to where we will make camp for the night on a sandy beach.

Overnight at Bush camp
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 05 Mountain Garden.
Our trek continues along the Aisa River, then up and over a small range before dropping into the Nicosia River. We begin our climb up the main range of the Owen Stanleys. The track becomes quite narrow in parts, and though the jungle around you is very beautiful, you will need to concentrate on your feet to ensure you arrive safely at camp tonight.

Overnight at Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 06 Domearu.
An early start for our climb into the range this morning. We take a lunch break at the top of the range at 1450 mts. After lunch we make our descent down to the scenic Ukuma River, that was so devastated during Cyclone Guba in November 2007. The locals still refer to ‘the disaster’, and evidence of the destruction remains. We make our way downstream to the beautiful village of Domearu, for a well earned break in a wonderful guest house.

Overnight at Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 07 Jari.
We must start very early today as we will complete 20 kms over 9 hours of hard trekking. We walk down the Ukuma River which we cross some 64 times throughout the day! We are predominantly in the rivers now, having crossed the Owen Stanley Range, but still need to stay focused as there are many obstacles to overcome. We stay in the village of Jari on the banks of the Ukuma River, another wonderful village that does not see many taubadas or sinebadas (white men/women). We are now roughly half way through the trekking side of the tour.

Overnight at Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 08 Yauri.
A welcome shorter day– after the last few days of very hard work, today is a short 4-5 hour stint on a new section of the trek. We will start early though, as we are mostly in full sun, trekking through kunai & savannah grass. There is something very rewarding about watching the world around you awaken, and the colours change as the sun rises. You will love the hospitality & traditional welcome you receive at this beautiful village for tonight. Yauri is on the banks of the Foosi River & we can soak away any aches with a refreshing swim.

Overnight at Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 09 Safia.
A second easy day will have you fully re-charged, as we take an easy pace on our walk through to Safia. A 2.5 hour walk will take us into this simple village and our welcoming guesthouse accommodation. And the best part – an afternoon to relax and soak in everything that you have seen and experienced to date! The locals will love to spend time with you and kids – the same the world over – will delight you when you spend time getting to know them. Tonight, we will experience one of the best welcomes on the track. There is beautiful stream to wash in here.

Overnight at Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 10 Busi.
An early start before the dawn provides the beauty of another day unfolding before our eyes. Cool breezes, mountain mist and landscape outlines give way to the colours of morning as we continue our trek through Savannah grasslands. Today we cross the mighty Musa River, 8th largest in PNG. Due to its size, we are not able to wade, so we are transported across the river by raft. This is great fun, and our carriers will enjoy the experience also, as they love to provide new adventures for us!

Overnight at Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 11 Odessa.
Another early start for a big day. More Savannah grassland greets us today, en-route to more river crossings as we climb the small range north of the Musa River. The view back from where we have come is breathtaking. Everywhere you will find beauty in this pristine environment and by now you will have fallen in love with the gentleness and authenticity of its people. We pass through the village of Naora. Our village has a nearby river, so a refreshing bath is definitely on the menu tonight!

Overnight at Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 12 Emboss.
Today is a much shorter day as we complete the walking section of our adventure. We arrive at the large village of Embessa in the morning for a wonderful traditional welcome. One of the larger villages we visit, Embessa has a population of around 900, and is on the Musa River downstream from where we crossed 2 days earlier. Enjoy your swim this afternoon, but don’t get swept away – this river has a mighty current! An afternoon of rest, or getting into the local culture – as there will be plenty of that in this remotest of villages.

Overnight at Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 13 Foru 2.
We board our boat for the voyage down the Musa, where the views along this mighty meandering river are something to behold. Look for both species of crocodile on the river bank – from the safety of our boat! By nightfall we reach Foru 2 village near the mouth of the Musa as it enters the Solomon Sea, where we spend the night in huts on stilts by the riverside. From our overnight home, we can watch a magnificent sunset, as we enjoy the last remaining days of our adventure.

