Friday, 28 April 2017
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Tours And Adventures In Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is full of interesting attractions, magnificent natural scenery, and diverse cultural heritage. Spend your Papua New Guinea holiday trekking remote jungle tracks, cruising the mighty Sepik river, surfing the waves of New Ireland, fishing around the fiords of Tufi or diving amongst the coral reef coastline.
Papua New Guinea Tours
The spectacular natural beauty of Papua New Guinea awaits the keen natural adventurer. We have tour operators who can arrange guided tours around Papua New Guinea to see the impressive variety of exotic birds, including virtually all of the known species of birds of paradise, the diverse plant species, cascading waterfalls, lush rainforests, an active volcano even a climb on one of the mountains that soars over 5,000 meters.
This mountain creates a myriad of micro climates and an astonishing diversity of plants and animals, with the range of vegetation including mangrove forests, lowland rainforest, alpine vegetation, grassland and savanna woodland. These forests have a wide variety of different habitats.
Papua New Guinea is geographically remote with some of the most stunning natural scenery anywhere. The country has areas that are described as biodiversity hotspots. Papua New Guinea has 11,000 known species of vascular plants, 200 species of ferns and over 1,200 species of trees.
Over half of these are endemic to PNG. PNG is also home to 760 species of birds, 445 species of which dwell in the rainforest areas. Papua New Guinea boasts more parrot, pigeon and kingfisher species than anywhere else in the world.
There are no less than 90 species of snakes, 170 species of lizards, 13 species of turtles, nearly 200 species of frogs, 445 species of butterflies, 250 species of mammals including the world’s largest bat, many tree kangaroos and the world’s largest species of crocodile!
The floral diversity found in Papua New Guinea is immense. For example, PNG is renowned for its enormous variety of orchids - there are 3,000 known species found here with countless varieties undoubtedly yet to be discovered.
From the rugged mountains to the coastal islands, a journey to this country is an adventure of a lifetime. This adventure will fulfill all your fantasies about PNG’S lush rainforest, magical tropical waterfalls, picturesque streams and unique species that cannot be found nowhere else on Earth.
Tucked away in these lush rainforests and steep gorges are caves that have excited cavers because they were literally the first to explore them! These caves are not frequented, meaning you could be one of the first to explore one of these caves!
Visits can also be made to sacred caves that have been traditionally used for burying the dead.
Where tribal living is still the norm, and practices dating back thousands of years are still pursued, the natural attractions of this country are also not exploited and are still in their natural splendor for anyone to savor.
Village Tours in Papua New Guinea
The best way one can experience authentic Papua New Guinea is through the hospitality, stories and beautiful smiles of the Papua New Guinea people and their lifestyles.
We have a number of tour operators providing Village Tours up in the highlands and along the coastal villages. Village tours include highlights such as traditional bilum (basket) making in Madang, the traditional bride price ceremonies in East New Britain, traditional shell money (MIE) makers in New Ireland, yam harvesting in Milne Bay, scarification for manhood in the Sepik province and ceremonial dancing in the Highlands region.
Different delicacies and food preparations can be compared around the country, as they all can be done differently according to the cultural lifestyle and the typical weather patterns experienced throughout the destination.
Village tours in Papua New Guinea will introduce you to the different traditional food offered by the local people, their unique way of life, the different locations (surrounded by the most pristine tropical waters and the untouched nature), the warm welcome you'll receive and the friendliness given to any visitor by the local people from children to adults.
Village tours are offered all year round as it is usually cooler up in the highland and fairly warmer on the coastal part of the country. Many village tours in Papua New Guinea occur after or before a day of diving, surfing, birdwatching, boat cruise or trekking.
Helicopter Tours in PNG
From the spectacular volcanic tours around the Simpson Harbour in Rabaul to an aerial tour of the Madang north coast and to the icons of our world famous Isurava memorial on the Kokoda trail, hold your breath and enjoy magnificent panoramic views of Papua New Guinea. Take a helicopter tour to a PNG cultural event happening in a specific province, to understand the beauty that encapsulates and defines the cultural groups from that area of the country.
Appreciate and compliment your Papua New Guinea tour with an aerial photograph of your own to remember your experience forever.
