Papua New Guinea is full of interesting attractions, magnificent natural scenery, and diverse cultural heritage. Spend your Papua New Guinea holiday trekking remote jungle tracks, cruising the mighty Sepik river, surfing the waves of New Ireland, fishing around the fiords of Tufi or diving amongst the coral reef coastline.
Attending A Festival
Papua New Guinea is renowned for its immense diversity of cultures, languages and tribal traditions. Each year, special shows designed to promote regional cultures draw hundreds of spectators to experience cultural displays including traditional dance, crafts, produce and rituals. Some of the most well-known festivals in Papua New Guinea are the Mt Hagen Show, the Goroka Show and the Rabaul Mask Festival though there are nearly fifty throughout the year varying in scale.
Papua New Guinea has long been a popular destination for trekking, mountain climbing and bushwalking, and is home to the world-famous Kokoda Track.
With largely unspoiled mountains, rivers and forest, as well as many significant war relic sites (as PNG was the focus of much attention in World War II), Papua New Guinea is an ideal place for both the fit trekking enthusiast or the weekend bushwalker. With professional Papua New Guinea tour operators and overnight treks, through to scenic bush walks that take just a few hours, PNG has something for every level of fitness.
Being largely un-serviced by the tourism industry, the trekking, bush walking and adventure market in Papua New Guinea has great potential. Most centers in PNG can produce treks and bushwalks of undeniable world-class quality and beauty.
The Highlands region is famous for its tall mountains, with scores of readily accessible peaks. Mt Wilhelm at 4509 meters, is the most popular target for Papua New Guinea mountain climbers with good road access to Kegsugl village from Kundiawa and National Park huts for climbers to stay in. Mt Wilhelm is not easy and guides should always be taken to assist climbers.
From the central Highlands city of Mt. Hagen, the towering peaks of Mt. Giluwe and Mt. Lalibu (both volcanic plugs) are accessible for trekkers. Mt. Hagen, Mt Ongo, Mt Kubor and Mt Kine Kaino Ku are also all accessible tracks and both the Bismarck and Kubor Ranges offer great trekking.
Goroka is also a center for several good climbs with Mt. Michael and Mt. Gahavisuka being accessible.
If you’re after a serious trekking experience, take the route from the highlands town of Kompiam in Enga province to the Yuat River in East Sepik province. From here canoes will take you to Angoram. This 15 day hard trek is only for the most experienced, fit trekkers and several tour companies are available to assist trekkers during their expedition.
Kokoda Track: Papua New Guinea is most famous for the legendary Kokoda Track. Known as one of the world’s most spectacular and challenging treks, the Kokoda Track traverses the rugged Owen Stanley Ranges in Papua New Guinea. With its exceptional biodiversity and natural landscape, thousands of trekkers experience the physically challenging 96km walk every year making the iconic Kokoda Track PNG’s most visited land-based tourism attraction and an important source of national and local income.
Each year trekkers brave the mountainous terrain, meet with Koiari and Orokaiva people living a traditional lifestyle, explore the dense rainforests and follow the footsteps of Australian soldiers and the Papua New Guinean Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels who guided them during WWII.
Trekking Experience: The Track can be walked from either direction from Kokoda to Owers’ Corner, between 5 - 9 days depending on fitness. There are a number of basic guesthouses and well groomed campsites along the Track, and with some villages selling fruit and vegetables to passing trekkers. Owers’ Corner is about an hour’s drive from Port Moresby and the road is accessible for all vehicle types. A day trip to Owers’ Corner with a short trek (40 minutes) to Goldie River is a great option for those visiting Port Moresby.
Choosing the right group to travel with is an important decision, as they will guide you through the preparation, the experience and safety procedures. The Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) provides a full listing of licensed tour operators on their website.
The Kokoda Track Authority: The Kokoda Track and surrounding region is owned by the local landowners. Their interests are looked after by the Kokoda Track Authority, responsible for managing the Track and trekking industry.
The KTA administer Trek Permits that must be purchased by all trekkers visiting the Kokoda Track, whether you are undertaking an independent trek or a trek with an organized tour.