Overnight at Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 14 Oro Bay & Port Moresby.
Arise well before sunrise for our boat ride from the mouth of the mighty Musa River across the Solomon Sea to Oro Bay. We have seen many beautiful sunrises and sunsets, but nothing is more beautiful than the sun rising over the water, as we speed along in our powered dinghy. From there, we make our way to Popondetta by road, then to Girua airport for the short flight to Port Moresby, where once again we sleep in a real bed in our comfortable hotel. Look back on your day and consider the reality of your journey from the Musa River to Moresby – all in a day! Unbelievable…!

Overnight at Hotel
Breakfast Included

Day 15 Trek Ends.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your onward journey.

NOTE: During the trip; weather, local politics, transport or a multitude of other factors, that are beyond our control can result in a change of itinerary. It is, however, very unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered; if alterations are necessary the leader will decide what is the best alternative, taking into consideration the best interests of the whole group. Where a change does occur, we do everything we can to minimise its effect, but we cannot be responsible for the results of changes or delays.

There is no fixed departure date for this trek. This trip can only be organised upon your request. We have price discounts according to the group size and number of pax. The bigger your group, the bigger your group discounts.

Please contact us for further information.

Cost Includes

Twin share accommodation in Port Moresby (single supplements available) incl. all meals
Australian Tour/Trek Leader
National Trek Master & Trek Leader
Personal carrier (normal cost $750)
Domestic Flights (PNG)
Guest house accommodation on track
All village tariffs
Carriers for food and equipment
All meals on track
Detailed Risk Management Plan including river crossing protocols
Proven group management with responsible ecological practices
Village cultural activities
Emergency equipment including VHF Radios and Satellite Phone
Bus/PMV transport in PNG
Boat transfer Foru Island / Oro Bay with qualified boat operator and boat boy
All food, accommodation & services for carriers
Free Getaway Trekking walking Shirt
Drink bottle
Opportunity to join regular training sessions
Public Liability Insurance

Cost Does not Include

International and Australian domestic airfares
Passport & Visa costs
Travel insurance
Vaccinations and anti-malarial medicines
Personal expenditure

Your Pack
You will need a top loading Back Pack which is comfortable and in good condition. If you are carrying your own gear, it must be at least 65-70 litres in volume – this must be a true hiking pack. The pack should have a good quality hip belt which will take the pressure off your shoulders.

Your pack should weigh a maximum of 12 kg dry – i.e. before you add your water bladder and/or bottles. Packs are weighed in Port Moresby prior to starting our trek. Packs that exceed the maximum weight can either be re-packed, or you will be asked to pay for an additional carrier to handle the excess weight.

We take our responsibilities to the health and safety of our carriers very seriously and will not allow them to carry weights beyond what we consider reasonable.

If you intend to have a carrier, you will be supplied with a pack on arrival at Port Moresby. You will need to supply a large pack liner that your gear will fit into that can be handed to your Carrier at the start of the trek.

If you are employing a carrier, you will also need a day pack for personal use. This should also have a good quality hip belt as, even with lighter weights, you may experience discomfort on your shoulders without one.

All packs should have a pack cover large enough to protect the pack in the rain.

We recommend at least 30 litres in volume. You will typically use this pack to carry:

Water & Electrolytes
Snacks
Personal first aid
Poncho or light rain jacket
Sunscreen
Insect Repellent
Disinfectant hand wash
Camera

Your Boots
Although you can stagger the purchase of much of your equipment, taking advantage of sales and special offers, we recommend that you buy good quality boots sooner rather than later. No matter how much training you do, if your feet aren’t happy, the rest of you won’t be either.

Ensure that you are correctly fitted and take plenty of time on boot selection. You have a wide range of choice, however the main decision you will make is whether to buy synthetic or leather – both have advantages and disadvantages. Synthetic boots are lighter and will dry more quickly. Leather boots will stay dry longer, but will also take longer to dry once they are wet. They will be harder wearing and last longer than synthetic boots. You should take advice from your supplier.

