Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea offers a wide range of activities for the adventurous traveler. Whether you love water sports, photography, diverse cultures or the natural environment, you’re sure to find something that captures your attention on this South Pacific Island.

Attend a Festival

You’re likely familiar with the images of tribes dressed in thick body paint and adorned with bird feathers and animal horns and tusks.  While some tribes wear these as every day garb, you can’t possibly see all of these during one visit unless you attend one the country’s main festivals (singsings). During the Mt. Hagen and Goroka SingSings, approximately 75 groups gather from around the country. Each tribe wears traditional makeup and clothing from their village and all perform during a weekend of intense music and singing.

Photograph the Culture and Natural Beauty

The beauty of the landscape not withstanding, it’s the people during the singsings that will have your friends at home oohing and aaahing over your photographs. The traditional outfits worn are unimaginable to most Westerners. Therefore, your images of mud-masked men and bare-breasted women wearing 30 pounds of beaded necklaces will make you looking like a professional photographer – whether you one are or not!
Dive or Snorkel the Reefs

It’s a little known fact that Papua New Guinea has some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. (It was rated the TOP Dive Destination in the World in 2002.) It’s said that waters around this island have double the amount of marine species than those found in the Red Sea and as much as 5 times than what’s found in the Caribbean.

It’s easy to get to barrier reefs, coral gardens and even dive site wrecks either on day trips or on live-aboard boats. And with consistently warm weather, diving and snorkeling are possible year-round.

Experience Unparalleled  Bird Watching

There are more than 700 species of birds on this half-island nation, including the magnificent Bird of Paradise (found only on this island).  There are spots all over the country where bird watching is excellent – though some are very difficult to get to.  Arm yourself with the best pair of binoculars you can afford and a camera with a very long lens. This will ensure you the very best sightings and photos to take home to your bird watching friends.

Trek the Jungles and Mountains

Much of Papua New Guinea is made up of impenetrable jungle. Therefore roads are few. This thick growth is both good and bad for trekkers. It means that while tramping through the jungle is challenging – it’s also exciting because it’s not far from what early adventurers discovered. Even the popular Kokoda trek is known for being one of the hardest treks in the world. Having said that, there are hikes that are far less difficult and reap some wonderful rewards in terms of their beauty.

[box color=”white” icon=”accept”]Beth Whitman is the founder of Wanderlust and Lipstick and WanderTours. She regularly leads cultural tours to Papua New Guinea for the Mt. Hagen and Goroka singsings.[/box]