Living It Up at the Goroka Festival, Papua New Guinea

Surely you’re here for the photos? I hope so, since this is going to be mostly a photo post.

But first: essential information.

The Goroka Festival is an annual festival (in it’s 61st year in 2017.) It was begun by colonial administrators (known as Kiaps) from Australia. They wanted to showcase the incredible diversity in Papua New Guinea, but also to try and decrease the violence and conflict between tribes. It’s since taken on a life of it’s own. It happens every year near Independence Day in PNG in the Central Highlands area. There are thousands of people involved partly due to the combined celebrations with Independence Day. It’s a serious party.

Tribe at the Goroka Festival Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea can be an intimidating destination. It’s not because of the people. Most people are warm, friendly, and welcoming. As a bonus for me, many speak English thanks to missionaries. No, the location is intimidating because the infrastructure outside of Port Moresby is still developing. In many ways this makes an extra intriguing place to visit because it’s so different. But if tons of potholes, very basic hotels, and no recognizable internationally branded shops freaks you out – brace yourself.

I delayed my trip to PNG a few times because I was having a terrible time finding enough information online to plan it myself. And outside of Port Moresby there isn’t much in the way of reviews. Even within the capital it’s still a bit light. Which again, heralds how this country is still incredibly independent, special, and relatively unknown. Yay! Exciting! And yet… really hard to plan. Eventually broke down and hired a tour operator to plan everything.

Fate led me to the perfect tour operator for me though. I traveled with Crooked Compass and would highly recommend them.

Enough on logistics though… here is the black and white series from the Goroka Festival 2017.

Tribe Goroka Festival Papua New Guinea

Really want the color version? Check out my instagram here.


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