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Papua New Guinea

PAPUA NEW GUINEA TRAVEL GUIDE

Papua New Guinea is a country made up of a staggering 600 islands landscaped with waterfalls, volcanoes, mountain ranges, mangrove swamps and some of the most fascinating flora and fauna in the world.

 

Two-thirds of all orchid species in the world are found in Papua New Guinea and 450 butterflies flit their little wings over the islands. Head to the Highlands to experience the diverse tribal culture, for reliving history visit Milne Bay Province and the adventurous will find the Kokoda Trail a huge adrenaline rush trekking through the lush forest with its variety of flora and fauna.

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PAPUA NEW GUINEA QUICK FACTS

  • Capital: Port Moresby
  • Currency: kina (PGK)
  • Area: 462,840 km2
  • Population: 8,606 million (2018)

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PAPUA NEW GUINEA PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

  • 2nd Monday in June, Queen’s Birthday
  • 23 July, National Remembrance Day
  • 26 August, National Day of Repentance
  • 16 September, Independence Day
  • 26 December, Boxing Day

Also, Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday.

FESTIVALS IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Papua New Guinea

BEST TIME TO VISIT PAPUA NEW GUINEA

The best time to visit Papua New Guinea depends on what you are looking to do and see during your trip.

  • The dry season, which runs from May to October, is generally considered the best time to visit. This is when the weather is at its best and the chances of encountering heavy rain are much lower. During this time, the landscape is lush and green, and it is the ideal time to go trekking and explore the country's many national parks and natural attractions.
  • However, the wet season, which runs from November to April, has its own unique appeal. This is the time when the country experiences its highest levels of rainfall, but it also means that the country's many waterfalls are at their most spectacular and the rivers are full. Additionally, this is the time when the traditional festivals take place and one can experience the rich cultural heritage of the country.

It's worth noting that Papua New Guinea is a large and diverse country with different climates and weather patterns in different regions, so it's essential to research and plan your trip based on the specific areas you want to visit.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA WEATHER SYNOPSIS

Papua New Guinea has a monsoonal climate characterised by high temperatures and humidity throughout the year. Two monsoonal seasons are recognised: the northwest monsoons, which occur from December to March, and the southwest Monsoons, which occur from May to October. Indeed, the country is home to one of the wettest climates of the world and rainfall in many areas of the country exceeds 2500 mm, with the heaviest events occurring in the highlands. Temperatures are relatively steady across the country, and mean temperatures in Port Moresby range from 26°C to 28°C. Climate in this part of the Pacific is governed by a number of factors, including the trade winds and the movement of the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ), a zone of high pressure rainfall zone that migrates across the Pacific south of the equator. Year to year variability in climate is also strongly influenced by the El Niño conditions in the southeast Pacific, which bring drought conditions to PNG, especially in the drier areas of the country. Areas with a pronounced wet and dry season that receive less than 2000 mm rainfall include: Markham Valley, Bulolo Valley, Maprik—Angoram area, Eastern highlands, and coastal areas near Cape Vogel, Port Moresby, and Daru.

Papua New Guinea

PAPUA NEW GUINEA TOURIST SEASONS

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

Read more...

Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

JANUARY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

FEBRUARY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

MARCH

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

APRIL

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

MAY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

JUNE

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

JULY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY

WET

AUGUST

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY

WET

SEPTEMBER

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

OCTOBER

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

NOVEMBER

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

DECEMBER

HOT

COLD

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DRY

WET

HOT MONTHS:

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MODERATE MONTHS:

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SPORT & ACTIVITIES

SNOW SPORT IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

HIKING & CYCLING IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

There are plenty of incredible hiking trails throughout Papua New Guinea, which can be explored at any time of the year. The dry season from around May to October is generally the most pleasant.

BEACH OPTIONS IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

You'll have no trouble finding a stunning beach in Papua New Guinea. The dry months of May to October are generally most pleasant for relaxing on the beach and also coincide with many festivals.

