14 Aug 2012

Released climbers aware of Papua risks

3:04 pm on 14 August 2012

A New Zealand climber says a group who were detained by a local militia in Indonesia's Papua province went to the area with their eyes open.

The group of ten, including four New Zealanders, were in the restive province to climb Mount Carstensz.

They were confronted by a group of men armed with machetes and bows and arrows, and held for several hours.

The expedition's leader, Mike Roberts, says even the group's local guide was surprised by the aggression shown.

"The New Zealand travel advisory does a good job, and I think everybody in our group went in there with eyes open. They knew their were conflicts happening. The norm is that the separatist group is smart enough to know that to give their cause credibility, they should keep away from tourists."

Mike Roberts says the group has abandoned the attempt to climb the mountain, but at least some of them will attempt it again.