World War II Tours
The fierce fighting between the Japanese and the Allied forces during World War II has created a momentous historical story for Papua New Guinea. Today, many war relics remain scattered throughout many parts of PNG, with sunken war ships, aircrafts, tanks and bombers and cemeteries that stand as a crucial token of our respect for those who fought and passed on with honour.
Many rusting relics are visible at Lombrum, which was a huge American naval base during WWII.
East New Britain
The graves of over a thousand allied war dead are in the grounds of the Bitapaka War Cemetery, located off the coast road past Vunapope.
At Karavia Bay between Kaluana Point and Vulcan are networks of Japanese barge tunnels and tracks that date back to the war. Lined up, end-to-end are five barges in the main tunnel. Some of the 580km of tunnels built by the Japanese are still open. Aircraft wreckage is found beyond the old airport.
Reached by boat from Vanimo or rough road from Wewak, Aitape was once a German station and later used by the Japanese during WWII. Tadji Airstrip still has aircraft wreckage from the war. A B-24 Bomber stands outside Aitape High School between the airstrip and town.
Japanese war relics can be seen at Brandi High School, east of Cape Moem army base. Bomb craters are still visible around Boram Airport runway and the disused airport near town. The rusting remains of Japanese landing barges lie on the beach between Kreer market and the hospital.
Crucial during the war, Salamaua has war relics as well as fishing, swimming, snorkeling and walking to Coastwatcher’s Ridge. Located within the Botanical Gardens is peaceful, well-kept cemetery of young Australians, known as the Lae War Cemetery.
Most war relics and sites are scattered around Popondetta, and the coastal areas of Buna and Gona.
City Tours in Papua New Guinea
Port Moresby is the heart of Papua New Guinea. Situated on the western coast of the mainland peninsula, your journey will take you to the famous Kokoda Track, the Variarata National Park and the Hiri Moale Festival. Port Moresby is a place for more than 800 languages and home to a thousand tribes with unique cultures.
One can only marvel at how a city so small is so full of life, surrounded by small islands, blessed with vast cultures and a mixture of both the past, present and future lifestyle in one single environment. Not forgetting the Jackson’s International Airport as the gateway for international travelers to Papua New Guinea and the heart of the country’s domestic air services.
Lae city is the second largest industrialized city in Papua New Guinea. Here you can witness the famous Morobe Show, and discover the botanical gardens, war cemetery, amazing rainforest habitats and a mixture of arts and crafts in the local markets.
Rainy Lae, as the locals say, not only offers the true colors of Papua New Guinea but the unique experience one can encounter in this land of the unexpected. A tour of the city will show you the natural beauty of this fast-developing city.
Madang is widely known as the home of the flying foxes, the city offers a variety of activities. Sightseeing,village tours, historical monuments,kayaking, diving, snorkelling, cultural singsings and island hopping, all surrounded by the Bismack Sea.
Madang town offers the perfect opportunity for a tourist to travel without a fear in the world as you will be surrounded by warm welcoming smiles of locals that will enable you to sense the spirit of friendship, warmness and kindness in the heart of Madang.
A little-known town in the outskirts of Rabaul, Kokopo is home to the famous fire dance, tubuans and volcanoes that await the explorers of the world. Kokopo also offers a variety of other attractions such as visiting historical monuments, diving, cultural shows, local markets, island tours and fishing.
Enjoy the opportunity to mingle with the locals on every corner of your Papua New Guinea travel and be offered a bite of their traditional food, “agir” that is so nutritious and delicious. Kokopo is the place of tropical colors through their ‘meri blaus wear’, the color of their hair, their smiles and the beautiful natural environment surrounding the town.
Snorkelling in Papua New Guinea
It is inarguable that diving in Papua New Guinea is a leading market for tourists. Similarly, when visiting this exquisite paradise, one cannot deny that snorkelling is just as exciting. Almost everywhere you travel when coming to PNG, you will find the perfect location with an equally perfect opportunity to snorkel.
Buka, the provincial capital of the formerly known North Solomons has great fishing, swimming and snorkelling in the clear waters of the Buka Passage. Tourists are warned that there are strong currents, so seeking local advice is the safest means to a great snorkeling experience. Many small islands near the southern end of the passage are great areas to discover as well.
In Manus, most of the north coast is bordered with a reef. It has excellent visibility, and a huge variety of corals, fish and wartime wrecks. Snorkeling off the north coast on the Andra and Ahus islands is good, where Papua New Guinea accommodation is also provided.
