Having travelled quite intrepidly, we wanted a trip that wouldn't fall into the traditional category of 'honeymoon' -- so we decided on Papua New Guinea.
One of the most diverse areas of the most ethnically heterogeneous country in the world, the northeastern province of Madang alone is home to over 170 distinct languages. During World War II, Madang saw intense fighting between the Japanese and Australian armies, so much so that the town was reduced to ruins, and had to be rebuilt.
Today, Madang is mostly free of development and largely unspoiled, a land of volcanoes and jagged mountains overlooking the calm, peaceful waters of the Bismarck Sea. A highlight of the area is the plentiful, diverse marine life, including various species of sharks, rays, and coral - perfect for divers and kayakers.
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Dive at the volcanic seamount known as Planet Rock, only a few miles offshore from Madang. The seas around the mount plummet to a depth of over 2,000 feet, but the strong ocean currents that surge through Astrolabe Bay sweep around and across the apex of the mount at only 15 feet. Fortunate divers also have encounters with hammerheads, which have been known to school here, and the tiger shark.
Enjoy the vibrant marine life at Barracuda Point, including barracuda, trevally, sweetlips, fusiliers, hammerhead sharks, silvertip sharks, large coral cod, and schools of sea perch.
Canoe down the Gogol River, Gum River or Naru River south of Madang town, or the Surumarang River or Wasab River north of the town, depending on water levels. The winding rivers are slow flowing, which will give you ample opportunity to enjoy the view of riverside jungle, and the thatched houses and food gardens of local people living along the river.
Go diving in the Madang Lagoon. The outer perimeter of the lagoon consists of a series of islands connected by coral reef which forms a mini barrier reef of steep walls, each site home to a variety of coral structures. Because of its geography, the area is a real muck diver’s paradise.
A cultural phenomenon and delight - the Goroka Festival - is unlike any other festival in the world. Papua New Guinea showcases its wide variety of traditions during this 14-day adventure. Meet local chieftains and observe traditions including wild authentic dances when attending the colorful cultural show.
An incredibly well-rounded adventure, this 13-day itinerary takes you through many of Papua New Guinea’s most remote, beautiful locations. Trek in the rainforest, canoe winding rivers, chat with local tribes and lounge on the soft, powder-white beaches in both the Southern Highlands and along the Sepik River.
Untouched rainforests, the winding Sepik River, the stunning Madang beaches and the friendly local tribes await you on this 13-day Papua New Guinea adventure. Trek through the lush forest, celebrate the traditional Sing-Sing and enjoy the end reward with time to relax on the stunning, powder-white beaches.
A unique peek into a culture few travelers are lucky enough to see, this 10-day itinerary will show you a whole new side of Papua New Guinea. Meet fascinating, rare species, scuba dive exuberant coral reefs, hike in the sprawling Kaironk River Valley and enjoy a motorized canoe ride along the Sepik River.
Scuba dive alongside incredible whale sharks, trek through dense jungles and watch as locals mingle with fearful-yet-fascinating crocodiles on this 12-day Papua New Guinea luxury journey. This one-of-a-kind adventure takes place in August during the wild Crocodile Festival in the Sepik Region.
Originally a coconut plantation, the Malolo Lodge retains its colonial architectural charm and is located right on the coast, a 45-minute drive from the beach-and-diving town of Madang. The resort looks out over the Bismark Sea to the active volcano of Karkar on the horizon, and has several excellent sites for snorkeling and diving in PNG's extremely biodiverse waters right nearby. Malolo has 14 air-conditioned, en suite guest rooms, each with a balcony looking out over the water. The lounge, bar and dining room are open on all sides to allow in sea breezes. The lodge also has a freshwater swimming pool and tennis courts.
Jais Aben Resort
Jais Aben Resort is located on 22 acres of a former coconut plantation, situated beautifully on the tip of a peninsula between the Bismarck Sea and the Nagada Harbour. Located directly on the seafront with beautiful views facing the open sea, it features twin bungalow style units, all strategically located to catch the sea breezes. All bungalows come with air conditioning, ceiling fan, TVs, fridges, and coffee/tea-making facilities, with some units featuring private verandas. The stylish Coco's Restaurant offers local and international cuisine, and the informal Bridge Bar & Grill is perfect for relaxed beachfront dining. The resort also boasts a well-stocked games room.
It’s a long a bumpy road to get to Keki Eco-Lodge, but one that rewards those who make the journey with thrilling views, as they pass through the thick jungle of Madang, Papua New Guinea. Keki Eco-Lodge, at nearly 3,000-feet above sea level, is surrounded by the majestic Adelbert Mountain Range. Upon arrival, the hotel’s staff will come to greet guests with friendly smiles, and escort them to their traditionally-styled cottages. Rooms come equipped with kerosene lamps, pit toilets, freshly-washed bedding, mosquito nets, and more. Refreshing showers are taken in the nearby creek.The guesthouse staff are more than happy to assist with tours of the area, including both the surrounding jungle and the local village. Among the many thrills of staying in this isolated guesthouse cocooned by jungle and mountains are the exotic native birds, some incredibly rare, and beautiful mammals that roam the area.