Papua New Guinea is an untouched land of cultural diversity, natural beauty and World War II history where local communities still follow their ancient traditions and customs. It is one of the least densely populated countries on earth with amazing scenery and attractions awaiting discovery by the intrepid traveller.
Papua New Guinea is located in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean in a region defined since the early 19th century as Melanesia. This unique landmass is divided into 19 provinces and four regions.
The origin of the name ‘Papua’ was derived from a Malay word describing the frizzy Melanesian hair. ‘New Guinea’ (Nueva Guinea) on the other hand was the name coined by Spanish explorer Ynigo Ortiz de Retez who in 1545 noted the resemblance of the people here to those he had earlier seen along the Guinea coast of Africa. Thus Papua New Guinea is a combination of the two.
The northern half of the country came into German hands in 1884. However during World War I PNG was occupied by Australia which had begun administering the southern part in 1905. Post World War I Australia was given the mandate to administer the former German New Guinea as part of the terms set out in the Treaty of Versailles.
Today the population sits at just over 5 million inhabitants and it is one of the most of culturally diverse countries on the planet.
Air Niugini in code share with Qantas offer services to Papua New Guinea. The international airports are Jackson International Airport, 10kms from the capital at Port Moresby in the National Capital District; and Kagamuga Airport in Mt Hagen Province.
Ensure that your passport is valid through to your return date home. Tourists are required to have a visa to enter PNG. Currently a 60-day tourist visa is available upon arrival at Port Moresby airport for nationals of many countries including Australia, Japan, New Zealand, UK, USA and most western European countries. To acquire a visa upon arrival, you will need a valid passport, proof of sufficient funds for your stay, an onward airline ticket with confirmed bookings and Kina cash. Alternatively, you may acquire your visa prior to leaving your home country with either the nearest PNG Embassy or in some cases at the Australian Embassy in your country.
The only health requirement is a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever or cholera if arriving from or travelling through infected areas prior to arrival in PNG. Visitors are advised to take malaria precautions, but only your doctor can recommend and prescribe the appropriate medication for you. Although the problem of diarrhoea and dysentery is not as severe in PNG as in some of the neighbouring Asian countries, it is possible you may get some kind of diarrhoea at some stage of your trip. This is normal for travellers whose bodies are adapting to different food and water. In most cases the problem is short term, not severe and is easily treated.
All travellers to PNG are strongly recommended to acquire Travellers Insurance for trip cancellation and delays, baggage loss and damage, and for illness, accident and medical evacuation. Government owned general hospitals, church affiliated hospitals, private doctors, dentists and pharmacies are available in all major centres of the country. A full listing of hospitals, doctors, dentists and pharmacies in various centres are available in the Papua New Guinea Telephone Directory.
Visitors to PNG must ensure they prepare themselves adequately for their own journey and are aware of the most up-to-date advisories and requirements. South Sea Horizons cannot be held responsible for the continuing accuracy of the information above. It is supplied as general information only and should not be relied upon.
South Sea Horizons is proudly a locally owned and operated tourism operator. We run small group active and cultural experiences in Kokoda, Goroka and Rabaul. Find out more about our itineraries and programs by clicking the destination links below.
We understand you will have many questions about a potential visit to PNG. We’re here to help! Please complete the form below and we will respond to your query promptly. Thank you.