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About Papua New Guinea

The Country

In the South-Western Pacific Ocean, North of Australia lies the land of Papua New Guinea. Sharing the world's largest tropical island with Indonesia the country is also made up of about 600 small islands, the chief of which are the Bismarck Archipelago, the Trobriands, the Louisiade Archipelago, the D’Entrecasteaux Islands, and some of the islands in the Solomons group, including Bougainville.

Climate: 

Tropical monsoon type, hot and humid all year, though somewhat cooler in the highlands. Rainfall is mostly from December to March. High mountains receive occasional frost, even snow.

Money:

The Kina is the currency of Papua New Guinea and it is divided into 100 toea. Current exchange rates can be found here http://www.xe.com/currency/pgk-papua-new-guinean-kina or check with your own bank.

Port Moresby:

Port Moresby is the capital city and the largest city  of Papua New Guinea. It is located  on the shores of the Gulf of Papua on the south-eastern coast of the Papuan Peninsula of the island of New Guinea. The international airport Port Moresby Jacksons is located in the city for all international flights and domestic connections to other major towns.

People and Culture

On this land about 7.2 million indigenous Papua New Guineans proudly live, mostly in their customary communities and tribes. It is estimated that about 80 % of the indigenous people live in rural areas where they continue to live their traditional ways.

From the highlands, coastal lands, islands and cities every region is distinctively diverse. 

 

Papua New Guinea is the home to over 800 known native languages spoken by different tribes across the land. Although English is the official language in education, business and government entities, Melanesian Tok Pisin a creole language, is also a very popular and spoken throughout Papua New Guinea in modern times.

It’s richness in natural resources, wildlife, landscape, marine life, living cultures through singings, dances, tribal rituals, languages, beliefs and tribal systems offers a once in a life time experience.

Any travellers choosing to visit Papua New Guinea have abundant opportunities for unique experiences and sights, not found anywhere else in the world.

Transport and Infrastructure

Port Moresby is perhaps the only capital city in the world that is not linked by road with the rest of the country.

 

There is no railway and road construction is disadvantaged by the rugged mountainous terrain. There are few roads and of those, just 3.5% are paved. As a result, air travel is the single most important form of transport and there are about 578 airstrips throughout the country.

The international airport is Port Moresby at Jackson Field, 11 km from the city. Domestic air services run to all centres of population and industry.

Principal ports are Alotau (on the southern tip of New Guinea), Port Moresby (on the south coast), and Lae, Madang and Wewak (on the north coast), Rabaul (in New Britain), Kieta (Bougainville) and Momote (Manus Island). As there are relatively few roads, river transport is important, for both freight and passengers, and particularly on the River Sepik.

Environment

Vegetation: 

Rich and very varied: five kinds of lowland, and 13 kinds of mountain rainforest, five kinds of palm and swamp forests, three differing mangrove forests, and the world’s greatest variety of orchid species.

Forest covers 63 per cent of the land area, having declined at 0.5 per cent p.a. 1990–2010. Arable land comprises one per cent and permanent cropland two per cent of the total land area.

Wildlife: 

There are no large mammals but a rich variety of marsupials, reptiles and some 700 species of birds, including 38 species of the spectacular bird of paradise and related bower-birds.

Papua New Guinea also has many thousands of unusual species of insect including the world’s largest species of butterfly, the Queen Alexandra birdwing, and brilliant green scarab beetles which are used for jewellery. Indigenous marsupials include tree kangaroos, wallabies, bandicoots, cuscus and spiny anteaters.