Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Lying just south of the equator, 160km north of Australia, Papua New Guinea is part of a great arc of mountains stretching from Asia, through Indonesia and into the South Pacific. With a vibrant and colourful Papua New Guinea culture, more than 600 islands and 800 indigenous languages, PNG is made up of 4 regions with 20 provinces.The striking natural beauty and myriad complex cultures in Papua New Guinea offer some riveting and truly life-affirming experiences.
The island of New Guinea, is only one-ninth as big as Australia, yet it has just as many mammal species, and more kinds of birds and frogs.
Head to the Highlands for a glimpse into PNG’s fascinating tribal cultures, or enjoy the Central, Oro & Milne Bay Provinces, home to gorgeous reefs and historic wartime sites – including the country’s foremost attraction, the Kokoda Track.
The mountainous terrain has spawned diversity in two ways: isolated mountain ranges are often home to unique fauna and flora found nowhere else, while within any one mountain range you will find different species as you go higher. In the lowlands are jungles whose trees are not that different from those of Southeast Asia. Yet the animals are often startlingly different – cassowaries instead of tapirs, and marsupial cuscus instead of monkeys.
The greatest diversity of animal life occurs at around 1500m above sea level. The ancestors of many of the marsupials found in these forests were derived from Australia some five million years ago. By the time you have reached 3000m above sea level the forests are stunted and wreathed in epiphytes. It’s a formation known as elfin woodland, and in it one finds many bright honeyeaters, native rodents and some unique relics of prehistory, such as the giant long-beaked echidna. Above the elfin woodland the trees drop out, and a wonderland of alpine grassland and herbfield dominates, where wallabies and tiny birds, like the alpine robin, can often be seen.
462,840 sq km (178,704 sq miles)
English, Tok Pisin, Hiri Motu
Christianity, indigenous beliefs
Flight time from London
30 hours via Singapore and Brisbane
GMT + 10
When to go
The weather in PNG can be unpredictable.
The wet season runs from December to March, which is obviously not the best time for hiking and wildlife watching.
However, if you’re coming for surfing, this is when you’ll find the best waves off the north coast and the islands.
The drier months of May through to October is generally the most pleasant time to visit. It’s also when many of the festivals are held.
In most parts of PNG, diving is good year-round; Milne Bay however, has the best visibility from September to January and from April to June.
- High Season
- Mid Season
- Shoulder Season
Where to stay
These are just a selection of the properties we can personally recommend. Please get in touch to hear more about our full portfolio.
True North The Mystery of Melanesia
A rare opportunity to explore the acclaimed Louisiade Archipelago – one of the great island arcs of the South Pacific stretching some 400km along the northern rim of the Coral Sea. Plus the mysterious Trobriand Islands, spectacular Bougainville and much, much more!
True North Adventures in Paradise
An adventure packed with diverse destinations and fascinating experiences. From the Bismarck Sea to the beautiful Louisiade Archipelago, this itinerary travels through a stunning tropical landscape of island and reef.
True North Sepik Soirée
Explore the mysterious Sepik River. Witness the infamous crocodile initiation ceremony and visit the stilt houses on Lake Kambaraumba. Wander idyllic tropical isles fringed with sandy white beaches and bounded by endless coral reef. Discover Papua New Guinea’s distinctive landscapes – both above and below the water.