One of the main attractions of Papua New Guinea is its nature. This land remained unexplored for a long time, and to this day the dense jungles of the country keep a lot of mysteries. In terms of species diversity of flora and fauna, Papua New Guinea occupies one of the leading places. More than 800 species of birds live on the territory of the country, among which 38 of the 43 known species of birds of paradise. About 3,000 species of orchids grow in the local rainforests, such a variety is not found in any other country in the world. See also Papua New Guinea is home to one of the largest butterflies in the world with a wingspan of 35 cm – the sailboat Queen Alexandra. Many protected areas have been created in the country, both at the official level and simply by local residents to preserve the tourist attractiveness of these places. Almost all excursions to such territories include bird watching.
In the largest cities of Papua New Guinea – Port Moresby and Lae – there are National Botanical Gardens. To Port Moresby The Waigani Botanical Gardens has the largest collection of orchids in the Southern Hemisphere. The gardens consist of several parts, each representing the flora of a separate province of the country. The botanical gardens in Lai cover an area of 3,000 square meters. m. They are divided into separate sections, introducing visitors to the flora and fauna of different regions of the state. In the gardens, you can see about 15,000 native plants, 21 bird species, several reptile species, 70 butterfly species, 6 turtle species, and dozens of frog and fish species.
According to plus-size-tips, Varirata National Park is located 42 km from Port Moresby. It was created to protect the wildlife of the Central Province of the country and to preserve the original culture of local tribes. This park became the first protected area in Papua New Guinea. Its area is 1000 hectares. A network of hiking trails has been created on the territory of the Varirata Park, guest houses, places for spending the night, and picnic areas have been built.
From Port Moresby, you can go to Moitaka Wildlife Park, where there is a small zoo, as well as a laboratory for the study of crocodiles. Here tourists can watch how crocodiles are fed.
Also in the Central Province there are several historical parks where, in addition to nature, you can see memorable places from the Second World War. Such places include the Kokoda Trail National Park, created around the world-famous 90-kilometer Kokoda hiking trail, and the Namanatabu Historical Reserve., created to preserve military installations, preserved from the Second World War.
In addition, in the Central Province in Port Moresby, the Horseshoe Reef Marine Park is of interest, where valuable species of inhabitants of the coastal waters of this part of the country are protected.
In the province of the Eastern Highlands, in the vicinity of the city of Goroka, it is worth visiting the Gahavisuka mountain reserve, which was created to protect the species of orchids and rhododendrons growing on the slopes of the mountain.
In the province of the Western Highlands, 55 km from the city of Mount Hagen, there is a reserve of the Bayer River. It was founded in 1968. It is home to many birds of paradise, parrots, cassowaries, as well as possums and tree kangaroos.
Among other well-known protected areas of the country, one can single out the McAdam Reserve in the province of Morobe, which protects rare species of pines – the Ring pine and the Klinki pine, the protected places of the Chambri lakes in the province of East Sepik, the Kutubu Lake National Park in the province of the Southern Highlands and the reserve of Talele Island near Kimbe Bay (New Britain Island).
Dense jungles inhabited by original tribes, mountains and numerous protected areas of Papua New Guinea annually attract many tourists who love outdoor activities. With the development of tourism in the country, such types of recreation as hiking and mountaineering are becoming more and more popular. On the island of New Guinea and on other islands of the state, there are routes of varying degrees of difficulty: from small walking trails to professional routes.
The world-famous Kokoda Trail is located on the island of New Guinea. This is the most equipped and most exciting tourist route in the country. Its length is 90 km. On average, a group of tourists overcomes it in 10 days. At the end of the 19th century, the Kokoda Trail became the main route for gold miners from Port Moresby. to the gold mines of Yodda and Kokoda. During the Second World War, important battles took place in the vicinity of the route, traces of which remain on this land to this day. You can start your journey along the Kokoda Trail both from Port Moresby and from the village of Kokoda, which is located in the province of Oro. The route passes through mountain ranges, rivers, military installations of the Second World War, memorials, wetlands and villages, whose inhabitants willingly communicate with tourists. The Kokoda Trail is divided into several parts and if you think that the route is too long, then you can go only on a small part of it. The best time to travel the Kokoda Trail is from August to September, when there is the least chance of rain and there is no sweltering heat.
The region of the central highlands of the island of New Guinea is very popular. Here are the highest points in the country. The highest mountain in Papua New Guinea is Mount Wilhelm (4509 m), which was chosen by climbers. The mountain can be reached from the central city of the province of Simbu (Chimbu) – Kundiawa. Often, individual ascents to Mount Wilhelm with local guides are arranged from Kundiava, however, these ascents are quite difficult and are suitable only for trained tourists. From the city of Mount Hagen , you can go on a trip to the Giluwe, Ivlibu, Hagen, Ongo mountains, along the Bismarck and Kubor ridges. From the city of Goroka , ascents are made to Mount Michael and Gahavisuka.
Off the northern coast of the island of New Guinea and on the island of New Britain are most of the country’s active and extinct volcanoes. Hiking in the volcanic valleys, which are called “lunar”, are also very popular. The country’s most popular volcanoes are Manam at 1807m and Karkar at 1839m (both in Madang Province), Lamington at 1680m (Oro Province), Langila at 1330m (West New Britain Province) and the most active volcanoes are Rabaul at 688m and Olawun at 2334 m (both in the province of East New Britain). In the caldera of Rabaul volcano there are several volcanoes. The eruption of two of them – Tavurvur and Vulcano – in 1994 completely destroyed the capital of the island of New Britain, the city of Rabaul.
Interesting routes to the caves. In the province of the Southern Highlands, on the islands of New Ireland and New Britain, many karst caves have been preserved. Some of them are filled with water with a variety of fish, some have become mass graves for soldiers who died during World War II, some are ritual, and some have become the burial place of local residents killed in tribal conflicts.
Small islands with wet forests and distinctive villages are also great for hiking.