There are many locations throughout PNG where you can see the beautiful species of birds in Papua New Guinea, including the different species of the famous Birds of Paradise - found only in PNG.
The variety of locations available in Papua New Guinea provides endless opportunity for birdwatchers. It is understood that PNG is home to such a thriving bird population due to specific habitats and climates favored by the endemic species and the lack of predatory animals that would otherwise threaten numbers. Birding is available throughout the country from coastal and island locations right up to the rugged peaks of our highlands with diversity of bird life. PNG is particularly famous for endemic species such as the Raggiana and Blue Birds of paradise and rare find including the Fire maned Bowerbird. Visitors are excited by the prospect of sighting any special species from the enigmatic Crested Berrypecker to the elusively rare Beck's Petrel to the stunning Victoria Crowned Pigeon.
Birding Seasons- Tours Operators run specific birding tours mainly during the dry season, from June to October, however independent birding journeys are available anytime.
The coast of Papua New Guinea is home to some of the world's most spectacular diving - dubbed as the 'underwater photographer's paradise', with many international award-winning photos being taken in PNG waters.
Located in the Indo-Pacific Area, experts say that the oceans surrounding Papua New Guinea have up to twice as many marine species as the waters of the Red Sea and up to five times as many as the Caribbean.
Divers in these oceans enjoy a huge diversity of dive sites, including barrier reefs, coral walls (drop off), and coral gardens, patch reefs, fringing reefs, sea grass beds, coral atolls, and wreck dive sites. The wreck diving sites of Papua New Guinea provide a collection of ships, aircraft and submarine wrecks from World War 2.
The average water temperature varies from 25 degrees Celsius along the edge of the Coral Sea to 29 degrees Celsius in the Bismarck Sea. One can dive in Papua New Guinea all year round, with the high season generally from May to November.
Dive Operators: Dive operators offer both land-based and live-aboard dive tours in Papua New Guinea. Land based tours normally consist of a day tour taking up to three dives, whilst live-aboard tours can take 7-10 days, with up to five dives a day. Most land-based operators offer resort-type dive courses and have fully equipped dive shops with diving and snorkeling equipment available for hire. For those bringing their own equipment, there are facilities available in the main cities to clean equipment.
The majority of dive operators operate on small to medium sized properties, with emphasis on personal attention in a relaxing environment. Dive sites in PNG are just a short distance from the resorts. The excellent quality of diving is synonymous with each operation, with the size of live-aboard dive boats falling between 45' and 120', with differing levels of amenities. Several operators now offer nitrox and rebreathes and most boats have facilities for camera equipment changing.
Papua New Guinea also has its own hyperbaric recompression chamber. Located in Port Moresby, the DAN-sponsored facility is part of the US based Sub-aquatic Safety Service network and is supported by the dive operators through a small chamber levy.
Reefs: While the reefs along the coast of Papua New Guinea teems with life, they are extremely fragile. In recognition of the importance of preserving the marine ecosystem, members of the Papua New Guinea Divers Association actively promote the use of moorings on regularly dived sites. The need to practice sensible diving and respect the underwater environment in Papua New Guinea is emphasized and in doing so, the message to all divers is very clear: please look but don't touch. Papua New Guinea was rated the TOP Dive Destination in the World in 2002 and received the Rodale's Scuba Diving Readers' Choice Award.
It is inarguable that diving in Papua New Guinea is a leading market for tourists. Similarly, when visiting this exquisite paradise, one cannot deny that snorkeling is just as exciting. Almost everywhere you travel when going to PNG, you will find the perfect location with an equally perfect opportunity to snorkel.
Buka, the provincial capital of the North Solomons has great fishing, swimming and snorkeling in the clear waters of the Buka Passage. Tourists are warned that there are strong currents, so seeking local advice is the safest means to a great snorkeling experience. Many small islands near the southern end of the passage are great areas to discover as well.
In Manus, most of the north coast is bordered with a reef. It has excellent visibility, and a huge variety of corals, fish and wartime wrecks. Snorkeling off the north coast on the Andra and Ahus islands is good, where Papua New Guinea accommodation is also provided.
