Goroka Festival

Goroka Festival

tourhub | Crooked Compass | Goroka Festival | 2616
tourhub | Crooked Compass | Goroka Festival | 2616 tourhub | Crooked Compass | Goroka Festival | 2616


tourhub | Crooked Compass | Goroka Festival | 2616


tourhub | Crooked Compass | Goroka Festival | 2616
4 Days



Goroka Festival

4 Days Starting and ending in Goroka, Papua New Guinea

Visiting: Goroka

Tour operator:

Crooked Compass

Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

2 - 12

Physical rating:


Special diets catered:


Tour operated in:
Trip Styles:

Active, Special Events

$3570 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$188

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

Witness a traditional cane swallowing ceremonyExperience two days at the Goroka Festival - Papua New Guinea's biggest sing-singVisit the Tumbuna market for local handicraftsDelve into tribal and WWII history at the McCarthy MuseumExperience one of the largest tribal gatherings in the world with more than 100 tribes participating in the event which attracts thousands of local participants in traditional dress delivering an insight into hidden customs. Performing extraordinary displays of traditional song, rituals and dance whilst decked out in unique costumes, glorious colours and stunning face paintings, the tribes show off their distinct cultures with an undeniable passion. Join us as we experience the Goroka Festival - Papua New Guinea's biggest sing-sing.


  • Witness a traditional cane swallowing ceremony

  • Experience two days at the Goroka Festival – Papua New Guinea’s biggest sing-sing

  • Visit the Tumbuna market for local handicrafts

  • Delve into tribal and WWII history at the McCarthy Museum


Expand All
Day 1 : Arrival Goroka
Location: Goroka
Accommodation: Lodge
Accommodation Name: the Emanuel Lodge or similar
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Welcome to Papua New Guinea. Upon arrival in Goroka, you will be met at the airport on arrival and transferred to your hotel.

Following lunch at the hotel, head to Keiya village. Here you will witness some incredible cultural performances including the ‘Cane Swallowing’ ceremony of boys initiation where a cane rope is pushed into their stomach through their mouth to cleanse themselves as an initiation ceremony. Often referred to as Dring Kol Wara (Drink Cold Water) by the Bena people of Eastern Highlands, the initiation is practised only by men. In previous times, women were never allowed to know about it, much less see it.

The cane is carefully carved to achieve a smooth surface to allow easy ingestion. With careful preparations, final touches are made to bend the cane into a U-shape before hanging it to dry in kitchen huts. It is dried for about one month before being used. Every now and then the dried cane is taken out and left in water to regain moisture to maintain its outer covering. Its length may vary from two to three metres.
The initiation period may last for two to three months, depending on the amount of pork available for meals in the ‘haus man’. Mothers of young boys cry for their sons as they are taken away to learn their custom and embrace manhood.

During the course of this initiation, initiates are required to lie on their back, face-up, to sleep as it is believed that that will straighten and elongate the intestines in preparation for the Neheya. Meals provided for the initiates comprise of only pork fat and boiled kaukau (sweet potato), believing that this dish, also known as hosamaya, ensures the smooth passing of the cane along the digestive tract. It is prepared only by elderly women who have gone past menopause. To witness this ancient practice, is a rare experience.

Return to your hotel for dinner.

Day 2 : Goroka Festival
Location: Goroka
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy an early breakfast as you depart at 7:30am to get your bearing at the festival. The sing-sing groups start to arrive from 9am. You will be in awe at their body decorations, colourful traditional costumes and vibrant face painting. Learn about the different types of costumes and their significance in the cultures of these people.

Colours, kundu drums and chanting explore your senses as thousands of warriors, all dressed in their very finest traditional regalia, performing and dancing and in sing-sing. Each group, with their own cultures and languages vow to outclass the other groups. Walk among the dancers, shake their hands and meet them.

Following the festival, you will be transferred to the Tumbuna market for the opportunity to purchase locally made handicrafts before returning to your hotel late in the afternoon.

Day 3 : Goroka Festival
Location: Goroka
Accommodation: Lodge
Accommodation Name: the Emanuel Lodge or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning you will enjoy another festival day at the arena with your guide. A picnic lunch will be provided so you do not miss any of the action.

After the festival at approx. 3.00pm, you will visit the McCarthy Museum just near the showground.

The museum’s main collections are artifacts and specimens from the Highlands region including wooden dishes, stone mortars, stone blades, magic stones and sandstones for making stone blades. There are also some WWII relics on display including a P-39 Airacobra.

Day 4 : Departure
Location: Goroka
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast at 7:00am, you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Port Moresby (flight not included).

What's Included

  • Meet and greet service on arrival

  • 3 nights accommodation

  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners

  • English speaking translator

  • All activities as per itinerary

  • Entrance fees, sightseeing and permits

  • Private transportation

What's Not Included

  • International and domestic flights

  • Visas

  • Travel and medical insurance

  • All services, meals other than those indicated above

  • Personal porters

  • Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program.

  • All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc

Check out our Q&As

  • Is there a supplement for solo travellers?

