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Papua New Guinea is one of the last great frontiers of travel — it's fierce, raw and untamed. Many of the people live much the way they have for eons and gather together for regular festivals called "singsings" in wildly colorful traditional costume and body decoration that rival Rio's Carnival and Sydney's Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. It has some of the world's best diving and snorkeling over pristine tropical reefs and countless tons of WWII wreckage, and surfers are just beginning to discover the virgin waves and friendly Melanesian culture. Landlubbers will find that the many mountains, caves and valleys make for excellent trekking ...

Papua New Guinea is one of the last great frontiers of travel — it's fierce, raw and untamed. Many of the people live much the way they have for eons and gather together for regular festivals called "singsings" in wildly colorful traditional costume and body decoration that rival Rio's Carnival and Sydney's Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. It has some of the world's best diving and snorkeling over pristine tropical reefs and countless tons of WWII wreckage, and surfers are just beginning to discover the virgin waves and friendly Melanesian culture. Landlubbers will find that the many mountains, caves and valleys make for excellent trekking opportunities far away from the madding crowds. More than 80 percent of the world's Bird of Paradise varieties are unique to Papua New Guinea and the country is a Mecca for ornithologists. Taking a slow canoe up the remote and mighty Sepik River is a highlight for many visitors. This Sepik region is the powerhouse of traditional Pacific art and most people come away with at least one Sepik art piece — a carving, a mask, or perhaps a canoe prow.

Rowan McKinnon
About the Expert

Rowan McKinnon is coauthor of the Lonely Planet guides to Papua New Guinea & the Solomon Islands, and Australia.

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Rowan McKinnon for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands.
  • Language: Melanesian Pidgin
  • Currency: Papua New Guinean Kina
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Goroka Show in September; May to October dry season; October to April surfing season