Packing for Papua New Guinea can be tricky. First thing to remember is that it’s tropical. Whatever the time of year you can expect high temperatures and a humid atmosphere, but then if you’re travelling in the Highlands there’ll be a chill in the air.

So you know what that means when it comes to what to pack?

Yes, layers.

What is Papua New Guinea Like

You need lightweight layers of natural fabrics. Stay casual, conservative and comfortable. Even though you might see some of the tribes people walking around half naked, it’s different for you and you need to be respectfully covered. This’ll help with avoiding the sun’s glare and the mozzies anyway.

I got by on sportswear and jeans when I visited in September. And chuckled to myself when a group of 60+ year olds got on the tour bus in full on safari gear chic – a little excessive.

All the hotels offered a cleaning service, but I’d had a hot tip at Rondon Ridge that it was free at Walindi Resort, so I waited till then and got everything done. With the weather, and the activities, I liked to wear an entirely new outfit every day, so getting stuff washed really helped with the luggage allowance (see below).

Packing List for Papua New Guinea

what to pack for papua new guinea

Let’s start from the toes up…

Shoes

I’d definitely recommend taking hiking boots, especially if you’re visiting the Highlands. I had them in my bag but for some reason thought I was better than that and that I could just wear my Vans trainers to go to the villages. Not so. I stumbled or slipped on the wet ground three times, THREE. Once nearly taking out my tour guide who was in front of me.

I wore my Karrimor Orkney boots (those ones above) for the rest of the trip. The ground in the Highlands is usually moist so make life easier for yourself and boot up.

I did like having my Vans trainers for the airport to and from though, so that’s up to you. I also had my Havaiana flip flops, because I’m Vicky Flip Flop, and to wear around my tile-floored room. Take them too.

I also took sandals, but didn’t wear them once.

Hiking boots

Trainers

Flip Flops


Watch my YouTube video to see what to expect from PNG!

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Clothes – the bottom half

Black leggings are just so useful for everything, all the time, aren’t they?

I’ve got some black sports leggings (so a bit thicker than the usual) that I think I’ve worn on every trip since I bought them. I also have a normal pair of leggings from New Look that I wore on the flight.

Travelling to Papua New Guinea

My fancy patterned light trousers from ASOS about two years ago have ‘suffered’ the same fate. I say ‘suffered’ because from the photos I’d say they’re all misshaped and need to go in the bin. They’ve served me well though.

I wore my black jeans too. Even though it was quite hot I felt more comfortable in these in the villages. I’d read quite a bit about respecting local cultures and people and staying covered up.

I’m still unsure about those trousers with zips that you can turn into shorts, but that seemed to be what everyone else was wearing so I’ll add them to the list.

what to pack papua new guinea

I took my Nike ¾ length trousers and wore them when I was in my room, after my shower from the day’s fun, and before dinner. I didn’t really wear them out because I was worried about the bugs, and really couldn’t be bothered to shave my legs either.

I wore my ¾ length leggings in bed. At both Rondon Ridge and Ambua Lodge they like to use electric blankets on the beds to keep them dry in the humid atmosphere – gawd they were lush. I definitely can’t ever get one of those at home. I slept so well. Keep that in mind though when you’re planning what to wear in bed.

Sports full-length trousers, like yoga pants

Black leggings

Light trousers

Comfy, light jeans

Trousers with zips

¾ sports trousers

¾ length leggings

Clothes – the top half

I was very pleased with Past Vicky for packing my lightweight Nike hoody, as well as a thicker hoody from H&M. After wearing the thicker hoody on the flight, and it smelling of the plane, I was happy I had another to put on. I was thinking Papua New Guinea would be hotter, and that I wouldn’t need two, but you do.

what to pack papua new guinea

Over the 9 days I was in Papua New Guinea I wore thin tshirts mostly – a black one, a purple one and a white – and my Vans longer tee. I was glad for this to cover up a bit when I had the leggings on.

I had a strappy top for pyjamas, but just would’ve felt uncomfortable showing that much skin when I was out and about.

I took my purple Peter Storm jacket for the rain. It’s quite a thin jacket so was good in the warm rain.

Lightweight hoody

Heavier hoody

Thin tshirts x 6

Longer tshirt

Rain jacket

Vision in Papua New Guinea

I took contact lenses but only ended up wearing them for the scuba diving at Walindi. I think the air was moist enough for them to be comfortable, but I just stuck with my prescription sunnies, seeing as I now have two pairs. Of course I also took my normal prescription glasses too.

Contact lenses

Extra sunglasses

Prescription sunnies

Cosmetics

I only wore make up once while I was in Papua New Guinea, and it was really annoying because it was on a day that I was birdwatching and I kept getting it on the guy’s binoculars. He kept wiping it off with a huff and a puff. Wasn’t impressed with me.

Up to you though.

packing list papua new guinea

Take a good conditioner as the air can be quite dry, especially if you’ve had your window open on the sandy roads. And you’ll need shampoo of course. Remember to take a spare hair bobble or two, and hair grips too.

Thanks to the aforementioned sandy roads, and the heat, your face can get pretty grimey so don’t forget your Micellar water (my fave), cotton wool pads and moisturiser. I was using some Burt’s Bees moisturiser at the time, which isn’t a patch on Benefit’s – just trying to use it up.