The long, narrow island group of New Ireland possesses attributes such as a stunning coastline with white sandy beaches and excellent snorkeling sites. War wrecks, big fish, coral and sharks are some of the things to be seen here. Dive operators include Lissenung Island Resort, Mansava Adventure Lodge on Tsoi Island, Scuba Ventures and Nusa Island Retreat.
Kimbe Bay in the West New Britain is famous for its huge corals, large fish and caves. This location would be best suited to diving fans, but snorkeling is recommended at Walindi.
East New Britain’s Simpson Harbour holds WWII boat and plane wrecks, good walls and the Beehives a small group of craggy islands to explore. Superb for snorkeling on the flat coral beds, Submarine Base at Tavui Point shows where Japanese subs pulled right up to the edge of the reef.
The Milne Bay Province’s very own East Cape offers excellent diving and snorkeling with gorgeous beaches and scenery en route to the cape.
Tufi at Cape Nelson (Oro Province) has exceptionally clear waters, abundant fish and beautiful corals in its fiord-like rias. There are easily accessible wrecks and reefs with drop-offs, hammerhead sharks and moray eels.
Loloata Island is a pleasant retreat from Moresby that lies off Bootless Bay and offers fishing, sail boarding, relaxing, diving and, of course, snorkeling. Here you’ll discover many more unique species of living matter in the clear waters surrounding the beautiful island.
Kayaking in Papua New Guinea
Discover a different side of Papua New Guinea that few ever see.
The water surrounding the coastline of the mainland Papua New Guinea and the close to 600 different islands of Papua New Guinea provide a more unique and scenic kayaking experience than any other.
The beauty you witness when kayaking in Papua New Guinea will take your breath away. There is no better way to explore the different islands of Papua New Guinea than through the various kayaking journeys that can take you to the more remote and uninhabited islands.
A number of Papua New Guinea tour operators provide kayaking along the respective coastline of the New Ireland province, Madang Provinces, East New Britain Provinces and the fjords of Tufi. Papua New Guinea kayaking tours take you along secluded coastlines where you often encounter sea turtles, schools of playful dolphins, mackerel jumping 20 to 30 feet in the air - all in their natural environment.
Kayaking in Tufi is tranquil through the fjords which are over 100 meters deep. Some of the cliff faces are over several hundred feet high, with waters sheltered from the prevailing winds and the surface of the water like glass. Magnificent rainforest canopies cover the surrounding mountains and even along the shores are several local huts tucked away in an idyllic setting.
One thing that stands out throughout any kayak adventure is the people of Papua New Guinea. Smiles are usually all around as you pass the numerous villages and the waving hands of the locals show the vibrancy and openness that the people want to share with every visitor that kayaks pass.
Tours are offered all year around, but the best months, especially for first time kayakers, are from April to November as the seas are generally calmer that time of the year.
Stunning coastlines, pristine tropical waters teaming with sea-life and colourful coral reefs are just waiting to be discovered during your Papua New Guinea travels.
Bird Watching in Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is a bird watchers paradise! There are many locations throughout PNG where you can see the beautiful species of birds in Papua New Guinea, including the different species of the famous Birds of Paradise found only in PNG. For a handy guide to our amazing birds of paradise, click A Pocket Guide to Birds of Paradise of Papua New Guinea.
The variety of locations available in Papua New Guinea provides endless opportunity for birdwatchers. It is understood that PNG is home to such a thriving bird population due to specific habitats and climates favoured by our endemic species and the lack of predatory animals that would otherwise threaten numbers.
Birding is available throughout the country from coastal and island locations right up to the rugged peaks of our highlands with diversity of bird life. PNG is particularly famous for endemic species such as the Raggiana and Blue Birds of paradise and rare find including the Fire maned Bowerbird.
Visitors are excited by the prospect of sighting any special species from the enigmatic Crested Berrypecker to the elusively rare Beck's Petrel to the stunning Victoria Crowned Pigeon.
Birding Seasons Tours Operators run specific birding tours mainly during the dry season, from June to October, however independent birding journeys are available anytime.
Birds are found everywhere, including the City. The PNG Tourism Promotion Authority with support from the National Capital District Commission have released a mini-pocket guide to the Birds of Port Moresby. Some 400 species of birds have been found in the environs of Port Moresby, within two-and-a-half hours drive of the City.
