Papua New Guinea Things to Do

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    Leaving for PNG
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    Kokoda Memorial Museum
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Papua New Guinea Things to Do

  • Get a job in Papua New Guinea –...

    Perhaps not 'a thing to do' for the average visitor but it fits in this section as much as any other. Herein is the process (pretty unbelievable but true) I followed to secure a job in Papua New Guinea (you will need one to pay for any extended travel here!) – a step by step guide which may or may not work for you.Why Papua New Guinea?As I...

  • Dive the Reefs and Walls

    Walindi Plantation provided the dive boats, dive tanks, and the most experienced (and personable) dive masters. We were never pandered to or patronized, and the dive masters always consulted us on our likes/dislikes - so as to get a good feel for where we'd like to spend our time diving. We all had dive computers but the dive masters still...

  • The kokoda trail..

    The Kokoda Trail is a 96 kilometre hike through the Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea. It stands as a legacy to the Australian diggers who surpassed the Japanese forces here during World War II and prevented an invasion into Australia.In 2005 i was lucky enough to have the opportunity to hike the kokoda trail in papa new guinea...and it was...

  • Harbour in a Volcano

    I always enjoyed flying into Rabaul on New Britain Island. Its harbour is in a volcano that has partially collapsed into the sea, with multiple cones visible around its edges. In Sept. 1994, another eruption partially buried the town such that its businesses and residents had to be relocated about 20 km distant to Kokopo. Eruptions are still...

  • Markham River valley

    Another area that I really enjoyed was heading up into the Highlands from Lae, on the other side of the mountains from Moresby. As one heads up the Markham River valley, the hillsides seem to be covered in a soft green velvet. The Highlands Highway was a quite good paved road that wound its way up into the centre of the country, even beyond Mt....

  • Explore the Island of Rabaul!

    You can take half a day and explore the island by either renting a car, or hiring a guide (which is what we did). This was great for us because he not only offered us a native's point of view together with some real history of the island, but he knew some great places for photo opportunities and he also led us to some interesting spots along the...

  • Don't Miss Rabaul's Open Air Market

    If you visit Rabaul, do NOT miss the chance to stroll along the famous open-air market where you'll find all kinds of lovely tropical fruits and vegetables, and an equally vibrant kaleidescope of native tropical attire worn by the locals. It is a real treat to see, smell and ultimately TASTE, while in Rabaul!

  • Dive the Harbor in Rabaul

    Well, I don't have any photos of us diving the wrecks here, but we did a shore dive and explored a Mitsubishi bi-plane (some military expert will know what that means, to me it was just a sunken war plane!) which was at a depth of about 80 feet....The journey out there was half the fun as I recall.....bright BLUE starfish all over the ocean floor,...

  • Take Time to RELAX!

    With so many great activities to choose from, it's easy to lose sight of why we go on vacation in the first RELAX and ENJOY!On that note, I have to point out that you can't help but appreciate the beautiful sunsets provided courtesy of Walindi Plantation in Kimbe Bay.....Sometimes we'd be really tired from the day's dives....but we'd...

  • Play Some New Games!

    One of the greatest things I love about traveling to far away places is that I always meet interesting - and fun - people.This was definitely the case with our stay at Walindi Plantation in Kimbe Bay.Even if we didn't see some of the other guests during the day, we'd all usually convene at night in the "social hall" or next to it at the pool. After...

  • Appreciate the Kimbe Locals!

    On our excursion into town (in Kimbe), we passed by this young woman who was obviously pregnant, balancing both a child AND a heavy bucket of bottles on top of her head - and doing it all with an easy smile.We just had to pull over and ask her for a photo...she graciously obliged. We then went one step further and asked her to set the bucket down...

  • Explore Some Above Sea-Level Wrecks

    Since the island of New Britain was the reluctant host to Japanese military fleets during WWII, you can expect to run across the errant war plane wreckage - always an incongruous sight amidst the lush, tropical vegetation and warm sunshine. We chose to spend most of our time here UNDER water, but we did hitch a ride with one of the staff members...

  • Enter a "Haus Tambaran" (Spirit House)

    I found this by far to be the most fascinating aspect of our trip down the Sepik River: entering the forbidden Spirit House or "Haus Tambaran" as the villagers call it.Each village has one, and basically it is the focal point of the male is where they gather every day and where many of them sleep. It involves an important right of...

  • Search for Crocs Along the Sepik River

    The crocodile is an omnipresent and fiercely symbolic force in the life of a Sepik villager.I didn't really hear any stories of crocodile aggression, so I'm not surprised if the humans and the animals here struck a kind of detente between themselves.In any event, I recall one evening's activity just after the sun set and it became dark out - we...

  • Middle Sepik and Blackwater Villages

    The primary activity aboard the Sepik Spirit was to visit the villages in this region.Similar to the Arambak/Karawari excursions, we boarded "River Trucks" (flatbed boats with outboard motor) to get around the river.The villagers were friendly and most of them went about their daily activities, nonplussed by our visit and not at all embarassed or...

  • Interact with the Karawari Locals

    It's been fifteen years since I held this baby, but I can still recall her was Gwendolyn.Once in a while I have thought about her, wondering what she looks like now and what her life is like. I hope she's still alive. She'd be around 14 years old...maybe even married.I don't know what it was about her, but I asked her mother if I could...

  • Not always the Tropical Paradise it...

    As noted in the intro on my Timbunke (Karawari) page, traveling the Karawari River while the sun shines down on you and the breeze tickles your face....well, it's easy to imagine that what you see along the shores is some magical fantasy place where happy natives dwell...The reality was actually a bit shocking. I couldn't help but be concerned...

  • Enjoy the Pristine Highlands Nature

    Once you've crossed a rope suspension bridge or two (see my "off the beaten path" tips) it's inevitable that you'll come across a waterfall. There are several near the Ambua Lodge and other areas in the Highlands mountains....we stumbled upon streams, rivers and waterfalls and the foliage is prolific as a result of the cascading water.If you have...

  • Observe the Highlanders Making Their...

    The Huli Mountain men of the Highlands are known for their extraordinary wigs...hence they are referred to as the "Wig Men". It is a custom preserved and celebrated. The Southern Highlands were the last place in Papua New Guinea to be explored. The people are warriors and subsistence farmers, with a rich culture of tradition and decoration.The wigs...

  • Engage in a Little Friendly Highlands...

    I decided to have some fun and put on my sunscreen (for lips).....our host was a bit surprised when I did this and probably thought it was peculiar behavior on my part. (if you click on the photo you'll see how he is kind of looking at me)He was a really good sport though, ever gracious and friendly and respectful, as were all of the villagers with...

  • Meet the Highlands Locals

    We stated that we wanted to see some of the "natives" and by this we meant that we wanted to interact with some locals. We had a super guide (he really did tell us the story about hearing "the big bee" which was the first time he'd heard/seen a plane, much less white people) who was sweet and knowledgeable and very well regarded by the local...

  • Bird Watching in the Highlands

    Papua New Guinea has the most extensive species of birds in the world. It is probably most famous for its varied and beautiful "Birds of Paradise", and they can be found in the Highlands of Tari. We got up early one morning (5:00 am), had breakfast, then drove up to a favorite bird watching spot a few miles beyond the Ambua Lodge.We saw sweeping...

  • Crystal Rapids

    Crystal Rapids is located in Segeri. It’s not hard to find. Segeri is about 40 kilometers from Port Moresby. When you reach Segeri, keep driving to the end of the sealed road. You’ll see a school on your right. Take the dirt road on your right. It’s a very bumpy dirt road with very big ruts. You may need a 4WD. You’ll come to a house where a man is...

  • Kakoda Track

    If you aren't able to walk the track but you would still like to see it and go for a little stroll along the beginning of the track, you can. It's not that far from Port Moresby. By car you'll be there with in 2 hours easy. Drive out towards Sageri. There are some nice views on the way. When you get to Sageri, you'll notice a small Kakoda memorial...

  • SCUBA Diving

    The Dive CentreLocated at Airways Hotel, just near the pool and restaurant, you'll find the Dive Centre.Drop in and have a chat with them if you're interested in doing some SCUBA diving or a course. They offer PADI courses from beginner Open Water Diver, all the way up to Dive Master and Master Diver. I did my Advance course with them. Their...

  • PNG Arts

    First stop is the commercial break, PNG Arts, an enormous craft ‘supermarket’ full of mostly wood carvings. I had especially requested that we call in this place as the only souvenir I want from this trip is a carved mask from Papua New Guinea. I have already purchased one fairly crude mask in Mount Hagen, but on closer inspection I found several...

  • Hanuabada

    Many people live in rickety wooden shacks on stilts over the water, reached by wooden walkways from the shore. This whole area was burned down during the Second World War and has since been rebuilt to the same dilapidated standard. Offshore is the wrecked hull of a ship.

  • Tree Kanagroo

    In the centre courtyard is a collection of birds and animals, including hornbills, a tree kangaroo and a cassowary.