Basic make up

Conditioner

Shampoo

Miscellar water

Cotton wool pads.

Moisturiser

Hair bobbles

Hair grips

Your health

Make sure to take plenty of sunscreen – I use Ultrasun – and some heavy duty mozzie spray. I chose not to use Malaria tablets after a lot of research and the memories of the terrifying dreams I had in Tanzania when I was on them. Instead I took three Trek Deet Free Insect Repellents. I made the right decision for me, but it’s entirely up you.

Bad memories of being ill, all alone, mean I now take a little box of special medication wherever I go. I don’t want to be ill, with no supplies and no one to get them for me. I have antihistamines, rehydration salts, ibuprofen, cold tablets, diarrhoea tablets, indigestion tablets, sting cream and sore throat sweets. There are also a few plasters in there.

Doesn’t take up much space but if you need it, you’ll be grateful. As I most definitely was for the diarrhoea tablets. I just use Boots own brand – it’s all the same stuff as the labelled.

what to pack papua new guinea

Of course, don’t forget your toothpaste and toothbrush, a razor, and some lip balm too.

Take antibacterial wipes. I don’t want to sound like a dick but people in Papua New Guinea like to shake hands, and with limited access to safe-to-drink water to wash effectively, that can spread germs. If you’re out for the day using an antibacterial wipe before you eat is always a good idea. I didn’t, aaaannd I got ill.

Sunscreen

Trek Insect Repellant

Malaria tablets?

Antihistamines

Ibuprofen

Cold tablets

Diarrhoea tablets

Indigestion tablets

Sting cream

Sore throat sweets

Plasters

Toothbrush

Toothpaste

Razor

Rehydration salts

Antibacterial wipes

Lip balm

Electronics

packing list papua new guinea

I didn’t realise how much time I’d have to myself in Papua New Guinea. After you’ve done the ‘all day’ cultural tours in the Highlands, which go on till about 2, there’s not much else to do but relax and birdwatch. I read three books while I was there. That’s probably the amount I read in the entire year before I went.

Visiting Papua New Guinea is a time to chill, as well as explore and learn.

(I read The Girls, Eat Play Sweat – both recommended – and Purple Cow. If you were interested)

Multiway adaptor

Laptop

Charger

Phone

Charger

Camera

Charger

Memory cards

GoPro

Charger

Kindle

What else to pack for Papua New Guinea

I went in the dry season (June, July, August and September) but if you’re going out of that it makes sense to take a good, strong rain coat and an umbrella.

Oh, and, don’t forget your bras and underwear for every day, plus a few. Seeing as I wore my hiking boots every day I ended up getting through all the normal length socks I had, rather than the trainer ones. 

What to pack it all in 

packing list papua new guinea

I used my trusty Osprey wheelie / blackpack to pack everything for Papua New Guinea. It turned out to be a great choice as it was battered enough for me not to worry about it and squashed enough to hide its true weight. I always use packing cubes like these ones when I travel to keep things organised.
Just a note on weight, most people and airlines in Papua New Guinea will request that you only travel with 10kg. I totally missed this in the notes and had 15kg – totally got away with it (although, I actually only used 10kg of it). This was only because I was travelling solo. If you’re in a group you will need to stick to the limit or you’ll have to leave some stuff in Port Moresby as you can’t take it on the smaller planes.

I had this little Eurohike rucksack as my day pack – Blacks sent it me a few months ago to use at festivals but it turned out to be absolutely perfect for packing for Papua New Guinea by day.

Sarongs are always useful, either as a cover, pillow, rug, scarf, dress or cover up, so pack one of those.

Of course you’ll need something to wear in the water. I had a swimming costume, and a bikini, although I did feel a little self conscious in the bikini. I think it’s because of all the Papua New Guinea packing guides I’d read that said you shouldn’t be ‘so revealing’.  

 

What to Pack for Papua New Guinea –
the Entire List

Hiking boots

Trainers

Flip Flops

 

Sports full-length trousers, like yoga pants

Black leggings

Light trousers

Comfy, light jeans

Trousers with zips

¾ sports trousers

¾ length leggings

Lightweight hoody

Heavier hoody

Thin tshirts x 6

Longer tshirt

Rain jacket

Contact lenses

Extra sunglasses

Prescription sunnies

Swimming stuff

 

Basic make up

Conditioner

Shampoo

Miscellar water

Cotton wool pads.

Moisturiser

Hair bobbles

Hair grips

Sunscreen

Trek Insect Repellant

Malaria tablets?

Antihistamines

Ibuprofen

Cold tablets

Diarrhoea tablets

Indigestion tablets

Sting cream

Sore throat sweets

Plasters

Toothbrush

Toothpaste

Razor

Rehydration salts

Antibacterial wipes

Lip balm

 

Multiway adaptor

Laptop

Charger

Phone

Charger

Camera

Charger

Memory cards

GoPro

Charger

Kindle

More on Papua New Guinea

What is Papua New Guinea Like?

11 Tips You Need for Travelling to Papua New Guinea 

19 Safety Tips for Solo Travellers (with My Stories)
The Future of VickyFlipFlop in the Bloggy World