Boat Cruises in Papua New Guinea
The wonders of Papua New Guinea never cease to impress even the well travelled. Offering a multitude of ideal boat cruising experiences, there is no better way to explore a country where little has changed over centuries.
Rich in culture and ethnic diversity, Papua New Guinea promises to reward cruise enthusiasts with unforgettable sights and sounds.
Boat Cruising in Papua New Guinea is particularly relaxing, since island life is slow-paced and informal. Cruise vacations are not only packed with a multitude of on-board activities, they also set in motion the opportunity to explore and discover the Papua New Guinea culture and history of this last great frontier.
While international cruise liners frequent Papua New Guinea waters on an annual basis, our coastal water cruise boats also offer the opportunity for visitor cruises up the mighty Sepik River or to our magnificent island provinces.
PNG Boat Cruises
The Sepik Spirit is Trans Niugini Tours' deluxe "floating lodge".
Originally commissioned as a vessel for cruising the Sepik and Karawari Rivers, the Sepik Spirit is now permanently moored at a strategic site on the Sepik River and offers PNG accommodation.
In its new role as a "floating lodge" fixed in the middle Sepik, the Sepik Spirit offers greater booking flexibility, enhanced touring programs and even more comfort. Returning travelers will note the updated decor. As for the Sepik Spirit's renowned hospitality, some new flourishes have been added.
From their base on the Sepik Spirit, guests explore the Sepik River and the connecting tributaries and lakes on eighteen seat jet-boats. These boats have shallow drafts and the ability to maneuver where large vessels cannot go.
Here in the remote middle Sepik region, life continues as it has for centuries. Meet the people who live in the villages. Talk to them about daily life. Walk pathways amongst their homes built from materials that grow nearby. Listen for the calls of exotic birds.
Visit Spirit Houses decorated with carved ancestral figures. Hear the sounds of massive garamut drums, mysterious ritual flutes and dancers' jangling shell jewelry. Sepik Spirit guides and village elders will give you insight into the culture, totems and ceremonies.
Marvel at the creativity that thrives in this tropical environment. The region is a gallery of tribal art. Every village boasts its own style and nearly every villager is an artisan.
After a touring on the river, guests return to the comfort of the Sepik Spirit's air-conditioned lounge, bar and dining areas. The outdoor spaces include a covered and screened upper level deck.
The Sepik Spirit's nine guest rooms accommodate a maximum of just eighteen guests. Each room has an en-suite bathroom, large windows and personally controlled air-conditioning.
The Sepik Spirit is accessible by Trans Niugini Tours' air service. Flights depart from either Mount Hagen where Rondon Ridge is located and from Karawari Lodge and Ambua Lodge. Charter flights from other departure points can be arranged.
The Kalibobo Spirit is a luxurious motor yacht that can carry a maximum of 16 people. The expeditions are limited to 12 persons and travel with an experienced crew. It has a helipad for convenient transfers and excursions to remote areas. The Helipad is certified for Jet Ranger, Hughes 500 and R44 type helipads.
For excursions on the Sepik River, the Kalibobo Spirit has purpose built aluminum 20 passenger speedboat, powered by a 200hp Yamaha engine, to provide excursions along the tributaries; the Murik and Chambari Lakes.
In addition to the speed boat, the Kalibobo Spirit carries two zodiacs that are used in open water for up to 8 people in each boat. The Kalibobo carries a Bauer compressor, tanks and all equipment for up to 8 divers. Snorkeling equipment is also carried for the use of passengers.
All passengers diving must hold a recognized diving certificate. There is no decompression chamber abroad the vessel.
Orion is based out of Australia and does visits to Papua New Guinea twice a year. She is a purpose built vessel all in 5 star luxury designed to access the inaccessible. She has combination of the best and the latest in design with maritime and environmental technology, comfort and casual elegance.
All Orion’s staterooms feature ocean views and offer internet access, flat-screen TV, DVD/CD, a choice of twin and queen sized beds, a sitting area and marble bathrooms. Other onboard amenities include a health spa with gymnasium, sauna sun deck Jacuzzi and a stern marina platform.
