23 Best Places to visit in Papua New Guinea

Places to visit in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is a country in the southwest Pacific. It is home to the eastern half of New Zealand and several offshore islands. The country is known for its coral reefs, beaches, and active volcanoes.

It also has dense rainforest, traditional tribal villages, and its own language. It has a lot to offer to visitors, and its diverse landscapes and cultures make it a fascinating place to visit.

Papua New Guinea is renowned for its rich indigenous culture, and many visitors plan their trip around one of the many festivals held there.

The Goroka Show, the Mt Hagen Show, the Ambunti Crocodile Festival, and the Sepik River Festival are all events that draw locals and tourists to the country.

A culturally rich area, the Sepik River Expedition, includes a visit to spirit houses and a crocodile skin-cutting ceremony. Another culturally-rich area is the Highlands Expedition, where you can visit the Huli wigmen of Tari and Asaro mudmen.

Papua New Guinea is a birdwatcher’s paradise. It has over 700 different species of birds, and if you’re an avid bird watcher, this is the place to be. There are a lot of volunteer opportunities to assist bird watchers and a number of cruises are operated by Heritage Expeditions.

Each of the Cruises includes a professional Birding Expert/Lecturer who acts as an expert guide and unpacks the best birding spots. Moreover, you can go trekking in the Highlands, which is another popular attraction in Papua New Guinea.

As there are a number of places to visit in Papua New, I will share the most popular ones on the below list.

23 Awesome Places to visit in Papua New Guinea.

  1. Alotau
  2. Bomana War Cemetery
  3. Goroka Natural Habitat
  4. J.K. McCarthy Museum
  5. Karawari River
  6. Kimbe Bay
  7. Kiriwina Island
  8. Kitava Island
  9. Kokoda Track
  10. Kokopo War Museum
  11. Madang Visitors & Cultural Bureau
  12. Manta Watch Camp
  13. Massim Museum
  14. Mount Hagen
  15. Mount Tavurvur
  16. Mount Wilhelm
  17. National Museum and Art Gallery
  18. National Parliament House
  19. New Guinea Club & Rabaul Museum
  20. Port Moresby Nature Park
  21. Sepik River
  22. Turnbull War Memorial Park
  23. Varirata National Park

1. Alotau


If you’re looking for a quiet, unspoiled village with plenty to see and do, Alotau in Papua New Guinea may be just what you’re looking for. Despite its small size, Alotau offers a wide range of activities for the whole family.

You can explore the local markets and try the traditional local food. There are a variety of souvenirs you can buy, from local fruit to carved wooden bowls.

While most of the tours in Alotau focuses on the Battle of Milne Bay, there are many other options. You can visit a local village to see how locals live, observe their culture and see how at Mumu, an underground cooking pit, traditional foods are cooked.

You should pack plenty of water, and sunscreen. In case you’re visiting inland, make sure you pack some mosquito repellent and a hat.

Alotau is a charming village that lies at the foot of lush hills and only has around 20,000 residents. Hike up the hill to enjoy the picturesque town and surrounding countryside. The area is known for its volcanoes, so you can easily hike up to see the view from up there.

The name of the town is derived from the Alotau Bay. The sand of Alotau is dark from volcanic origins, which means that it is black in color.

2. Bomana War Cemetery

Bomana War Cemetery

One of the most important places to visit in Papua New Guinea is the Bomana War Cemetery, a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery.

This site was founded during World II and contains the graves of over 22,000 soldiers who lost their lives during the conflict. Visiting this graveyard is a fitting tribute to the fallen.

In addition to the remembrance of fallen comrades, visitors can also visit the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s headquarters.

The cemetery is large and well-tended, with over three thousand unmarked graves. The site is surrounded by a huge rain tree and has a Dawn Service that takes place every ANZAC Day.

You can arrange transport to the location through a local tour operator or arrange transport on your own. You may also want to attend the ANZAC Day memorial service held at the cemetery.

