Papua New Guinea (PNG) occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and the offshore islands. It gained its sovereignty from Australia in 1975 and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Possibly because of the dense, mountainous jungle interior, PNG is one of the least urbanized and least explored countries in the world. It is believed that there are communities that have not made contact with other humans and undiscovered plant and animal species. The islands are surrounded by coral reefs and there is often snowfall on the high ground. The country is on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is subject to earthquakes and tsunamis.

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1.The Kokoda Trail

The Kokoda Trail
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The Kokoda Trail is a grueling 96 km trek through the rain forest, across rugged mountainous terrain. It follows the route taken by the allied soldiers that fought the Japanese in World War 2. Preparation and training are essential for the undertaking. It is necessary to purchase a permit and to employ an accredited guide. The highest point is 2190 m and the path crosses rivers, streams and rock pools. Along the way there are grave sites and memorials to the soldiers and the locals who supported them by carrying supplies and the wounded.

Level 2, Brian Bell Plaza, Boroko, Phone: +675-3-23-61-65

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2.Port Moresby Nature Park

Port Moresby Nature Park
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The nature park began as the National Botanic Gardens in 1975. There are now 350 animal species native to PNG and hundreds of local plant species in the 30 acre tropical garden. It is internationally recognized for its contribution to conservation, education and community involvement. Scheduled events include cultural displays and fundraising markets. Sections of the park are available for hire for private, corporate and community functions. The Nature's Gift Shop has souvenirs and traditional arts and crafts for sale. Nature's Café sells fast foods and beverages. The park is open 7 days a week, all year round.

Portion 1473, Goro Kaeaga Road, Reinbo, Port Moresby, Phone: +675-3-26-02-48

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3.Karawari Lodge

Karawari Lodge
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Karawari Lodge is situated in the East Sepik Province, on a ridge above the Karawari River, deep in the tropical rain forest. Access is by small plane or the company's river cruiser. There are no roads or shops in the area. Locals use canoes to navigate the waterways and live off the land and the water. The lodge offers river excursions and village tours. Visitors can choose to stay in one of the lodge's ten cottages or to stay in a private home in a village. The villagers sell their artwork in the form of masks, drums, baskets and sculptures. Bird species and orchid specimens abound.

Trans Niugini tours, Phone: +675-5-42-14-38

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4.Manta Watch Camp

Manta Watch Camp
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The Manta Ray camp is situated on Gonabarabara, a tiny island off the east coast of the mainland. Time spent at the camp is an immersive experience. The main focus of the camp is to study and conserve manta rays, and to educate people how to behave responsibly toward them and other sea creatures. Visitors stay with locals and learn their ways and even their recipes. Manta rays play on the surface close to the beach but visitors can snorkel or scuba dive among the pristine coral reefs to get a closer look. Carmen Toanchina is a PADI diving instructor so visitors can complete a certified course while on the island.

Gonabarabara Island, Alotau 211, Papua New Guinea

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5.Alotau Port

Alotau Port
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Alotau is the capital of Milne Bay Province and is located in a bay on the eastern coast of the mainland. It is the gateway to 160 remote island communities and a working harbor with hundreds of small ships, boats and canoes, coming and going. Several cruise liners stop in at the port. Locals greet them on arrival and departure with cultural dances. Alotau is the site of World War I activity but most of the relics have been overgrown. The market is a 20 minute walk from the ship. The climate is equatorial so any exertion will be exhausting. Cold water to drink, sunscreen and mosquito repellent are essential.

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6.Mount Wilhelm

Mount Wilhelm
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Mount Wilhelm is in the northern portion of the country which was once German territory. Unofficially, it is one of the seven highest peaks on the continents of the world, being the highest summit in Oceania. There are several ways to access the area and there is more than one base camp. It is advised to work through a local lodge or tour operator. The climb to the summit starts around midnight as it can take up to eight hours. The trail leads through diverse terrain, including rain forest, grassland, glacial rock and granite. The best time of year to attempt the climb is between May and November.

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7.Vision City Mega Mall

Vision City Mega Mall
© Vision City Mega Mall

The mall is a one stop shop for fashion, food, beverages and entertainment. The fashion zone showcases local PNG design, and haute couture and international luxury brands in both clothing and jewelry. There are 15 eating establishments in the food court, ranging from Asian to Continental cuisine. Diners can choose to sit indoors, to dine al fresco or to order take-outs. Department stores and supermarket chains sell a range of household goods and groceries. For entertainment, visitors can visit the cinema or test their skills in the game zone. There are regular activities in the Atrium Event Center, such as Fashion Week and the Little Miss PNG pageant.

Waigani Drive, 131 NCD. Papua New Guinea

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7 Best Things to Do in Papua New Guinea