The Man Bush Walk

Unua to Lawa (S.W. Bay)

This hike is featured in Lonely Planet.  There are a couple of options after you reach Labongbong, the one we took was a hilly hike to Lawa.  There is also a longer, flatter road that takes two days to reach Wintua.  It is best to hike with local guides.

Man Bush Walk


Day One:

Unua to Melken


9.32 km

Elevation 94 meters



Walking:         2 hr. 15 min.

Resting:          30 min.

Total                2 hr. 45 min.






Easy walk.  The road is good and clear.  The village is currently working to widen the road so that trucks can pass.  You cross the Paunkumu 12 times, so a lot of river crossings.  Most crossings are shallow, rarely over thigh high.  Heavy rains could make the road unpassable.



Stayed at the Melken woman's club.  Simple.  Mats were placed on the floor for bedding, and food was included.  Only 100 vatu per person.


Day Two:

Melken to Labongbong


17.39 km

Elevation 840 meters (finish at 540 m)



Walking:         6 hrs.

Resting:          2 hrs.

Total               8 hrs.




Difficult.  One very steep climb that gains over 500 meters of elevation very quickly.  There are some river crossings early on, and also areas with soft mud.  There is a fresh water source after the big climb.


Day Three:

Labongbong to Lawa


15.19 km



Walking:         5 hr. 30 min.

Resting:          1 hr.

Total                6 hr. 30 min.




Moderate to Difficult.  Lots of mud.  Three climbs, including one steep one after you cross the Matanoi river.  Gains 300 meters of elevation in less than a kilometer.  There is a large waterfall at the river, which is amazing.  After Lawa we chartered a boat (1,500 vatu) and slept in a small village near Wintua.