The most important thing is that you need to break your foots in. A blister on a training walk in Australia is far less of a problem to you than on the Kokoda Track. Remember too, that in a tropical environment, blisters can easily become infected. Get on top of this before you leave for your trek!

As important is your sock selection. There is no right or wrong here – you need to discover for yourself what sort of socks suit you. Again, try them out during your training before you leave. Problems in Australia are generally simple ones – equipment can be changed here, but not on the track!

Remember also to keep your feet as dry as possible, especially after creek crossings or wet encounters.

Suggested Clothing and Equipment List:

Spare bag for leaving your spare clothes in your hotel.
One set of neat clothes for hotel use.
Trekking Equipment
Backpack – see above
Backpack Cover
A medium weight hollow-fill sleeping bag. Many people find a + 5 degree rating adequate, however if you feel the cold you may need something warmer, especially at the higher altitudes.
A silk or cotton liner or light sheet (for hot coastal conditions)
A thermal sleeping mat, suggested self inflating type
Mosquito net (necessary to protect from malarial mosquitoes). Note this should have a hook or string to hang from.
Small pillow
Lightweight bowl, knife, fork spoon set and cup
Headlamp with spare globe and batteries
Camel pack / Water bladder. This is mandatory as it is critical that you maintain hydration at all times.
Water bottles for spare capacity and to mix up supplements. We recommend total water capacity to be around 3-4 litres.
Walking stick or poles (optional). Please try using poles during your training to determine if this is right for you.
Small section of foam mat to sit on

Clothing
A pair of strong, comfortable, worn in walking boots (with spare laces) – see above
A pair of sandals or water shoes, a pair of thin socks worn inside these shoes can be helpful to keep small river stones out of your shoes. (you will need to walk through a creek for 2 hours in these) CROCS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR THIS TREK, NOR ARE THONGS. An old pair of runners works well, and you can leave these behind – they are often greatly appreciated.
Socks: several changes – you must look after your feet and a dry set of socks is important. Numbers will vary depending on the season; in the dry we recommend 3-5 pairs, however if you are trekking in or near the wet season, you may wish to take a pair for every day.
Gaiters and/or Spats
Lightweight rain jacket or a “poncho” which also covers the pack if it rains
Wide brimmed hat
Adequate underwear that is comfortable when wet and does not chafe
Bathers
Sarong (ladies)

Walking / Daytime Clothes
These must be strong, lightweight and comfortable when wet.
Cotton based fabric is often more comfortable in the heat however can be difficult to dry in the humidity & become smelly. Modern high tech fibres are more expensive, but excellent in this climate.
Getaway Trekking & Adventures provides a shirt for walking in.
Walking shorts and/or ‘Skins’. ‘Skins’ are not essential, but these are highly recommended to reduce chafe.
Also suggest “Zip off” pants – these are excellent as they provide early morning and evening “longs” (for warmth and protection from mosquitoes) and “shorts” for when you are walking.
It is important that a long sleeved loose fitting shirt is included for sun and mosquito protection.

Afternoon / Evening Clothes
One lightweight set of non-walking clothes. These are the clothes you will change into after the days walk. They should be kept dry as your walking clothes can remain damp for the duration of the trip due to humidity. We recommend a short sleeve shirt and second pair of shorts – you will generally arrive at your day’s destination early afternoon when it is still warm.
Polar Fleece or one warm woolen jumper (not too bulky) and long pants. These are to protect against mosquitoes at dusk, and cold at night.
Shoes or sandals to wear in camp. You should be able to wear these with socks for mosquito protection – with some styles, you can use one pair for both (17) and (31). This does have the disadvantage however, that your camp shoes may be wet when you arrive in camp. Do not take thongs – these are not suitable for anything other than dry ground, and that is never guaranteed!
Set of “thermals” if you are a cold sleeper

