Red Birds-of-Paradise – Leatherback Sea Turtles – Wayag Islands – Wilson’s Birds-of-Paradise – Whale Sharks – Pacific Manta Rays – Green Sea Turtles – Rainforest Treks – Vogelkop Peninsula – Richest Coral Reefs on Earth – Cendrawasih Bay – Coastal Villages


An expedition like no other, join scientist Geoffrey Gearheart for a “naturalist’s expedition”, to one of the most remote and exciting corners of our planet.

The focus is not only on seeing and experiencing, but also on understanding the complex natural interactions at play, and the challenges of preserving unique ecosystems. Because of the positive impact conservation tourism can have in developing countries, part of Geoffrey’s proceeds  is used to directly support conservation projects that you visit during the trip, building a relationship between travellers and local conservation heroes that will last for years to come.


Come aboard the “Phinisi”

Our first expedition to West Papua, Indonesia—the lesser-known half of the Island of New Guinea—is aboard a beautiful “Phinisi” schooner to explore the islands of Raja Ampat, land on the wild beaches of the Bird’s Head Peninsula where giant leatherbacks nest, and to swim with whale sharks in secluded Cendrawasih Bay…

This beautifully crafted wooden ship has five air-conditioned cabins with bathrooms, four of which are equipped with a double and a single bunk, while the fifth cabin in the bow has two single bunks.The Putiraja is manned by a crew of eight. The cook prepares delicious dishes from fresh seafood and produce he sources in the different locations the Putiraja visits. He will also prepare individual meals for those on special diets (vegetarian, gluten free, etc.)

Are you ready to join us on the trip of a lifetime?

Your host:

Geoffrey Gearheart is a marine biologist and oceanographer who has worked in research and conservation in West Papua for over a decade.

From 2005 to 2008, Geoff worked as a biologist for Conservation International, spearheading their Raja Ampat sea turtle conservation program. Over the years, he has developed a keen understanding of Papua’s “big picture”: the interactions between terrestrial and marine ecosystems and the challenges of preserving this unique corner of our planet.

Geoff is drawn to the last virtually unexplored places of our planet and travels to New Guinea and Antarctica to study how powerful processes, such as ocean currents and climate change, influence the ecology of sea turtles and emperor penguins. His passion for these animals has pulled him into the realm of conservation, fully aware that here lies one of the biggest challenges of our generation – how do we reconcile the needs of humans with those of our fragile marine ecosystems?

Tour route: Raja Ampat, Vogelkop & Cendrawasih Bay Expedition
Dates:  18 days / 18 nights ~ 2017 dates available, please contact Back Track Adventures.
Costs: from USD$7000
Group number: Minimum 8, maximum 12


Day  Activity
1 International travel. Overnight in Bali Hotel. Official start of the trip.
2 Meet fellow travellers. Travel to Makassar. Overnight in Makassar Hotel.
3 Travel to Manokwari. Board Putiraja. Start of cruise.
4 Sail to Kwatisore, Cendrawasih Bay. Presentation by Geoff.
5 Kwatisore: whale sharks, Bagan fishing.
6 Whale sharks / Birds-of-Paradise. Snorkeling/SCUBA/exploring. Bagan fishing.
7 Birds-of-Paradise/Village visit. Sail to Vogelkop Peninsula.
8 Transit to Vogelkop Peninsula.
9 Jamursba Medi (Vogelkop): exploration, nesting leatherbacks.
10 Jamursba Medi: forest walk, nesting leatherbacks.
11 Saubeba village visit. Sail to Raja Ampat.
12 Piai Island (Raja Ampat): island discovery, nesting green turtles.
13  Piai Island: snorkeling/SCUBA/birding. Sail to Wayag, exploration of Wayag.
14 Wayag exploration/snorkeling. Sail to Arborek. SCUBA/snorkeling with mantas.
15 Aceleok Bay (Waigeo Island): Red Birds-of-Paradise. Sail to Saporkren (Waigeo).
16 Saporkren: Red & Wilson’s Birds-of-Paradise. Kabui Bay exploration.
17 Sail to Sorong. Arrival in Sorong. Seafood at Promenade, overnight at Hotel.
18 Travel back to Bali. Night at Bali Hotel. Official end of the trip.

Watch the video of Geoff’s amazing adventures below and call Clare at Back Track Adventures to be part of this life-changing experience.



*Photos by: Christine Bull, Caught in Colour /  Videography: