About Us / Contact Us
ABOUT US
Papua New Guinea is one of the last places in the world where discerning visitors can escape from the beach-and-palm tree tourist crowds to experience traditional stone-age cultures and some of the most spectacular geography and wildlife on earth.
To do this you need to leave the comfort and convenience of city hotels and stay in the smaller, more basic village guest houses, rainforest lodges and beach bungalows which are scattered across the country in places your local travel agent has never heard of. Away from the hot, dusty streets of Port Moresby and Lae, away from a la carte menus and airconditioned tour buses, away from electricity, telephones and TV: this is where you will come face to face with "ol grasruts manmeri bilong Papua Niugini" (the grassroots people of PNG) and the fascinating natural and cultural environments in which they live. This, of course, is the real Papua New Guinea.
And this is our turf.
With so much ground to cover in a country of this size, travellers with limited time often need a hand to plan a realistic itinerary. Ecotourism Melanesia is here to help. We may not have the most fancy website but here you will find a selection of well designed tour programs suitable for both groups and independent travellers wanting to see the real PNG and not just a tourist show in the hotel.
Most of our "published" packages can be modified to suit individual interests, or we can start from scratch and build a customised itinerary just for you.
Our tour offerings are unique because we specialise in remote area travel and we patronise the smaller village lodges, guest houses and homestays all over rural PNG. We handle complex arrangements (and yes, all the "weird stuff") that some other tour companies shy away from.
Our company policy on responsible ecotourism ensures that your tourism dollars and any small gifts you might wish to bring for village schools, clinics or churches all yield direct benefits to village communities.

Plus we're available 24 hours a day to help.

PNG is often referred to as the "Land of the Unexpected", which we usually take to mean "full of pleasant surprises" :) but can also remind us that something as simple as a change in the weather can quickly thwart meticulous forward planning. Our Port Moresby office offers 24-hour support including assistance with reorganising your travel arrangements if required, passing on urgent messages from home and even sending on your prescription pills that you left behind in your hotel :)
We
invite you to explore exotic Papua New Guinea in Ecotourism Melanesia's capable hands.


CONTACT DETAILS
Ecotourism Melanesia Ltd
Lot 7 Moisana St, Korobosea, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
(All mail to: PO Box 531 Gordons, NCD, PNG)
Phone (+675) 7056 7277 or 7700 5066 (local business hours)
Director's cell phone (24 hours but please be kind) (+675) 7686 8917
E-mail ecotourism.melanesia@gmail.com

Please note there is no street delivery of mail in Papua New Guinea. All mail must be addressed to our PO Box. Only courier deliveries should be directed to our street address.

ACCREDITATIONS
Foundation member of the Tour Operators Association of PNG Inc

Foundation member of the Kokoda Trekking Operators Association Inc

Foundation member of the Community-Based Tourism Foundation of PNG

Corporate member of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation

Licensed by the Kokoda Track Authority as a Kokoda Track trek operator (Lic #028)

Recognised by the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority

Accredited accommodation wholesaler for the Coral Sea Hotels group

Accredited supplier to Blue Holidays (Virgin Australia airline group)

Public Liability insurance policy issued by Kanda International insurance Port Moresby

 

OUR STORY
Ecotourism Melanesia is a boutique inbound tour operator specialising in ecotourism experiences in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Our aim is to encourage overseas visitors to travel to the rural areas so that more tourism dollars will go directly into the pockets of local people, giving them a viable alternative to less enviro-friendly forms of income like logging and mining. The company was established in 2003 and is privately owned by Aaron Hayes, an Australian teacher and psychologist who developed an interest in community-based ecotourism after working in the education sectors of Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea for many years and developing strong ties with local people at the village level.

With full time staff at our office in Port Moresby plus many part-time tour guides in the provinces, Ecotourism Melanesia is one of the well known and trusted inbound tour operators in Papua New Guinea ... big enough to rely on, small enough to cater to the interests of individual travellers. Ecotourism Melanesia is a founding member of the Tour Operators Association of PNG, the body overseeing professional standards in the inbound tour industry in Papua New Guinea, and a corporate member of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

We offer a range of standard and individualised eco-holiday packages for free independent travellers (FIT) and escorted tours for small groups. All our published tours are originally designed and programmed by our director over thousands of man-hours and 99% of the images used on our website are our own photos taken by our staff and clients during the course of their tours. If you find any similarly worded itineraries or tour descriptions offered by other tour companies you can be sure these have been lifted from Ecotourism Melanesia and not vice-versa.

We also provide customised arrangements for individual clients and groups with special interests (eg volcano climbers) or special requirements (eg logistics for film crews, research teams, volunteer groups). In Port Moresby where we are based, we provide transfers and day trips, plus ground-handling services for other tour operators, visiting passenger vessels and groups travelling by private charter aircraft. From our Port Moresby office our tour coordinators monitor your tour arrangements on a daily basis to ensure that everything proceeds as smoothly as possible, and we provide 24-hour telephone support in case of any problems arising. Ecotourism Melanesia carries public liability insurance. Some testimonials from clients who have travelled with us can be found here.

Ecotourism Melanesia has a responsible tourism policy supporting community-based tourism. All tours and packages arranged by this company must include at least one overnight or day trip to a village or other rural attraction operated by local people. This enables us to contribute in a systematic way to the rural economy, which encourages village dwellers to develop a sustainable livelihood in their home areas, where they can draw on the plentiful resources of the land and sea for their food, building materials etc, rather than migrating to urban areas like Port Moresby where high unemployment and poverty are prevalent.

See Aaron's views on village ecotourism as published in Islands Business magazine here.

Separately, Aaron serves on the committee of the Community-Based Tourism Foundation of Papua New Guinea, a charity organisation that aims to help rural village people establish guest houses, hiking trails, birdwatching areas, cultural entertainment groups and so on that will enable them to earn a living from tourism. Donations to help CBTF operate its training and development programs are welcome.

In 2007, Aaron also founded the Kokoda Trekking Operators Association which provides training and support to small local PNG operators running treks along the Kokoda Trail to help them compete with the big overseas-based trekking companies.

 

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