INTRODUCING PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Papua New Guinea is a unique nation boasting breathtaking landscapes, unique cultures, and exotic flora and fauna. PNG lies entirely within the tropics and comprises a total land and sea mass of over 2.2 million square kilometers. The mainland is split by a rugged mountain range which features some of the highest peaks in the Pacific, many of which soar over 4,000 meters. Trekking in PNG offers many unforgettable experiences, stunning views, history, and spectacular birdlife. Much of the Papua New Guinea coast is surrounded by beautiful coral reefs and gorgeous, sandy beaches making it one of the world’s best diving, snorkeling and surfing destinations.
The population of PNG is approximately 8 million people, most of whom are Melanesian. While English, Tok Pisin, and Hiri Motu are the official languages of PNG, the fact that more than 800 languages are spoken in the region demonstrates the sheer breadth of diversity.
THE HISTORY OF PNG
PNG forms the eastern half of the world’s second largest island after Greenland. In the 1800s, the western half was annexed by the Netherlands. The border was artificial and suited the needs of the imperial map makers who had to draw lines to represent the boundary of the Dutch empire without visiting the land. The Germans further divided the eastern section of the island which has heavily influenced the development of Tok Pisin, using many words and phrases from the German language. The German influence is also seen heavily in the religions that have taken deep roots here and although the German’s lost their portion of PNG after World War I, there is still many German people and descendants living here.
In 1949, the United Nations turned the once British and German colonies into a single territory under Australian administration. The country, fully independent since 16 September 1975, has a freely elected democratic government. Papua New Guinea became the 142nd member of the United Nations on October 10, 1975, and is also a member of the British Commonwealth.
During World War II, Port Moresby was the strategic target of the Japanese in its bid to invade Australia, although they were unsuccessful the area was subjected to many air attacks. Today, Port Moresby is the capital of PNG.
EXPLORE PORT MORESBY
Enjoy a range of attractions in Port Moresby such as markets, cultural activities, and festivals. Port Moresby also offers a range of delicious dining options to suit every taste, from à la carte to alfresco to buffet style dining.
AIRWAYS HOTEL | Bacchus Restaurant, Fine dining, Vue Poolside Restaurant & Lounge: Casual dining Poolside Deli KC: Café fare & coffee Seven C’s Café Bar: Beverages & snacks Phone: 324 5200
ASIA AROMAS | HARBOURSIDE EAST fusion of Thai and Chinese cuisines. Open daily, eat in or take away. Phone: 321 4780.
AVIAT CLUB | KONEDOBU Famous for its Lobster Alexander. International cuisine. Phone: 321 7736.
DAIKOKU | HARBOUR CITY Japanese Teppan-yaki. Also has buffet and à la carte dining option. Open daily. Phone: 321 0255.
DUFFY CAFÉ | GABAKA STREET | HARBOURSIDE EAST | JACKSON’S AIRPORT Coffee, cakes, creperie, extensive lunch menu. On a Friday night, Duffy Harbourside becomes a restaurant and bar. Phone: 325 8528.
EDGE BY THE SEA | HARBOUR CITY Coffee shop with extensive breakfast and lunch menu. Phone: 7995 5263.
FUSION | HARBOUR CITY Asian cuisine. Phone: 7196 6666.
JACKSON’S BAR AND GRILL | GATEWAY HOTEL restaurant and bar. International, tapas,pizza. Open daily until 11am. Phone: 327 8100.
MOJO SOCIAL | HARBOUR CITY Mediterranean Cuisine. Open from 11.00am Monday to Friday – Saturday dinner only. Takeaway available Phone: 7995 5264.
NAKED FISH | HARBOURSIDE International cuisine, local seafood and live entertainment. Open daily. Phone: 320 2016.
POOL BAR & CAFE | THE STANLEY HOTEL & SUITES Pool side dining. Open daily from 10.00am.
RIO’S AT THE TEMPLE | LAMANA HOTEL Brazilian style barbeque. Open daily from 6.00pm. Phone: 323 2333.
SIZZLER’S | GATEWAY HOTEL Family-friendly meals from steaks to ribs to seafood accompanied by a fresh buffet salad bar. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Phone: 327 8711.