SURFING IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Papua New Guinea has fantastic swells from November to April, so this is the time to head here if you're in search of surf! Just note that this is also the wet season! You can also find good waves during the months of May and October, just less consistent.

KITESURF IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

The most exciting place in Papua New Guinea for Kiteboarding is Hula Village, where the wind blows non stop from around April till October. Wind speeds can be strong, so be sure to pack your small kites!

For more details on kite surfing in Papua New Guinea expand this section!

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TRAVEL SAFETY IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Always consider the current safety risk of each destination and do not travel without travel / medical insurance

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HEALTH RISKS IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Be aware of possible health risks in 

Papua New Guinea

Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.

Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.

Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.

For the latest travel health notices and recommended precautions click

PAPUA NEW GUINEA TRAVEL COSTS

The cost of traveling to Papua New Guinea can vary widely depending on your travel style and the activities you plan to do. Some expenses to consider include:

  • Flights: Round-trip airfare from major cities in the US, Australia, or Asia can cost $1,000 to $2,000 or more.
  • Accommodation: Prices for accommodations range widely, from budget-friendly guesthouses and hostels to luxury resorts. Prices can range from $20 to $200 per night, depending on the type of accommodation you choose.
  • Food: Food costs in Papua New Guinea can vary widely depending on where you eat and what you eat. Eating at local markets or street food vendors will be cheaper than dining at restaurants or resorts.
  • Transportation: Transportation costs within Papua New Guinea can be high, as infrastructure is not well-developed and many places can only be reached by air or boat. Domestic flights and buses can be expensive.
  • Activities: The cost of activities such as trekking, diving, and cultural tours can vary widely, but you can expect to pay $50 to $200 or more per day, depending on the activity and the level of service provided.

Overall, you should budget around $100 to $150 per day if you're traveling on a budget, and $200 to $300 or more per day if you're looking for a more comfortable and luxurious trip.

 

A sample budget for visiting Papua New Guinea could be as follows:

  • Flights: $1,500 round-trip from the United States
  • Accommodation: $30 to $50 per night for budget-friendly guesthouses or hostels, $100 to $200 per night for mid-range hotels, or $300 to $500 per night for luxury resorts
  • Food: $5 to $15 per meal at local markets or street food vendors, $20 to $30 per meal at mid-range restaurants, or $50 to $100 per meal at high-end restaurants
  • Transportation: $50 to $100 per domestic flight, $10 to $20 per bus ride, or $50 to $100 per day for a rental car or private driver
  • Activities: $50 to $100 per day for trekking or hiking, $100 to $200 per day for diving or snorkeling, and $50 to $100 per day for cultural tours or other activities.

This budget would be for a budget-friendly trip, and expenses can add up quickly, so it's important to keep that in mind when planning your trip.

 

It's worth noting that Papua New Guinea is still a developing country, and the tourism infrastructure is not as developed as other countries. It can be difficult to find budget-friendly options for some activities or accommodations, so be prepared to adjust your budget accordingly. Prices for goods and services can also vary greatly depending on location and availability, so it's always good to have some extra money in case of unexpected expenses.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA TRAVEL TIPS

Here are a few travel tips for visiting Papua New Guinea:

  • Research your destination: Papua New Guinea is a large and diverse country, and different regions have different cultures, languages, and customs. Be sure to research the specific areas you plan to visit so you can be prepared for what to expect.
  • Get vaccinated: Some areas of Papua New Guinea are at risk for certain diseases, so it's important to check with your doctor or a travel clinic to find out what vaccinations you may need before you go.
  • Pack for different climates: The weather in Papua New Guinea can vary widely depending on the region, so be prepared for both hot and humid conditions as well as cooler and wetter weather.
  • Bring cash: Not all places in Papua New Guinea accept credit or debit cards, so be sure to bring enough cash with you to cover your expenses.
  • Respect local customs: Papua New Guinea has a rich cultural heritage, and it's important to be respectful of local customs and traditions when you visit.
  • Be prepared for a lack of infrastructure: Papua New Guinea is a developing country, and the infrastructure is not as well-developed as in other countries. Be prepared for a lack of basic amenities, and be ready to be flexible and adapt to the situation.
  • Be aware of safety risks: Some areas of Papua New Guinea can be dangerous, so it's important to be aware of the safety risks and take the necessary precautions. Check travel advisories from your government and avoid any areas that are considered unsafe.
  • Consider hiring a guide: Hiring a local guide can be an excellent way to learn more about the culture, history, and customs of Papua New Guinea. A guide will also help you navigate the local customs and make your trip more comfortable.
  • Have a plan: Papua New Guinea is a unique and exciting destination, but it's also a challenging one. Make sure to have a plan in place and be prepared for anything.

SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Papua New Guinea is a large and diverse country, and there are several main regions that visitors might explore. Here's a brief overview of some of the main regions and their highlights:

  • The National Capital District (NCD) and Central Province: This region is home to the capital city of Port Moresby, as well as the surrounding Central Province. This is the most urbanized area of the country and the gateway to other regions. The highlights of this region include the National Museum and Art Gallery, which showcases the country's rich cultural heritage, and the Port Moresby Nature Park, which is home to a variety of wildlife.

  • The Highlands: This region is located in the center of the island and is known for its rugged terrain, beautiful landscapes, and traditional tribal cultures. The highlights of this region include the Mt. Wilhelm National Park, which is the highest peak in Papua New Guinea, and the Asaro Mudmen, a tribe known for their unique ceremonial masks.

  • The Sepik River: This region is located in the northeastern part of the island and is known for its vast river system, traditional tribal cultures, and intricate carvings. The highlights of this region include the Sepik River cruise, which offers a glimpse of traditional river life, and the Tambunum village, which is known for its traditional spirit houses and intricate carvings.

  • The Islands: The islands of Papua New Guinea are known for their beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and diverse marine life. The highlights of this region include the islands of Milne Bay, which is known for its excellent diving and snorkeling, and Bougainville, which is known for its rich cultural heritage and World War II history.

  • The Southern Region: This region is located in the southern part of the island and is known for its rugged terrain and diverse wildlife. The highlights of this region include the Tari Valley, which is known for its beautiful landscapes, and the Kokoda Track, which is a historic hiking trail that passes through some of the most remote and rugged terrain in the country.

This is not an exhaustive list and Papua New Guinea has many more regions, each with its own unique culture, history, and attractions. It's worth noting that while some regions are more developed and accessible, others are more remote and harder to reach, so it's important to plan accordingly and be prepared for the journey.

Papua New Guinea is a unique and diverse country with a rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. Here are some of the best things to see and do when visiting Papua New Guinea:

  • Visit the National Museum and Art Gallery in Port Moresby: This museum showcases the country's rich cultural heritage through a variety of exhibits, including traditional masks, carvings, and artifacts.
  • Explore the rugged terrain of the Highlands: The Highlands region is known for its rugged terrain, beautiful landscapes, and traditional tribal cultures. Visitors can take a hike or trek through the Mt. Wilhelm National Park, which is the highest peak in Papua New Guinea.
  • Take a cruise on the Sepik River: The Sepik River region is known for its vast river system, traditional tribal cultures, and intricate carvings. Visitors can take a cruise along the river to learn more about traditional river life and see the traditional spirit houses and intricate carvings of the Tambunum village.
  • Relax on the beaches of the Islands: The islands of Papua New Guinea are known for their beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and diverse marine life. Visitors can enjoy snorkeling, diving, swimming, and sunbathing on the beaches of Milne Bay and Bougainville.
  • Explore the Tari Valley: The Tari Valley is known for its beautiful landscapes and traditional tribal cultures. Visitors can take a hike through the valley and visit the traditional villages of the Huli people, who are known for their elaborate headdresses and body paint.
  • Hike the Kokoda Track: The Kokoda Track is a historic hiking trail that passes through some of the most remote and rugged terrain in the country. The trail is a must-do for history buffs and adventure seekers, as it passes through the site of a major World War II battle and offers breathtaking views of the Papua New Guinea wilderness.
  • See the traditional dances and ceremonies: Papua New Guinea has a rich cultural heritage, and visitors can experience it by attending traditional dances and ceremonies. The Asaro Mudmen and the Huli Wigmen are among the most famous and spectacular.
  • Dive and Snorkel: Papua New Guinea's waters are known for its rich marine life, including colorful coral reef, tropical fish, and marine mammals such as dolphins and dugongs.
  • Meet the locals: Papua New Guinea is known for its diverse cultures, and one of the best ways to experience the country is to interact with the local people. You can learn about the traditional customs, try traditional food and drink, and gain a deeper understanding of the country and its people.