The long, narrow island group of New Ireland possesses attributes such as a stunning coastline with white sandy beaches and excellent snorkeling sites. War wrecks, big fish, coral and sharks are some of the things to be seen here. Dive operators include Lissenung Island Resort, Mansava Adventure Lodge on Tsoi Island, Scuba Ventures and Nusa Island Retreat.
Kimbe Bay in the West New Britain is famous for its huge corals, large fish and caves. This location would be best suited to diving fans, but snorkeling is recommended at Walindi.
East New Britain’s Simpson Harbour holds WWII boat and plane wrecks, good walls and the Beehives (a small group of craggy islands) to explore. Superb for snorkeling on the flat coral beds, Submarine Base at Tavui Point shows where Japanese subs pulled right up to the edge of the reef.
The Milne Bay Province’s very own East Cape offers excellent diving and snorkeling with gorgeous beaches and scenery en route to the cape.
Tufi at Cape Nelson (Oro Province) has exceptionally clear waters, abundant fish and beautiful corals in its fiord-like rias. There are easily accessible wrecks and reefs with drop-offs, hammerhead sharks and moray eels.
Loloata Island is a pleasant retreat from Moresby that lies off Bootless Bay and offers fishing, sail boarding, relaxing, diving and, of course, snorkeling. Here you’ll discover many more unique species of living matter in the clear waters surrounding the beautiful island.
Surfing and Kite Surfing
As a surfing destination, Papua New Guinea is relatively new to surf enthusiasts, but the breaks are quickly becoming known for providing a great challenge that will keep surfers entertained for days!
PNG has unlimited surfing potential year-round. On the southern side, 10 minutes out of Port Moresby is Sero Board Riders Club (Taurama Point) where the main barrier reef stretches along the southern seaboard all the way to the Milne Bay Province. You might be surprised to find that breaks here are just as challenging and exhilarating as in any other location. PNG has unlimited surfing potential from October to April during monsoon seasons and thousands of miles of coastline just waiting to be explored- not to mention breath taking scenery and pristine atolls. PNG enjoys warm waters and consistent waves, complemented by the rich and diverse traditional culture time of its people in its premier surf destinations of Vanimo, Wewak, Madang and New Ireland provinces.
Great surfing isn't all that PNG offers. The same winds that surfers enjoy also make for perfect kite surfing which is relatively undiscovered. The warm waters of PNG are un-crowded and ideal for kite enthusiasts. The reef breaks provide great action for wave rider, while the pristine blue lagoons lure flat-water fans. Visit PNG from late May through to November to take advantage of the Laurabada trade winds, providing consistent 10.25 knot winds. Kite surfers should focus their attention on the southern part of PNG. Areas around Port Moresby and Milne Bay have optimal conditions and stunning scenery. Fifteen minutes from Port Moresby, Sero beach's large lagoon gives way to a surf break 500 yards out. Daugo Island is a 20 minute boat ride from the Port and one of the best local spots to kite surf. Two hours down the coast, Hula is a large peninsula that receives the full brunt of Laurabada winds, creating the optimal environment for kite surfers.
Other surfing spots in Papua New Guinea are being explored around the Milne Bay area, Bougainville Island and the Gazelle Peninsula in the East New Britain, which has quality waves ranging from 3 to 6 feet along the coral atolls, including point and beach breaks. With consistent south east winds up to 25 knots, kite surfing is also becoming popular with conducive conditions for this fast-growing sport.
The water surrounding the coastline of the mainland Papua New Guinea and the close to 600 different islands of Papua New Guinea provide a more unique and scenic kayaking experience than any other. The beauty you witness when kayaking in Papua New Guinea will take your breath away. There is no better way to explore the different islands of Papua New Guinea than through the various kayaking journeys that can take you to the more remote and uninhabited islands.
A number of Papua New Guinea tour operators provide kayaking along the respective coastline of the New Ireland province, Madang Provinces, East New Britain Provinces and the fjords of Tufi. Papua New Guinea kayaking tours take you along secluded coastlines where you often encounter sea turtles, schools of playful dolphins, mackerel jumping 20 to 30 feet in the air - all in their natural environment.