SEOUL HOUSE | FOUR MILE Korean and Thai cuisine. Phone: 325 2231.
SPICES RESTAURANT | LAMANA HOTEL Indian cuisine. Phone: 323 2333.
MACDHUI RESTAURANT | ROYAL PAPUA YACHT CLUB International restaurant and bar. Eat in or takeaway. Phone: 321 1700.
SOGNO | HARBOURSIDE One of the top picks for Italian food in POM. Try the duck ravioli or lobster if it’s on the daily specials. Excellent wine selection and friendly service. Open for lunch and dinner. Phone: 320 0001.
SILVERLEAF | THE STANLEY HOTEL & SUITES Fine dining. Open for dinner Monday to Saturday. Bookings essential. Email: email@example.com
TANDOOR | HARBOURSIDE Indian Cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner. Phone: 7629 0488.
TASTY BITE | CBD Indian Cuisine. Open lunch and dinner. Phone: 321 2222.
THE ITALIAN | LAMANA HOTEL Italian. Open for lunch and dinner. Phone: 323 2333
PLACES TO GO
THE ROYAL PAPUA YACHT CLUB offers a range of great activities and events. There is a full commercial gym that holds daily classes for all levels of fitness. There are a restaurant and a separate cafe on site. If you like to spend time on the water they offer sailing, water skiing, diving or game fishing. It is always good to make friends with people who own a boat! For more information, visit www.rpyc.com.pg .
THE PORT MORESBY NATURE PARK hosts an extensive collection of indigenous flora and fauna. The park is home to many native orchids and plant species as well as a large collection of native animal species such as cassowaries, tree-kangaroos, wallabies, reptiles and bird species including the bird of paradise. Open seven days a week from 8.00am to last customer entry at 4.00pm.
OWERS’ CORNER is the start of the world-renowned Kokoda Trail. The Kokoda Trail remains a popular and sentimental trek, particularly to visitors from Australia and New Zealand, because it is where many WWII ANZAC soldiers battled and died. Take a walk down to Goldie River which is a two-hour walk up and back if you don’t have the time (or fitness) to walk the entire track.
BOMANA WAR CEMETERY Bomana War Cemetery is the largest known cemetery in the Pacific region. Located off the road to Nine Mile, it commemorates nearly 4,000 men, mostly Australians, who lost their lives in the region during WWII.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA NATIONAL MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY The Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery showcases the region’s fascinating people and heritage. It includes an extensive collection of fauna, cultural and archeological artifacts, war relics and artworks. Visit www.museumpng.gov.pg for opening hours
PARADISE CINEMAS Movies always come out in PNG earlier than elsewhere, sometimes playing here for 2 weeks before they screen in Australia. For more information on movies and session times, visit www.paradisecinemaspng.com.
LANES AT LAMANA Lanes at Lamana is the only bowling alley in PNG. Open 10 am until late at Lamana Hotel.
PORT MORESBY CRAFT MARKET Occurring every Saturday, the Port Moresby Craft Market is an opportunity to buy a genuine handcrafted trinket by local Papua New Guineans. Open 8.00am to 1.00pm, the market moves location throughout the month. For more information, visit Facebook and search Port Moresby Craft Markets.
TREKKING PNG is so varied that it offers a multitude of options for hikers to experience PNG. While Kokoda is the most renowned trek in PNG, there are plenty of other hikes for people of varying levels of fitness. In the Highlands region, Mt Wilhelm looms large as the highest peak in PNG, while Mt Giluwe is also a favorite. Bougainville provides another interesting trek along the Rotokas-Numa Trail, a track that was also a well-known WWII battleground. The Trans-New Britain Track which starts in East New Britain and extends across to the west traverses remote and tropical terrain.
DIVING With unique coral reefs, intriguing war wrecks and unusual fish species, PNG boasts some of the best diving in the world. The region forms part of the famous Coral Triangle, which has the highest diversity of tropical fish in the world.The most popular dive sites are Susie’s Bommie and Pumpkin Patch (POM); Planet Rock, George’s Wreck (East New Britain); Magic Passage and B25 Mitchell Bomber (Madang); Zero (West New Britain); and Echuca Patch and Albatross Passage (New Ireland). For those who wish to dive in PNG, full medical and evacuation insurance is required. Alternatively, insurance can be purchased on site through the dive operator.