If you’re visiting the cemetery, it’s worth stopping by the Port Moresby memorial to pay your respects. You can learn about the plight of the Papua people, and you can take a picture of the war graves at the same time.

3. Goroka Natural Habitat

Things to do in Goroka Natural Habitat Papua New Guinea

The Goroka area is home to a unique ecosystem, allowing you to get close to some of the rarest wildlife on earth. The renowned bird of paradise, known as the kopau, is the largest species found here.

The Papuan capital of MT HAGEN is also a cultural hub. It is home to the famous Goroka Festival, which is one of the oldest traditions on the island.

One of the best things to do in Goroka is to take a walk in the surrounding forest. The forest is home to a wide variety of animal species, including the king of Saxony, which is only found in this region.

The area has a great market, which is great for people watching. There are also many restaurants in the city, and if you’re feeling puckish, you can try the delicious food at the Phoenix Hotel.

The locals of Goroka are very friendly and enjoy taking care of the animals and plants. For a close-up look at a large variety of native plant species, it’s a must to visit Goroka during the dry season.

4. J.K. McCarthy Museum

J.K. McCarthy Museum

The J.K. McCarthy Museum is a small museum located in Goroka. The museum is named after an Australian patrol officer, and features a large collection of relics from the Pacific War.

The museum has a unique display of Anga artifacts and a World War II fighter plane. The museum has a few things to offer people of all ages.

One of the things to do in J.K. McCarthy Museum is to view its exhibitions and hear its audioguide. The museum features the acclaimed works of legendary patrol officer JK McCarthy, including his bestselling book, Patrol into Yesterday.

The exhibition features objects from the Highlands as well as pottery, clothes, weapons, musical instruments, and gruesome jewelry, such as Anga mourning necklaces that feature human fingers.

5. Karawari River

Karawari River

For nature lovers, the Karawari River offers some of the best views in Papua New Guinea. The river is surrounded by lush forests and a lush landscape.

There are many activities to enjoy in the jungle surrounding the Karawari River, Papua New Guinea. The area is home to the Sepik tribe, whose main means of livelihood is fishing. Birding is a popular activity in the region.

The Karawari River, which flows through the province of Papua New Guinea, has its own distinctive character. This river is one of the largest in the country, and its branching waters make it the largest inland delta in the world.

The upper section of the river boasts 300 caves and significant rock outcroppings that contain evidence of human habitation.

Travelers can take a dugout canoe or kayak on the river, where they can view the spectacular scenery and observe wildlife.

The area also contains a number of waterfalls and a small village where you can stay at a Sepik lodge. A trip to this remote region is not complete without an evening spent at a Sepik lodge, which offers spectacular views of the river.

6. Kimbe Bay

Kimbe Bay

If you’re an avid scuba diver, Kimbe Bay is the place for you. The marine environment is one of the richest in the world, and you’ll find some spectacular fish and coral. While scuba diving is a great experience, you can also experience other Kimbe experiences, including fishing, magical fireflies, and volcanoes.

There are plenty of things to do in Kimbe Bay Papuan – you’ll find the best activities in a wide variety of natural settings. For example, you can dive the beautiful reefs in this area and explore the local history.

You can also go on a safari to discover the local culture. Whatever your reason for visiting, there’s something for everyone. There you’ll be able to see and experience the local wildlife, such as monkeys, giant crayfish, and a variety of other native creatures.

The waters of Kimbe Bay is filled with vibrant life, and the fireflies are especially stunning.

7. Kiriwina Island

Things to do in Kiriwina Island Papua New Guinea

If you want to get away from the city and see the local culture, you must visit the tiny village of Kaibola, located on the northern tip of Kiriwina.

A Kiriwina Island Papua-New Guinea tour begins with a trip to the local markets. The markets are the hub of village life in Papua New Guinea, and are lined with stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as crafts. Depending on where you’re traveling, the stalls sell different trinkets.

