Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s complex culture and biodiversity mean an endless supply of amazing discoveries for even the widest-travelled adventurer. While hiking the Kokoda Track is an act of pilgrimage for some, the insight into remote indigenous cultures and encounters with exotic wildlife are reason enough for many.

Papua New Guinea Tours & Travel

All our Papua New Guinea trips

The Kokoda Track

11 days from
USD $4,510
CAD $4,655
AUD $4,565
EUR €3,140
GBP £2,640
NZD $5,085
ZAR R45,695
CHF FR3,800

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Articles on Papua New Guinea

The tribe has spoken: these Asian tribes will blow your mind

Posted on Mon, 29 Sep 2014

Believe it or not, the old world does survive, in the deep jungles and the high mountains, kept alive in the ancient knowledge of tribes.

Read more

About Papua New Guinea

At a glance

Trips Available: 0
Capital city: Port Moresby (population 310,000)
Population: 7 million
Language: English, Tok Pisin, Hiri Motu
Currency: PGK
Time zone: (GMT+10:00) Guam, Port Moresby
Electricity: Type I (Australian/New Zealand & Chinese/Argentine 2/3-pin)
Dialing code: +675

Best time to visit Papua New Guinea

The best time to visit PNG is during the dry season when cool breezes and low humidity on the coast make temperatures comfortable. Coastal areas can be very hot and humid during the monsoon and rainfall can be torrential. The highlands are much cooler and have even been known to experience snowfalls.

papua new guinea weather map chart

Geography and environment

Papua New Guinea is part of a chain of islands stretching between Asia and Australia. It has over 600 islands, the largest of which, Bougainville, shares a border with Indonesia. The islands are notoriously rugged with heavily forested peaks hiding all manner of weird and wonderful flora and fauna.

Top Picks

Top 5 Kokoda Moments in Papua New Guinea

1. Village Stays

Days away from the outside world, the villages and villagers along the Kokoda Track have been able to maintain their customs, languages and traditions with little interference from the outside world.

2. Isurava Battlefield

Once a WWII battleground, now a moving memorial. The four pillars encapsulate the battle along Kokoda with the words: ‘Courage, Sacrifice, Mateship and Endurance.’

3. Mt Bellamy

It’s an arduous challenge to get to the track’s highest point, but at 2200m your efforts are rewarded with sprawling views across the Owen Stanley Ranges.

4. Fuzzy Wuzzy Friends

Thousands of Australian soldiers owed their lives to the actions of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels and they’ve become legendary throughout the country. At Menari, we have the opportunity to meet with one of the remaining angels.

5. The Golden Staircase

The original stairs (built by Aussie soldiers) may no longer exist but the steep hill they climbed lives on!

FAQs on Papua New Guinea

All visitors to Papua New Guinea including tourists are required to have a visa to enter and all nationalities must apply for their visa prior to travelling to PNG. Currently a 30-day tourist visa is available for nationals of many countries including Australia, Japan, New Zealand, UK, USA and most western European countries. This tourist visa is non-extendable and is issued free of charge.

To acquire a visa you will need to complete a visa application form with a passport photo attached, and submit this with a trip itinerary, proof of sufficient funds for your stay and a copy of an onward airline ticket showing confirmed flight bookings. You can obtain your visa application form through your travel agent or by downloading a form online from the Papua New Guinean High Commission website. Your completed visa application needs to be sent your nearest Papua New Guinean High Commission, embassy or consulate along with your valid passport (which must have at least 6 months validity on it from the date of intended travel) as well as a pre-paid, self-addressed and registered post envelope which will be used to return your passport to you.

Please note that visa processing times can be subject to delays, particularly during peak periods, so we commend you allow sufficient time when applying for your visa.
Tipping isn’t expected in Papua New Guinea but if you’ve received good service consider a 10% tip.
Service can be slow and intermittent even in major towns.
Reception is poor in most areas. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier if you wish to use your phone.
It's likely that you’ll encounter different types of toilets while travelling in Papua New Guinea. Western-style flushable toilets are commonly found in high-end resorts, hotels and restaurants, while squat toilets are common in rural areas and homes. Be prepared by carrying your own supply of toilet paper and soap, as these aren't always provided.
Bottle of soft drink = 3 PGK
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 10 PGK
Simple lunch = 10 PGK
Three-course meal = 50 PGK
Drinking tap water in Papua New Guinea isn’t recommended. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
Credit cards are widely accepted in major towns.
There’s good access to ATMs in Port Moresby.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: [site:intrepid_insurance_link]
Jan 1 New Year’s Day
Apr 1 Easter Monday
Jun 10 Queen’s Birthday
Jul 23 National Remembrance Day
Sep 16 Independence Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 26 Boxing Day

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/Papua-New-Guinea/public-holidays

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Papua New Guinea Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Papua New Guinea

1. Be considerate of Papua New Guinea’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.

3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

4. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

5. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

6. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

7. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

8. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

9. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
KokodaPaul Ham
Four Corners: A Journey into the Heart of Papua New GuineaKira Salak
The Last Men: Journey Among the Tribes of New GuineaIago Corazza and Greta Ropa