Papua New Guinea, also known as PNG, is one of the least explored and most remote countries in the world. It shares the greater island of New Guinea with Indonesian Papua, and boasts both a huge coast line and a long mountain range through it’s centre, of which Mount Wilhelm rises to an elevation of more than 4,500 meters (14,700 ft). There are still many species of plant and animals which have yet to be discovered throughout the country, including in the waters and reefs which surround it.

Located completely within the Coral triangle, it borders the Solomon Islands to the East; Indonesia to the West; and Australia to the South. PNG consists of a mainland roughly 425,000 square kilometres in area, with some 600 outlying islands; of which New Britain, New Ireland and Bougainville are the largest. The variety of reef types are nearly unlimited around the country, including barrier reefs, coral walls, coral gardens, patch reefs, fringing reefs, sea grass beds, coral atolls and wrecks.

The sheer remoteness and vast size of PNG limits divers to specific regions during their trips. Liveaboard trips are recommend, as they offer the best variety of dive sites and locations, but their numbers are limited in the country and therefore resort diving is also a very good option. The most well known, and some say best reef diving in the world is the Eastern Fields Atoll in the Coral Sea. Reached only by one liveaboard for a short time during the year from Port Moresby, divers here can see just about anything come out of the blue, and the reefs are still absolutely pristine and untouched. There is also fantastic reef and muck diving out of the city Alotau in Milne Bay. Which is best known as a place for seeing congregations of Manta Rays March, June and October, and along with plenty of rare macro photography opportunities in the sand and muck.

Further out to the East towards the Pacific Ocean around New Britain and New Ireland islands, there is also excellent untouched reef diving. Trips depart from either Kavieng and circle New Hanover Island, or from Kimbe Bay out to the Fathers Reefs. Here large pelagic species of fish like tunas, barracudas, trevally, and many shark species visit the reefs. This area is also where the best wreck diving of WWII ships and equipment can be found in the entire area. Highlights include a Japanese Mini submarine and the Sanko Maru cargo ship.

Because of it’s remoteness, PNG is most easily reached by flights from Australia, but there are also some carriers operating connections from Manila, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Solomon Islands. Most international flights arrive to the capital city of Port Moresby. Due to it’s close proximity to the equator, the climate in PNG is tropical in the lowlands and along the coasts, and cool in the high mountains. The wet season runs from about December to March.

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