You should bring snorkelling gear, and the locals are happy to help you explore the island’s beautiful underwater world. To get around the island, you can hire a dugout canoe for K20. You may want to bring your own fishing poles or hooks, or just watch them as they practice their ancient courtship rituals.

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate local traditions, you can visit the Kiriwina Cultural Show. This week-long event brings together traditional dances, singing, and ritual performances.

The main theme of the Kiriwina Cultural Show this year is to re-establish the culture and identity of the Trobriands. The threat of eradication of traditional knowledge is all too real, but this show is a step in the right direction.

8. Kitava Island

Kitava Island

Kitava Island is a small island in the Trobriand group of islands, located in the Milne Bay Province. The local people still live in traditional style huts, and the diet is locally sourced.

While the lifestyle is still sustainable and environmentally friendly, it lacks modern conveniences. Nonetheless, the untouched nature of the Kitava people makes them an unforgettable destination.

A trip to Kitava Island Papua New Guinea is a must for anyone who is in the area. The south-eastern tip of PNG is home to the island, which is known as the “Island of Love”.

This modern-day paradise is rich in natural resources and cultural traditions. With many freshwater holes and yam gardens, Kitava is a popular place for snorkelling. The people of Kitava have a deep sense of island living, and ceremonial dances are celebrated in the region.

One of the things to do in Kitava Island Papuan Guinea is to attend a cultural show. A schoolchildren’s performance is the most famous of these. The show is performed for free, but donations are welcome.

The donation helps support the village’s basic needs. You can take photos at the performances, but it’s important to note that photography is prohibited at the performances.

9. Kokoda Track

Kokoda Track

The Kokoda Track is a 96-kilometre long trail cut through the Owen Stanley Range, and is a World War II battleground. The high elevation around Mount Bellamy makes it especially difficult to hike.

The track is open all year round, but most hikers choose to complete the trail between April and October. Most tour operators are closed from November to March.

There are several things to do in Kokoda Track if you’re a first-time visitor to the country. Aside from the trek itself, you can take in the incredible landscape and culture of the area.

The Kokoda Track Authority provides information on trekking and guides, and they even list licensed tour operators in the region. If you have ever dreamed of hiking through the jungle, you’ll find this adventure is one you’ll never forget.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a beginner looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, there are many things to do in Kokoda Track Papua New Guinea.

Although the Kokoda Track is a legendary trail, it’s not for everyone. So you should plan your trip accordingly.

10. Kokopo War Museum

Kokopo War Museum

Next you can plan your trip to historical place name Kokopo. There you can visit the Kokopo War Museum and learn about the history of the country and its people.

The exhibits feature war equipment, machineries, and artifacts from World Wars I and II. This is an eye-opening place that is definitely worth a visit, and you will find that the remodeled museum is a must for every tourist. If you are planning a trip to Papua New Guinea, make sure to check out the museum.

11. Madang Visitors & Cultural Bureau

Madang Visitors & Cultural Bureau

While visiting Madang, it is important to understand the history of the region. The area is home to many different tribes and is populated by up to 200 dialects.

Despite the city’s remote location, the city is not without its charms. The town is located on a peninsula that juts into the Bismarck Sea. The water is filled with vibrant coral reefs and schools of fish.

Divers will love the opportunity to explore the shipwrecks in the region. Snorkelers can wander through the pristine coral cities framing the island-filled waters.

The city has a wide variety of shops, from boutiques specializing in shell jewelry to high-end department stores featuring designer labels.

There is also a thriving fine art scene, dominated by Ramu Valley artwork. Similar to the Sepik culture, Ramu carvings are easy to find and purchase. The city also has an artifact shop and museum.

There are plenty of activities to keep you busy while you explore the province. If you’re looking for a place to spend the night, Madang has a few hotels and budget guest houses.

The city’s tourism industry is thriving, with a high percentage of foreign investors in the city.