Kayaking in Tufi is tranquil through the fjords which are over 100 meters deep. Some of the cliff faces are over several hundred feet high, with waters sheltered from the prevailing winds and the surface of the water like glass. Magnificent rainforest canopies cover the surrounding mountains and even along the shores are several local huts tucked away in an idyllic setting.
One thing that stands out throughout any kayak adventure is the people of Papua New Guinea. Smiles are usually all around as you pass the numerous villages and the waving hands of the locals show the vibrancy and openness that the people want to share with every visitor that kayaks pass. Tours are offered all year around, but the best months, especially for first time kayakers, are from April to November as the seas are generally calmer that time of the year.
Papua New Guinea’s fishing grounds have always been protected by the ever-changing tropical climate, keeping its secret from intruding anglers. It is only recently that fishing enthusiasts have discovered that Papua New Guinea is teeming with isolated fishing grounds and untouched rivers, offering the some of the best lure in the world. With so much fishing within range, on any given day, anglers can enjoy a variety of world class sport.
In dense jungle rivers, the mighty 'lure shy' Papua New Guinea Black Bass, will challenge any intruding angler who attempts to toss their trespassing lures in its habitat.
Another remarkable fish is the river tiger, which is found nowhere else in the world. If you think you are an expert angler, be warned - you have not met your match. The 'Blacky' is a persistent, mean monster that will put an expert angler back to the novice class!
If you’re after a less challenging Papua New Guinea adventure, try out the Barramundi. With river fishing, you have the opportunity to meet the locals and if you are lucky, you might see a traditional singsing. Relax on the river, where you can simply enjoy being alone in the pristine jungle, away from all the worries of everyday life. If Barramundi is your game, stay at the remote Bensbach Lodge near the border of Irian Jaya.
For those who prefer the ocean, the underwater predators of Papua New Guinea's Bismarck and the Archipelago Seas are poised to erase any memories of an angler's past catch. The seas are littered with challenging catches such as Dog tooth tuna, Sailfish, Yellow fin tuna, Marlin and plenty more that will make you go 'wow'.
The coastal waters around the Madang, East and West New Britain and New Ireland areas abound in blue and black marlin, sailfish and dogtooth tuna. In the waterways near Kandrian, freshwater fisherman can take on the famous Papuan Black and Spot Tail Bass found only in Papua New Guinea. There's saratogo and ox eye herring to play with too.
The two greatest regions for art within Papua New Guinea, the Sepik River Basin and the Papuan Gulf, are completely different in form and style. The Papuans, who were the earliest immigrants to New Guinea, were food gatherers and hunters with relatively simple tools. Despite later migrations, the Papuan influence remained quite strong in the southern side of the central cordillera such that the art form here is basically two-dimensional. The only three dimensional forms in this area are made from the natural branches and roots of the mangrove tree.
There are two other major craft producing areas within the country -- the Huon Peninsula and Milne Bay. It is interesting to note that in all areas, both sculpture and painting are exclusively men's work because they involve images which are emphatically religious in character and play a major role in cult ceremonies from which women are excluded. Ceremonial masks and trumbuans, boards and shields, stools, tables, weapons, bowls, utensils, everyday tools and utility objects, story murals, arrows and spears, costume accessories, jewelry, musical instruments -- all represent opportunities to include the sacred and mystical in everyday life.
The people are mostly descendants of the Papuans – Melanesians closely related to the islanders of Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu. There are just over 5 million people living in Papua New Guinea – more than a third of them in the rugged Highlands. The traditional Melanesian cultures are kept alive in elaborate rituals that accompany deaths, feasts, marriages, compensation ceremonies and initiation rites. Variations in village construction, dialect and dress are common in country areas while annual Sing Sing shows, part of the Papua New Guinea Cultural Events Calendar, see villagers from around the country demonstrate their singing, dancing and elaborate bilas (traditional costumes). The shows at Goroka and Mount Hagen are among the country's most impressive, attracting thousands of spectators to Papua New Guinea each year. The selection of vibrant cultural Papua New Guinea images show these fantastic costumes.
