Country: Papua New Guinea
Where is it?: Oceania, group of islands including the eastern half of the island of New Guinea between the Coral Sea and the South Pacific Ocean, east of Indonesia
Why do people go here?: PNG is a site for the true adventure traveller. Abundant natural resources and sites are breathtaking, but violence, fighting and an unstable economy has discouraged some backpackers. There are some rough areas- Port Moresby is home to a lot of petty and not so petty crime- but the exploration of this developing nation is worth it for those seeking a taste of the unfamiliar.
What are the main entry points?: Those coming from Australia will have the widest selection of flights into Port Moresby.
Currency used: Kina (PGK)
Country Code: 675
Area codes for Major Cities: No city codes required
Religion: Roman Catholic 22%, Lutheran 16%, Presbyterian/Methodist/London Missionary Society 8%, Anglican 5%, Evangelical Alliance 4%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1%, other Protestant 10%, indigenous beliefs 34%
Population: 6.8 million
Ethnic Breakdown: Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian
Government: Federal Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
Languages: English, Tok Pisin, Hiri Motu
Major Cities: Port Moresby
Attractions: Up and coming, Developing World, Nature
Tourism Office locations and links: Papau New Guinea-Tourismm Dev. Corp. P.O. Box 7144, Boroko Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea 272521; FAX 259119;
Off-the Beaten Path: Wuvulu Island, Kranket Island
Health Issues: Malaria risk exists throughout the year in the whole country below 1800 m. It is resistant to chloroquine reported, so mefloquine is recommended.
Tips for Visiting
When to go: Although it varies depending on where you are in the country, May to October tends to keep you most dry!
Specific Events/Holidays: Independence Day, 16 September (1975)
Getting Around: Public Motor Vehicles, or minibuses, are the way to get around. Driving has a number of risks associated with it, and will not suit every traveler. Travel to the smaller islands usually requires a plane ticket.
Good to know: Papua New Guinea is one of the least explored countries in the world.
Cheapest airport to fly into: The cheapest airport to fly into Papua New Guinea is the Port Moresby Airport.
Need more information?: Check out the Papua New Guinea travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.