40 Best Things to Do in Papua, Indonesia #Top Heavenly Spots
Since large parts of the country are still unexplored even to this day, it is known to accommodate a large number of isolated tribes living without any contact with civilization. This is partly because the country itself is not a subject for mass tourism and the country’s lack of infrastructure. However, Papua is still one of the best diving spots and trekking destinations in the world which attracted a steady stream of tourist flocking to this magnificent country. This article will discuss those popular destinations and the where-to-go spot or things to do in Papua, Indonesia.
A little note for those who plan on visiting this lush realm of tropical rain forest: plan your trip accordingly since there are only two seasons in this country, and you might want to avoid the rainy season that starts from November to April. Another thing, traveling around the country could be taxing since the infrastructure is severely limited so you need to fly using a small plane to get around. But the reward is definitely worth it for those who seek true adventures.
Natural Spots and Sites
As one of the last great frontiers of the world offers a vast number of natural spots such as thundering waterfalls, sparkling rivers, sandy beaches, pristine coral reefs, and a lot of other scenic beauties. Boasting a large number of wildlife preservation areas, there is a lot of interesting places in Papua Indonesia Attraction that every visitor should know.
1. Raja Ampat Island
Raja Ampat island is the most beautiful thing you ever seen in the world. It is likely heaven of earth. Meanwhile, Raja Ampat island is located in West Papua province. Thus, the accommodation or transportation to reach there is still rare and costs. Yet. once you get there, you won’t never coming back home. Indeed, Raja Ampat island offers you the most untouchable pure natural island where sea, trees, winds, and happiness collaborate to create natural harmony. Thus, what you can do in Raja Ampat? There is a lot to do there such as swimming, diving, snorkeling, sailing, fishing, playing the water spot, or even just laying there bring you so much pleasure.
Meanwhile, there are 540 species of coral and 1,511 species of fish. 75% species are the fish you can never find in another places. Also. there are 5 species of sea turtle step, 13 species of marine mammals, and 57 species of mantis shrimp. So, it’s totally the best place to snorkeling in. Moreover, you will absolutely feel blessed to explore the big or small island around, climb the mountains, getting lost in tropical jungle, feeling the air, chasing the sea shell, watching the animals there, and more fun things to do. So, if you ever want to feel like heaven, just come here then Papua the part of Indonesia.
2. Kokoda Track
The Kokoda Track is a 96 kilometer-long pathway that stretches from the Owers Corner in Central Province to the Kokoda Village in Oro Province. The track encompasses several interesting natural spots such as the peak of Mt. Bellamy. According to history, this track was used in the 1890’s by European miners to gain access to the Yoda Kokoda goldfields. Kokoda track is only passable on foot and proves to be a challenging task even for adventurous people. As such, it has attracted many visitors who attempted to walk the track and overcome its challenges. The track itself normally requires at least 4 days to be completed, with the fastest recorded completion time in 16 hours 34 minutes. There are several guesthouses scattered along the track which serves as rest points, and trekkers could also hire a guide or scout to help them traverse the trail.
3. Sepik River
As the longest river in Papua New Guinea, Sepik river has provided sustenance and transport for many tribes and villages along its coast. Located in the northern part of the New Guinea island, Sepik’s total length is about 1,126 km and it flows from the central highlands of Papua into the Bismarck Sea.
Most parts of the river are navigable and have a serpentine shape, very similar to the Brazilian’s Amazon river. Meanwhile, there are many travel agency that offers tourists a chance to explore the rich cultures and wildlife of Sepik river in an expedition. Tourists visiting PNG should opt to join such expedition as it will surely give a lifetime experience. Thus, visiting Sepik river must be one best challenging trip option for you and your best friends. So, let’s go pick up to get lost in Sepik river.
4. Trobriand Islands
This archipelago located in eastern part of New Guinea island is best known to the world for its peculiar marriage customs thanks to the works of the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski. The people in here have no traditional marriage ceremony like other cultures. Instead, when a boy and a girl started sleeping and eating together under one roof for several weeks they are considered to be married and after a year, they are free to divorce and marry another or stay together. One of the major tourist attraction in Trobriands is the Kitava Island, which is one of the four largest islands in the archipelago. Kitava island boasts many great coral reefs, sandy beaches, and colorful local cultures that are still untouched by the modern civilization. People who have visited here all said that this island is a fine piece of heaven on earth.
Famed for its resort and scuba diving spots, this coastal inlet town provides many activities for people who loves to engage in oceanic activities. Tufi is located on the Cape Nelson, Oro Province on top of several drowned river valleys or locally known as fjords. Scuba diving is their main tourist attraction since the area is surrounded by many uncharted reefs still teeming with a plethora of fishes and other marine life. Since the weather is pretty friendly, Tufi is one of the best destination in PNG that offers all year round diving. Fishing is also a great sport here in Tufi since there is an abundant amount of fish such as trevally, Spanish mackerel, giant barracuda, yellowfin tuna, and much more scattered across a network of reefs. Other activities offered by the Tufi resort includes the sea-kayaking, cultural tours, snorkeling, and nature trekking.
