Papua New Guinea Geography

Located to the east of Indonesia, slightly south of the equator, the country comprises the eastern portion of the island of New Guinea and a series of smaller islands: New Britain, New Ireland and Manus, in the Bismarck archipelago; Bougainville, Buka and Nissau, which make up the northern part of the Solomon Islands; the archipelagos of the Luisíadas and D’Entrecasteaux, and the islands of Trobriand / Kiriwina and Woodlark, to the southeast of New Guinea. Of volcanic origin, the relief is mountainous, except for the narrow coastal plains. The country suffers from deforestation due to indiscriminate logging in vast regions.

It has almost 500,000 square kilometers of extension, where its landscape ranges from the coast to the more than 4,500 meters of height of Mount Wilhelm. In them we find more than 80% of forest and nature areas. The Saruwaged mountain range is the highest in the country, with heights over 4000 meters above sea level.

Three-quarters of the country’s surface is covered by a rich primary or secondary forest due to the geographic location of Papua New Guinea, a natural bridge between Asia, Australia and the islands of the southwest Pacific. Two-thirds of the world’s orchid species have been recorded, more than 700 groups of birds (the most famous being the bird of paradise), 9,000 types of plants, more than 3,000 species of mammals, 250 styles of frogs, 450 species of butterflies, 200 varieties of reptiles and more than a hundred different snakes.

The Port Moresby National Botanical Garden allows visitors to see different displays of the country’s plants, trees and flowers, while the national parks are prime sanctuaries for lovers of rare birds. A 30-minute drive from Port Moresby is the Variata National Park of Sogeri, while near the airport is the Moitaka Wildlife Sanctuary. The city ​​of Lae also has a large botanical garden, as well as a large park that rebuilds the ecosystem of the humid tropical forest.


Nouvelle-Bretagne is a narrow and mountainous island, covered with a thick humid forest. Since the eruption of the Tuvurvur volcano in 1994, Rabaul is only a shadow of what it once was. Most of the activities are concentrated in the southeast, around Kokopo. Currently, the volcano continues to emit smoke and ash over the bay, but the situation does not present danger.

Nouvelle-Irlande has magnificent beaches and very pleasant places to rest, in particular Kavieng, where diving, canoeing and surfing are practiced among other activities.

The Trobriand Islands have an intact traditional culture. The famous anthropologist Malinowski, who stayed here for several years, described them as the islands of paradise and love. The residents of the Trobiand Islands are also known for the beauty of their craftsmanship, magnificent carved wooden objects.


According to bridgat, the climate varies greatly depending on the altitude: it is warm (28 ° C on average) and humid throughout the year in the Lowlands, in the Bismarck archipelago and in the Solomon Islands, while the temperature drops a lot in the mountains, where it is cool and even cold at night. Above 2,000 m, it sometimes freezes or snows. Some peaks of the Owen Stanley Mountains have perpetual snow.

If you want to avoid the rainy season, go from June to September: it is a dry and sunny season on the coast of the Coral Sea. The sea temperature is always pleasant, since it is between 26 and 29 ° C on average. In the rest of the country, especially in the mountainous area, the rains, which are very abundant throughout the year, tend to calm down. The Highlands, very humid, are always covered by a thick mist. Nouvelle-Bretagne is also subject to torrential rains. Take light clothes for the coast, a warm one for the mountains and something to protect you from the rain.

Flora and fauna

With an ecoregion of almost 600 different species of vertebrates, it is one of the most impressive in the world, reptiles, mammals, birds, amphibians. They form the bulk of the different species of fauna of the place. Kangaroos, evergreen rainforests, southern conifers are part of the fauna and flora of this country. There are also marine areas protected by UNESCO, noted for their high scientific interest and for their naturalistic interest.


Industry: Copra, palm oil, plywood industry, gold, silver, and copper mining, crude oil production, construction, tourism.

Agriculture: Coffee, cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, tea, rubber, sweet potatoes, fruits, vegetables, poultry, pork.

Minerals and Resources: Gold, copper, silver, natural gas, forest resources, oil, fishing.

Its currency is the Kina.


Languages: English (official language), local dialect derived from English (in common use); Motu (Aboriginal language spoken in the Papua region)

Religions: Catholic 22%, Lutheran 16%, Presbyterians / Methodists / London Missionary Society 8%, Anglicans 5%, Evangelical Alliance 4%, Seventh-day Adventists 1%, other Protestant denominations 10%, Aboriginal beliefs 34%


The Papuan tribes, famous throughout the world for their wild appearance and ancestral customs, are as varied in rites and traditions as they are in geographical location and distribution throughout the archipelago.

In mid- August the Mont Hagen Festival takes place. After this, in mid- September, the one in Goroka takes place. The two biggest shows in the Highlands.


The music of these islands is characterized by rhythms such as reggae, ragga, slows and characteristic sounds of Papua. Among the most listened to musicians in the country is Anslom, an artist from the island of New Ireland, in southwestern Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea Geography