Orion offers a range of included and optional Shore-side Expeditions designed to enhance the destination exploration for guests. As part of Orion’s commitment to offering guests an enriching experience, on board speakers have been selected for their knowledge and expertise on the regions that visit.
Her innovative expeditions are varied with seasons, in autumn (March and April) visiting in remote and un-spoilt parts of Papua New Guinea and Melanesia. Returning in spring (October and November) to Papua New Guinea and explore Australia’s East and South Coast.
Fishing in Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea’s fishing grounds have always been protected by the ever-changing tropical climate, keeping its secret from intruding anglers.
It is only recently that fishing enthusiasts have discovered that Papua New Guinea is teeming with isolated fishing grounds and untouched rivers, offering the some of the best lure in the world. With so much fishing within range, on any given day, anglers can enjoy a variety of world class sport.
In dense jungle rivers, our world renowned champ, the mighty 'lure shy' Papua New Guinea Black Bass, will challenge any intruding angler who attempts to toss their trespassing lures in its habitat.
Another remarkable fish is the river tiger, which is found nowhere else in the world. If you think you are an expert angler, be warned you have not met your match. The 'Blacky' is a persistent, mean monster that will put an expert angler back to the novice class!
If you’re after a less challenging Papua New Guinea adventure, try out the Barramundi. With river fishing, you have the opportunity to meet the locals and if you are lucky, you might see a traditional singsing.
Relax on the river, where you can simply enjoy being alone in the pristine jungle, away from all the worries of everyday life. If Barramundi is your game, stay at the remote Bensbach Lodge near the border of Irian Jaya.
For those who prefer the ocean, the underwater predators of Papua New Guinea's Bismarck and the Archipelago Seas are poised to erase any memories of an angler's past catch. Our seas are littered with challenging catches such as Dog tooth tuna, Sailfish, Yellow fin tuna, Marlin and plenty more that will make you go 'wow'.
The coastal waters around the Madang, East and West New Britain and New Ireland areas abound in blue and black marlin, sailfish and dogtooth tuna. In the waterways near Kandrian, freshwater fisherman can take on the famous Papuan Black and Spot Tail Bass found only in Papua New Guinea. There's saratogo and ox eye herring to play with too.
Get serious and start planning your Papua New Guinea holiday and fishing venture into some of the country's unknown grounds for that big bite.
Surfing in Papua New Guinea
As a surfing destination, Papua New Guinea is relatively new to surf enthusiasts, but the breaks are quickly becoming known for providing a great challenge that will keep surfers entertained for days!
PNG has unlimited surfing potential year-round. On the southern side, 10 minutes out of Port Moresby is Sero Board Riders Club (Taurama Point) where the main barrier reef stretches along the southern seaboard all the way to the Milne Bay Province. You might be surprised to find that breaks here are just as challenging and exhilarating as in any other location.
PNG has unlimited surfing potential from October to April during monsoon seasons and thousands of miles of coastline just waiting to be explored- not to mention breath taking scenery and pristine atolls. Located just south of the equator and 100 miles to the north of Australia.
PNG enjoys warm warm waters and consistent waves, complemented by the rich and diverse traditional culture time of it's people in it's premier surf destinations of Vanimo, Wewak, Madang and New Ireland provinces.
Great surfing isn't all that PNG offers. The same winds that surfers enjoy also make for perfect kite surfing which is relatively undiscovered. The warm waters of PNG are uncrowded and ideal for kite enthusiasts. The reef breaks provide great action for wave rider, while the pristine blue lagoons lure flat-water fans.
Visit PNG from late May through to November to take advantage of the Laurabada trade winds, providing consistent 10.25 knot winds. Kite surfers should focus their attention on the southern part of PNG. Areas around Port Moresby and Milne Bay have optimal conditions and stunning scenery.
Fifteen minutes from Port Moresby, Sero beach's large lagoon gives way to a surf break 500 yards out. Daugo Island is a 20 minute boat ride from the Port and one of the best local spots to kite surf. Two hours down the coast, Hula is a large peninsula that receives the full brunt of Laurabada winds, creating the optimal environment for kite surfers.
Other surfing spots in Papua New Guinea are being explored around the Milne Bay area, Bougainville Island and the Gazelle Peninsula in the East New Britain, which has quality waves ranging from 3 to 6 feet along the coral atolls, including point and beach breaks. With consistent south east winds up to 25 knots, kite surfing is also becoming popular with conducive conditions for this fast-growing sport.
