Adelbert Range Extension
30 July - 4 August 2025
Tour length: 5 days
Group size limit: 6
Dani Lopez-Velasco and local guides
Day 1: After early arrivals into Port Moresby, we will catch a midday flight to Lae for an overnight stay.
Day 2: This morning we will board our charter flight and glide over the Huon Peninsula to land at Wasu on the north coast. We will be driven up to the safari-style permanent camp in 4WDs and commence our exploration of this wonderful area.
Day 3-4-5: The Huon Peninsula is most famous for three endemic birds-of-paradise species, all of which we expect to see during our stay! At lower elevations, Emperor Bird-of-paradise lek in the crowns of tall forest trees, betraying their precence with an irregular cacaphony of sound. On the mid-slopes, we will visit a display court of the transformative Wahnes’s Parotia and hopefully witness the incredible ballerina display of this stunning species. Higher up, the incredibly long-tailed Huon Astrapia can often be found by waiting at fruiting trees for the male to make his rounds.
There are three other endemic birds on the Huon Peninsula, with the recently-split Huon Bowerbird hopefully pinned down at a bower for us, while the incredible Spangled Honeyeater is usually found at the highest point on the road. Maybe a Huon Melidectes will appear to give us the clean-sweep, but this species prefers inacessible higher altitudes and only ventures down on occasion.
Plenty of other birds are found in this forest, which is probably the best accessible site in New Guinea to see the unique Pesquet’s Parrot, and the monotypic Mottled Berryhunter, both of which are easy to miss elsewhere on the island. Other species include Mountain Peltops, Mountain Kingfisher, White-bellied Thicket Fantail, Forbes’s Forest Rail, Tit Berrypecker, Black-mantled Goshawk, Blue-capped Ifrit, Greater Lophorina, White-eared Bronze Cuckoo, Brehm’s Tiger Parrot, Papuan Lorikeet, Fairy Lorikeet, Ornate Fruit Dove, Great Cuckoo-Dove, Rufescent Imperial Pigeon, Cinnamon-browed Melidectes, Red-collared Myzomela, Rufous-backed, Black-throated and Mountain Honeyeaters, Papuan Sittella, Buff-faced Scrubwren, Black-breasted Boatbill, Stout-billed Cuckooshrike, Brown-backed and Regent Whistlers, Black and Friendly Fantails, Canary Flyrobin, Black-throated and Slaty Robins.
Day 6: Today we fly back to Lae for an overnight stay near the airport.
Day 7: Flying back to Port Moresby, we will overnight near the airport.
Day 8: Onwards to Manus Island, eagerly anticipating one of the star birds of the region!
Day 9-10: The rarely-visited Manus Island in the Admiralty Group holds ten endemics, of which the near-legendary Superb Pitta will be our most-wanted quarry. Sporting contrasting black, red and turquoise plumage, many regard this species as the most beautiful pitta in the world! The others endemics we will find here are Meek’s Pygmy Parrot, Manus Boobook, Manus Dwarf Kingfisher, Manus Cuckooshrike, Admiralty Cicadabird, Manus Friarbird, Manus Fantail and Manus Monarch. Manus Masked Owl has not been seen since the 1930’s, but we might try our luck anyway!
Day 11: After a final morning of birding, we’ll take an afternoon flight back to Port Moresby for overnight.
Day 12: This morning we board a short flight onwards to Alotau at the far south-eastern tip of the island. Afternoon birding will see us searching for Orange-fronted Hanging Parrot and Orange-fronted Fruit-Dove. The restricted-range Silver-eared Honeyeater and attractive eastern form of Chestnut-breasted Mannikin are common in our hotel gardens!
Day 13: Boarding our comfortable liveaboard dive boat, this morning we sail towards Fergusson Island in the D’Entrecasteaux archipelago. On the way, we will make a quick stop at a small island in the Goschen Straight where Louisiade White-eye can be found at the edge of its range.
