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Papua New Guinea
Located in the Pacific Ocean, just south of the equator, Papua New Guinea is an island country legendary for its native culture, highland scenery, incredible diving and its intriguing World War II history. Accessed via its coastal capital city of Port Moresby, this island nation is home to over 800 languages and a fascinating local population that continues to thrive in the present day. Papua New Guinea’s wild beauty draws visitors from all over the world who seek adventure in its dramatic terrain. Boasting some of the most exotic tribal cultures in the world, the Highlands region of Papua New Guinea is a wonderland of fertile valleys separated by imposing mountain ranges.
Hike dense mountain ranges and visit rural villages untouched by tourism; get up close and personal with breathtaking Queen Alexandra Birdwing butterflies, or dive Papua New Guinea’s bountiful coral reefs. Throughout Papua New Guinea, there are a number of picturesque lodges and inns from which to choose, offering experiences that are exquisitely comfortable while still providing an experience that is steeped in native tradition. The ethnic groups populating this region, including the renowned Huli, adorn themselves in spectacular fashion with feathers, fur, human hair and flowers, providing visitors with a true peek into the past. A diamond in the rough, Papua New Guinea has the golden beaches and sparkling coral of other islands in the South Pacific without the polished facade.
Located a 1 1/2 hour flight from Port Moresby, you reach Kavieng. Situated on the northwestern end of the island of New Ireland, you find yourself in a small and laid-back town. Lissenung is a small private island in the heart of the South Pacific with white sand beaches, tall palm trees, incredible flora and unmatched sunsets. The ultimate South Pacific location for diving, much of the visitors to this remote island retreat spend their time exploring the surrounding waters.
Lissenung Island boasts the the Lissenung Island Resort, which is all that there is on this remote, island. Seven ocean-front rooms, furnished with hardwood floors and spacious verandas, are spread out over the island.
Lake Murray is the largest lake in Papua New Guinea. During the wet season it spreads to occupy an area of about 2,000 square kilometers. It has a population of about 5,000 people scattered in small villages, both on tiny islands and coastal areas of the lake. Island communities of stilted houses dot the water landscape of the lake. Dugout canoes are the primary mode of transportation and fishing is a major source of food to the local population.
Madang has been called the ‘prettiest town in the South Pacific,’ and with one look at its lush parklands and sparkling waterways, you’ll understand why. Perched on a peninsula jutting into the sea, Madang’s waters swell with coral reefs and schools of fish. Divers will love exploring the numerous shipwrecks dotting the reefs, while snorklers can weave through coral cities framing Madang’s tropical islands. Shoppers have a wide selection of stores from which to choose, ranging from local markets selling shell jewelry to department stores showcasing designer labels. Madang provides travelers with the vacation of their dreams.
Mt. Hagen has a reputation for being the ‘wild frontier’ of Papua New Guinea’s Western Highlands, but beneath the tangle of rainforest and misted peaks, lies a cheerful town that welcomes tourists and tribesmen alike. Visitors to the area will be enchanted by the bountiful coffee plantations, Sunken Gardens, and Cultural Center, but it is the town’s marketplace that garners most attention. On Friday mornings, the market becomes a kaleidoscope of fruit and vegetables, tropical birds and colorfully clad merchants. Don’t be surprised to find yourself standing next to a local tribesman as you admire the traditional hand-woven string bags called bilums - Friday is shopping day in Mt. Hagan.
In New Guinea Pidgin, “throwim way leg,” means to thrust out your leg on the first step of a long journey. Start your trip through this unforgettable land in Papua New Guinea’s spirited capital, Port Moresby. Papua New Guinea’s evolution is evident on the streets of Port Morseby where the striking modernity of Parliament House is softened by the traditional design of the neighboring National Museum and Art Gallery. Stroll through Koki Market and be enticed by mountains of fresh fruit. Visit Hanuabada Village, home of the traditional Motuan landowners of Port Moresby, and marvel at a horizon of huts balanced atop stilts. After a day of exploration, rest your weary legs while dining on local cuisine at a harbor side restaurant.
Stretching 698 miles from mountain ranges to open sea, the serpentine Sepik River is Papua New Guinea’s version of the river Nile. The waterway provides visitors with an unforgettable glimpse at Papuan culture. Cruise by crude stilt houses peering out from the cavernous jungle or enter a traffic jam with canoes decorated with crocodile heads. Gaze at lakes littered with flowers or visit ornately carved Spirit Houses where tribesmen gather to talk and honor their ancestors. At the end of your cruise, ponder the Sepik’s rugged beauty while relaxing on the warm sands of a local beach or dive the azure sea at Cape Moem.
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Tours and Activities
Madang Rainforest & Snorkel Tour
Mount Hagen Touring
Location: Mount Hagen