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Here are some first impressions of Papua New Guinea:
Papua New Guinea (PNG) is situated just south of the Equator and north of the Australian continent. Apart from the mainland, it comprises approx. 600 islands and is one and a half times as big as Germany. The western part of the island is the Indonesian province 'Irian Jaya'. The main island is crossed by a central range with deep carved valleys, which highest elevation is 'Mount Wilhelm' with an altitude of 4.706 m. The two largest rivers of the country, the 'Sepik' with a length of 1.600 km and the 'Fly River' with a length of 1.100 km, wind through the swamps of the coastal lowland. A string of active volcanoes, especially in 'New Britain', attest to the low geological age of the country. The climate in PNG shows a wide difference due to the topographical conditions (highlands, lowlands, and islands). The trade wind from May to October and the winds of the monsoon from December to March mark the two seasons. Both are full of humidity and rainfalls occur year-round. Most of the rainfalls happen in the month of November to March. The average percipitation amounts to 2.540 mm per year, yet varies from 1.200 mm in 'Port Moresby' to 12.000 mm in 'Tabubil' in the western highland. It is mostly raining in the evenings.
The air temperature ranges depending on altitude between a maximum 38°C in the coastal areas and the freezing point on the highest elevations. The average temperature at the coast is 25 to 35°C, in the mountains the average lies within 20 to 28°C. The water temperature remains constant throughout the whole year. The sun is shining an average 7 hours per day. Because of the closeness to the Equator, there are no major shifts of day- and nighttimes during the year. At 6.00 a.m. the sun rises and between 6.00 and 6.30 p.m. it gets dark. The time difference to the CET is +10 hours. The currency of Papua New Guinea is Kina and freely convertible. As per today, 1 Euro buys 3.60 Kina.
Port Moresby - the gateway to adventure
The capital of PNG is a city with green suburbs, shady-frigid streets and modern office buildings, department stores, hotels, and good restaurants. 'Paga Hill' offers wonderful views over the city. Other points of interest are the national school of arts, the botanical gardens, the National-Museum as well as the magnificent Parliament- & Government Building in 'Waigani'.
The Highlands - one of the last paradises
The landscape of the Highlands ranges from tropical rain forests to landscapes rich in grass up to the snow-covered Mount Wilhelm. The people here primarily live on agriculture. Nature lovers are able to go on excursions to bird- and butterfly observations. Coffee- and tea plantations of PNG are also found in the Highlands. Several comfortable Lodges are the perfect starting point for tours in this region. Madang - the Jewel of the Bismarck-Lake Madang is approx. one flying hour from Port Moresby at the Bismarck Lake and has one of the most beautiful sea sides of PNG. The small village, which used to be a German coconut plantation in the past, is situated on a coral mountain that protects the bay. The village is still conserved in its nativeness with shady avenues, lined with high trees. Madang offers excellent diving possibilities with a great variety of corals and wrecks from World War II.
The Sepik-Region - Waterway to the unexpected
The mystic Sepik River is, with its 1200 km, the country’s largest river. It rises near the border to lrian Jaya. To this day, the Sepik River is mostly unaffected by western civilization. The people still live here in the same manner as their ancestors; they hunt crocodiles, flour meal out of palms and are masters of crafting original artwork. You can discover the Sepik River on board of two comfortable ships. The impressions are overwhelming: the call of tropical birds, the steaming of the jungle, the buzz of the drums, and locals who go hunting with bow and arrow. This is why the Sepik is also called "Amazonas of the Pacific".
Diving in PNG – another insider tip
Besides a fascinating and diverse maritime flora and fauna the diver finds in shallow waters, multiplicity of well-preserved aircraft- and ship wrecks from World War II are easily accessible in deeper levels. The diving sites at Loloata Island and the Bismarck Lake are easy accessible and, despite of their stunning ambiance, still low frequented.