12. Manta Watch Camp

Manta Watch Camp

The activities offered by Manta Watch Camp are designed for the younger visitors, who have no prior diving experience. The camps offer English, maths, and photography courses. These activities helps the islanders improve their living conditions and develop their own skills.

In addition, you can observing the incredible marine life also take part in workshops that will help to understand marine conservation and research.

The manta research program at Manta Watch Camp is gaining momentum as its volunteers are helping the marine conservation efforts by monitoring the reef. They also assist in identifying resident manta rays through a unique pattern on their belly.

Those who participate will also learn about the science behind the marine industry and the research projects conducted by NGOs.

Additionally, they will learn how to take underwater photographs, which are used to identify the species. The photos are analyzed and shared in a public database to help researchers identify the species.

The camps are located on the secluded Gonubalabala island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The dive sites in this area will allow visitors to view and learn about the giant rays that live in the ocean.

13. Massim Museum

Massim Museum

When you visit Massim Museum, you will learn about the history of the country’s art and culture. This museum is dedicated to the local Asmat people and was founded in 1957.

It features works by artists and craftspeople from the area. This cultural institution has a fascinating collection of local art and crafts.

The museum also showcases works by artists and weavers from Milne Bay. You will also see some of the pieces created by Bronislaw Malinowski during his time in the area.

If you are a diver, you can try diving in Kimbe Bay, one of the country’s best spots. You’ll be surrounded by hundreds of species of fish and corals.

Aside from history, Massim Museum is also home to the artworks of the indigenous people of the region.

You can also check out the Malinowski Legacy carving project, which includes twelve storyboards and forty pieces of art. And don’t miss the opportunity to watch a movie or see some beautiful natives.

14. Mount Hagen

Mount Hagen

If you want to see authentic culture in Papua New Guinea, Mount Hagen is the third-highest mountain in the world. It is located on the north side of the Morobe Province and is accessible by car.

To see the Mount Hagen waterfalls, visitors must hike through the jungle and visit the village of Lalabo. There are three waterfalls in the area – Hagen Falls, Lalabo Falls, and Wahgi Falls.

The region is part of the Western Highlands, and has many beautiful vistas, including Mount Hagen and the Baiyer River. Visitors can enjoy a cultural show that features various tribal dance groups. The show is the largest cultural event in the province, and is one of the most popular tourist attractions.

While in Mount Hagen, tourists can enjoy a Sing-Sing performance in Paiya village. This cultural celebration is the largest and first Sing-sing in the region.

The festival attracts more than one million people. During the festival, local tribes perform elaborate dances and songs. Throughout the day, the villagers are adorned with colorful costumes and make-up.

15. Mount Tavurvur

Mount Tavurvur

The active stratovolcano of Mount Tavurvur is located near the town of Rabaul in Papua New Guinea. This volcano is a sub-vent of the larger Rabaul caldera. Its 1994 eruption destroyed the town of the same name. Now, tourists can explore the caldera and learn about the natural history of Papua.

If you’re an adventurer, you can spend the day watching the volcanic activity from a nearby village. The locals in Matupit Village are witnesses of the eruptions. They can translate for you and answer your questions.

You’ll feel like an explorer in this place, or you can take a break and relax and enjoy the scenery. And if you want to go on a little adventure, you can visit the crater at night for a traditional Goroka performance.

Another thing to do in Mount Tavurvur is to watch the yearly rituals. The festival begins early in the morning and lasts until late at night. Whether you are an adventurer or a peace-loving traveler, you’ll enjoy the sights of this active volcano. There are many ways to experience the majesty of the site.

There are several craters and lava flows, and you can experience the majesty of mother nature from a close range. This is a must-see destination if you’re visiting the region.

16. Mount Wilhelm

Things to do in Mount Wilhelm Papua New Guinea

Mount Wilhelm is the tallest mountain in Oceania. It is more than 4.5 km above sea level and sometimes included on the list of the Seven Summits – the tallest mountains on each continent.