BIRDWATCHING PNG is a birdwatcher’s paradise, starting with the national emblem the Bird of Paradise. There are a variety of Birds of Paradise include the Raggiana – known for its beautiful plumage, Blue Bird of Paradise, Queen Carola’s Parotia and King of Saxony. Male birds of paradise are known to perform an extravagant dance to attract a female mate. With over 600 bird species on record, PNG offers an extensive range of other amazing bird species including the Victoria Crowned Pigeon, Azure Kingfisher, Nicobar Pigeon, and Flame Bowerbird. Go online to Papua new guinea.travel where you’ll find a mini-pocket guide of the ‘Birds of Port Moresby’.
FISHING PNG has widely diverse ocean and river fishing for the enthusiastic angler. The ocean offers up prime game fishing such as marlin, yellowfin, giant trevally, and tuna. The hard-to-catch black bass can be found in the Fly, Sepik, and Lower Ramu Rivers. Barramundi is caught in the Western Province. Bensbach Wildlife Lodge organizes fishing tours on a catch and release system for keen anglers. On West New Britain, Baia Fishing Lodge is the place to go to take fishing to another level. Bass fishing is a favorite in the region.
SURFING PNG continues to capture the hearts of surf enthusiasts around the world. With unlimited surfing potential all year round, PNG offers up consistent waves without the overcrowding. In Sero Cove, just out of Port Moresby the waves range from three to six feet from May to November. On the northern side of the mainland, Madang, Wewak, and Vanimo provide consistent swells with camps for avid surfers provided at Vanimo, Wewak, and Aitape. On Bougainville Island, surfers will find a number of reef breaks and quality waves. New Ireland Province is one of the most popular destinations for surfers. Around Kavieng, there are numerous reef setups, which provide solid surf breaks. Venturing north, Manus Island and the St Matthias group of islands provide the perfect opportunity to discover new breaks in remote conditions. For more information on surfing in PNG, visit www.sapng.com.
MOROBE PROVINCE Lae is the capital of the Morobe Province and home to the famous Morobe Cultural Show. Take a trip to the Rainforest Habitat where you can see magnificent flora while watching the PNG fauna frolick from raised viewing platforms. The National Botanic Gardens has also been renovated. The Lae War Cemetery and Japanese Memorial should be on your list. Take a day trip out to the Ramu Valley which is rich farming land.
MADANG PROVINCE The waters surrounding the township of Madang features beautiful coral and marine life. You can island hop across to Pig, Kranket or Wangan Islands which are each unique and don’t miss the Madang Festival held during the June long weekend.
THE HIGHLANDS The Highlands, otherwise known as the Heartland of PNG, comprises of a number of provinces. The Western Highlands is home to Mt Hagen, an extinct volcano, which offers great trekking. Meanwhile, the Simbu Province known for its rugged beauty lays claim to the largest peak in PNG, Mt Wilhelm. The mysterious skeleton tribe resides in the dense valleys of the province and can be seen performing at various cultural shows throughout PNG. Goroka in the Eastern Highlands Province is the coffee capital of PNG which underpins the region’s economy.
MILNE BAY PROVINCE Milne Bay, like many parts of PNG, is a Mecca for exotic bird species such as the beautiful bird of paradise. Known as the gateway to the Milne Bay Province, Alotau provides access to some of the most amazing coral reefs in PNG which are renowned for great muck diving and manta rays. If you’re in Alotau around November, make sure you catch the Canoe and Kundu Festival, a wonderful tribute to customs of a bygone era. See warriors in traditional dress and canoes racing on the waters. Alotau and Tawali are also great launching pads to explore the D’Entrecasteaux Islands and Trobriands.
THE EAST SEPIK PROVINCE As PNG’s longest river system, it’s no surprise that the Sepik River inspires so much of the lifestyle and culture in the East Sepik Province. Wewak, the capital of the province, is known for its great surf between October and April. If you want to see larger varieties of marine life, such as stingrays and reef sharks, head out for a diving adventure on the Hermit Islands.