Many people still live in small villages making a living from subsistence agriculture or specializing as gardeners, fishers, hunters or craftspeople; women are responsible for daily household and village work, while men take care of hunting, trade and warfare. Taking a Papua New Guinea tour to stay in a village is a wonderful way to learn more about the local Papua New Guinea culture and lifestyle. However, remember to be respectful of local customs and religious beliefs, and do not wander off alone. Most land is owned by a community or village, which means visitors, will need to ask for permission to enter. Your preferred Papua New Guinea tour company will be able to arrange a village stay for you—as it is not possible to arrange independently.
Goroka Cultural Show
The Eastern Highlands Cultural Show which is simply known as the ‘Goroka Show’ is a significant event in the province. The show provides entertainment to the people of the Eastern Highlands and to visitors from PNG and overseas.
The Goroka Show is a probably the most well-known tribal gathering and cultural event in Papua New Guinea. It is held every year, during the weekend closest to Independence Day (16th September), in the town of Goroka. About 100 tribes arrive to show their music, dance and extraordinary displays of tribal rituals. Although the festival started in the mid-1950s, from the initiative of missionaries, the Goroka show now offers a rare opportunity for travelers to experience the customs of over a hundred tribes that populate the Papua New Guinea highlands.
The staging of the Goroka Show started back in 1957 at the Independence Park, opposite the Goroka Main Market. The show was first introduced and organized by Australian Kiaps (patrol officers). Kiaps from each district built round houses typical of their districts. It is here that they proudly displayed cultures of their districts. The kiaps brought in singsing groups from their area and as we have some twenty-nine languages and societies, it was reflected in their culture. It began as an entertainment weekend for everybody in the Province. The show was also a competition to see who the best organized and administered district was.
A two-day festival celebrates the region’s pristine environment and wildlife.
The WWF-supported crocodile festival in East Sepik highlights the importance of crocodile conservation and the species’ habitat along the Sepik River, one of the largest unpolluted rivers in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Sepik River is home to some of the world’s largest freshwater and saltwater crocodile populations. Crocodiles are part of the Sepik heritage. Men and crocodile share a special bond. The Crocodile symbolize strength, power and manhood. Many boast of scars cut into their skin during initiation. The scars resembling the back of a crocodile run from the shoulder to hip.
Crocodiles are significant to the Sepik culture where they have cultural traditions, beliefs and legends based on this particular animal.
Mt. Hagen Cultural Show
Mt. Hagen Cultural Show was first staged in 1964 by many different tribes from Western Highlands Province. The show was for the purpose of sharing the cultural experience with each other, calming the ever-present tribal animosities and enmities by bringing all tribes together in a one cultural event to expose the positive side of life, and to celebrate the diversity of cultures among the natives.
In 1964, Papua New Guinea was still under its colonial power, Australia. Between 1964 and 2002, there has been some huge paradigm shifts, which has meant that the focus of the show has also shifted. The Mt. Hagen Cultural Show now focuses on tourist entertainment and is designed to attract international and domestic travellers. There is also now prize money on offer for the winning cultural group, which makes the competition aggressive, colourful and exciting.
Over 50 different cultural groups perform their different dances (or "singsings") for the tourists. Local musicians and other modern entertainment events and attractions also occur during the show.
National Canoe & Kundu Festival
Canoes and the Kundu drums are a significant aspect of the lives of the people of Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. Both the Canoe and the Kundu were widely used in olden times in ceremonies and rituals and were meticulously crafted from special woods under strict customs, to derive the best results and to appease the gods.
The National Canoe and Kundu Festival was first held in Milne Bay in 2003. The canoes that are used in the festival are crafted in the same way that the canoes were crafted many years ago by the people’s ancestors. The colors and patterns reflect upon the tribe and the area the canoe comes from. The canoes and traditional dancing groups come from all over the Milne Bay province, including some parts of the Papuan Region. Thus, the festival is rich with variety of performances.
The event takes place usually around the final week of October, to early November. Prizes are given to winning groups and the canoes are assembled a day earlier at Wagawaga Island, to form a convoy before sailing to Alotau for the official opening ceremony.
