Don't Miss Places In Papua New Guinea
The country of Papua New Guinea lies on the eastern half of New Guinea., the second largest island in the world. The western half of the island is part of Indonesia. Papua New Guinea also includes many small islands, such as the Bismarck Archipelago and the northern Solomon Islands.
Papua New Guinea is a land of mountains, fast flowing rivers, and dense forests. Its fertile soils support vast plantations of coconuts, coffee, tea, palm oil, and rubber. Grassy lowlands and marshes are home to crocodiles and turtles. Other wildlife includes giant butterflies, large flight less birds called cassowaries, and marsupials (pouched mammals) such as possums.
These are the top ten not to be missed places in the island of Papua New Guinea.
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Port Moresby Nature Park
The Port Moresby Nature Park is an expansive zone of natural rainforest that highlights the rich wildlife of Papua New Guinea and truly intriguing to discover. At its aviary (avifauna), there is a small selection of feathered creatures like; cormorants, petrels, kookaburra, pigeons, pelicans and so on. There are also a few marsupials - light-footed wallabies and kangaroos wandering on its field. There is a great restaurant on location offering big pizzas, salads, nuggets and drinks. The recreation center is well laid out and very clean.
It's very inspiring to see that all the animals are well nurtured, protected, and preserved in their own natural enclosures. The local staff and guides are charming, cordial, and well versed about the animals under their jurisdiction. The place is ideal for people who want to get acquainted with the wildlife collections of PNG up close. The entire tour of the nature park can be over and done within two hours. The rich flora and fauna that this country is famous for is thoroughly explained well by the guides along with the provided marker plates that describe their origin, purpose, and scientific names. The admission fee is worth the money and the knowledge you will gain from the visit.
National Museum and Art Gallery
At the National Museum and Art Gallery, the craftsmanship is very unique in relation to what one might expect. However, with further gained understanding as one goes from one exhibit to another, it is evident that there is so much to learn about the tribal customs of PNG. There are numerous old and fantastic looking wood carvings to admire inside a museum that houses mostly indigenous artifacts than modern items or artworks. Nonetheless, it is equally fascinating to visit the tribal relics on display. An old canoe is the main attraction, it is huge and truly eye catching, a good conversational piece with proper markings and description. Taking pictures is not allowed when inside and outside this site.
The friendly staff serves as a guide and explains that because of the large influx of inhabitants, explorers, traders, and missionaries that visited Papua New Guinea from at least 30,000 years ago, a huge variety of customs and languages have developed and more than 700 languages are spoken. Traditional ways of life are still strong in rural areas with communities growing their own food and hunting animals. If you need to learn more about the culture of PNG, include a visit to this informative museum in your travel itinerary. The museum gift shop is small yet again packed with art work from all regions. The exhibition hall is open from 08:30 to 16:00 Monday to Friday. There is no entrance fee on regular days but a donation box is present in the information area. If there are events, a ticket must be booked in advance during the office hours of the museum.
National Parliament House
The National Parliament House cannot be missed as it looks unique and built entirely different from any other building in Port Moresby. This structure and the nearby lake make this part of PNG a postcard perfect image especially when viewed from afar. The Parliament house which was built since 1984 is extraordinary and lovely, and the helpful guides will make you appreciate a little of PNG history and show you the collection of dead insects (moths, butterflies, bugs, etc.) and the presence of the large totem pole that is constructed inside it. There are also Kundru drums and other ethnic musical instruments that are proudly on display here. The chamber hall leaves a good impression.
There are separate pathways intended for the parliament members, and another one for the guests and observers. Silence is required when walking through the corridors and the rooms that are open for public viewing. There is no admission fee and there are rules to be observed when making a tour. No hats, sandals, no taking of photographs, and observe silence. The opportunity of meeting the prime minister and other lawmakers is a surprise that can happen at any time of the day while inside the parliament house. Inherent with the style of a Maprik Haus Tambaran (house of spirits), this amazing building is a fascinating spot whether the sessions in the parliament is on or not. The lake is essentially wonderful.
The Kokoda Trail is a great hiking adventure that is perfect for the physically fit and avid hiking enthusiasts. The tour can be organized through any local tour operator or independently. Getting here adds a significant value to any trip to PNG as it allows you to interact and mingle with the locals. To organize everything without any hassle, head to Port Moresby by the Sogeri, there is a lodge where you can stay overnight. Ask a local guide in the village for the path, and they will give you a hand in everything and you can go on a real adventure without hiring a guide.
The track is definitely one of the major highlights on a visit to the Papua New Guinea. It is also one of the greatest adventures you will ever experience. A tip; it is not suitable for the quite unfit, but more important than physical strength is the mental ability to figure out the path of the guided trail. Take as little baggage as possible, travelling light will make the hiking experience more fun and easy to accomplish.
