Papua New Guinea is just 3.7 kilometres away from Australian soil at its nearest point.
It takes one hour to fly from Cairns to Port Moresby. It’s three hours from Brisbane. That’s very close. And yet Papua New Guinea goes under-the-radar for most Australian tourists.
But just look at these photos. Seriously. PNG is unbelievably beautiful.
Papua New Guinea has four regions and 22 picturesque provinces. Over the past few weeks, the country’s tourism bureau has dropped some stunning photos on social media.
We decided to find the Papua New Guinea travel destinations behind the exquisite images that have been floating around online.
West New Britain Province
Calling in all divers – Kimbe Bay, just north off the coast of West New Britain is the place for underwater action.
The water here is filled with towers of vibrant coral. You won’t want to pass up a dive from the centre at Walindi Plantation Resort.
If you want to keep your head above water, fishing, trekking and hot springs are great alternatives for non-divers.
What to do
- Explore the deepest recorded cave system in the southern hemisphere at Muruk in the Nakanai area.
- Visit the Talasea District in an active volcanic region.
How to get there: Domestic flights arrive at the Hoskins airport in Kimbe from Port Moresby daily. Several coastal ships also call in at Kimbe on their way to and from Lae and Rabaul.
Travel from islands to highlands when you visit Lae in Morobe Province – Papua New Guinea’s second-largest city.
Morobe’s natural diversity is astounding. Its landscape consists of fortress-like mountains, broad valleys and coastal swamps and lakes.
Explore all that Morobe has to offer including markets, war history, water activities, islands, caves and mountain climbing.
- Fly over Morobe on a Manalos Aviation tour.
- Soak up the rodeo-style events, motor-cycle stunts, cultural dress pageants, and amusement rides at the Morobe Show each October
How to get there: Domestic flights arrive directly into the Lae airport from Port Moresby daily. From the Highlands region, hire a car and journey five hours down the Okuk Highway.
Southern Highlands Province
You will get a strong feeling for the intricate cultural practices and social systems that define the Southern Highlands.
The Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival offers visitors a rare insight into the local culture.
On the final day of the festival, visitors are taken to Lake Kutubu Papua New Guinea’s second-largest lake to witness an amazing traditional canoe race and exciting drama performances.
What to do
- Feel the spray of the spectacular 100m plummet of the Wasi Falls at the Wildlife Management Area.
- Summit the country’s second-highest mountain, Mount Giluwe (4,368m).
How to get there: Domestic flights arrive directly into the Mendi or Moro airports from Port Moresby. Most hotels and resorts provide airport transfers.
East New Britain Province
Calm aquamarine water and coconut trees exist alongside the thrill of two active, grumbling volcanos in East New Britain.
The 1994 volcanic eruption levelled out the once-beautiful city of Rabaul. Since then Kokopo has been the capital.
Travel 45 minutes by boat from Kokopo to visit the Duke of York Islands. Here, take on some underwater adventurers, exploring the nooks and ocean caves.
What to do
- Take a stroll through the Kokopo markets to try local delicacies.
- Get up close and personal with an active volcano (Mt Tavurvur) on the edge of Simpson Harbour.
How to get there: Domestic flights arrive at Tokua Airport from Port Moresby daily. Cruise ships also dock here daily.
New Ireland Province
New Ireland boasts endless white-sand beaches and rivers of tumbling clear water.
With so many secluded islands it’s easy to see that travel to the Papua New Guinea region would be the ultimate hideaway.
Water adventures are in large supply in New Ireland. From diving, surfing, canoeing and waterhole-exploring you’ll be spoiled for choice.
What to do
- Cycle the length of the main island from Kavieng to Namatanai on the suitably flat Bulominski Highway.
- Explore Fissoa and other inland waterholes along the Bulominski Highway
How to get there: Domestic flights arrive into Kavieng from Port Moresby daily. The centre of town is only 1km from the airport.