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Papua New Guinea



Papua New Guinea Travel Guide


The Independent State of Papua New Guinea is a country of 462,840 square kilometres, which borders Indonesia to the west and the Coral Sea to the North, South and East. The area contains around 5.3 million people, who are mainly of Melanesian, Micronesian, Polynesian and Chinese descent and Protestant and Catholic religion. The inhabitants speak English and make their living from copper, silver, gold, coffee, palm oil and logging trading mainly with Japan, Australia and the US.

In 1885, the eastern section of Papua New Guinea was shared between North Germany and the south of the UK, with the latter area being moved to Australia in 1902, which took over the northern part during WWII and continued to manage both areas until independence in 1975. A 9-year secessionist revolution on Bougainville island concluded in 1997 after taking around 20,000 lives.

Hiking is the numero uno pursuit in Papua New Guinea, with walking trails all over the country, the most popular ones being the Kokoda Trail, Mt Wilhelm to Madang, Lake Kopiago to Oksapmin and Wedau to Alotau, remember though that some treks are more strenuous than others. For the wilder bunch canoeing at Sepik and rafting, within the country’s fast flowing mountain rivers is available but visitors must be fit and healthy to do these activities. Diving is also available in Papua New Guinea especially at Wuvulu Island, Kimbe, Kavieng, Milne Bay and Port Moresby, where the calm, clear waters enable divers to see a plentiful supply of marine life. Any surfers out there might get the chance to ride a tube or two down at Wewak from September to January or at Kavieng, during November and February. For the slower, more laidback homo sapiens, a browse round the capital of Port Moresby might be what’s called for, the area is full of plantations, government offices, a museum, university, the Institute of National Affairs and some sports facilities. There is even a good beach, Ela Beach, located to the south of the capital, which provides hot, powdery sand to lie on and enrich that suntan.

The small amount of people who live in Papua New Guinea are spread all over the country’s islands or mountainous regions, which means, to have a gander, visitors will definitely need to get about by local plane via Air Niugini or other smaller, local operators. Flying, can be costly, but this way of travel is the only way to see the country, with flights and bookings readily available, as long as passengers arrive for the flight one hour in advance. Once in the particular region of choice, travellers can use minibuses to get about, which travel along a regular route picking up anyone wanting a lift. Renting a car on a particular island is not advisable due to the limited road network but for those determined few, car rental is available in most main centres. Probably the easiest way to travel once on an island or up in a mountain village is to walk, this option will need a guide, but is the best way for visitors to see more of the area and at their own pace.

Getting into Papua New Guinea is done by flying direct to the capital of Port Moresby from Australia, Guam, Manila, Singapore, the Solomon Islands and Jayapura, with every other country having to connect with any of those mentioned. Heat wise, visitors should make a trip down here in the dry, hotter season, from May to October, as any other time is wet, wet, wet!

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