Kabaira Drive Rabaul
Situated on a tropical forest setting facing an idyllic beachfront, the Kabaira Drive Rabaul is the ideal location for that perfect holiday. This is a spot to visit if you need to unwind and loosen up, to take in the mood, and to enjoy your stay in peace as there are no annoying hawkers that will disturb you as you lie down on a hammock while you enjoy your drink.
This place is bereft of too much commercialism which is very common on most touristy places. Kabaira is way too far and different from any other attractions you can find in Papua New Guinea for it has a family friendly atmosphere with pleasant and accommodating staff that will cater to your every need. The resort is controlled and managed by resident managers named Stephen and Marsha. Stephen is a professional Dive Master and watercraft operator while Marsha supervises the management of the resort facilities and the restaurant operation. The fair priced accommodation can be in one of the two small homes or in the Guesthouse where four rooms are allocated for a comfortable stay.
The entire facilities and accommodation is truly convenient. A buffet style is served for every breakfast, lunch, and dinner with food selections ranging from local to international dishes. Kabaira is advisable for people who love extreme water sports adventure especially scuba diving. Nevertheless, it is still fit for divers and non-divers alike. The water is warm all year round, going from 26 to 30c and perpetually clear as it can be.
The Crystal Rapids in the Laloki River is one of the family friendly attractions in Papua New Guinea. This natural waterfall is one of the most loved tourist spot in the capital city. This is located deep in the jungles of the 800 meter high Sogeri Plateau. Kids and adults will have a grand time shooting the rapids that cascade fully down the waiting pool.
The translucent water, the happy atmosphere, and the cool breeze are such a profound experience that makes a visit here truly memorable. There are picnic facilities provided here for that perfect Sunday bonding for the whole family. Everyone will have the best time to enjoy bouncing off the water and climb back again for another try. This is a must in every visit to PNG.
Moitaka Wildlife Farm
The Moitaka Wildlife Farm is not just an ordinary animal reserve but has a zoo-like infrastructure but only houses live crocodiles and other types of birds that are endemic to Papua New Guinea. Inside you will find a huge crocodile farm and a spacious aviary.
To witness their once a week feeding activity, call the site and schedule your visit so you can have the chance to throw and watch a whole dressed chicken consumed by the crocodiles with their waiting mouths. A research center and nursery can also be found in their effort to study the crocodile species and how to protect them from becoming extinct.
Mount Gahavisuka Provincial Park
This huge horticultural complex is filled with fresh natural air, exotic flowers, rare orchids, and the huge sprawling trees in an 8,000 acre park. Aside from having a vast botanical garden, it also have well marked walking trails and path leading to the major lookout point overlooking the other islands and the smashing of the waters on the rocky cliff in the Goroka region. A wide selection of migratory birds can also be admired from a distance like; ibis, herons, cassowary, storks, etc.
The Mount Gahavisuka Provincial Park is 30 minutes away by a private vehicle from the capital city of Port Moresby. Here in the park which is along the Highlands region, you can see village houses that line a clearing between Port Moresby and Goroka. Villagers clear the small plots of land around the village for crops such as sweet potatoes. When the soil is exhausted, another plot is cultivated nearby allowing the first patch to regain its fertility. To see a villager wearing a scary mask is a common sight here in Goroka. The mask represents an evil spirit and was first worn by warriors to scare enemies. Today they are worn at feasts or to amuse tourists.
This rustic mountain is one of the most outstanding peaks in Papua New Guinea. Mount Wilhelm has a fabulous trail that takes climbers to the top and passes by lakes, high waterfalls, thick green forests, and the remnants of a World War II American fighter plane. There is a huge festival that is held here once a year by its resident tribe. You can visit there ahead on time and see them plan, paint, and create their costumes before the big day. It is a good subject for photography as they come out all garbed in their colorful national costumes.
A whole day of singing, dancing, and a sumptuous feast is usually offered by the tribes to keep their guests amused and entertained during their annual Mount Hagen Cultural Festival. The entire occasion is fully supported by the government and numerous distinctive personalities who are famous in PNG are very participative as they see the locals paint their faces in yellow and red markings. The whole event is incredible and you understand it more when you are about to go back to your nation and you see each one of those pictures and particularly the friendly locals you meet and their trademark grin.
Markham River Valley
An alternate territory that every tourist find enchanting is the long drive that heads up to the Highlands region to the town of Lae located at the opposite side of the mountains from Port Moresby. As you approach the Markham River Valley, the slopes appear to be encompassed with a fine green moss. The Highlands Highway is fully developed and well paved and with clear road signs that indicate the next attraction. Most tourists stop on the side of the road, just to have a picture taken with the great valley behind them. As you drive further, the view of Mount Hagen cannot be missed as well as a chance to see the largest Hydro Electric Power Plant that supplies electricity in the entire Papua New Guinea. This power plant lies very close to the town of Kainantu.