Personal Effects
Camera/film (check battery) all in 2 plastic bags .The change in humidity from your pack to open air requires 2 bags otherwise the lens fogs up. You may wish to bring extra batteries / memory cards.
Extra high energy nibbles. Don’t take items that will melt easily. Ideally, divide your nibbles into 6-8 snap lock bags for easier packing and access.
Small items as gifts for local people and children. Pens, pencils, stickers, simple jewellery, large T shirts etc are a great hit with everyone and often help break the ice. We discourage balloons, which are environmentally unfriendly, and sweets which are not appropriate to the level of dental care available on the track.
Strongest insect repellent e.g. Bushmans
Sunblock
Water purification tablets. Eg-Micropur or Puratab
Toilet paper (2 rolls). Place in a plastic ziplock bag.
Toiletries: as this is often where lots of weight and bulk occurs, portion everything and place in plastic bags to prevent spillage. Please be environmentally friendly with your choices.
Towels (2): do not take a cotton beach towel. Bring a small micro fibre towel or sports chamois. One towel is for drying feet and the other for showering. Alternatively use a face washer for drying feet. Many people find a small towel handy during the day for wiping face and brow.
Compression or Vacuum bags. Great for reducing the volume of bulky items
Large inner garbage bags or commercially available stuff sacks for packing all backpack contents into. If you are hiring a carrier you will need one for your gear that is to be carried and one for your day pack.
Clip lock bags ( 6)
Diary / journal & pen
Money in PNG currency – preferably smaller denominations. Amount will depend on itinerary – please refer to trek leader’s advice.

First Aid
Small personal first-aid kit comprising of items from the list below. Not all items will be required – this is a personal kit. However, we strongly recommend the first 12 items. (if travelling with friends, organise to share some items) The rest of the items are optional but recommended – again, sharing items will save money and space.

Note, if you have personal issues – e.g. knee problems – you should ensure you have the appropriate braces, preventive bandages, etc.

Blister prevention – there are some excellent products available.
Personal medications – you are most informed about your personal health and need to take responsibility for your own medications. Please discuss with us if you have any questions.
Sufficient anti malaria tablets (Mandatory)
Antibacterial hand gel – e.g. Aqium
Pain relievers – headache tablets, strong pain relief
Anti-malarial drugs
Tea Tree Oil
Diarrhea tablets / Constipation tablets
1x course of broad spectrum antibiotics such as Keflec/Cephalexin. Retain all prescription medication in original labelled packaging to comply with Australian and PNG Customs requirements.
Bandaids (various sizes, ensure you have plenty)
Antiseptic lotion/cream e.g. Bepanthen, Paraderm Plus, Betadine
Stingose
Prickly heat powder
Roller bandage
Safety pins
Needle and thread
Anti nausea medication
Gastrolyte or other electrolyte
Knee bandage.
1x course of specific antibiotics for wound and boil infections
Anti inflammatory medication such as Ibruprofen, Voltaren or Nurofen
Antihistamines, such as Telfast, Phenergan 10mg
Strapping tape
Ankle and/or knee guards
Foot fungus powder – Daktarin etc
Papaw ointment
Antiseptic powder
Antifungal cream
Hydrocortisone cream for bites etc
1x packet cotton buds or cotton wool (to apply creams)

What level of fitness do I need to trek in Papua New Guinea?

Trekking in Papua New Guinea is a challenging experience, with extensive uphill and downhill sections. A high level of fitness is required although you do not have to be super fit or an Olympic athlete! You will however enjoy the experience much more if you have completed an extensive training program prior to tackling the trek.

It is very important to prepare yourself for the challenge ahead. We provide a recommended training schedule to all of our clients, though this is a guide only. Many of our trekkers have used this as a training guide and have found it very successful in their preparation.