Annual Rabaul Mask Festival
The Papua New Guinea National Mask Festival is held in July each year in Rabaul, East New Britain. This event is slightly different than other cultural festivals in PNG in that it uniquely focusses on the many masks from around the country.
Masks in PNG are created in different styles, sizes and shapes, which represents the different beliefs and areas they represent. Most of these masks are from the coastal region and the lowlands of Papua New Guinea including groups from the New Guinea Islands of Rabaul, Kavieng, and Buka, and to the North coast, which includes Madang, Wewak and the lowlands of both provinces.
Smaller in scale than the Mt Hagen & Goroka festivals, many find this festival to be very special as certain performances cannot be seen at other cultural festivals. In addition to the festival, the host region of East New Britain is home to steaming active volcanoes and is chock full of WWII history and relics.
Traditionally, Papua New Guineans diets are largely vegetarian. Any meat such as pigs or chickens are reserved for celebration or special occasion though both can be found in the lodges and resorts throughout PNG for their guests. As an exception, communities near rivers often eat freshly caught fish, crab and crayfish on a daily basis---and even the occasional crocodile!
In the highlands, sweet potato is the major staple food. In certain areas the yam is cultivated to reach enormous lengths and will sometimes be carved with elaborate patterns. Yams are often displayed in festivals and are connected to ideas about fertility and ancestral power. Yams such as these are highly prized, and not intended to be eaten.
In the lowlands and on the coast, Sago is the staple food---a starchy substance obtained from the sago palm. Sago is extracted from the trunk of the palm, and pounded with blunt wooden implements into a very versatile powder that can be easily stored to be used when needed. It is a lengthy process that involves the whole village.
The Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery
Explore the depth and diversity of Papua New Guinea in the National Museum and Art Gallery in Port Moresby the National Capital District .
The Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery is the “spiritual house” for the rich natural, cultural and contemporary heritage of this country.
The museum is owned by the people of Papua New Guinea and to date has well over 30,000 anthropological collections, more than 25,000 archaeological collections, more than 18,000 natural science collections, more than 20,000 war relics and more than 7000 contemporary art collections.
It consists of three premises, including the main museum located at Waigani in Port Moresby, the Modern History Museum (sometimes known as War Museum) at Gordons in Port Moresby and the J.K. McCarthy Museum at Goroka in the Eastern Highlands Province.
Museum premises at Waigani
The main Papua New Guinea museum at Waigani, Port Moresby in the National Capital District consists of five display galleries which are the Masterpiece Gallery, the Independence Gallery, the Sir Allan Mann Gallery (for temporary exhibits), Life and Land (natural history and prehistory) Gallery and the Sir Michael Somare (new acquisitions) Gallery.
In addition, there is a central courtyard with live animals and birds, a theatre, amphitheater, amenities area, souvenir shop, four large storage rooms, conservation laboratory, photographic laboratory, carpentry workshop, graphic rooms and editing equipment rooms.
Like the neighboring National Parliament and the Port Moresby Nature Park at Waigani, the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery is one of the “must visit” icons of Port Moresby.
The museum is open to the general public from Monday to Friday (8.30am to 3.30pm) and Sunday (1.00pm to 3.00pm). The museum is closed to the public on Saturdays, except for organized visits.
The Modern History premises at Ahuia Street, Gordons, in the National Capital District consist of office space, two storage rooms, a display room and a library.
The collection includes aircraft, vehicles and war artefacts from pre-independence and post-independence periods of Papua New Guinea history.
Some of the unique objects in the national collection include a P-38F Lockheed Lightning aircraft, the oldest P-38 in a museum in the world.
The J.K. McCarthy Museum
The J.K. McCarthy Museum in Goroka consists of six display galleries, including the Niugini Room, Giddings Gallery, Leahy Wing, Soso Subi Gallery and the Archaeological Room.
It also has offices for scientific and administrative staff, a storage room and a gift shop. The museum's main collections are artefacts and specimens from the Highlands region. Artefacts include wooden dishes, stone mortars, stone blades, magic stones, and sandstones for making stone blades.
