Papua New Guinea: surely one of the most fascinating countries in the world? Well it is for me anyway. A few weeks ago I entered a competition to win the opportunity to be the Papua New Guinea Blog Ambassador, and I made it through to the final 5!
I’m so excited to be considered, and even won a Go Pro to keep me busy while they found their other finalists. Unfortunately with me being away in Mexico and Belize it’s been difficult to get my hands on, but expect my first Go Pro video very soon. To distract me, or more likely excite me, while I await the final announcement I’ve been reading up on Papua New Guinea. It sounds absolutely amazing. I thought I’d get together all the best bits of Papua New Guinea to get you, and me, all riled up for the big announcement on December 12th as to who will get the amazing trip.
So here’s 11 reasons why we all need to go to Papua New Guinea, as recommended by me.
1. To go diving
I’ve only just got my PADI Licence, like today, and I’m so excited at the thought of exploring the dive sites in Papua New Guinea. The surrounding waters are like a pristine underwater wonderland and some experts believe the oceans there have twice as many marine species as the Red Sea and five times as many as the Caribbean. Ahh, so exciting! You can go wreck diving, see hammerhead sharks and incredible corals. I’d also love to see a Pacific pygmy seahorse in real life.
2. To go surfing
Since learning to surf in Mexico I’m on the lookout for the next great wave. Sounds like the Papua New Guinea could be the spot. It’s a pretty big thing in some communities here, and the rest of the world has started to take notice thanks to the award-winning Splinters film. It sounds like there’s a good variety of breaks for all abilities. I’m sure I could make my way up to the most difficult in a week. Maybe.
3. To be inspired
Ever since I found out about Papua New Guinea I’ve been fascinated. It’s always seemed so colourful, so different to what I know, so interesting. Also, I don’t know anyone who’s been, which makes it all the more enticing.
4. For an adventure
More than 600 coral-fringed islands make up Papua New Guinea, and much of it is totally untouched. There are rivers, highlands, caves and beaches all ready to explore. From my previous knowledge and recent research it looks like there’s so much to do there, that every minute would be an adventure, never mind day. I’d love to experience life there and get to tell you guys all about it.
5. To meet the people
It’s the indigenous tribes that make Papua New Guinea so fascinating. I’d love to sit down and have a cup of tea (or equivalent) and a chat with them about their lives, which I assume to be wildly different to mine. Well, I hope we can chat. Over 800 languages are spoken in Papua New Guinea – mind boggling. My first question would probably be how does that work in a population of just 7 million? According to my calculations that’s only 8,750 people per language. Confused.
6. To flex my new found trekking interest
Climbing the Pitons in Saint Lucia was amazing, I’d love to have a go at the 4,509m Mt Wilhelm, although I did read it takes three days so maybe I’ll just get dropped off somewhere near the top. The Kokoda Track also sounds pretty cool – I saw someone on TV do it once – you tackle the 9km across the Owen Stanley Ridge in the footsteps of WWII soldiers. It’s a pretty tough quest…
7. To see the birdies
There are 708 species of birds in Papua New Guinea, including 38 birds of paradise. I’d like to see the raggiana bird and its wing clapping, feather shaking mating dance, it’s the national bird of Papua New Guinea, and he looks cool. I loved seeing the toucan, Belize’s national bird, recently, and I’m sure this will be just as awesome.
8. To cruise on the river
The 700-mile-long Sepik River is flanked by remote villages where you can see how the locals really live. I could travel along on a dugout canoe and take in the sights and scents of the longest river on New Guinea. Definitely a good location for some Go Pro footage!
9. Port Moresby Nature Park
The botanical and zoological gardens of Port Moresby Nature Park sound awesome. I could definitely get a few good Instagram photos in here. There are thousands of exotic tropical plants, including 11,000 types of orchids! There are lots of creatures that also call the park home, including snakes, crocodiles and tree kangaroos. Cool!
10. To check out the markets
I’m not much of a shopper but when it comes to markets I love to have a look around and take a few photos. The markets on Papua New Guinea sounds like they’d be very picturesque: foods, arts, crafts, traditional carvings, paintings and local crafts. I like.
11 To see how Papua New Guinea do festivals
And finally, for today, I’d love to see how a nation as colourful and as interesting as Papua New Guinea style out their festivals. Some of the highlights include the Coffee Festival in May, a National Mask Festival in July, the Mt Hagen Show in August, the Morobe Show in October and the Kundu & Canoe Festival in November.
I just need to keep my fingers crossed until decision day on December 12th. Wish me luck!
Thanks to Nigel Wade, Brian Coates and the PNG UK Facebook page for the pics. Hopefully I’ll get my own soon.