Welcome to Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands
True adventure awaits in this enigmatic corner of Melanesia. Smouldering volcanoes, forest-cloaked mountains and coral-ringed islands set the stage for one of the world's most flamboyant cultures.
A Land Apart
Are you up for an adventure? Here in PNG you can trek through steaming jungles and ford rushing rivers with expert guides. Your goal may be a remote village, a magnificently plumed bird of paradise or a kangaroo that has elected the life arboreal. Why not test your mettle on a multi-day trek following the steps of Australian diggers along the Kokoda Track, or summit a 4000m-plus Highland peak for a panoramic, coast-to-coast vista.
The Solomon Islands and PNG are both world-famous diving destinations, with excellent conditions most months of the year. The biodiversity beneath is astounding, with a colourful array of hard and soft corals and teeming fish life, along with a jaw-dropping collection of WWII plane and ship wrecks. Live-aboard boats and first-rate dive resorts provide access to sites far from the hordes. The waves are equally uncrowded for surf lovers, with fantastic reef, point and beach breaks scattered around the region’s northern shores. There’s also fantastic fishing in these pristine waters, with yellowfin tuna, mackerel, sailfish and the legendary Papuan black bass in abundance.
Home to more than 800 distinct languages, PNG and the Solomons provide incomparable opportunities to be immersed in a variety of fascinating traditional cultures. It’s well worth planning your trip around one or two of the major annual festivals: see colourfully painted and feathered Highland warriors, fearless snake-wielding fire dancers and brilliantly attired island oarsmen chanting to the backdrop of pounding drums. Festivals aside, there are myriad ways to have a paradigm-altering experience: an impromptu singsing (festival) on the Trobriand Islands, learning about the legends of an eerie skull cave or sharing fruit with new-found friends on a bumpy PMV ride.
Travel is rarely easy in Melanesia, but the rewards are bountiful. After a few weeks of hard travel you can find your way to a palm-fringed, sun-drenched coast and unwind for a few days. Opt for a luxury eco-friendly resort with activities or a rustic bush-material village guesthouse just a few lazy footsteps from the sea. Spend your days snorkelling coral reefs, combing sandy beaches, paddling placid rivers or lounging beneath a palm tree. By night, watch the sunset, feast on fresh seafood and watch the sky slowly fill with stars while daydreaming about the great adventures still ahead.