The successful controlled development of Papua New Guinea tourism and benefits afforded to locals through the Surf Association Abel Reverse spiral management scheme created over the last 22 years has resulted in a unique and unprecedented approach to the creation of an equitable and sustainable surf tourism model that can be applied to other niche tourism sectors around the globe.
This model has caught the attention of the World Bank through the IFC who funded the SAPNG Strategic Master Plan. The SAPNG is now embarking on their draft stage of their Bill for an Act of Parliament known as the SAPNG Surf Management and Development Act.
Papua New Guinea accommodation and transport is readily available from Vanimo Beach Hotel, Sandaun Motel and Vanimo Surf Club located on the door step of Vanimo’s premier surf location at Lido village, with offshore conditions either on the left or right all day long depending on wind direction.
Around Kavieng in New Ireland Province are numerous reef setups which provide several good and varying surf breaks. Just off Kavieng town is Nusa Island Retreat, an environmentally low-impact facility that provides PNG accommodation, meals and boat transport to the surrounding islands. Breaks here range from 3ft to 8ft.
The waves in this region and around Nusa Island Retreat, limits number of surfers staying at any one time and is often fully-booked during the surf season.
There are currently 10 Surfing Association of Papua New Guinea affiliated Surf Clubs in Papua New Guinea – Kavieng, Vanimo, Sunset, Waromo, Yako, Tupira, Sero, Central New Ireland, Dolf and Taurama.
Further information for those planning a visit to surf in Papua New Guinea can be obtained by contacting the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority in Port Moresby
Diving in Papua New Guinea
Diving in the exotic and unexplored waters of PNG
Papua New Guinea is one of the best dive destinations in the world.
The coast of Papua New Guinea is home to some of the world's most spectacular diving - dubbed as the 'underwater photographer's paradise', with many international award-winning photos being taken in PNG waters.
Located in the Indo-Pacific Area, experts say that the oceans surrounding Papua New Guinea have up to twice as many marine species as the waters of the Red Sea and up to five times as many as the Caribbean.
Divers in our oceans enjoy a huge diversity of dive sites, including barrier reefs, coral walls (drop off), and coral gardens, patch reefs, fringing reefs, sea grass beds, coral atolls, and wreck dive sites. The wreck diving sites of Papua New Guinea provide a collection of ships, aircraft and submarine wrecks from World War 2.
The average water temperature varies from 25 degrees Celsius along the edge of the Coral Sea to 29 degrees Celsius in the Bismarck Sea. One can dive in Papua New Guinea all year round, with the high season generally from May to November.
Dive operators offer both land-based and live-aboard dive tours in Papua New Guinea. Land based tours normally consist of a day tour taking up to three dives, whilst live-aboard tours can take 7-10 days, with up to five dives a day. Most land-based operators offer resort-type dive courses and have fully equipped dive shops with diving and snorkelling equipment available for hire. For those bringing their own equipment, there are facilities available in the main cities to clean equipment.
The majority of dive operators operate on small to medium sized properties, with emphasis on personal attention in a relaxing environment. Dive sites in PNG are just a short distance from the resorts. The excellent quality of diving is synonymous with each operation, with the size of live-aboard dive boats falling between 45' and 120', with differing levels of amenities. Several operators now offer nitrox and rebreathers and most boats have facilities for camera equipment changing.
Papua New Guinea also has its own hyperbaric recompression chamber. Located at Port Moresby Medical Services, the DAN-sponsored facility is owned by the Hyperbaric Partners Limited and is supported by the PNG Divers Association through a small chamber levy.
While the reefs along the coast of Papua New Guinea teems with life, they are extremely fragile. In recognition of the importance of preserving the marine ecosystem, members of the Papua New Guinea Divers Association actively promote the use of moorings on regularly dived sites. The need to practice sensible diving and respect the underwater environment in Papua New Guinea is emphasized and in doing so, the message to all divers is very clear: please look but don't touch. Papua New Guinea was rated the TOP Dive Destination in the World in 2002 and received the Rodale's Scuba Diving Readers' Choice Award.
