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Brilliant Adventure are a travel team made up of Adam and Briohny Frew, and recently, their (almost) two-year old daughter, Ruby. The team/family recently took their adventures to Papua New Guinea, and we were lucky enough to chat with them about their experience.
Adam and Briohny met in Cairns, Australia in 2011, where they now live, and while they each travelled on their own prior to their meeting, their shared passion for travelling intensified once they were able to travel together. They began travelling together with a trip to Bali in 2012, and a few trips later, while lying on a beach in Thailand, the pair decided to open an Instagram account and the idea for Brilliant Adventure was born. You can find them on Instagram (@brilliantadventure), Facebook (www.facebook.com/brilliantadventure and on Twitter (@frooktraveltrio).
The recently married couple began introducing their daughter to the world of travel at a very young age, taking her on her very first camping trip at only a few months old. Since then, they’ve brought her along on all sorts of adventures, including an 80 day trip around the USA and, most recently, their visit to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands (where the couple decided to elope!) this past November. They’ll be taking her to New Zealand shortly as well, so young Ruby is well on her way to being one of the most well-travelled toddlers around.
Brilliant Adventure’s visit to Papua New Guinea was a part of a cruise with P&O Cruises on the cruise ship Pacific Eden. Their cruise operated out of Cairns and took them to both Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands over 10 days. This cruise caught their interest as it seemed like a perfect opportunity to get an introduction to some places they thought they might never have the chance to see.
Although their visit was a brief three days, they found the people of Papua New Guinea to be the friendliest they had ever met. They dove into the culture and had a great experience learning about PNG’s history and culture, all while enjoying the sights and admiring the beautiful scenery.
Brilliant Adventure sings nothing but praises about their experience in PNG, telling us they “did not have one bad experience”. They did note, however, that many people visiting on a cruise such as the one they arrived on might feel as though they had stepped into another world with the contrast in infrastructure, but that was exactly what they loved so much about Papua New Guinea.
When asked what piqued their interest in visiting Papua New Guinea, Adam and Briohny told us they’d had their eye on PNG since they first began travelling together in 2012. They were drawn to Papua New Guinea as it represented the “big unknown” to them, but that also posed some challenges. Because of the perceived difficulty and unfamiliarity of PNG, the Frews were unsure they’d ever have the opportunity to visit. That is, however, until they came across the P&O Cruise, which turned out to be the perfect introduction to Papua New Guinea and its unknown treasures.
Prior to stumbling on this cruise opportunity, they knew very little about what there was to do or see in PNG; they had met other travelers who highly recommended the Kokoda Trail, but beyond that, it really was the great unknown. But Adam had had the opportunity to work with some people from Papua New Guinea, and the stories about their homeland were intriguing enough to spark the Frews’ interest.
While visiting Papua New Guinea, they were able to visit Alotau, Kiriwina Island and Rabaul. The culture and art in PNG, they told us, was unique from anywhere they had previously experienced, but did hold some similarities to the nearby Torres Strait of Australia and the Solomon Islands. However, they clarified that while there were some similarities to be seen in regard to the culture, they were really only due to geographic proximity; as Adam said, “the three cultures were also unique in their own right.”
Brilliant Adventure told us that they would definitely recommend this cruise as a way to visit Papua New Guinea. They found it a perfect way to visit some places they wouldn’t have gotten to see otherwise, and a perfect introduction to Papua New Guinea (which they also wholeheartedly recommend visiting in general, after their wonderful experience).
Their favourite place in Papua New Guinea was Rabaul, a “beautiful place” where they loved the scenery, specifically the palm trees dotted along the hills and volcano. “We really enjoyed the markets and walking up to the lookout going [past] the Japanese tunnels. We enjoyed learning about the history in relation to the war and the volcano eruptions while reflecting on those affected by the tragic events.”
As for travelling with their daughter, the Frews say they “loved how fascinated and caring everyone was with Ruby”; people were so interested in Ruby that they would stop to watch her, some people even wanting to touch her – and Ruby loved the attention. Other than this, in comparison with other places they’d travelled with Ruby, they found Papua New Guinea no different or more challenging than travelling with a child anywhere else.
When asked what they would say to someone else interested in visiting PNG, their answer was “just go, you will have such a great unique experience because you feel that you are some of the first visitors ever to explore there.”
“We will definitely visit Papua New Guinea again after only having a small taste of it. We are even thinking of visiting there and the Solomon Islands again in November for our first year wedding anniversary.” They’re also still drawn to the Kokoda Track, hoping to return to see it in the next few years for another Brilliant Adventure.