Top Ten Papua New Guinea Adventures

The sheer diversity from tribe to tribe, area to area, makes traveling in Papua New Guinea one of the most unique travel experiences in the world.
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Rabaul Volcano, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea has several active volcanoes and eruptions are not rare. Located on the island province of New Britain, Rabaul Volcano is one of the most active in the country. A major eruption in 1994 destroyed the capital city of Rabaul. After relocating many of the services, including the airport, Rabaul remains popular with tourists, particularly for divers and snorkelers.  (Papua New Guinea Tourism)
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Calling Papua New Guinea a diverse country doesn't even begin to describe the variations on culture, language, landscape, and wildlife that perpetually bombard the senses when traveling here. This island nation, which sits just north of Australia in the South Pacific, is comprised of more than 1,000 distinct cultures and 860 native languages, packed into an area the size of California. The histories, beliefs, and traditions of the people fluctuate so wildly from one group to the next that in some places even neighboring villages remain notably disparate.

Despite the presence of modern cities like Port Moresby and Lae, nearly 80 percent of PNG's population lives in rural areas where many villages and clans still have one foot in the Stone Age. PNG's interior jungle is, in fact, one of the world's few regions—second only to the Amazon Rainforest—where native tribes still exist with no contact or knowledge of the outside world.

Not to be outdone, the land, the landscape, and the adventure-travel potential of this practically untapped experiential resource boasts an equally diverse range. For travelers who make the journey, with aid from our PNG Travel Guide, expect introductions to storybook cultures, tours of smoldering volcanoes and geothermal hot springs, artifact hunting expeditions into swampy lowlands populated with brutally friendly (former) cannibals, history-laded treks that follow in the footsteps of the Australians and Japanese who fought desperately here during World War II, scuba diving among the most biologically diverse coral reefs in the world, and so much more.

To tempt the palate with a taste of these—and more—of PNG's most incredible attractions, click to the next page to uncover ten can't-miss adventures from around the country.

Published: 14 Dec 2009 | Last Updated: 17 Jan 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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