Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail heads to Papua, New Guinea — Here’s what you need to know about series’ return

This season in New Guinea, its Parker Schnabel, Sam Brown, Fred Lewis and Karla Ann. Pic credit: Discovery
This season in New Guinea, its Parker Schnabel, Sam Brown, Fred Lewis and Karla Ann. Pic credit: Discovery

Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail is back once again and Season 3 takes us to New Guinea as Parker and everyone but Gold Rush star Rick Ness is joining him from last season.

In this run, Parker and his crew head into the steamy jungles of Papua New Guinea in search of major gold finds. But will he be able to mine in this wet, hot climate where all sorts of predators exist?

Joining Parker Schnabel are Sam Brown, Fred Lewis and Karla Ann. Ness, who was part of the first two runs of this series, is not in the lineup.

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Discovery says that for Schnabel and his team of friends, this mining adventure will be his “biggest adventure yet.”

Where is Parker going?

Parker Schnabel is taking his crew to Papua, New Guinea, which is located in Oceanian (Pacific ocean) and sits on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea.  Located just above Australia, the capital Port Moresby is situated along its southeastern coast and the western half of New Guinea forms the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua.

Parker will be immersed in the tropical highlands of Papua New Guinea in search of gold. The island is made up mountainous terrain covered with green tropical rainforest. The New Guinea Highlands runs the entire leg of the island and the highest peaks even get snowfall. Papua New Guinea Mount Wilhelm tops the highest peak at 14,793 ft.

What is planned for Parker?

In what was described to Monsters & Critics as a “crazy season” by Discovery, Parker will head into remote areas with his crew like he did last year as Parker and his friends head into the jungles of Guyana in search of the legendary “El Dorado” or “Mountain of Gold.”

You can count on the hard lessons and the handling of local unrest in an effort that will have a learning curve for the equally hot and tropical location that Parker finds himself in again.

Why is Parker going?

According to Discovery, there are two reasons for Parker’s trip to New Guinea.

Parker wants to find the purported “motherlode” that is rumored to be in the “toughest, untapped, gold-rich environments in the world” and “without any million-dollar mining equipment.” So less overhead costs equal more profits for Schnabel, who is savvy with money.

The second reason is quite personal: Parker plans to relive and experience what his beloved grandfather went through in the Pacific Theater of World War II. He wants to reconnect with his Grandpa John’s war history.

Official logline from Discovery:

John Schnabel served in the South Pacific while in the Air Force during World War II. He mentored and shared much of his life story and wisdom with young Parker, but divulged little about his wartime experiences. After Pearl Harbor, when John was 24 years old (Parker’s exact age today), he enlisted as a Navy aircraft mechanic, helping the Allied Forces take the fight to the Japanese and change the tide of the war. Parker sees this expedition as an opportunity to gain insight into grandpa John’s past, while he learns to mine with tribes in their diverse territories.

The team going with Parker

This year, Parker has with him survival expert and wilderness guide Karla Ann (this is her third jaunt on Parker’s Trails) as well as British adventure cameraman Sam Brown. New to the team is Special Forces Medic Fred Lewis. He has the military and medical experience to keep the team alive.

The risks of New Guinea

The Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail team could run into some difficulty trying to communicate with the locals. There are around 852 reported languages spoken in the islands.

Risks are off the charts as Parker and his team are really traversing the land off-grid to learn the local mining techniques.

The Clever has a fun article about all the reasons to avoid the area altogether, and they cite the dangerous Cassowary bird, a flightless terror that is second in size only to the ostrich, replete with  “a dagger-like middle toe that is 5-inches in length, perfect to pierce through the human skin without much effort at all.”

Also to worry about are the carnivorous monster lizards, venomous Taipan snakes, banded sea crate snakes, death adders and ultra-aggressive salt-water crocodiles that can come up out of the surf to those unaware on a beach.  Add to this fun list the venomous giant centipedes, tarantulas and monster cockroaches that live up to 10 years and box jellyfish floating all around the island.

What they may encounter are possible earthquakes in this volcanic mountain range, flash floods, landslides and even not-so-welcoming tribesmen.

Good luck Parker, we’ll be watching!

Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail returns Friday, April 5 at 9/8c on Discovery.

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