    Yes, Single Supplement will be chargeable at AUD$ 745.00

  • What is the minimum group size?

    The min group size is 2 people.

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    Entrance fees, sightseeing and permits are included.

  • What is the fitness level required to do this tour?

    This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    International and domestic flights are not included.

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    As detailed in itinerary.

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes, The local guides on the tour is English speaking

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes. Focusing on providing authentic experiences where ever you are in the world, Crooked Compass has access to a vast array of accommodation styles. From boutique properties in larger cities to local guest houses and home stays within small villages. Crooked Compass ensures that local authenticity flows through your accommodation throughout your tour without compromising standard.

  • What sort of transportation is used for your tours?

    Transportation utilised on a Crooked Compass escorted small group tour is a combination of a private air conditioned vehicle and local transport where appropriate. This may include a local bus ride, use of the cities metro system, a domestic flight to another city or overnight train ride.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Crooked Compass strives to be a leader in sustainable tourism. Crooked Compass is firmly committed to the principles of ethical travel. Our comprehensive Sustainable Tourism Practices policy summarises our commitments and actions. Although the very basis of our ground operations lends itself to the ethos of sustainable tourism, this policy re-iterates our commitment to: Use locally owned hotels Use locally owned ground agents Use local guides and drivers Promote community tourism projects from homestays to craft shops Support charities that work within the destinations that we travel to Carbon offset our travels

  • Who runs your tours and are they experts in their fields?

    Crooked Compass works with the worlds best operators who are specialists in their country, region and cities providing you with in depth local knowledge. We use local guides who live and breathe the areas they work in, making sure you experience their region, their way. We believe it is far better to have a local guide who knows a lot about a little than a text book trained Western tour guide who knows a little about a lot. Using local guides also ensures that money stays within local communities and supports the regions we visit.

  • What can I expect from a Crooked Compass tour that I wouldn't get from travelling with an alternative company?

    Crooked Compass provides a sensory way to understand the world – we help you live like a local, eat like a local, do what the locals do and seek the faces behind the places whilst discovering untouched lands and natural beauty. Crooked Compass tours delve deep into the heart and soul of a destination ensuring you get out of your journey all you intended and much, much more. Our intriguing itineraries have been created by travellers for travellers. Steering travellers to follow a different path, Crooked Compass’ itineraries allow you to experience the world’s most fascinating destinations in ways you never dreamed possible. It brings to life those ‘bucket list’ experiences you have yearned to do and separates the travellers from the tourists. Crooked Compass tours are culturally rich, reward travellers with unexpected encounters and uncommon rendezvous, creating truly unique, authentic travel experiences.

  • Who do your tours cater for?

    Crooked Compass escorted small group tours cater for those who are well travelled seeking the what’s next and what’s new. Our travellers are curious minded soft adventurers who want to uncover something more than the mainstream tourist trail. Crooked Compass tours draw travellers with an interest in sustainable tourism and conservation for the areas they visit. A Crooked Compass traveller is someone who is seeking something fresh and unique, who has a yearning for authenticity and discovery, with an appreciation for cultures, tradition and the natural world. We call them Cultural Purists.

  • I am concerned about my impact on travelling through untouched regions. Can I offset?

    Yes. All travellers on Crooked Compass tours have the option to offset their part of their tour’s carbon footprint by donating $4AUD (tax-deductible) at time of booking. 100% of these funds are donated to Greenfleet, an environmental non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting our climate by restoring our forests. By partnering with Greenfleet, we are confident that our carbon offset program provides genuine and lasting environmental benefits. Your offset donation funds plant trees and restore permanent native forests in Australia and New Zealand. As they grow, these forests provide many community and environmental benefits by absorbing carbon emissions, protecting our unique biodiversity, restoring habitat for native wildlife, preventing soil salinity and erosion, improving water quality and much more. If you’d like to find out more and offset the rest of your carbon emissions, visit www.greenfleet.org.au

Reviews of this Operator

Jeff Rehn  

A wonderful trip to Saudi Arabia organised by Crooked Compass


A wonderful trip to Saudi Arabia organised by Crooked Compass. Considering the country is just opening up to tourism everything went very well - flights, trips, transfers, guides and accommodation - thank you CC - highly recommended

Pauline Mavis Rusby  

We were kept safe at all times.


We were kept safe at all times. When unexpected hurdles appeared they were handled without fuss. Our tour was informative, picturesque and comfortable.

Tina Watts-Seale  

Family holiday to Vietnam


We booked a family holiday to Vietnam with Crooked Compass and it was perfect. The booking process was easy and Lisa took all of our requests on board so that the trip was exactly what we wanted. All flights, transfers, accommodations, guides and activities were fantastic, with great communication throughout the whole trip. Would highly recommend, we will be booking again soon!


Dates & Availability

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Instant Booking Available

Friday - Monday

Sep 13, 2024 - Sep 16, 2024
$3758 $3570 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$188 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Monday

Sep 12, 2025 - Sep 15, 2025
$3830 $3638 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$191 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Crooked Compass requires a minimum deposit of 20% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of crooked compass charges.

    Up to 61 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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