The Independence Gallery features a stunning Kula canoe from the Trobriand Islands of the Milne Bay Province.
The upper section of the exhibit contains a fine collection of traditional fishing equipment, bilums (string bags), pottery, traditional ceremonial and casual dress and cooking utensils.
Traditional musical instruments and a variety of Papua New Guinea’s renowned kundu and garamut drums are also on display.
This gallery brings to you a unique selection of the museum’s most-important cultural objects in terms of religious significance and aesthetic excellence.
In this collection are tall posts from the Sepik region which are used to decorate haus tambarans (spirit houses), ancestral boards from the Sepik people and intricately-carved Malangan masks from New Ireland.
Papua New Guinea’s astonishing diversity and depth of spiritual expression is demonstrated here.
Michael Somare Gallery
Named in honour of Papua New Guinea’s first Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, the museum displays temporary exhibits.
The gallery was opened in 1986 with an exhibition of Independence and State gifts that Sir Michael received over the years.
Life and Land Gallery
This exhibition records the lives of the early inhabitants of New Guinea who arrived up to 50,000 years ago. Archaeological excavations have revealed the early Highlanders were among the world’s first farmers.
Within this gallery is a colourful collection of preserved bird specimens, including a variety of birds of paradise, while a seashore to mountain diorama shows the variety of PNG vegetation and wildlife from the swampy mangroves to the cool of the Highlands.
Sir Allan Mann Gallery
This gallery is named in honour of the Museum’s first Chairman of the Board of Trustees.The Sir Allan Man Gallery makes the display of travelling and temporary exhibitions possible. This gallery has displayed a variety of important exhibitions over many years.
Papua New Guinea has more than 1000ha of land dedicated to national parks, offering a wealth of outdoor experiences for visitors.
Varirata National Park
Located in the Central region, Varirata is a haven for native flora and fauna. The park is just 42km from Port Moresby and protects the western end of the Sogeri Plateau, across to the Astrolabe mountains. There is a network of trails, grassy picnic areas and shelters with barbecues, and lookouts giving fine views across to Port Moresby and out to sea. You can camp in the park or stay in the small park lodge. Moitaka Wildlife Sanctuary: Crocodile feeding takes place on Friday afternoons from 2–4pm when the sanctuary opens to the public. There are some huge crocs and it’s an act worth seeing. Other animals and birds include a precocious raggiana bird of paradise. Located a few kilometres out of town on the Sir Hubert Murray Highway.
McAdam National Park
This small 2076ha park stretches between Wau and Bulolo, protecting wildlife such as echidnas, cuscuses (a large marsupial), cassowaries and birds of paradise. It also preserves the last virgin stands of Klinkii and hoop pine. Labu Tali Conservation Area (Salamaua District): Eco tours visit the giant leatherback turtles that come to lay eggs between late November and early February. Boats leave from Voco Point in Lae. Kamiali Wildlife Management Area (Salamaua District): Local villages run eco tours to see the nesting turtles in this conservation area. Boats leave from Voco Point.
Baiyer River Sanctuary
North of Mount Hagen, the park is known for its colorful birds of paradise, and has some pleasant shorter bushwalks.
Mt Gahavisuka Park
Set high on a mountainside 11km from the provincial capital of Goroka, this 80ha park has beautiful scenery, great views, picnic shelters and clearly marked walking tracks. There is a botanical sanctuary with rhododendrons and native plants from all over the country, two orchid houses and an information centre.
Lake Kutubu National Park
This tranquil lake provides a refuge for birdlife, butterflies, reptiles and turtles. Birds of paradise are plentiful around this beautiful area and you can swim, visit villages or just enjoy the scenery.
Wasi Falls Wildlife Management Area A pristine stretch of rainforest rich in birds and wildlife. There are several waterfalls including the dramatic Wasi Falls (the country’s largest), which plunge 100m into a basin, as well as ancient burial caves. Tubo Lodge can organise birdwatching and wildlife tours.
Pokili Wildlife Management Area
This thermally active area is unique for its hot springs, geysers and boiling mud pools. Scrub fowls also use the warm earth to hatch their eggs.