6. Tami Islands
This small island group located in the south-eastern tip of the Huon Peninsula is famous for their woodworks. The locals of this islands specialized in elaborate wood carving such as wooden religious figure, wooden bowls, and ceremonial masks as their primary trade. Since most of PNG artifacts and pottery were made from clay, these wooden potteries are distinguished by other New Guineans.
Tami Islands also has a beautiful, crystal-blue lagoon in its center, which attract visitors from around the world to explore the reefs and observe the marine wildlife found within it. Varieties of pelagic fish are found in the atolls around the islands which serves as an excellent fishing ground. Also, there are many legendary story and myths about Tami island in the old times.
7. Bougainville Island
This autonomous region of Papua New Guinea is home to many tribal communities. In the past, these tribes often go to war with each other. Since New Zealand helped brokered a peace during a civil war in 1997, this region remains relatively peaceful. Visitors may opt to visit the lake Loloru, a crescent-shaped caldera lake located in the southern part of the island.
Meanwhile, Bougainville island is just so amazing. It has greenish and bluish water of sea. Also, it’s so pure and refreshing to be there. As a result, you sail there with the local fisherman and try their local food. I’s beautiful and likely heaven.
8. Lake Kutubu
Lake Kutubu is the second largest lake in Papua New Guinea with a 49.24-kilometer square surface area. There are a few islands scattered at the lake, with the largest one being the Wasemi Island. This 70 meter-deep lake is known to contain 13 endemic fish species and provides a livelihood for about 10,000 people living in 33 villages on its shores. The lake is considered as conservatory area dubbed the “Wetland of International Significance” by Ramsar Convention because of its vast biodiversity. The name Kutubu was derived from PNG’s first commercial oilfield development, the Kutubu Oil Project which is located near the lake.
9. Mount Jayawijaya
Mount Jayawijaya is one of the world’s seven most hiking mountain. Also, Mount Jayawijaya is the highest mountain in Indonesia, which is 4.884 above the sea level. Then, Jayawijawa is located in National Laurentz Park, Papua. It has amazing view ever and it’s not that easy to hike to the top of the mountain.
Meanwhile, Mount Jayawijawa is the only spot in Indonesia that is blessed by snow. However, there is no snow falls in equoator line yet Jayawijawa is snowing almost all the time. However, that’s the uniqueness of Jayawijaya. Then, Mount Jayawijawa looks like a great big mounth covered with blessed snow. It’s magical beautiful.
10. Madang Lagoon
Madang Lagoon is one of the most diverse marine biodiversity in the world. More than a thousand types of fish and 700 types of corals can be found here, where it supports the livelihood of many communities around the lagoon.
11. Mount Wilhelm
This mountain is considered as highest in the PNG and provides a challenge to those who loves climbing. Sometimes included in the list of the tallest mountain in the world, the Seven Summits, Mount Wilhelm probably has the most accessible path to climb compared to other mountains in PNG.
12. Rouna Falls
Located near Port Moresby and V Wildlife Park, this thunderous waterfalls offers a breathtaking and beautiful scenery. However, due to lack of roads and safety measures at the lookout, extra caution must be conducted when bringing little kids to this place.
13. Doini Island
Also known as the Blanchard Island, this privately owned island offers a lot of adventurous activities around the Doini Island resort such as snorkeling, kayaking, bird-watching, and bush walking. There is a skull cave located near the island which serves as a primary tourist attraction.
Historical and Cultural Landmarks
Other than its beautiful natural scenery, Papua New Guinea also contains many war memorials from the World War II era. During that era, Papua New Guinea was under the jurisdiction of Australia and was invaded by the Japanese Imperial Army. Approximately 216.000 Japanese, Australian, and American lives were lost during the whole conflict. Many of the war wreckage and legacies still exists to this day.
Papua New Guinea is also home to many tribal cultures that form the most culturally diverse country in the world. The country recognizes more than 852 languages, although most of them are only spoken by a limited amount of people. Here are some of the famous landmarks of PNG that often visited by many tourists from all over the world.
14. Port Moresby
As Papua New Guinea’s capital and largest city, Port Moresby is an amalgamation between the modern world and traditional tribal culture. This city was used by the Japanese during World War II as a staging point and air base to strike Australia and cutting them off from American reinforcements. There are many attractive points of interest located nearby, and you can find anything easily in here compared to other cities. The infrastructure of this city is well-developed, there are paved roads and a lot of public transport services such as buses and taxis. Since flying is the main transportation method between cities in PNG, the Jacksons International Airport cater a numerous domestic flight to other towns daily.
The perfect place in PNG to see volcanoes and go scuba diving or snorkeling. This city is located in the New Britain island, about 60 kilometers to the east of New Guinea island. Rabaul is home to several active volcanoes such as Mount Tavurvur and Vulcan, which nearly destroyed Rabaul twice when both of them erupted simultaneously in 1937 and 1994. Rabaul also has many historical mementos as it is the place where Battle of Rabaul takes place. The battle was a strategic defeat of the Allied forces, mainly Australian Army, to the invading Japanese army that happened during the World War II.
