Papua New Guinea Travel Guide, Gap Year Volunteering and Tours
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) recently declared Papua New Guinea to be the most biologically diverse region on the planet. It remains the most unexplored region with over 850 different societies and tribes with many new tribes only being discovered in the last 20-30 years. Tourism is growing here every year and so it's best to plan a trip before the crowds arrive.
Papua New Guinea Travel Ideas, Gap Year Programs & Experiences
Get inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to go travelling, backpacking or take a gap year.
Papua New Guinea Destination Travel Guide
Get ideas, information and inspiration for travelling to Papua New Guinea:
- Capital: Port Moresby
- Currency: Kina (PGK)
- Country Size: 462,840 km2
- Population: 5,545,268 (estimate)
- Language: English, Tok Pisin & Motu
- Country Code +675
Top Reasons to Visit Papua New Guinea
- A fascinating history
- Spectacular rainforest
- Vast mountain terrain
- Thrilling adventure sports
- Great value for money
- Amazing surf beaches
- A lot less touristy than other destinations
- See local tribes untouched by globalisation
Weather & Best Time to Go
We recommend visiting Papua New Guinea between May and October, this is usually when the weather is warm and pleasant for sightseeing and activities. Wet season generally runs from December to March, which isn't adised unless you plan on surfing.
Best Things to See & Do in Papua New Guinea
Here are some of the best attractions and places you should add to your itinerary:
- Port Moresby - Visit Parliament House, the National Museum, and the beautiful National Botanic Garden
- Tami Islands - One of the best and most popular destinations for international tourists due to the white sandy beaches, palm trees and activities.
- Trobriand Islands - An incredible place home to many tribes and beaches
- Tufi - A great town located on the south eastern peninsula of Cape Nelson, Oro Province
- Sepik River - Strecthing over 1000km this river is home to lots of biodiversity
- New Britain - The largest island in the country with volcanoes, spectacular mountains and rainforest
- Mioko Island - Go in search of the best beach on the beautiful Mioko Island
Health & Safety
We recommend booking an organised experience rather than travelling independently, this is the easiest and safest way to see the highlights of the country.
Book a Tour to Papua New Guinea
Many of the trails in which we will operate were first explored during the Second World War and have since overgrown. One of the most infamous being the Black Cat Trail, scene of some intense jungle fighting during this period. Lonely Planet describing it as "suitable only for masochists and Israeli Paratroopers". The training ensures that whatever your experience, you will have the skills to complete this expedition. At times you may be tested, but succeeding against what you previously felt was not possible is just one for the benefits you will return with.
Papua New Guinea Kokoda Track Tours
Kokoda tours of Papua New Guinew are challenging, you will be able to see places which played a big part in world war 2 between Australian and Japanese forces. Tours starts in Papua New Guinea's capital city Port Moresby where you will meet the other members of your group before, you will need to be aged 18+ to join this trip and be in good physical shape as the terrain you travel will be difficult. The Kokoda Track is a famous and challenging route, you will be hiking off the beaten track and see spectacular views over Papua New Guinea.
On this trip you will get to explore jungles and remote terrains whilst stopping off along the way and when you reach the Kokoda Station you will have free time to visit the Kokoda War Memorial. During treks you will visit many of the battlefields which were fought in during WW2, you will also get to hike up mounts and down rivers and gain a real insight into the country and brutal past. Places you will visit include: Port Moresby, Kokoda, Isurava, Templeton's Crossing II, Digger's Camp, Efogi, Nauro, Ioribaiwa, Owers Corner and Port Moresby.
Guide to Volunteering in Papua New Guinea
Some international charities and volunteer organisations have been working on the ground in Papua New Guinea for over 50 years with the aim of improve the infrastructure, educational / healthcare facilities and living standards for local people.
The capital city Port Moresby is where most operations are based but you will usually work in outreach teams going out to rural villages and towns to offer assistance. Some projects are based in the Morobe Province and directed by local NGO's which work to provide and maintain sustainable communities. Projects can vary depending on local requirements.
These projects operate in remote regions where the hospitality from those we assist ensures that you know your assistance is the future for these communities. A key element to programs is to provide the basic tools in both construction and education for these indigenous communities. On teaching jobs you will get to live with local families usually, in pairs but overseen by staff.
Due to the simplistic nature of the schools we will help you develop teaching programs which you will tailor-make and provide for the children at the communities request.
How to Apply
No prior experience is needed as help is urgently required and full training will be provided. There are usually no requirements as all training will be provided, you will also need to pay for travel to the destination and also a joining fee/donation.
Packages Usually Include:
- Pre-departure meeting
- All meals
- Airport pick-up
- Local transport
- Emergency back-up