Personal travel manager, Cassandra Zayonce shares her top reasons to make Papua New Guinea your next holiday hot spot.
When you mention travel and Papua New Guinea in the same sentence to an Australian, their first thought is usually the Kokoda Trail. Unknown to many, Papua New Guinea has a lot more to offer visitors than just the infamous trek. It is a country of wild and natural beauty with a lot to offer the intrepid traveller, from adventure & thrills to culture & history. The remote area of Milne Bay has a vast range of exciting activities including diving, snorkelling, island hopping & bird watching.
Diving & Snorkelling
There is an abundance of natural beauty to be found in the surrounding rainforest & sea life in the waters below. Milne Bay has some of the most biodiverse coral reefs in the world, housing about 76% of the world’s species of corals and about 37% of the world’s species of reef fishes. The reefs are characterised by dramatic drop-offs, clefts & overhangs. You can expect to encounter sharks, manta rays, hordes of tropical fish, sea turtles, mantis shrimp, eels and even occasionally whale sharks! Hundreds of relics from WWII are scattered across the province, providing a great opportunity to explore both ship & plane wrecks. Despite the amazing diversity below the surface, there is no need to battle the crowds here as you are completely off the beaten track.
Within the province of Milne Bay, there are more than 600 islands, 160 of which are inhabited. The possibilities are endless – you could enjoy a picnic on your own private tropical island or explore remote villages & communities. The local villagers are friendly and enjoy receiving visitors, to whom they proudly show off their local crafts, boats and crops. Don’t miss a visit to the Dei Dei Hot Springs on Fergusson Island in the D’Entrecasteaux group, where you can get a taste of the simple island life through dance performances, craft demonstrations & freshly prepared island food, along with visiting the spiritual thermal hot springs & geysers.
Very few places on earth can rival Papua New Guinea’s seemingly endless show of striking feathered life forms. There are over 700 species of birds in the country, 269 of which can be found in the Milne Bay province. There is a thriving bird population due to the specific habitat & climate, along with a lack of predatory animals to threaten numbers. Of the 43 known species of Bird of Paradise in the world, 38 of these are found here. Papua New Guinea is particularly famous for its opportunities to view species unique to the country, such as the Raggiana & Goldie’s Bird of Paradise. Pair this with the fact that you will likely have the jungle to yourself, and you will know why Papua New Guinea truly is a birdwatcher’s paradise!