- The Online Guide to Travel Papua New Guinea - Essential Tips and Must-See Destinations

Travel Notes Directory

Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea by Bob Brewer on Unsplash.

Travel Notes: Oceania - Papua New Guinea Travel Notes.

Papua New Guinea Travel Notes

Papua New Guinea Flag

Short URL:

Papua New Guinea Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Explore untouched beauty, hidden gems, vibrant cultures, and breathtaking landscapes in Papua New Guinea with essential travel tips and must-sees.

About Papua New Guinea

New Guinea lies North of Cape York, Australia; across the Torres Strait.

Travel Map Mapping Papua New Guinea

Map of Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half of New Guinea; the western portion being the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya.

Map of Papua New Guinea

The capital of Papua New Guinea is Port Moresby.

Papua New Guinea Overview

The discovery of gold along the Bulolo River in the 1920s led prospectors to venture into the Papua New Guinea highlands, where they found about one million people living in isolated communities.

Papua New Guinea's unique cultural diversity, coupled with its breathtaking landscapes, makes it a fascinating and distinctive part of the Pacific region.


Despite its rich natural resources, Papua New Guinea faces challenges such as limited infrastructure, high rates of poverty, and issues related to governance and corruption.

The country is also dealing with environmental challenges, including deforestation and threats to biodiversity.

Colonial History

The island of New Guinea was divided between Germany and the Netherlands in the late 19th century.

During World War I, Australia took control of the German part, and after World War II, it administered the territory under an United Nations mandate; until Papua New Guinea gained independence in 1975.

Cultural Diversity

Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, with over 800 indigenous languages spoken.

The country has a rich cultural heritage, and traditional practices are still significant in many areas.

The Huli wigmen, Sepik River carvers, and the Asaro Mudmen are among the well-known cultural groups.

Economic Activities

Papua New Guinea's economy is primarily based on agriculture, mining, and natural resources.

Key exports include minerals (such as gold, copper, and oil), agricultural products (coffee, cocoa, and palm oil), and timber.


Papua New Guinea is known for its diverse geography, including mountains, tropical rainforests, and coastal plains.

The central mountain range runs through the island, with Mount Wilhelm its the highest peak.


English is the official language of Papua New Guinea, but Tok Pisin and Hiri Motu are widely spoken as well.

Political System

Papua New Guinea is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy.

While the monarch, as head of state, is represented by the Governor-General, the Prime Minister is the head of government.

Visiting Papua New Guinea

Visiting Papua New Guinea can be an exciting and rewarding experience, offering a chance to explore its diverse cultures, stunning landscapes, and unique traditions.

While Papua New Guinea offers unique and enriching experiences, it's important to be aware of local customs, safety considerations, and travel requirements.

Always check for the latest travel information and advisories before planning your trip.


Papua New Guinea is a haven for birdwatchers, with an incredibly diverse range of bird species.

Check out areas like Varirata National Park for birdwatching opportunities.

Cultural Experiences

Check the local festival calendar and try to coincide your visit with cultural events taking place in Papua New Guinea.

Festivals like the Goroka Show or the Mount Hagen Cultural Show showcase traditional dances, music, and rituals.


Papua New Guinea is renowned for its world-class diving spots.

The coral reefs and marine life, especially in places like Milne Bay and Kimbe Bay, attract divers from around the world.

Lodging Options

Papua New Guinea offers a range of accommodation options, from upscale hotels in major cities to eco-friendly lodges in more remote areas.

Be sure to book accommodations in advance.

Port Moresby Markets

Visit local markets in Port Moresby to experience the vibrant atmosphere and purchase traditional arts and crafts.

It's an excellent way to support local artisans and bring home unique souvenirs.


Given the diverse geography of Papua New Guinea, domestic flights may be necessary to reach certain destinations.

Reliable local airlines operate services between major towns and cities.

Travel Preparations

Plan your trip to Papua New Guinea well in advance and make sure you have the necessary travel permits, especially if you plan to visit remote areas.

Check the latest travel advisories and safety guidelines.

Tree Kangaroos

If you're interested in wildlife, look for the elusive tree kangaroos in the mountainous regions.

Tree kangaroos are a unique group of kangaroos that have adapted to an arboreal lifestyle, living in trees rather than on the ground.

They have several adaptations that enable them to thrive in their forest habitats; like e a sponge-like grip on their paws and soles of their feet, which helps them cling to tree branches.


If you enjoy trekking, consider exploring the Kokoda Track or climbing Mount Wilhelm.

These activities provide not only physical challenges but also the opportunity to experience the country's breathtaking natural beauty.