This is not an exhaustive list and Papua New Guinea has many more things to offer, each with its own unique culture, history, and attractions. It's worth noting that while some areas are more developed and accessible, others are more remote and harder to reach, so it's important to plan accordingly and be prepared for the journey.

Papua New Guinea

WHAT TO EAT IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Papua New Guinea has a diverse and unique culinary scene that reflects the country's melting pot of cultures. Here are some popular traditional dishes to try when visiting Papua New Guinea:

  • Saksak: a staple dish made from mashed sweet potato and coconut milk, often served with meat or fish.
  • Kokoda: a raw fish dish marinated in lime juice, onions, and chili peppers.
  • Lap lap: a traditional dish made from grated yam or sweet potato mixed with coconut milk, then wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over hot stones.
  • Chicken pot: a traditional dish made from chicken and vegetables cooked in a clay pot.
  • Fish and taro: a traditional dish made from fish and taro leaves, often served with coconut milk and chili peppers.
  • Momos: A traditional dumpling-like dish made from flour, water, and fillings like meat, vegetables or fish.
  • Kambarang: a traditional dish made from wild fruits, nuts, and grubs.
  • Bamboo shoots: A common ingredient in many dishes, bamboo shoots are often cooked with meat or fish and vegetables.
  • Traditional Drinks: A variety of traditional drinks are available in Papua New Guinea, including sago wine and kava, made from the roots of the kava plant.

It's worth noting that some of these dishes may not be easily found in all areas of the country, and some are more traditionally found in certain regions. Additionally, many of the dishes may be quite spicy, so it's important to be prepared for that. Some of the traditional food may be hard to find in tourist areas, so it's worth asking locals for recommendations on where to find the best traditional food.

LGBTQ IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Papua New Guinea

WHERE TO STAY IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

When visiting Papua New Guinea for the first time, it's important to consider your budget, travel itinerary, and the type of experience you are looking for. Here are some options to consider when choosing where to stay:

  • Port Moresby: As the capital city, Port Moresby is the main entry point for most visitors to Papua New Guinea. It offers a range of accommodation options, including budget-friendly guesthouses, mid-range hotels, and luxury resorts. It's also an ideal base for exploring the nearby National Museum and Art Gallery, as well as visiting nearby islands and beaches.
  • Highlands: If you're looking to experience the rugged terrain and traditional tribal cultures of the Highlands, there are a variety of options for accommodation, including guesthouses, lodges, and camping. You can also stay in traditional village homestays, which offer a unique cultural experience.
  • Sepik River: The Sepik River region offers a range of accommodation options, including basic guesthouses, lodges, and camping. You can also take a cruise on the Sepik River and stay on the boat overnight.
  • Islands: The islands of Papua New Guinea offer a range of accommodation options, including budget-friendly guesthouses, mid-range resorts, and luxury resorts. Visitors can also stay in traditional village homestays, which offer a unique cultural experience.
  • Tari Valley: The Tari Valley offers a range of accommodation options, including basic guesthouses, lodges, and camping. You can also stay in traditional village homestays, which offer a unique cultural experience.

It's worth noting that some areas are more developed and accessible, while others are more remote and harder to reach, so it's important to plan accordingly and be prepared for the journey. Additionally, it is important to note that the standard of accommodation varies widely, and while some places may offer modern amenities, others may be more basic. It is also worth checking reviews or asking locals for recommendations on where to stay before making a decision.

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