With its complex cultures and almost no tourism infrastructure, Papua New Guinea is a destination for real adventurers! Step off the beaten tourist paths and discover the striking natural beauty of this unknown country in Oceania.
The island of New Guinea, of which Papua New Guinea is the eastern part, is only one-ninth as big as Australia, yet it has just as many mammal species, and more kinds of birds and frogs. In the Torricelli Mountains in north-western part of the country you'll have a chance to see the tree kangaroos climbing in the rainforest canopy. Walk the Kokoda Track to experience one of the world's most spectacular and challenging treks. This ancient trail across the Owen Stanley Range became especially famous for its part in WWII. The 5-day hike includes plenty of ups and downs between mountain ridges, muddy hills, traditional villages and streams. Madang is a great place for scuba diving of all levels.
In Port Moresby, located in south eastern New Guinea, you can immerse yourself in the Melanesian atmosphere. In the capital city of PNG you can visit the National Parliament House, PNG's most impressive building. Other highlights for visitors include the National Museum and Art Gallery and Bomana War Cemetery. There are also interesting zoological gardens, like Port Moresby Nature Park and The National Botanical Gardens.
Photo: Michal Knitl, Shutterstock
Where to stay:
In Port Moresby, we encourage you to stay at Gateway Hotel with good reviews. Offering a swimming pool, 2 restaurants and 2 bars, Gateway Hotel is located across the road from Jacksons International Airport, 5 minutes’ drive from the government precinct of Waigani and 10 minutes’ drive from the CBD. All rooms offer a desk and a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Guests enjoy a free 24/7 airport shuttle.
In Madang we recommend you to book Madang Lodge Hotel. This well-rated hotel offers 16 Budget Rooms, consisting of single beds and fans with a shared bathroom and access to the orchid garden courtyard. The lodge offers five Morota Rooms consisting two free standing Cottages and three Standard Family Size Rooms consisting of single and double beds to accommodate four guests per room. Each of these rooms are air conditioned, with televisions, en-suites, tea / coffee facilities, a refrigerator, guest phone (STD and IDD), sea views and garden views. In addition, the lodge has 14 Garden Terrace Rooms consisting of two single beds or one double bed. These rooms are air conditioned, with a television, en-suite, tea /coffeefacilities, a refrigerator, a guest phone STD-IDD and sea-view.
What to do:
With limited tourism infrastructure, Papua New Guinea is a bit challenging destination.
If you can afford it, go flightseeing around some of the remote airstrips of PNG.
Discover the surrounding picturesque white sandy islands. Take a day trip out to the Duke of York Islands and spot dolphins and flying fish.
Papua New Guinea has some of the very best tropical reef diving anywhere in the word. Its magnificent coastline is world famous for its superb visibility. Explore the colourful reefs and dramatic drop-offs beneath the ocean.
The lagoons around the islands provide all-weather canoeing, wind surfing and water skiing and are a haven for visiting yachts.
Madang was the centre of heavy fighting during World War II, and there are 34 sunken ship dive sites to explore at Hansa Bay, near Bogia. There are underwater wrecks of Japanese fighter planes, and mesmerising coral gardens are home to a variety of rare species of colourful fish. Madang is also known for its excellent fishing and surfing.
Around Alotau you can snorkel alongside massive manta rays, go dolphin spotting or learn both the Australian and Papua New Guinean history of the area.
Kavieng is also known for beautiful beaches, clear blue waters, world-class diving and surfing.
For a unique adventure, cycle down the Boluminski Highway visiting local villages and taking in the stunning scenery, or go fishing.
The volcanically created fjords that tower over the clear waters are perfect for kayaking.
Take long canoe ride up the Sepik River and its tributaries to visit the impressive Haus Tambaran’s.
The Wahgi River is considered one of the best white-water rafting destinations in the world.
Bougainville has many rushing rivers and adjacent cave systems. The area is ripe for exploratory kayaking.
Go trekking through the mountains. Hire a local guide and climb Mount Wilhelm, Papua New Guinea’s highest mountain (4 509 m / 14,880 feet). It is relatively easy but 3-4 days are recommended to allow for sightseeing. From the peak you can enjoy the views of both the north and south coasts of New Guinea.
Have fun at Adventure Park PNG in Port Moresby.
PNG is a birdwatching mecca with over 700 species of birds including many birds of paradise.
Explore the Nissan Island (Green Island), the myriad tiny island about 100 km north of Buka Island. There is an American WWII airstrip and a swimming pool that was apparently built for President Richard Nixon.
In the Louisiade Archipelago you can expect world-class diving and yachting heaven.
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