Located in the continent of Oceania, Papua New Guinea covers 452,860 square kilometres of land and 9,980 square kilometers of water, making it the 55th largest nation in the world with a total area of 462,840 square kilometers.
The currency of Papua New Guinea is the Kina (PGK). As well, the people of Papua New Guinea are referred to as Papua New Guinean.
The dialing code for the country is 675 and the top level internet domain for Papua New Guinean sites is .pg.
Papua New Guinea shares land borders with only one country, Indonesia.
Vehicles drive on the left side of the road (sometimes)
Electricity Supply is 240 volts and power points are ‘Type I’ the same as used in Australia and New Zealand
1523 – Portuguese sailor Jorge de Meneses, names part of the present day Papua New Guinea Ilhas dos Papuas, which translated means “land of people with frizzy hair”.
1546 – Spanish Explorer names the island New Guinea as he believed the inhabitants resembled the people of Guinea in West Africa.
1884 – the island is divided by agreement, with Holland ‘acquiring’ the western part (now West Papua), Germany the north east (New Guinea) and Britain the south east (Papua).
1906 – Australia assumes control of British Papua.
1914 – Australia occupies German New Guinea.
1921 – The League of Nations gives Australia a mandate to govern New Guinea, whilst still ruling Papua as a colony.
1945 – Australia merges its administrations of Papua and New Guinea.
1975 – Papua New Guinea becomes an independent nation with Michael Somare appointed Prime Minister.
1989 – civil war starts on Bougainville, triggered by disagreement over royalties from the Panguna Copper Mine.
2001 – peace agreement reached with Bougainville involving greater autonomy and a referendum ‘planned’ to be held by 2020 offering an option for independence from PNG.
2019 – Referendum held in Bougainville for locals to vote on whether to stay a part of PNG or to be an independent nation
The tropical wet season in Papua New Guinea normally runs from November to May. The North West monsoon season runs from December to March, and the South East season is from May to October. Coastal areas average 25-30ºC during the day with high humidity and warm nights. The further inland or higher the altitude, the lower the temperature will be. The nights are milder and more bearable in the Highlands.
The most popular surf destinations are on the Northern coasts of PNG, so the months of October to April are most favourable for decent surf conditions. The main tourist season falls in the Northern dry season, from April to November, when conditons are most sutable for birdwatching, fishing, trekking, festivals and basking in the tropical sun in one of our resorts.
Scuba Divers visit PNG all year round.
PNG is always in the news and usually it’s for the wrong reasons. In general, incidents involving foreigners are isolated and in many cases, are blown out of proportion by the media. There is usually a good reason for the problem and this does not always get reported to the public. The majority of trouble occurs in the larger cities and towns and is often related to tribal issues, particularly in the Highlands.
The majority of Papua New Guineans are some of the most beautiful and friendly people on earth. They will generally greet you with a wave, a smile, or a hello and the kids are so inquisitive that they will follow you around and want to join in with your activities.
PNG people are classed as Melanesians. Melanesia is a subregion of Oceania extending from New Guinea island in the southwestern Pacific Ocean to the Arafura Sea, and eastward to Tonga. The region includes the four independent countries of Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea, as well as the French special collectivity of New Caledonia, and the Indonesian region of Western New Guinea. Most of the region is in the Southern Hemisphere, with a few small northwestern islands of Western New Guinea in the Northern Hemisphere.
The offical language that is spoken in Parliament and taught in schools is English. People from the New Guinea side of the country (former name under German rule) is Tok Pisin, a mix of English, German, Malay and Portuguese originating from colonial days. In the southern part of the country Hiri Motu is widely spoken, although in recent times, Tok Pisin and English are becoming more common.
Anti-malarial medication, Hepatitis B, cholera and other vaccinations may be required, so ensure that you visit your doctor or a Traveller’s Medical and Vaccination Centre to seek advice.
Tropical strength personal insect repellent should be worn in coastal regions, particularly around dusk, to help repel mosquitoes and midges. This is not necessary in the Highlands as the climate does not suit mosquitoes. With the high humidity, if you become ill on your holiday, most hotels keep a contact number for the local doctor. Payment is required at the time of consultation.
Hospitals are poorly equipped and shortages of common medicines sometime occur, however, pharmacies are usually well stocked with the common remedies.
Your passport must have a validity of at least six months beyond your stay to be allowed in the country.
Visas are required by all travellers to PNG. Tourist visas can be obtained from the PNG High Commission in Canberra or consulates in Sydney and Brisbane, as well as applying in advance online. Visa on arrival has been suspended since the outbreak of Coronavirus, and you will not be allowed to board your flight without a visa in your passport.