Visit a Cultural Village

Consider visiting a cultural village in Papua New Guinea; where you can witness traditional practices, learn about local customs, and interact with the indigenous communities.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea's rough terrain means that there are no railways and very limited paved roads.

Air Niuguini provides air connections to much of the country and its outlying islands.

The island was first sighted by the Portuguese navigator, Antonio d'Abreu, in 1511, although the first known European to land there was the Spanish explorer Jorge de Menezes, in 1526.

The Spanish named the island Novo Guinea, after the country in West Africa, and claimed it for Spain.

The East India Company claimed the entire island for Great Britain  in 1793, but the Netherlands disputed the claim and the Dutch East India Company took possession of the western half of New Guinea in 1828.

Germany then annexed the north-eastern part of New Guinea, that was not under the control of the other two European nations, in 1884.

The British region was transferred to Australia in 1906, and during the First World War the Australians had governance of the German region as well.

The Japanese invaded the island during World war II, but Australia become the administering power again in 1946.

The Dutch gave up control of the western part of New Guinea in 1962, and on September 6th, 1975 the eastern section became independent as a part of Papua New Guinea.

Although Bougaineville and Buka are part of the North Solomons geographically, they are actually controlled by Papua New Guinea; for the time being.

Papua New Guinea has ongoing problems with the secessionist revolutionaries in Bougaineville, who forced the closure of the copper mines that were destroying the environment.

Papua New Guinea Island Groups

The most significant of Papua New Guinea's island groups are the Bismarck Archipelago, the Louisiade Archipelago, the Trobriand Islands, the D'Entrecasteaux Islands, and Woodlark Island.

Visiting Papua New Guinea

Australian nationals intending to visit Papua New Guinea are advised to travel smart and keep an eye on the latest Papua New Guinea travel advice from the Australian Government.

Papua New Guinea by Air

Papua New Guinea is serviced internationally by one carrier only, Air Nuigini (which has a code share arrangement with Qantas). Air Nuigini has direct flights into Papua New Guinea from Australia, Japan, Singapore and The Philippines.

All International flights arrive at Jacksons International Airport, Port Moresby.

From Port Moresby, the rest of the country is serviced by air only, as there are no road or rail systems linking Port Moresby to other centres.

Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion

The ultimate goal of the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA) is to market and promote Papua New Guinea to the world as a desirable travel destination.

Papua New Guinea's 'Million Different Journeys' tagline aims to bring prominence to the endless possibilities for travellers and tourists to experience in Papua New Guinea; from the mountain peaks to the coastlines and islands.

Maybe a million is an over exaggeration, but there are at least 47 Reasons to Visit Papua New Guinea.

Travel and Tourism in Papua New Guinea:
Part of the Papua New Guinea Business Directory, there's a lot of good tourism information on Papua New Guinea here.

Papua New Guinea Travellers

Photographs From Papua New Guinea:
Carole-Anne Fooks, of Adelaide, has always had an interest in other cultures and presents her pictures of village life in Papua New Guinea to the world.

The Islands of Love:
We knew from our lecture on board Oceanic Princess that the Trobriand Islands possessed the fabled reputation as the 'Islands of Love', but what was taking place on the pearl white sands as we approached struck us as something much more forthright!

Around Papua New Guinea

Complete listing of Papua New Guinea provinces and provincial capitals.

Highlands Region

In the north of Papua New Guinea lies the Highlands Region; an east-west zone of mountains with elevations in excess of 4,000 metres.

Eastern Highlands (Goroka) - Enga (Wabag) - Hela (Tari) - Jiwaka (Kurumul) - Simbu (Kundiawa) - Southern Highlands (Mendi) - Western Highlands (Mount Hagen).

Islands Region

Located in the northeast of Papua New Guinea, the New Guinea Islands Region comprises of provinces in the Bismarck Archipelago and Solomon Islands Archipelago.

Autonomous Region of Bougainville (Buka) - East New Britain (Rabaul) - Manus (Lorengau) - New Ireland (Kavieng) - West New Britain (Kimbe).

Momase Region

The Momase Region is made up of four provinces in the northeast of the Papua New Guinea mainland.

East Sepik (Wewak) - Madang (Madang) - Morobe (Lae) - Sandaun Province, formerly West Sepik (Vanimo).

Papua Region

A hot humid climate exists here for most of the year, except in the mountains.

Central Province (Port Moresby) - Gulf (Kerema) - Milne Bay (Alotau) - National Capital District (Port Moresby) - Oro (Popondetta) - Western Province (Daru).


Goroka is the capital of Papua New Guinea's Eastern Highlands.

Goroka is famous for its Highland Show. There's no road between Port Moresby and Goroka, so you'll need to fly to get there.