SANDAUN PROVINCE Located in the north-western pocket of PNG, ‘Sandaun’ is Tok Pisin for “sundown”. While the capital, Vanimo, is renowned for its surf lodge, the region is not a common travel destination. You can explore the region on foot, take a walk around the headlands where you’ll discover some great beaches for swimming and snorkeling.
THE WESTERN PROVINCE The Star Mountains in the Western Province attract heavy rainfalls which gives rise to the region’s most prevalent feature – the mighty Fly River. Star Mountain Plaza in Port Moresby, where the Hilton Hotel is the situation is named after the provinces Star Mountains. Sports fishing along the river is very popular and dense rainforest areas also attract many exotic bird species.
EAST NEW BRITAIN A diverse location with evergreen rainforest, rocky mountains, large volcanoes, and strong war history. The capital, Kokopo, isn’t too far from the original capital of Rabaul which was destroyed by volcanic eruptions back in September 1994. Rabaul houses an extensive collection of WWII relics, tunnels and caves from the 1942 occupation by the Japanese. The region also offers plenty of opportunity to trek, birdwatch, fish and dive. Don’t miss the Baining Fire Dance, a cultural performance unique to East New Britain.
WEST NEW BRITAIN While connected to the same land mass, West New Britain is a separate province. Kimbe is the capital of the province named after Kimbe Island which can be seen from the township. For divers, Zero wreck is a popular dive in the region. Visitors can also check out the Garu Hot River which is naturally heated at over 41 degrees and has restorative powers.
BOUGAINVILLE Bougainville was subject to severe civil unrest from 1988 to 1996. Today, Bougainville is a serene place that allows visitors to experience a place that is almost untouched. The Reed Festival, a bi-annual event staged in Arawa, celebrates the cultural diversity of the region showcasing music, dancing, and creative arts.
NEW IRELAND PROVINCE New Ireland Province is renowned for its amazing cycling tours of the island. The island is inhabited by the Malagan, Kabai and Tumbuan people who have very unique dances and dress for their special ceremonies. One of the most unusual practices in New Ireland is shark hunting. While shark hunting is not atypical, in this instance the fishermen call the sharks to their boats and kill the unsuspecting mammals.
MANUS ISLAND Manus is the largest island in a group of islands called the Admiralty Islands. Manus, boasts thickly forested hills, streams, and a magnificent waterfall. Known for its fishing and diving, Manus is also becoming a popular destination for surfing and sea kayaking.
SOMETHING TO REMEMBER When you are trekking in PNG it is important to understand you are walking through customary land. Everything is either communally owned or owned by a family or tribe. Always ask a local guide if you are uncertain because local guides have the knowledge to help create a truly rewarding cultural experience. PNG people are quite conservative, so always wear long shorts (knee length) or pants/skirts and t-shirts. Swimming costumes can be too revealing so it is recommended that men wear shorts and women either shorts and a t-shirt or a sarong. It’s not rude to stare in PNG so don’t be alarmed.
Celebrate the local people and their customs at one of the colorful annual festivals that occur annually in the region.
JUNE Madang Festival – Every Queen’s Birthday weekend, The Madang Festival has a colorful parade, canoe racing, sporting activities, and food stalls.
JULY National Mask Festival – The National Mask Festival in Rabaul celebrates the unique and ornately-crafted masks of PNG. There are many performances including fire-eaters, singers, drummers, and other festivities.
AUGUST Mona Festival – In Buka each year, the Mona Festival pays tribute to the traditional warrior canoes known as ‘Monas’. The festival also celebrates the cultural diversity and autonomy that inspires peace and reconciliation in Bougainville today. Mount Hagen Show is one of the most renowned festivals in PNG, heavily featuring a variety of sing-sings. Sepik Crocodile Festival – The Crocodile Festival is in Ambunti and has canoe racing and unique cultural performances. Enga Festival – in Wabag Town, watch the Sili Muli dancers of Enga perform. DWU Cultural Day – The Divine Word University Cultural Day is an annual event that enables students to showcase their cultural heritage. For more information, call Divine Word University on 422 2937.
