Papua New Guinea is located in the Oceania region north of Australia, and encompasses the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, as well as several offshore islands. The nation gained its independence from Australia in 1975 and thanks to its strong mining and resource sectors, Papua New Guinea now boasts one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
An astonishingly disparate nation, Papua New Guinea is the most linguistically diverse country in the world. Of the more than 820 indigenous languages spoken throughout this small island nation, Tok Pisin and Hiri Motu are the most commonly used, with less than two per cent of the indigenous population speaking English.
Papua New Guinea’s unique attractions will no doubt inspire, however visitors should note that tourism infrastructure is minimal outside of the main cities, so considered preparations should always be taken before travelling to the nation's more remote areas.
- Currency - Kina (PGK)
- Population - approx. 7,800,000
- Time Zone - UTC+10
Did you know..?
That many of the Highlands provinces were not mapped until the 1930s and remained ungoverned until the late-1960s.
Who goes there?
Major lines P&O Australia, Princess Cruises and Cunard are the main big-ship cruises departing from Australia, and their itineraries are often planned to coincide with popular Papua New Guinea festivals. Unique expedition-style cruising is also available throughout the year on APT and Linblad-Expeditions.
Best time to go?
While Papua New Guinea’s lush Highlands can get chilly, the rest of the country sports a tropical climate all year round. The wet season takes place between the months of December and March, so if you are planning to undertake some hiking or would like to do a little snorkelling, the best months to visit are generally June through to September.
Things to See and Do
Papua New Guinea offers a very different kind of travel experience, making it a unique destination for even the most world-weary of visitors.
- During the months of October and November, visitors can take part in the annual Canoe and Kundu Festival, where beautifully adorned canoes race to the beat of Kundu drums
- Take a trip to the rejuvenated town of Rabaul, which was almost destroyed in 1994 by a monumental volcanic eruption from nearby Mount Tavurvur
- Doini Island’s glorious white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters make it a haven for snorkellers, with the nearby reefs teeming with exotic marine life.