Hiking Out of Goroka

You're best advised to get yourself a guide if you plan on hiking out of Goroka. It can take up to two days to get to the next village and you probably won't see anyone else in the jungle.

Mount Hagen

Mount Hagen is the provincial capital of the Western Highlands.

Be sure to catch the Saturday market in Mount Hagen.

The Mount Hagen Cultural Show, usually around August, is also worth making the extra effort to be around for.

Kokoda Hiking Trail

Originally used by gold miners during the 1890s and later the scene of much fighting during World War II, the 96km Kokoda Track is one of the most popular hikes in Papua New Guinea.

Day trippers from Port Moresby may prefer to do the one hour walk along the trail, towards the Goldie River.

For those who continue, the trail starts to get steep as it climbs up the 'Golden Stairs' and over the Imita Ridge.

Walking from south to north is the preferred choice and August to September the best time to get your hiking boots on.

At a moderate pace, tours along the length of the Kokoda Trail take around eleven days.

Kokoda Track Authority

Under the Kokoda Track Trek Permit Law 2005 of both the Kokoda and Koiari Local-level Governments, persons, whether as individuals or part of a group, who wish to walk the Kokoda Track, are required to obtain a Trek Permit.

Trek Permits are available upon application from the Kokoda Track Authority or through recognised tour operators registered with the Authority.

Kokoda Trekking

The unspoilt villages throughout the Kokoda Track will welcome you and the Koiari and Orokaiva people will greet you with smiles and tempt you with seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Kokoda Trekking Packages are availaible, with a moderate trek taking around eight days.

The Kokoda Trail can prove to be a difficult walk with high temperatures and humidity so prior training is recommended along with a thorough medical examination to verify your fitness.

Depending on the fitness of the walkers, varying itineraries can be tailor-made to suit specific individual and group requirements.

Madang Diving

Madang is one of the most popular locations in Papua New Guinea for divers, with its reef-fringed lowlands and offshore volcanic islands backed by some of the most rugged mountains in Papua New Guinea.

Getting to Madang

Madang is a one hour flight from Port Moresby - serviced by Air Nuigini with good daily connections.

The Tribal Peoples of Papua New Guinea

The Mudmen of Papua New Guinea

Visit the Highlands of Papua New Guinea to see the Mudmen of the Mat Tribe.

Tribal Feuds in Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea tribes gather peacefully to celebrate their ancestral traditions with singing and dancing.

Mock battles are also staged but sometimes the tribal fighting gets serious.

Tribal Tattoos of Papua New Guinea

As far back as the old men and women can remember, tattooing has been a tribal custom of the coastal peoples of Papua New Guinea.

Among the Motu, Waima, Aroma, Hula, Mekeo, Mailu and other related south-western groups, women were heavily tattooed from head to toe, while men displayed chest markings related to their exploits in the headhunt.

By World War II, however, tattooing traditions largely disappeared in these areas and today only the Maisin and a few neighbouring peoples of Collingwood Bay, in south-eastern Papua, remain as the last coastal people to continue tattooing itself.

Papua New Guinea Travel Tips

There are many nice diving sites in Papua New Guinea as well as trips to the villages.

Please be careful in Port Moresby as there are problems with rascals and robbers, especially at night time.

People living in the city are very security conscious of this.

Map of Port Moresby

Map of Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea Travel Guides

Lonely Planet Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands (Travel Guide) Papua New Guinea & West Papua rkh r/v (r) wp GPS (12m)

Papua New Guinea Travel Guides.

Travel Map More From Travel Notes

Travel Notes Online Guide to Travel

Africa - Asia - Caribbean - Europe - Middle East - North America - Oceania - South America.

Travel Guides

The Travel Notes Online Guide to Travel helps visitors plan their trip with country and city travel guides, local tourist information, reviewed web sites, and regular travel articles.

Travel and Tourism Guides on Travel Notes

If Travel Notes has helped you, please take a moment to like us on Facebook and share with your friends on social media.

Travel Notes Travel Resources

Meta-Travel Advertise - Airlines - Airports - Business - Car Hire - City Guides - Cruises - Flights - Hostels - Hotels - Locations - Lodging - Meta-Travel - Rail Travel - Tips and Trips - Topsites - Tours - Travel Blogs - Travel Directory - Travel Insurance - Travel SEO - Vacation Rentals.

Travel & Tourism With Industry Professionals.

Travel and Tourism Websites and Blogs

Travel Notes Disclosure - Affiliates, Cookies, User Consent and Privacy Policy.
Besides display advertising, we may also receive a commission if you purchase a product or service that we link to.

NextPitcairn Islands.