Trekking in Papua New Guinea
With over 5 million people living in Papua New Guinea and less than 50 thousand motor vehicles it is not hard to imagine that walking is the main mode of transportation. Consequently there are hundreds of tracks to be enjoyed by everyone from the casual adventurer to the most experienced trekker. Located in the centre of the Asia-Pacific region Papua New Guinea's location, isolation & dramatic landscape all lead to the perfect setting for trekking!
Papua New Guinea has long been a popular destination for trekking, mountain climbing and bushwalking, and is home to the world-famous Kokoda Track.
With largely unspoilt mountains, rivers and forest, as well as many significant war relic sites (as PNG was the focus of much attention in World War II), Papua New Guinea is an ideal place for both the fit trekking enthusiast or the weekend bushwalker. With professional Papua New Guinea tour operators and overnight treks, through to scenic bush walks that take just a few hours, PNG has something for every level of fitness.
Being largely unserviced by the tourism industry, the trekking, bush walking and adventure market in Papua New Guinea has great potential. Most centres in PNG can produce treks and bushwalks of undeniable world-class quality and beauty.
The Highlands region is famous for its tall mountains, with scores of readily accessible peaks. Mt Wilhelm at 4509 metres, is the most popular target for Papua New Guinea mountain climbers with good road access to Kegsugl village from Kundiawa and National Park huts for climbers to stay in.
The Mt. Wilhelm region has recently been the focus of PNG Tourism Promotion Authority-sponsored guide training activities and is becoming increasingly popular with individual and guided trekkers visiting Papua New Guinea. Whilst being accessible, Mt Wilhelm is not easy and guides should always be taken to assist climbers.
From the central Highlands city of Mt. Hagen, the towering peaks of Mt. Giluwe and Mt. Ialibu (both volcanic plugs) are accessible for trekkers. Mt. Hagen, Mt Ongo, Mt Kubor and Mt Kine Kaino Ku are also all accessible tracks and both the Bismarck and Kubor Ranges offer great trekking.
Goroka is also a centre for several good climbs with Mt. Michael and Mt. Gahavisuka being accessible.
If you’re after a serious trekking experience, take the route from the highlands town of Kompiam in Enga province to the Yuat River in East Sepik province. From here canoes will take you to Angoram. This 15 day hard trek is only for the most experienced, fit trekkers and several Papua New Guinea tour companies are available to assist trekkers during their expedition.
Papua New Guinea is most famous for the legendary Kokoda Track. Known as one of the world’s most spectacular and challenging treks, the Kokoda Track traverses the rugged Owen Stanley Ranges in Papua New Guinea.
With its exceptional biodiversity and natural landscape, thousands of trekkers experience the physically challenging 96km walk every year making the iconic Kokoda Track PNG’s most visited land-based tourism attraction and an important source of national and local income.
Each year trekkers brave the mountainous terrain, meet with Koiari and Orokaiva people living a traditional lifestyle, explore the dense rainforests and follow the footsteps of Australian soldiers and the Papua New Guinean Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels who guided them during WWII.
The Track can be walked from either direction from Kokoda to Owers’ Corner, between 5 - 9 days depending on fitness. In terms of PNG accommodation at the track, there are a number of basic guesthouses and well groomed campsites along the Track, and with some villages selling fruit and vegetables to passing trekkers.
Owers’ Corner is about an hour’s drive from Port Moresby and the road is accessible for all vehicle types. A day trip to Owers’ Corner with a short trek (40 minutes) to Goldie River is a great option for those visiting Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.
Choosing the right group to travel with is an important decision, as they will guide you through the preparation, the experience and safety procedures. The Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) provides a full listing of licensed tour operators on their website.
The Kokoda Track Authority
The Kokoda Track and surrounding region is owned by the local landowners. Their interests are looked after by the Kokoda Track Authority, responsible for managing the Track and trekking industry.
The KTA administer Trek Permits that must be purchased by all trekkers visiting the Kokoda Track, whether you are undertaking an independent trek or a trek with an organised tour.
Cultural Events in Papua New Guinea
Thousands of years in the making, the culture of Papua New Guinea is unique and untouched. In the remote villages visitors will find tribes that passionately maintain traditions through art, initiations and Sing Sings.
A Sing Sing expressing customary dance, music and traditional costume provides the opportunity for visitors to witness tribal traditions in an explosion of color and sound. There are regular Sings Sings throughout the country.