SEPTEMBER Goroka Show – The Goroka Show is a richly diverse sing-sing style festival. Hiri Moale Show held on Ela Beach, illustrates a symbolic history that shines a light on their customs. Frangipani Festival in Rabaul celebrates Independence Day with the famous Baining Fire Dance, sing-sings, a float parade, and more colorful festivities.
OCTOBER Morobe Cultural Show in Lae promotes agricultural information as well as the largest group of sing-sings in PNG as well as rare rodeo events.
NOVEMBER PNG National Kenu and Kundu Festival celebrates the sea and the Milne Bat connection to it. See uniquely-crafted war canoes and Kundu drums in all their glory.
Event dates do change from time to time. For a current list of PNG cultural festivals, visit www.papuanewguinea.travel .
Air Niugini: 180 3444 327 3444
PNG Air: 7222 2151
Virgin: +61 7 3295 2296
Philippine Airlines: 320 1774
Qantas – 74111066
BANKS & ATMS
ANZ: 321 1079
Bank of South Pacific: 320 1212
Kina Banks: 308 3888
Westpac: 322 0888
AVIS: 324 9400
Budget: 323 6244
Europcar: 323 9210
Hertz: 325 4999
COMPUTERS AND PHONES
Date Poreporena Hwy: 303 1333
TE PNG Waigani: 325 6322
Able Computer Hohola: 325 2599
Rapid Fones Various Locations rapidfonespng.com
Speedcast Konedobu: 7091 7300
Telikom PNG Boroko: 300 7600
Vision City: 310 0040
Waigani: 300 5574
Date Poreporena Hwy: 303 1333
Hitron – TV provider Waigani: 302 2311
Digicel Various Locations: www.digicelgroup.com
Bmobile Waigani: 7600 3555
Australian High Commission Godwit Road, Waigani, Port Moresby 7090 0100
British High Commission Sec 411 Lot 1 & 2, Kiroki Street, Waigani, Port Moresby 303 7600
Consulate of Sweden Turumu Street, Boroko, Port Moresby 325 8066
Embassy of Japan Godwit Road, Waigani, Port Moresby 321 1800
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China Section 216, Lot 5, Sir John Guise Drive, Waigani, NCD 325 9827
Fiji High Commission 1st Floor, Fiji Haus, Frangipani Street, Hohola, Port Moresby 321 1914
French Embassy Defense Haus – 6th floor, Corner Champion Parade & Hunter Street, Port Moresby 321 5550
Indonesian Embassy Sir John Guise Drive, Lot 1&2, Section 410, Kiroki Street, Port Moresby 325 3116 New Zealand High Commission Magani Crescent, Waigani, Port Moresby 325 9444
Solomon High Commission Unit 1, GB House, Poreporena Freeway, Port Moresby 323 4333
US Embassy Douglas Street, Port Moresby 308 2100
FURNITURE & HOMEWARES
Courts: Furniture, appliances, framing Boroko: 302 5800
Brian Bell: Homewares Vision City: 325 5411 Turumu Street, Gordons: 325 5411
IGA at Airways, Waigani and Harbour City. Best for chocolate, cheese, and dishwasher tablets.
Waterfront Foodworld: Fresh produce, high-quality meat and a wide variety of grocery items.
Boroko Foodworld: Lower prices and a more authentic grocery buying experience.
RH Hypermarket: Vision City and various other locations. Low prices and a broad range of products.
Meat Haus: Good quality meat, frozen goods, and bakery on site.
South Moresby Fish Markets: Beautiful fresh fish caught daily. Advisable to be accompanied by security.
Waterfront, IGA and Vision City: For alcoholic beverages.
Brumbies Bread: Vision City, inside RH Hypermarket. Baked goods.
EMS PNG: 1567
Ela Medical Centre: 320 0585
Port Moresby Medical Service: 325 6633
Chemcare: Vision City, Waigani Drive
ISOS: Airways Hotel and Residences:
Paradise Private Hospital: 325 6022
Aspen Medical: 321 0202
Jeans West: Vision City
House of Gemini: Various Locations
Jules Collins: Vision City
Vision City Mega Mall Waigani Drive
Waterfront Mall Waterfront Precinct
Jack’s clothing: Waigani Central