Mount Wilhelm is one of the most accessible mountains in Papua New Guinea. The Mount Wilhelm trekking trail starts from Keglsugl village and ends in Kundiawa. The trek lasts two to three days and includes camping in the mountain and at the base.

The terrain is difficult with slippery slopes and uneven terrain. Climbers must be experienced, but the path is easy enough to walk.

Although the journey may be strenuous, it is well worth the reward of stunning vistas. It’s recommended that hikers with no physical disabilities attempt the climb. It also takes a good amount of physical effort and acclimatization to the high altitude.

17. National Museum and Art Gallery

National Museum and Art Gallery

If you’re looking for a nice place to visit while you’re in Papua New Guinea, the National Museum and Art Gallery is the place to go. The museum is located in Waigani, just a few miles outside Port Moresby.

It’s the country’s national museum, so you should take some time to check it out. In addition to its permanent exhibitions, you can also check out other galleries and other exhibits.

The building is striking, and the artwork on the exterior walls is exotic. The museum houses five collections that showcase 25,000 archeological items, 20,000 war relics, and 7,000 pieces of contemporary art.

Remember, photography is not permitted inside the museum, but you can snap pictures of the permanent collections and temporary exhibitions.

While you’re there, you can take a look at the impressive displays of traditional Papua New Guinean art. The building is decorated with intricately carved pillars and a thatched roof, and it has more than 7000 contemporary art pieces.

You can also see traditional masks and musical instruments, as well as canoes, seafaring equipment, and ancient Sepik totem poles.

18. National Parliament House

National Parliament House

While there are many things to see in Papua New Guinea, the National Parliament House is a must-see landmark. This building was constructed in the style of Maprik Haus Tambaran, a traditional house of spirits.

The architecture of the building is a blend of the indigenous and European styles. The main entrance hall of the parliament building features an ornately-carved lintel.

The PNG government wanted to create a grand building in the government district of Waigani, so the PNG government held a design competition for the permanent home for parliament.

The winning design, “A Modern Haus Man (Men’s House),” was created by Australian architect Cecil Hogan. The architect was inspired by the haus tambaran, a men’s cult in East Sepik province. He incorporated references to other cultural sites such as places of male leadership in other regions.

It opened in 1984, and is one of the most popular attractions in the country. After the tour of the Parliament Haus building, take some time to explore the grounds. The grounds are lush, and are the perfect place to relax after a long day.

There is an interactive art gallery and a small museum on the ground floor. You can also visit the historic Papua New Guinea State Museum. You can also tour the National Museum and Art Gallery, which is an imposing structure.

Visitors will also want to visit the nearby Koki market, where you can buy fresh tropical fruits and vegetables. The beachside location of the market is a perfect place to enjoy the ocean breeze and see a variety of seafood.

19. New Guinea Club & Rabaul Museum

Things to do in New Guinea Club  Rabaul Museum Papua New Guinea

If you are visiting Papua New Guinea, you may want to visit the New Britain Club and Rabaul Museum. This historical landmark is situated on the Gazelle Peninsula, on the northeastern tip of the island of ‘New Britain’.

The city was destroyed in WWII but was reconstructed during the war years. It is home to the Tolais and is home to an excellent museum. It has an amazing display of historic photographs of the region, as well as a collection of rumored Allied and Pacific War soldiers.

The New Granada Club and Rabaul Museum were originally the provincial capital of East-New Britain. Both are now museums.

The former club was destroyed in 1994 by the ash from the nearby Tavurvur volcano, but it remains one of the city’s most beautiful buildings. You can see the club’s history in the museum.

David Flinn, a member of the local historical society, opens the door to the New Guinea Club, a building that once housed a nightclub.

20. Port Moresby Nature Park

Port Moresby Nature Park

One of the places to visit in Papua New Guinea is Port Moresby Nature Park. Over 550 native animal species are featured in this tropical garden.

