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What to see in Papua New Guinea

by Juan José Herranz | April 14, 2022
tribal dances in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea was once considered a dangerous place to visit, but that is not the case anymore. This resource-rich country is now welcoming tourists from all over the world, all thanks to its breathtaking beauty that can be witnessed in every corner.

Tourists, especially adventure lovers, are drawn to the many nature hikes that this country offers, along with activities such as kayaking, fishing, and scuba diving. The best part is that much of the country is untouched and not crowded with tourists. This gives visitors a chance to explore the natural wonders at their own pace. So, what to do in Papua New Guinea? Discover it here.

Trek the Famous Kokoda Track

One of the things Papua New Guinea is famous for is the Kokoda Track. The Kokoda Trail is known as one of the most difficult treks in the world. It takes a few days to complete, but the trek is worth the struggle as you get a chance to explore a lot along the way. This track begins at Owens Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea and finishes in the Kokoda village in the Oro Province.

Throughout the trek, you'll walk through the river, muddy trails and lush forests. It will take you at least eight days if you walk about 12 kilometers a day.

Visit the Islands of Madang

There's no shortage of beautiful places in Papua New Guinea, and the Madang region is no exception. Madang is home to beautiful islands, multiple WWII shipwrecks, and excellent diving spots. There are also many small villages to explore in this region. You can go to a private island and wake up to the peaceful sounds of birds.

One of the most beautiful islands of Madang is Pig Island, that is covered in beautiful palm trees and surrounded by crystal clear blue waters. You can enjoy swimming, kayaking and scuba diving on any island you choose to stay in Madang.

people with boats in Papua New Guinea

Go Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving is one of the many things to do in Papua New Guinea. The hundreds of volcanic islands of the country create an ideal spot for divers with coral walls, barrier reefs, shipwreck dive sites and submarines from the third World War.

Don’t worry if you don’t know how to dive, as you can learn it at many places throughout the country. One of the best diving spots in Papua New Guinea is Kimbe Bay, a visual feast with more than half of the coral species in the world. Another popular diving place is Milne Bay, featuring an aircraft wreck dive site, one of the best in the world. Other diving locations include Rabaul, Madang, and Kavieng.

Hike Mount Garbuna Volcano

This lush mountain is truly one of the best places to hike. If you are up for a short hike in Papua New Guinea, this is a must-do. The 3-hour hike through the forest is full of plant species and birdlife. Once you hike past the forest, you’ll be able to smell the sulfur filling the air.

The hike starts from a village located at the foot of Mount Garbuna. Once you reach the summit, you can go to the base of a sulfur pit where you can spot a thermal field with sulfur creating small plumes of smoke. The experience is literally wholesome as there are not many tourists hiking to this volcanic mountain.

Meet the Wildlife at the Port Moresby Nature Park

You cannot leave Papua New Guinea without meeting some of its unusual creatures that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The best way to experience wildlife is by visiting the Port Moresby Nature Park– the third-largest tropical forest in the world after Congo and Amazon. The forest is so dense that even today, new species are still being discovered.

While it is very challenging to see wildlife in their natural habitat, the park has done an amazing work that enables tourists to get up and close to these animals. Some of the animals you can see there include pig-nosed piku turtle, different species of wallabies, cassowaries, and tree kangaroos.

Island of Papua New Guinea

Explore the Trobriand Islands

The Trobriand Islands are the only islands in the country that are home to matrilineal, one of the few remaining societies where children are named after their mothers instead of fathers.

The society is popular for cultivating yam, which is even used as a currency. Don’t be surprised if you notice this vegetable being given in exchange for goods. But you don’t have to use it to pay for anything. Foreigners can use the local currency at accommodations and anywhere else.

You can enjoy the beautiful beaches of town, including Kiriwina and Muyua Island. If you want to know more about their traditions and customs, don’t forget to have a chat with the chief of Omarakana Village.   

Swim in the Hot Garu River

Not many people are aware of this hidden gem located in a jungle. Of all the experiences you are going to enjoy in Papua New Guinea, this one would be the most enchanting. With a temperature close to about 40 degrees, this clear river is warmed by the thermal fields of the volcano in the surrounding.

If you are all up for a natural spa amidst the lush jungle, then you should soak yourself up in the river. The river is located in an area to the west of Kimbe Town in West New Britain. It’s only a 40-minute drive away from the famous Walindi Plantation Resort. If you happen to stay at this resort, they can guide you.

Enjoy the Nature in Kimbe Bay

If you want to enjoy complete isolation amidst nature, then there is no better place to go than Kimbe Bay in Papua New Guinea. At Kimbe Bay, there will be just you and breathtaking scenery.

We recommend you book your stay at Walindi Plantation Resort as they can arrange a day trip for you to Kimbe Bay. At Kimbe Bay, you can witness deep blue waters, lush green jungles, and underwater caves where you can snorkel at. 

greenery and lake in Papua New Guinea

Attend a Festival

The country hosts many colorful festivals throughout the year. However, not all of them are open for tourists to attend.

Some of the festivals where international visitors are allowed include: Hiri Moale, Goroka Show, Mt Hagen Show. There are also some small shows like Digaso Festival and Enga Cultural Show. As there is limited accommodation available, you need to plan in advance if you wish to attend any of the festivals.

One interesting festival to attend is Rabaul Mask Festival, that is held in July every year. As the name says, people wear different kinds of masks in the festival to represent the spirits and ancestors related to each tribe.

Eat Delicious Seafood

Papua New Guinea is home to the most delicious seafood at affordable prices. Feast on fresh crabs for lunch and lobster for dinner. In almost all the coastal cities of Papua New Guinea, you can spot people selling live crabs. If you have any place where you can cook, then you can buy some for yourself. Port Moresby has some great places to eat delicious seafood in Papua New Guinea.

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