Despite its breathtaking white sand beaches, and vivid volcanic sunsets, Papua New Guinea is the least explored country in the world.
Occupying only 0.5% of the world's surface, Papua New Guinea holds more than 28% of the world's species of animals, with more being frequently discovered. In addition to the diversity of wildlife, the people of PNG have over 850 individual languages. It is so rich with culture and diversity that it offers everyone a new and personal experience. Here are my top destinations to visit while traveling to this mysterious island.
1) Rabaul, East New Britain
Once dubbed “The Jewel of the Pacific,” Rabaul anchors one of the South Pacific's largest and most interesting volcanoes. The town was rebuilt after falling to ash in 1994. Try visiting one of countless Japanese war bunkers, shipwrecks, local-guided volcano hikes, sulphuric hot-springs, diving with dolphins, dining at all-you-can-eat seafood buffets, or just relax in one of many 4 star hotels.
2) Kavieng, New Ireland
If surfing on world-famous competition waters alongside picture perfect islands appeals to you, look no further than this friendly, breezy town. While most of the tourism here relies on surfing, diving is encouraged since the marine life here thrives, and sea turtles, orca, and sperm whales inhabit the pristine sea. Take a free, 5-minute ferry across the bay to Nusa Island Retreat to sleep in a bungalow situated right over the water. Head to the back of the island to see war bunkers and artillery, and then enjoy the ocean mist from naturally carved coral blow-holes. There is no question why surfers and underwater photographers always make this place rich with life, a must.
3) Eastern Highlands
No one town in this province is more special than another; they all offer an insane amount of unique beauty and culture. Whether you fancy hopping on a motorbike and crossing the various terrains, or simply taking in the beauty from above via helicopter, Eastern Highlands has it all. Producing some of the world's best coffee, the province is full of flavorful and breathtaking hills. Located in the heart of Eastern Highlands lies Yonki Dam, PNG's one and only reservoir power plant. Jungle-laden mountains and valleys house not only a vast array of perfect rivers and waterfalls, but beautiful caves as well. To finish off your Sierra experience bucket list, trek up “Lone Tree,” which acquired its name from its historic “lone” tree. It is now is home to thousands of giant deciduous trees and other jungle fauna.
4) Huon Peninsula
Home to a few of the worlds most endangered animals, this area is a geological phenomenon for those seeking to explore and find new adventures. With everything from rock climbing to war memorials, you will never find yourself bored. The peninsula is a key interest to scientists, as the uplifted coral terraces and ancient reefs are evidence of tectonically unstable activity. But not to worry, a deadly earthquake is the last thing to happen here!
Maybe the idea of a busy, bustling vacation isn't totally for you. Lucky for you, Papua New Guinea's most popular resort town, Madang, just got a lot more relaxing. In this friendly, laid-back town, you'll find yourself constantly watching the sunset on the breezy beaches while sipping a coconut. With several resorts to choose from, each one offers something special. You could dine at one of the many amazing restaurants, or try the local fish market. With lots of fresh delicacies, there is bound to be something for you. Ever wanted to explore a volcanic island? Look no further than KarKar island, home to a dormant volcano surrounded by incredible animal diversity. Just a two-hour boat ride away, this isle is near, yet far enough to make you feel like a wayfarer. With everything from the iconic Madang lighthouse, to eel infested rivers, to 5-star resorts, Madang is an all-around excellent choice for your next island getaway. Ever wanted to explore a volcanic island? Look no further than KarKar island, home to a dormant volcano surrounded by incredible animal diversity. Just a two-hour boat ride away, this isle is near, yet far enough to make you feel like a wayfarer. With everything from the iconic Madang lighthouse, to eel-infested rivers, to 5-star resorts, Madang is an all-around excellent choice for your next island getaway.
After visiting Papua New Guinea, you will understand why it is the most unexplored and preserved island in the world. With an endless list of possibilities, this country and its people and culture will grab your heart. Instead of choosing just one spot, plan to travel and experience as much as your calendar will allow you! As the locals would say, “Lukim yu klostu!”, or “See you soon!”.
About the Author
Guest writer Micah Trostle is an 18-year-old photographer, videographer, and travel writer. Although he was born in the USA, his home is Papua New Guinea. There he enjoys adventure sports, camping, and loving on people! He is passionate about PNG and hopes to move back in the near future to impact business development and help to expand communities.