The exhibits are arranged according to themes, such as birds, insects, and tropical plants. During your visit, you will love the variety of native animals and plant species. You can also see the famous Sepik totem poles and skull racks.

You can also explore the nature park’s rain forest. This park is home to the only remnant rain forest in the area.

Hundreds of different species of tropical plants live in this park. You can take a wooden boardwalk to visit these species and learn more about the rainforest ecosystem.

The park also has a cultural demonstration and a cafe. Those who are visiting the area can enjoy the beautiful scenery and relax with a cup of coffee.

The park is a popular destination for families and travelers looking to explore PNG’s unique culture and nature.

21. Sepik River

Things to do in Sepik River Papua New Guinea

If you are looking for a place to visit in Papua New Guinea, you might want to try the Sepik River. This river is one of the longest on the island and is also the second-longest river in Oceania, after the Fly River.

Most of the Sepik flows through the East and Sandaun provinces, with a small portion passing through Indonesian province of Papua.

Papua New Guinea is an adventure for all travellers. A trip to the Sepik River area will give you a chance to see some of the traditional tribes. You can visit the village of the Middle Sepik to observe traditional customs.

In particular, you can learn about the myth number 43 of the crocodile. You can also learn about the reptilians’ festival and learn how to carve a billum.

You can also visit the local men’s house and experience the local culture and customs. During your stay in Sepik, you can also witness a crocodile initiation ceremony. Young men in the community are bitten by a crocodile as part of their initiation ritual.

22. Turnbull War Memorial Park

Turnbull War Memorial Park

The Turnbull War Memorial Park is one of the many places to visit in Papua New Guinea. The park is a remnant rain forest that is home to hundreds of different types of plants.

Walk along the wooden boardwalks to see the plants. Learn about the rainforest ecosystem while you explore the grounds. You can also stop by the Papua New Guinea Museum to see traditional masks and musical instruments.

Turnbull War Memorial Park was the original No.3 airstrip during WWII. It is privately owned, and is dedicated to Squadron Leader Peter St George Turnbull.

23. Varirata National Park

Varirata National Park

One of the best things to do in Papua New Guinea is go for a bushwalk around Varirata National Park . The beautiful vegetation of the island is a sight to behold. Observe the nocturnal animals and birds.

The park features lookout points that offer a panoramic view of the city and the ocean. It is also a good place to watch the bird of paradise, but make sure to get there early in the morning.

The park is home to hundreds of different bird species, so it’s important to bring a bird expert if you’re unsure of what you’re looking at. It’s also a good idea to bring plenty of food, bug repellent, and sunscreen.

It’s the perfect destination for serious walkers, and is a pleasant drive from Port Moresby. The national park has recently opened a brand new Information Centre, which should improve visitors’ experience of the park.

There are numerous walks around Varirata National Park, which you can take in as you get to know the area. Alternatively, you can hire a local guide to help you navigate the park. It is a great spot for birdwatchers and serious walkers alike.

If you are looking for something a little more adventurous, then try exploring the island of Muschu. This small, beautiful island has only one B&B on it, which is run by a local family.

This beautiful island is home to a swimming hole, black beach, and forests. Guests of the B&B will be able to explore the black beach and the surrounding forest. You may even encounter the local Buddhist population during your trip.

To conclude, depending on the time of year, the best places to visit in Papua New Guinea will differ. The country has an arid climate and rainy seasons. Its highlands experience is best experienced during summer.

However, it’s not possible to trek throughout the entire country during the wet season, which runs from December to March. The ideal trekking months are June to September. The climatic conditions in the country vary by region.

If you want to experience the country’s culture, you’ll want to take in the festivals and cultural activities in the area. The culture of the country is very unique, and you’ll love its people and cultures.

Watch this video for some visual experience.

Suggested Reads: Best Places to visit in Oceania.

Frequently Asked Questions on Papua New Guinea.

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