In addition to general fitness and core work, we highly recommend lots of hill training and stair climbing. You need to be doing a minimum of 2-3 sessions of hill training per week, and a 6-8 hour hill walk on the weekend. It’s also a good idea to back that up with a shorter walk the following day.

Remember, this is a guide only. Your training should ramp up as you get closer to your trek – you cannot train on too many hills.

Does Getaway Trekking run any training walks?

Yes we do! For our Melbourne, Adelaide and Cairns trekkers (at this stage – more coming soon!, we have schedules of weekend walks throughout the trekking season.

Please check either the Victoria, South Australia or Cairns trek training schedule and contact us to advise our leaders which walks you would like to attend.

Many Saturday mornings you will find Getaway Trekking Melbourne staff and leaders on both the Glasgow Road Firebreak and the 1000 Steps in Ferntree Gully.

You are welcome to come along – please contact our office to register your intention to come along.

We have also developed a comprehensive training program that is available to all of our registered trekkers. This will be forwarded to you on receipt of your deposit.

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding training please do not hesitate to contact one of our leaders at info@getawaytrekking.com

What type of trekking boots do you recommend?

Although you can stagger the purchase of much of your equipment, taking advantage of sales and special offers, we recommend that you buy good quality boots sooner rather than later. No matter how much training you do, if your feet aren’t happy, the rest of you won’t be either.

Ensure that you are correctly fitted and take plenty of time on boot selection. You have a wide range of choice, however the main decision you will make is whether to buy synthetic or leather – both have advantages and disadvantages. Synthetic boots are lighter and will dry more quickly. Leather boots will stay dry longer, but will also take longer to dry once they are wet. They will be harder wearing and last longer than synthetic boots. You should take advice from your supplier.

The most important thing is that you need to break your boots in. A blister on a training walk in Australia is far less of a problem to you than on the Kokoda Track. Remember too, that in a tropical environment, blisters can easily become infected. Get on top of this before you leave for your trek!

As important is your sock selection. There is no right or wrong here – you need to discover for yourself what sort of socks suit you. Again, try them out during your training before you leave. Problems in Australia are generally simple ones – equipment can be changed here, but not on the Track!

Backpacks and day packs - what should I be taking with me?

If you are carrying your own pack;

Your Pack – 85 litres minimum

You will need a top loading Back Pack which is comfortable and in good condition and at least 85 litres in volume – this must be a true hiking pack. If you intend to have a carrier, you must leave enough room in the top for his/her clothes, food and water. This means that your equipment should fill the pack to a maximum of 2/3 capacity.

The pack should have a good quality hip belt which will take the pressure off your shoulders.

Your pack should weigh a maximum of 12 kg dry – i.e. before you add your water bladder and/or bottles. Packs are weighed in Port Moresby prior to starting our trek. Packs that exceed the maximum weight can either be re-packed, or you will be asked to pay for an additional carrier to handle the excess weight.

We take our responsibilities to the health and safety of our carriers very seriously and will not allow them to carry weights beyond what we consider reasonable.

If you are employing a carrier;

You will need a day pack for personal use. This should also have a good quality hip belt as, even with lighter weights, you may experience discomfort on your shoulders without one.

All packs should have a pack cover large enough to protect the pack in the rain.

We recommend at least 30 litres in volume. You will typically use this pack to carry:

  • Water & Electrolytes
  • Snacks
  • Personal first aid
  • Poncho or light rain jacket
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent
  • Disinfectant hand wash
  • Camera
  • Toilet Paper

What type of clothing should I pack?

We will be passing through a number of different climatic zones, from hot and humid coastal areas, to high mountain areas where conditions may be considerably colder, especially at night. Although we trek predominantly during the dry season, it is not uncommon for it to rain. As you are carrying your own personal gear try to travel as light as possible. If you are carrying your own pack, it should weigh no more than 12 kgs.

It is important to wear light ‘quick dry’ clothes, as it is very hot and humid on the track.

