Alotau, Milne Bay Province
Alotau is a spread-out little town built on the hillsides and the northern shore of Milne Bay, its market is a hive of activity, numerous boats depart from colourful Sanderson Harbour and locals lounge under the mighty rain trees. The town became the provincial capital in 1968 when administrators were moved from overcrowded Samarai Island. Beyond Alotau's limited WWII attractions (and the region's best restaurants!), it just acts as a jumping-off point for visiting the capes, coves and islands of Milne Bay.
Popondetta, Oro Province
Oro Province is sandwiched between the Solomon Sea and the Owen Stanley Range. It’s physically beautiful but few travellers make it here apart from dedicated Kokoda Track hikers. The province is famous for the world’s largest butterfly, the Queen Alexandra’s birdwing. You might think that you’ve seen some big butterflies in PNG, but these are monsters, with wingspans of nearly 30cm. The first specimen collected by a European was brought down by a shotgun! That butterfly, a little damaged, is still in the British Museum. The Queen Alexandra’s birdwing is now a threatened species.
Daru, Western Province
The main town of Western Province on the small island of Daru, just off the coast is really the Wild Wild West. Once a busy pearl and beche-de-mer trading port, Daru is now the centre of a growing fishing industry. You’ll see crocodile skins from the province packed up and exported from here.Explore our wide-open grasslands home to Rusa deer, wallabies and wild pigs. Spot crocodiles and lizards lingering patiently near riverbanks, and the flocks of wildfowl and ducks that seem to be flying across rivers on loop. This is where you’ll see two of the greatest rivers in the country, the Fly and the Strickland, run for almost their entire length through a single province.