With Papua New Guinea named by National Geographic as one of the best cultural destinations in the world, PNG’s profile as a cultural capital has dramatically enhanced. The Tourism Promotion Authority’s (TPA) next step is to work closely with key stakeholders to continue to promote authentic PNG. Although the country is not a mass tourism destination, it is an adventure destination offering niche products like diving, fishing, surfing, trekking and culture.
There is more to PNG that sets it apart from other island tourist hot spots globally. PNG is beautiful, and more than that, it is a place of discovery—where travellers can have once in a lifetime experiences, close to nature, and away from the crowds that other island holiday locations attract. One of PNG’s biggest draw cards is its’ exceptional array of activities.
Every year thousands of surfers flock to PNG, in search of perfect waves—with areas such as Vanimo offering regular swells between 1 and 2 metres. In the months of November and April– in amongst the outer island, atolls and coral reefs—PNG transforms into a complete surfing mecca. What’s more is that unlike other global surfing destinations, the surf management plan put in place by the Surfing Association of Papua New Guinea, guarantees a limited number of 20 surfers per region, over eight breaks.
When it comes to adventures, PNG offers something for the little curious to the most adventurous of travellers. The region is popular for its treks and hikes—including the infamous Kokoda Trail. The track crosses the range between Port Moresby and Buna and was once used as an overland mail route for over 50 years. Walking the Kokoda track is now a sobering experience as it is a tourist pilgrimage which follows and honours the many fallen soldiers who lost their lives in one of the most brutal battles of World War Two. The hikes in PNG are always far more testing than anticipated and the scenery is always more breathtaking than you could have hoped for.
Cruising is also becoming a big part of adventure tourism in PNG, with cruise tourism bringing $5.19 million into PNG’s economy in 2015. Cruise vacations are not only packed with a multitude of on-board activities, they also set in motion the opportunity to explore and discover destinations throughout PNG. With its pristine waters, rich history and ethnic diversity, friendly locals, relaxed island vibe and a multitude of cruising options available, there is definitely something for everyone.At Present, a cruise liner passes Port Moresby every two days and fails to stop. Thankfully, the city’s proposed container terminal relocation and port upgrade includes plans for a cruise liner terminal and passenger processing facility, should be completed in readiness for APEC, and will be less than 5 minutes walk from Paga Hill Estate. With a dedicated cruise liner facility, PNG would see more visits from local and international cruisers to Port Moresby and its surrounding coastal destinations.
Fishing PNG is a first-class experience and should be on every angler’s bucket list. Abundant with isolated fishing grounds and untouched rivers, the country attracts fishing enthusiasts all over the world who are drawn to the challenge of hooking the notoriously difficult to catch Papua New Guinea Black Bass. This beast of a fish is renowned for putting up a fight and being the toughest pound for pound freshwater fish in the world. The pristine waters of PNG’s Gulf Province along the south-eastern coastline is home to the biggest Black Bass and is by far the best place to experience the thrill of going head to head with this challenging fish.
Often referred to as the “Coral Reef Mecca of the World” PNG offers some superb diving experiences—such as Kimbe Bay in The Coral Triangle— which covers an area of 2.3 million square miles of ocean. The triangle hosts more than 76% of the world’s coral species and some of the oldest coral species in the world. As PNG is made up of more than 600 islands and an extensive coastline, coral reefs and lagoon systems serve as the basis for traditional knowledge, rituals, and cultural identity for communities.
With a strong tourism framework in place and the right support to strengthen and expand on this framework into the future—as well as all the wonderful things that make PNG entirely unique and very special—there’s no question that the region will continue to become a favourite island location internationally.
Read more about Papua New Guinea’s tourism industry growth in Paga Hill Development Company’s latest blog.
More recent news on the tourism industry can be found in the Paga Hill Estate website’s news section:
- ‘Tourism City’ Source: Post Courier
- ‘Project to include tourism school’, Source: The National
- ‘Kulang-Development biggest PPP project’, Source: The National
- ‘PNG Government sign agreement with firm to develop Port Moresby’s Waterfront’ Source: PNG Daily Updates
Gudmundur (Gummi) Fridriksson, is the CEO of Paga Hill Development Company (PNG) Ltd, overseeing the development of Paga Hill Estate, a world-class, master planned estate located in the heart of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Gudmundur first arrived in Papua New Guinea over 20 years ago and is passionate about sharing PNG’s natural beauty and diverse cultures with the world. Find out more about Gudmundur Fridriksson on his website: http://www.gummifridriksson.com and about the Paga Hill Estate development at http://www.pagahillestate.com