  • Museum

    We make time for a short walking tour of the National Museum. I read an article on the Internet before leaving home that the museum does not have enough cash to remain open for much longer unless it can get enough donations to pay for the electricity and rent. It would be such a shame as it is very well laid out, not too big and pretty interesting....

  • Mountain view

    The flight is stunning. In Papua New Guinea all flying is done on a visual basis, in other words: if you can’t see the top of the mountains, you can’t fly over them. For that reason we fly just above the tree line and around the mountains whose tops are shrouded in cloud. It’s a very exciting flight. Just below us are swathes of virgin rain forest...

  • Inside the house

    The door is low and the inside is dark and dingy. In the middle of the room the fire is burning fiercely, as before there is no chimney and the room is thick with smoke. I cannot help my persistent cough; I am embarrassed about my obvious discomfort from their hospitality. They notice my predicament and remove some logs from the fire, reducing the...

  • The Village

    As we near Mark’s village, he tells us about his two wives, one of whom works at the lodge; the other stays at home with the children.This is Mark's house, it has taken us several hours to walk here.

  • The widows

    At the village Mark takes us to visit the ‘widows’, young women whose husbands have been killed during clan warfare. For six months after their bereavement they live together for support, and then it’s time to look for a new husband. The family pay a lesser dowry for them the second time round, as they are now ‘second-hand’. Widows are fairly...

  • The people 6

    Understanding any of the cultures in PNG is a lifetime's work - we just enjoyed, absorbed and photographed. As a dream destination PNG did not disappoint, it was the people and their cultures which mostly drew me to this place.

  • The people 5

    PNG is a country of more than 700 languages - that accounts for 1/3 of the world's indigenous languages, but Pidgin is the second language to most. It is a fascinating language which has taken words from many others, such as German and English.Me = meYou = yuAll of us = yumiHe/she/it = emThey = olTo think = tinktinkTo forget = tinktink lusimGive =...

  • The people 4

    More than a third of PNG's population of about 4.2 million live in the Highlands Provinces. The people are related to other Pacific nations, such as Melanesia, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

  • The peolpe 3

    A few of the people here are dressed in the customary straw skirts, but I can see no nose rings or painted faces. One jolly old man has his face painted like a clown with red cheeks and nose. He also wears a lot of feathers, and loves being photographed

  • The people 2

    We see the one and only shop for many miles, but there are few commodities on sale. Home made cigarettes rolled in newspapers are traded on the ground in the shade outside. Peter plays darts with a few other men, and wins a can of Coke. The main attraction here at the market today is us. Wherever we walk we have our own entourage of giggling...

  • The people 1

    We walk through cultivated areas, mostly skirting the villages along the way. We don’t see many workers in the fields, just the odd woman tending her pigs and a few small children playing. Apparently most of them are at the market today. They seem to be as curious about us as we are about them, none of the commercialised “you give me pen” “bonbon”...

  • The Huli Wigmen

    One of the reasons for us coming to Papua New Guinea is to see the Huli Wigmen, and today we have the opportunity. These are young men who have chosen to be removed from the normal society for a period of up to 18 months during which time they grow their hair into elaborate styles. The wigmen are accompanied by a guru whose purpose it is to ease...

  • War trenches

    Today’s walk is different from yesterday’s ramble. Now we are walking in deep war trenches indicating the demarcation between the various clans’ territories. Here and there are war graves, some very recent. I do hope we don’t get caught in the middle of one! Where there are no trenches, we amble along paths on meadows, through thick grass taller...

  • Waterfall 2

    The first part of the walk, as usual, is up the dreadfully steep drive way to the main road and further up the highway before turning off into the rainforest. I have a bad cough and my chest feels especially tight today, so I give up half way down to the waterfall. My reasoning is ‘what goes down must come up’! I take my time on the way back,...

  • Foot bridge 4

    Bridges seemed to become quite a theme for our visit to Papua New Guinea. As well as the precarious foot bridges, our return journey to the sirport was hampered by the fact that tribal warfare had broken out during the night and the road bridges were burned. We ended up taking a long detour, through some very interesting villages!

  • Foot bridge 3

    The guides are very thoughtful and caring when helping us across, but I do give up on one particularly precarious bridge consisting of just one, thin log at a 45° angle. I feel sure that it would not hold my weight, and decide to slide down the very steep and muddy bank on my bottom and wade across the stream. Others do the same. Little children...

  • Foot bridge 2

    In places the tracks are muddy, and there are many slippery log bridges to cross. Some of them are easier than others, with two or three wider logs side by side. A couple even have cross bars on them.


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Papua New Guinea Things to Do

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