Written by Zoe Stephens
Papua New Guinea (PNG) is not one of your cliche “off the beaten track” places to visit. If you’re after untouched culture, landscape, and traditions, then PNG may just be the off the beaten track place to visit.
Due to its out of the way location in the middle of the Bismark Sea, PNG remains largely untouched by tourism. This differs it from many of its surrounding countries in Asia and Australasia. And yet, it offers so much more. With its 600+ islands all with their own characteristics and peculiarities, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
A holiday in Papua New Guinea is not an easy, chill out retreat. And it’s not “luxury” in the conventional meaning of the word. But whilst you’re travelling on a boat made of bamboo from village to village or waking up to the sounds of the jungle from your mud hut, you’ll find a new kind of luxury in the richness and diversity of this island nation.
Enjoy the blue seas
It is said that the diving spots in Papua New Guinea rival some of the best in the world. The islands are surrounded by incredible coral reefs, which are accompanied by interesting and exotic sea life. For the more adventurous diver, there are ample WWII sites and ships to explore.
If you prefer to stay above water, PNG also has great conditions for surfing.
Lose yourself in nature
Forget about your skyscrapers, bustling town centers, and readily available WiFi. In Papua New Guinea you’ll be immersed in the diverse landscapes the country has to offer. Jungles, rainforests, active volcanoes, hiking trails – there’s certainly something for everyone. Whether you’re enjoying a beer on the white sands or camping deep in the rainforest, there will be few moments during your trip when you can’t help but be impressed.
One of the best things about the miles and miles of nature and stunning scenery? There’s not another tourist in sight 😉
Hang out with the wildlife
The birds you’ll find in PNG truly are unique. There are 708 species in PNG, 38+ of
which are birds of paradise. Make sure to check out the Raggiana bird. This is Papua New Guinea’s national bird, and you can only find it in the country.
Catch a picture of them and their vivid and fantastic colors and you have yourself that postcard worthy picture.
Experience tribal life
One of the best things about Papua New Guinea is the people themselves. They’re incredibly hospitable and will do everything they can to make you feel comfortable and at home.
Visit a local tribe for a truly authentic experience and experience the strong community culture that comes with each individual tribe. Each one often has their own language and own specific tribal dance. How about having a go and see how much you can learn?
If you’re lucky, you may even get to meet the local witch doctor!
Travel Through Time
Papua New Guinea is steeped in history. It was colonized by the British Empire, then administered by Australia in 1900 (until 1975).
The culture has been affected by the various colonizations which is interesting to see itself. There are still remnants of WWII, seen in aircraft left completely as they were over 70 years ago, as well as old buildings and ammunition.
Just like in any area of the world worthwhile of tourist attention, once word gets out about Papua New Guinea, it will undoubtedly lose a lot of its untouched charm that so many long for. Make sure to visit as soon as you can to be that one person in your friend group who’s ventured out this far on the beaten track.