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Lae, Morobe Province

Morobe Province is the industrial heart of PNG and gateway to both the Highlands and Islands. The province curves around the beautiful Huon Gulf where a string of village guesthouses provides a great opportunity to get off the beaten track. Outdoor enthusiasts relish the challenge of the historic Black Cat Trail, however, tensions remain around the villages along the trail and, at the time of writing, it remains inadvisable to tackle this trek. Intense WWII fighting has bequeathed a legacy of battlefield relics from submerged shipwrecks to downed aircraft. Culturally, the region boasts 171 distinctive languages and is home to the Anga people, renowned throughout PNG as fierce warriors.

Madang, Madang Province

Madang Province is PNG in miniature. It has islander, coastal and mountain cultures plus modern resorts and timeless villages. The fertile coastal strip looks out onto smoking volcanic islands and is backed by some of the most rugged mountains in PNG – the Adelbert and Schrader Ranges to the north, and the Finisterre Range to the south.

Wewak, East Sepik Province

East Sepik Province is much more developed than Sandaun Province and includes the most-visited and heavily populated sections of the Sepik, as well as several large tributaries. It was here, in 1945, that the Japanese finally surrendered to the Allies and various vehicles of war can still be seen, rotting where they were left.

Vanimo, Sandaun Province

Sandaun (pronounced ‘sundown’) Province is so named because it’s in the northwest of PNG – where the sun goes down. Formerly called West Sepik Province, it’s largely undeveloped, but agricultural activity around Telefomin, mining around Green River and timber development near Vanimo have brought rapid change. Gold is mined inland. There are opportunities to surf and enjoy the beaches here and it’s a very remote part of PNG.