Places in Papua New Guinea
Lae is PNG’s second-largest city and, despite having a sizeable industrial base, is vastly more attractive than Port Moresby. Like other PNG cities, the streets are filled with people and it can be hard to imagine what the crowds are doing. No one seems to be in a rush; happy to chat with friends and amble around town.
Alotau is a sleepy little town built on the hillsides of the northern shore of Milne Bay. It became the provincial capital in 1968 when administrators were moved from overcrowded Samarai Island. Alotau and the coastal strip either side played a pivotal role in the WWII Battle of Milne Bay and there are several memorials and relics here.
Goroka has grown from a small outpost in the mid-1950s to a major commercial centre, and is now the main town in the Eastern Highlands Province. Mountains encircle the town, which in turn almost encircle the airport. Leafy streets, a pleasant climate and all the essential services combine to make it one of PNG’s most attractive towns.
Despite its environs, Mt Hagen is not nearly as attractive as Goroka. It’s PNG’s third biggest city. ‘Hagen’, as it’s often called, was a patrol station before WWII, and has boomed in the last 40 years as Enga and the Southern Highlands have opened up. Now it’s an unruly city with major squatter settlements and many itinerant people.
Tours and activities
Tips and articles
Travel literature review: Looking for Adventure
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Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands: travel books to read before you go
This excerpt from Lonely Planet’s Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands guide provides a selection of literature to get you in the mood for your trip...