Lae, also known as Garden City, is the second-largest city in Papua New Guinea after Port Moresby. It has the largest cargo port in the country which makes it the country’s industrial hub and transport corridor. Lae is the capital of the Morobe Province, which is known to produce the best agricultural products such as yams, taros, bananas, and other fruits and vegetables.
As such, the food market in Lae is known as the best in Papua New Guinea since it possesses high-quality products that are sought after by expatriates and Papua New Guineans alike. Since 1984, Lae has been declared as sister cities with Cairns, a major city in the north-eastern part of Australia and access point to the Great Barrier Reef.
17. Adventure Park
In this ecological park, visitors can observe the myriad of vibrant wildlife of Papua New Guinea without having to go out and trek through the dense jungle or fly from island to island to see them. People can relax and take their time enjoying the birds and tree kangaroos in their natural habitat, and as such has been regarded by many as a great getaway from daily life. The entrance fee is reasonable and the venue is quite clean and well-managed. However, this family-friendly park can be extremely crowded during public holidays or weekends.
18. University of Papua New Guinea
Often abbreviated as UPNG, this university is the largest in PNG with five campuses and thirteen study centers. Over 15.000 students study annually on this university which is located at Port Moresby.
19. Papua New Guinea University of Technology
The second largest university after UNPG, the Papua New Guineans University of Technology or Unitech is located in Lae. Other than Australia and New Zealand, the Unitech is the only technological university in southern Pacific.
20. Goroka Show
As the oldest show in Papua New Guinea, the Goroka Show is certainly a must-watch event for anyone visiting this tropical paradise.
21. Parliament House
A must see for any tourist visiting Port Moresby, this symbol of national identity is a magnificent piece of architecture that houses the history of the country. The building also symbolizes Papua New Guinea political independence from any sovereign country. Designed by local experts so the indigenous lifestyle and values of the Papua New Guineans could be depicted clearly through the building’s ornaments and decorations. Visitors could ask for a guide to tour them through the rooms and narrating any historical details.
22. Lae Botanical Gardens
The city of Lae is known for its industrious activities, which makes this Botanical Gardens a sharp contrast since the garden boasts a lush, thriving environment of horticultural diversity. The world’s largest orchid is housed here and many researchers and environmentalist visit this place regularly to study and making observations.
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More Heavenly Places in Papua Indonesia
Meanwhile, here are more things to do in Papua Indonesia:
23. Idler’s Beach
Privately owned by the people of Roku village, this little jewel is perfect for those who want to enjoy the beach without much disturbance.
24. Manta Watch Camp
This Manta Ray conservation and research camp are located on a remote island near Milne Bay. There, a small group of researcher and environmentalist dedicate themselves to help and preserve Manta Ray population in the area. Visitors could come and see how they work and even volunteer to help their cause.
25. Vision City Mega-Mall
Located in Port Moresby, this is the largest shopping center in the country which houses a lot of retail businesses. This is the best place to get anything you need in PNG as there are not many other shopping options.
26. Moitaka Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the suburb of Port Moresby, the Moitaka Wildlife Sanctuary preserve the natural habitat of local wildlife in a 196.1-kilometer square area.
27. Mount Lunaman
This lookout point located near Lae was riddled with numerous caves and tunnels by the Japanese. Mount Lunaman still serves as a tourist attraction until this day even though many of the tunnels have been closed or collapsed.
28. Rabaul War Cemetery
Also known as Bita Paka, this gravesite was established in 1945 to commemorate Commonwealth soldiers who died around Papua New Guinea during the World War II.
29. St. Mary Catholic Cathedral
This aging cathedral at Port Moresby serves as a place to attend masses and tourist attraction.
30. Coastwatchers Memorial Lighthouse, Madang
This working lighthouse that also functions as a monument was built to honor the Australian and British soldiers as well as local volunteers who served the Allied as spies during World War II.
31. PTC Waterpark – The only waterpark in North Papua. It is the best family recreation spot.
32. Kayuni Waterfall – The natural waterfall in the middle of forest.
33. Cyclops Waterfall – Cyclops? Yes, it’s wild beautiful waterfall with rocky tracks and cold good water.
34. Tagor Waterfall – Like another waterfall, but it’s height and has its own uniqueness.
35. Berlin Wall – It’s almost like that long great wall in Germany, but it is in Papua. The long trail nearby beach where you can find and east sea food as much as you want.
36. MacArthur Tower – It’s a tower built to respect The General Douglas MacArthur during the World War II.
37. Tapurarang (Papua Archaeologist) – The historical painting on the rock wall of ancient human palms since hundred years ago.
38. Baliam Valley – It’s located around the Jayawijawa mountain, living to local tribe of Papua.
39. Sauwandarek Village – 46 family of Papua traditional people live here. They produce traditional hat and bag made in Papua.
40. Paniai Lake – beautiful lake as the biggest freshwater fish production in Papua.
Meanwhile, Papua is a beautiful untouchable island of Indonesia. The island is quite virgin, traditional, and pure. There is still living old, real, tribe and culture there. Beside, it hides the most beautiful places in the world you never knew it exists. As a result, if you plan for a secret unforgettable holiday, you may list the things to do in Papua Indonesia and Papua attractions for your next destination.