Interesting Facts About Papua New Guinea

Officially named as the 'Independent State of Papua', Papua New Guinea is a country located at the eastern side of New Guinea. It is situated in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Papua New Guinea is quite diverse in cultural and linguistic aspects and is also one of the least explored countries of the world. Papua New Guinea has strong ties with its southern neighbor, Australia, which administered the territory, until Papua gained its independence in 1975. Explore some of the interesting and fun facts about Papua New Guinea.

Control Risks: High security and travel threat
iJet: 4
State Department: No current warning

Port Moresby has one of the highest murder rates in the world, and violent crime rates are extremely high across the country of Papua New Guinea. Car-jacking, armed robberies and vehicle stonings are common in Lae and Mount Hagen, and pickpockets operate in practically all the urban areas. Papua New Guinea's mines and forests attract industry from around the world, but rural areas or even isolated public places like parks or beaches are the scene of robberies and sexual assaults. Travelers are advised against public transportation, including taxis. Rental cars are generally a safer option.

  • The island of New Guinea was named after the country of Guinea in Africa.
  • Papua New Guinea consists of the eastern half of the island of New Guinea - the islands of New Britain, New Ireland, Bougainville and around six hundred smaller islands, north of Australia.
  • The island of New Guinea is shared with Indonesia (Papua, former Irian Jaya).
  • New Guinea is one of the largest islands in the world.
  • The Kuk Early Agricultural Site, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008, consists of swamps in the highlands of New Guinea. It has been discovered that the land has been drained, possibly for as long as ten thousand years. Evidence of agriculture dates back to six and a half thousand years ago.
  • Papua New Guinea is one of, if not the most, heterogeneous nations in the world. There are hundreds of ethnic groups indigenous to Papua New Guinea
  • Papua New Guinea has a greater density of languages than any other nation on earth, except Vanuatu. It has over 850 indigenous languages and at least as many traditional societies, out of a population of just under 6 million.
  • Papua New Guinea has only 18 per cent of its people living in urban centres.
  • Papua New Guinea is also one of the least explored countries of the world, culturally and geographically. Many undiscovered species of plants and animals are thought to exist in its interiors.
  • Portuguese navigators are said to be the first Europeans to have sighted the island of New Guinea.
  • In 1971, the Territory of Papua and New Guinea was renamed Papua New Guinea.
  • Papua New Guinea gained full independence from Australia in September 1975.
  • The Independent State of Papua New Guinea became a member of the Commonwealth in 1975.
  • The monarch of the United Kingdom serves as the Head of State of Papua New Guinea.
  • The highest point in the Independent State of Papua New Guinea is Mount Wilhelm (4,509 m).
  • The national sport of Papua New Guinea, although not official, is considered to be rugby league.
  • Papua New Guinea is one of the few regions close to the equator that experience snowfall, which occurs in the most elevated parts of the mainland.


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