Papua New Guinea is one of the most diverse places on the planet, characterised by the variety of culture, scenery and activities within it.
The country encompasses the eastern portion of New Guinea Island - the second-largest in the world - plus some 600 other islands, atolls and coral reefs and more than 800 indigenous languages (tok ples), and is home to the largest area of intact rainforest outside of the Amazon.
Vast tracts of the country are wild and undeveloped, with magnificent scenery that ranges from pristine coral atolls to volcanic mountains, dense tropical rainforest and large rivers.
Lying just south of the equator, 160km north of Australia, Papua New Guinea is part of a great arc of mountains stretching from Asia, through Indonesia and into the South Pacific.
The mainland is divided by the Owen Stanley Range, a massive central spike with peaks towering over 4000m. The rugged mountain terrain and deep cave systems offer wonderful adventure opportunities for walkers, cavers and climbers.
Great rivers begin their journey to the sea from these mountains, among them the mighty Sepik River, one of the world's longest waterways. This spectacular river and Papua New Guinea’s delta system is ideal for canoeing, kayaking and fishing.
Papua New Guinea also enjoys some of the world's best diving around its warm coastal waters, with striking coral reefs around the mainland coast and the islands of the Bismarck Sea and the Milne Bay area.
The people are largely descendants of the Papuans. Today there over seven million people living in Papua New Guinea. It is considered part of the subregion of Melanesia, which also includes island countries Fiji, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
Variations in village construction, dialect and dress are common in country areas, while annual Sing Sing shows see villagers from around the country demonstrate their singing, dancing and elaborate bilas (traditional costumes). The shows at Goroka and Mount Hagen are among the country's most impressive, attracting thousands of spectators to Papua New Guinea each year.
Papua New Guinea is made up of four regions with 20 provinces and the National Capital District. To the north lies the Highlands Region, an east-west zone of mountains with elevations in excess of 13,000 feet (4,000 metres). This region has six provinces – Southern Highlands, Jiwaka, Enga, Western Highlands, Simbu and Eastern Highlands.
With its fertile valleys and rugged mountains, the Highlands Region is Papua New Guinea’s most densely populated region. The Mt Wilhelm region is a popular Papua New Guinea trekking area, it is known for its coffee plantations, cultural diversity and beautiful orchids, as well as being home to many rare animals, insects and birds, including the birds of paradise.
The coastal region is known as Momase and is made up of four provinces: East Sepik, Madang, Morobe and West Sepik. Momase takes in the second largest city of the nation, Lae, which is the capital of Morobe Province. Lae is situated at the beginning of the Highlands Highway, the main transport corridor to the coast.
Located in the north east of Papua New Guinea, the Islands Region comprises Bismarck Archipelago and North Solomon Islands and is the least densely inhabited region with a population of 750,000 (14 per cent of PNG). It is distinct through its history portrayed by its Austronesian languages and archaeological findings of Lapita pottery culture.
Administratively, the region is divided into five provinces: East New Britain, Manus, New Ireland, Bougainville and West New Britain.
This region offers a range of sea and land experiences: snorkelling, swimming, kayaking, walking, climbing, fishing, shopping, art and crafts. With white sandy beaches, this untouched land of beautiful tropical islands and rich culture offers an amazing experience.
Finally, Papua Region which is made up of Central Province, Gulf Province, Milne Bay Province, National Capital District, Northern Province and Western Province. A hot, humid climate exists for most of the year, except in the mountains, and with some variation in the north-east monsoon season.
In the National Capital District, Port Moresby is Papua New Guinea’s capital and the main entry point for international travel visitors.