Papua New Guinea: A Closer Look At The Land Of Secrets

Intrepid exploration awaits you around the globe. If you’re a person who likes to travel further with every adventure, there are a huge number of hidden opportunities around the planet; it is simply up to you to source them. If you’re looking for an experience that will appeal to the adventurer in you, then Papua New Guinea might be the spot for which you’re searching. Home to a thousand mysteries, this Pacific island is lying in wait, sitting patiently on a treasure trove of mind-bending and unforgettable adventures. For North Americans, it’s a destination that’s just about as far away as you can get before heading home again. A trip to Papua New Guinea is a trip to the unknown, and once you step foot on the soil, no doubt it will awaken your thirst for exploration.

Thanks to the island’s changeable forecast, it’s worth planning your trip around the seasons. The wet season runs from December to March, making it difficult to set your eyes on the local wildlife. For hiking, wildlife spotting, and exploring activities, the summer months will serve you well, offering up some of the most spectacular sights for miles around. If you’re hoping to get a surfing trip in, however, the rainy season brings with it great opportunity; the north coast gets hit by some of the best waves in the world.

Any trip to Papua New Guinea is incomplete without a visit to at least one of its spectacular national parks. If you’re struggling to choose just one amongst the sheer magnitude of choices, try starting your adventure off in Varirata National Park. At over 1000 hectares in size, the park has plenty to offer, and will take you a great deal of time to explore. While camping here might not always be safe in smaller groups, you can spend long stretches of the day wandering the area and spotting local birds. Take a pair of binoculars and while the time away.

If jungles are more your thing, Port Moresby Nature Park should be your port of call. Home to more than 2km of wild walkways and jungle canopy, the nature spot hosts a huge amount of local flora and fauna. Stretches of the gardens are remarkably well maintained, offering an intricate insight into tropical, native plant species. The trees are brimming with life, too, so try not to keep your eyes on the ground for too long.

Away from the jungles and the green spots, Papua New Guinea has its fair share of tropical spots. Take Yuo Island, for example. Brimming with coconut-tree lined beaches and sandy coves, the island is the ultimate place to hide from the real world. Thanks to the crystal clear waters, the island makes the perfect snorkeling spot, making it easier than ever to get up close and personal with the underwater wildlife.

Local culture is alive and well in Papua New Guinea, and well worth a closer look. If you head to Asaro village in the northwest of the island, you will stumble across one of the most ancient customs around. The Mudmen are native to the village, coming together to embark on a series of raids. Covering themselves in grey mud and mammoth mud masks, the Asaro Mudmen can be witnessed throughout the village in a series of shows. The men are used to tourists, putting on a number of reenactments throughout the day. To see the act up close, your best bet is to sign up for a tourist group.

Packed with culture, wildlife, and tropical hiding places, Papua New Guinea is a place like no other. If you’re looking for a way to truly escape from the daily grind, the island can serve you well. One trip to the place might be all it takes to spark your wanderlust.

Hannah Lamarque
Hannah is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Europe. She writes about travel, art, design and culture and loves discovering hidden places in the cities that she visits.