A common mistake made by many trekkers is that they pack far too may clothes for the time they are away making their packs significantly heavier that they need to be.

We recommend you stick to the following checklist to ensure you only take what is absolutely necessary:

  • Hiking boots (make sure they are well worn in)
  • Spare boot laces
  • Spare pair of sandals
  • Gaiters
  • Sun hat (wide brim)
  • Quick dry shorts
  • Quick dry shirt (short or long sleeved)
  • Light weight rain jacket
  • Underwear
  • Hiking socks
  • Swimmers
  • Sweat towel
  • Polar fleece jumper (for cooler nights)
  • Track pants (for cooler nights)

A full equipment list is available to view within the EQUIPMENT tab on this page. Remember, it is important to train in the clothes that you intend to wear on the track – you must be confident there are no issues with chafe or other problems.

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes, travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any trek provided by Getaway Trekking. Travel Insurance will cost you approximately AU$125 -$150 for a 7-9 day trek in Papua New Guinea.

You are required to provide Getaway Trekking with details of your Travel Insurance. We suggest you take out insurance as soon as you make any form of payment; in unforeseen training accidents or family emergencies, you may have some protection.

You MUST ensure your insurance covers Helicopter evacuation in medical emergencies.

Please supply us with a copy of your Travel Insurance Certificate and ensure we have the following information:

  • Travel Insurance Company’s 24 hour emergency
  • Contact phone number
  • Your Name, Date of Birth etc…
  • Policy No.
  • Travel Dates and Destination

Please Note: If you retire from the trek for reasons other than medical, you will need to pay for the evacuation “up front” (normally with credit card or a cash transfer to the relevant company). Getaway Trekking will bill you for any evacuation costs we incur including on ground staff, transport, etc. Other extra costs you may incur are accommodation, transport and meals.

Does the trek price include airfares?

No – all Getaway Trekking prices are ‘land only’, meaning an airfare is an additional cost.

Please inform our team at the time of your reservation if you require an airfare cost and our Travel Manager will confirm availability and provide a quotation for your consideration.

Treks with pre-trek accommodation in Cairns
On arrival at Cairns International Airport you will be met by a Getaway Trekking & Adventures leader who will assist with your check in. We will travel as a group, and arrive together in Port Moresby, therefore we will advise you well ahead of time which flight to book.

Flights leave from Cairns International Airport, landing in Port Moresby and take approximately 1 hour, 30 minutes. International check-in requires you to be there 2 hours prior to departure; this allows you plenty of time to check your bags through, be security checked and complete the required customs and immigration forms.
Your flight from your home port to Cairns may be at your own discretion.

Treks with pre-trek accommodation in Port Moresby
Your flight into Port Moresby from your own port may be at your own discretion. We will need your flight details in order to ensure that you are met on arrival.

There are a number of airlines which fly into Port Moresby including:

You will be arriving in a hot humid environment, and we recommend you wear appropriate clothing. It can be a good idea to wear your boots and take important medications with you in the plane. In the event that your bags get left behind (it can happen) then you have the two most important items with you.

Unless you have Frequent Flyer advantages, 23kg is the maximum checked in baggage weight. Hand luggage can be 7kg.

What does a typical day look like trekking in Papua New Guinea?

While you are on the track, you can expect to undertake a daily routine similar to that of the table outlined below.

Please Note: This is an indicative schedule and may change depending on weather, track conditions and group fitness/injuries, etc.

How does having a personal carrier work?

A personal carrier is available to carry your rucksack / backpack, at an additional cost (please contact us for rates), which includes the hire of a pack for their use. If you are considering carrying your own pack then you must train with the entire pack weight on your back – consider this decision carefully as the Kokoda Trail is extremely difficult.

