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Overview to Papua New Guinea: Travel Guide and Tourist Information

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is undoubtedly one of the world’s last great remote travel destinations. Historically speaking, its dense jungles have appealed more to the social anthropologist and the naturalist than the backpacker.

Away from the capital, Port Moresby (a first point of call for most travelers), Papua New Guinea becomes ever more exotic and ‘off the beaten track’. Much of the country was only very recently mapped, and most of it is still largely uninhabited.

Papua New Guinea’s cultural and tribal diversity is legend. Home to some 1,000 tribes speaking 700 different native languages, the famous ‘spirit houses’ of Sepik Province offer travelers a fascinating insight into the complexity of tribal traditions.

Huge national parks stretch across the country with the magnificent Lake Kutubu, up in the Highlands, one of the most impressive. Surrounded on all sides by jungles, wildlife and stunning scenery, like the better known Kokoda Trail, it’s the perfect terrain for trekking.

At the point where three oceans meet, the waters that surround the country are unbelievably rich in marine life. Allied to its unique location, the way its coastlines immediately drop off to great depths also explains its wealth of fish species and extravagant coral formations.

There are several Second World wrecks dotted across the waters of Kavieng, Rabaul, and, to the north of the country, the idyllic little town of Madang. There are also various islands to explore with New Hanover and New Ireland, especially, having some great diving sites.

With its dizzying array of tribal cultures, diving, trekking and countless ecotourism opportunities, Papua New Guinea would be an attractive enough destination for backpacking. But it’s the air of mystery – of being a ‘last frontier’ – that truly makes it stand alone.