Day 14: Arriving overnight at a secluded bay, we will make our way ashore and spend all day birding lowland forest on Fergusson Island. The gorgeous Goldie’s Bird-of-Paradise and the bizarre Curl-crested Manucode will be our main targets, along with the very distinct forms of Yellow-billed Kingfisher and Papuan Pitta. If we can find a vehicle we will try for Oya Tabu White-eye and Fergusson Pheasant Pigeon, but realistically seeing either of these would require a logistical miracle!
Day 15: After a morning of birding we will sail back to Alotau.
Day 16: Disembarking and heading to the airport for a flight to Port Moresby, the main tour will end around lunchtime at the international airport. Those continuing on the extension will fly to Madang on the north coast.
ADELBERT RANGE EXTENSION
Day 1: Onward flight to Madang, where we will transfer in 4WDs to the fabulous Keki Lodge in the Adelbert Mountains for a four night stay. Very few birders visit this exciting area, but our excellent host Moyang is always very excited to welcome us back!
Day 2-3-4: The basic but homely wooden lodgings at Keki are set right in the middle of well-preserved hill forest, and much of the birding can be done from the deck! The star attraction here is the endemic Fire-maned Bowerbird, which often sits up high on dead sticks to advertise his prescence, and feeds in a fig tree above the dining hall. There is a small chance that Moyang will have found us a bower to stake out too, so we will cross our fingers! There will also be the opportunity to visit both a Lesser Bird-of-paradise lek, and a hide overlooking a court of the resident male Magnificent Bird-of-paradise. With patience, there is a good chance to see both these spectacular species in display if a female pops by!
Venturing down some of the small trails we will be on the lookout for the exquisite Banded Yellow Robin (much like a flashy version of the Australian counterparts!), Brown-headed Jewel-babbler, Tan-capped Catbird, and Collared Brushturkey. Sometimes the lodge grounds are visited by the rare Obscure Berrypecker and Forest Honeyeater, while other scarce birds in the area which we might chance across include Northern Cassowary and Victoria Crowned Pigeon. Otherwise, there will be plenty of more widespread New Guinea birds to entertain us, such as Dusky Lory, Black-capped Lory, Dwarf Fruit-Dove, Grey Crow, Blyth’s Hornbill, Long-billed Honeyeater, Ochre-collared Monarch, Sepik-Ramu Shrike-thrush, and the poisonous Hooded Pitohui. The leader is very keen to venture out at night here to look for some rare mammals, and anyone is welcome to join him!
Day 5: After spending the first half of the day at Keki we will return to Madang for an overnight stay. An afternoon outing might allow us to find the range-restricted Edward’s Fig Parrot near town, but this species is always tricky to pin down.
Day 6: The tour ends this morning after a flight back to Port Moresby where we will say our farewells at the international airport.
Cost: $ 8,400
Deposit: $ 1,500
Single room supplement: $ 750
Cost: $ 2,700
Deposit: $ 750
Single room supplement: $ 150
Accommodation: Comfortable hotels in the towns, comfortable liveaboard diveboat during the Fergusson leg, and a comfortable but basic permanent tented-camp with shared facilities and cold water in the Huon. Keki Lodge on the extension is a basic but pleasant guesthouse with shared facilities and cold water.
Walking difficulty: Lots of the birding on this tour is roadside, so for the majority of the time only minimal physical effort is required. Some short walks and trails to access hides and overlooks will be steep and/or muddy, so good balance is essential to ensure full participation. Due to the remote nature of the sites, please be aware that there will be a few lengthy drives on bumpy roads in uncomfortable vehicles. The access road to Keki on the extension is sometimes undrivable, in which case there would be a 3km uphill walk required up the dirt road to reach the lodge (but porters would be carrying all our gear for us).
Tour cost includes: All accommodation, main meals, drinking water, internal flights (as stated in itinerary), overland transport, tips to local drivers and guides, travel permits, entrance fees, and guide fees.
Tour cost excludes: Flights before and after the tour start/end, visa, travel insurance, tips to tour leaders, laundry, drinks and other items of a personal nature.