Your personal carrier is an extra cost but well worth considering. Some other operators provide carriers at a lower cost – however they are required to walk to the start of the trek, and then home at the end. We fly our carriers to the start, or home from the finish of the trek, depending on direction we are walking. We feel very strongly about the health and safety of our carriers and ask you to treat our carriers with respect at all times – they do a fantastic job and they will take care of you! If you are having doubts, we recommend you hire a carrier.

What hydration considerations should I make on trek in Papua New Guinea?

Your Trekmaster (and leader) will advise the best treks to fill up your water bottles along the trail, however you will need to carry a minimum of 3 litres of water on you throughout your journey. There are many treks to fill up along the trail. The furthest you will walk between water is 4 hours.

It is essential that you take electrolytes with you. We recommend you add these supplements to your water, every time you fill up, as they help prevent dehydration due to high perspiration losses. As with all other elements of your preparation, we recommend you research and sample different types of electrolytes to see which suits you best, prior to embarking on your trek.

Dehydration can become a major issue on the trail. It is very important to keep drinking fluids on the track. Because of the higher level of activity, temperature and humidity you will tend to sweat more. With the increased fluid intake and sweating you also tend to flush out of your system essential minerals, salts etc. This is why it is important to use electrolytes, salt replacements and Glucose type products.

In addition to electrolytes, salt replacements and Glucose type products, water purifying tablets are also recommended. The water is generally very good along the track but always check with the Trek Master or Trek Leader about the quality of the water. We only source our water from the streams that do not pass through any villages or campsites. With the different environments, conditions, food and water, upset stomachs, vomiting and diarrhoea can occur.

Please Note: Please ensure you bring adequate medication as outlined on our personnel first aid kit page.

What are the meals like on the trek?

Getaway Trekking takes pride in our food and has recently undergone a major upgrade in this area. We have a Catering Manager in Port Moresby who provides delicious and nutritious meals for the track.

We do need to be advised when booking if there are any particular dietary requirements. We do our best to manage your requirements but please be aware we are operating in a third world country where availability is limited. Please be proactive if you have specific issues and discuss them sooner rather than later. We will generally be able to work through a solution with you.

In Port Moresby, it is often quite difficult to source products that are gluten free or suitable for vegans. We will discuss this with you, but previous trekkers have found they prefer to provide much of their own food, to be sure they remain well on the track.

The Trek Master and the team organise cook all your meals. They also take care of the washing up. The carriers are also well catered for with food on the track. You are more than welcome to assist in meal preparation. It will give you an even better feel for the culture of PNG.

Our Typical Menu

  • Breakfast: We have cereals, usually Weet-Bix or Porridge, Muesli, Rice Cakes with spread and limited fruits depending on availability, tea, coffee, biscuits, sometimes pancakes and damper.
  • Lunch: Is usually noodle soups, and a smorgasbord of dry biscuits, spreads, tinned meats, cheese, baked beans and fruit
  • Dinner: We use a combination of delicious PNG developed recipes, supplemented with rice or pasta. Where possible, we purchase fresh local vegetables to add to the meal.

Please Note: You need to take your own snacks such as energy bars, sweet lollies etc.

Where do we stay on the trek?

Along the track we will stay in guesthouse accommodation provided by local landowners. The quality varies, but the style is similar to the photo shown – generally one large room where everyone bunks in together.

Although it is rare there is no guesthouse available, all reputable trek operators will carry alternative accommodation. We carry two types:

  1. A ‘bivvy’ – a ground sheet, and a large tarp overhead; effectively a large communal open air tent. The bivvy is great fun as it enhances group dynamic with everyone together.
  2. We also carry tents for those who prefer – sometimes our clients use tents for just one or two nights if they are particularly tired, are feeling a little unwell, or just need a bit of personal space. We don’t ask people to share tents as the guesthouse or bivvy provides that option already.

What will conditions be like on the trek route?

The conditions on the track vary due to the changes in the season, which are broken up into the dry season and the wet season. These seasons also have sub or ‘fringe’ seasons.

The dry season is normally from late May to late October, though good conditions can still be expected in April and November. It is possible to get rain and consequently mud on the track during any season or month.

The temperature will range from 24-28 degrees under the canopy and up to 32 degrees out in the open areas. The night time temperature will range from 18 degrees in the lower sections down to 8 degrees in the higher areas of the Owen Stanley’s.

Late November, December, January, February and March are wet and muddy, and it is likely these times will be unsuitable for trekking.

Toilet facilities - what are they like in Papua New Guinea on a trek?

The facilities on the track are very basic at best. Toilets on the track and in the villages are known as ‘long drops’ and ‘short drops’. These are simple, deep pits or short pits that have been dug in the ground for use as toilets. Some villages have made an attempt to create toilet seats, however you should not assume these are clean. These facilities have a roof and screen over them for privacy.

You do need to take your own toilet paper (2-3 rolls). We also suggest a pack of “wet ones”. Please bring biodegradable products in line with Trek Kokoda Track by Getaway Trekking & Adventures’s environmental policy of being eco friendly.

Very often the village will have a river for showering and washing facilities, if not a simple water pipe is used to flow the water onto the trekker for washing. We ask that you “soap up” on the bank and pour water over you so that soap does not enter the river. Washing of clothes should be done in the same manner and not in the river. There are no specific changing rooms on the track or in the villages, but showers will generally have a screen for privacy.

Is it safe to trek in Papua New Guinea?

Getaway Trekking is committed to your safety both on the track and “in country”.

All of our leaders require a current Wilderness First Aid qualification in order to accompany trekkers on an expedition in Papua New Guinea.

If needed, all staff can make stretchers. We carry satellite phones with direct contact with the evacuation helicopter & medical assistance, and we are in regular contact with our Office. Our National Trek Master and Trek Manager ensure all trekkers safety in crossing rivers and difficult areas. General safety on the track is very good, and the risk of incidents is very minimal.

In Port Moresby it is highly recommended not to travel alone and certainly not at night as Port Moresby has some violence and petty crime. Take a guide with you when exploring, and ensure you stay away from Settlement areas. Travel with caution and more importantly, use common sense.

Getaway Trekking leaders carry a satellite phone on all Papua New Guinea treks. The purpose of the satellite phone is for emergency use only – it is not available for clients use. It is used to ring in to the office with updates, flight information or used in an emergency (where a helicopter may be needed).

As there is no electricity along the trail we cannot charge the battery. The Trek Master or Trek Leader may only switch the phone on a couple of times a day (to save the battery). The battery is fully charged before the trek starts.

Giving back - do you recommend taking gifts for locals?

Getaway Trekking donates AUD$25 per booking to the Kokoda Track Foundation for community projects in Buna & Sanananda for each trekker who traverses the Kokoda Track.

Staff and clients of Getaway Trekking have been regular and welcome visitors to Buna for the 14 years we have been in operation. During this time we have assisted both financially and physically with village infrastructure works in Buna, and continue to work with village representatives on appropriate projects for their community.

As you trek along in Papua New Guinea (PNG) you may feel that you too would like to provide gifts or donations to children and villages along the journey. If this is the case, you may wish to be prepared prior to arriving in PNG. We discourage plastics and encourage more usable items such as educational materials; pens, coloured pencils etc. Sports equipment is always a big hit and biodegradable balloons always create a smile.

Please Note: Should you wish to provide gifts, please remember to be very conscious of extra weight in your pack.

How much spending money should I plan to take with me?

On the track you need to take local currency (PNG Kina) with you. Most things on the track will cost between 5-10 PNG Kina i.e. bunch of bananas, photo with Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel family members, can of Coke. The local villages do not have change to give you, therefore lots of small change  is best. Past clients have comfortably managed with AUD$100 (converted to PNG Kina) for their time on the track.

We also recommend you budget approximately AUD$200 for your time in Port Moresby. This will cover expenses such as additional food and drinks you may require, laundry, international phone calls ect.