Papua New Guinea Overview


Official name of the state

Independent State of Papua New Guinea.


Port Moresby.


As a country located in Oceania listed on businesscarriers, Papua New Guinea consists of over 600 islands and lies in the middle of a long chain of islands that extends as an extension of the Southeast Asian mainland in the South Pacific. The country is 160 km north of Australia and covers the eastern half of New Guinea, the second largest non-continental island in the world. The national territory also includes the smaller islands of the Bismarck Archipelago (New Britain, New Ireland, Manus), the D’Entrecasteaux Islands, the northern Solomon Islands (Bougainville and Buka) and the three islands of the Louisiade group. The western half of the main island is the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya. The larger islands of Papua New Guinea are mountainous and rugged and crisscrossed by large, fertile valleys. Rivers from the highlands flow with steep gradients into the coastal plains. A number of still active volcanoes stretch from the north coast of the main island to the island of New Britain. To the north and south of this central mountain range are large mangrove swamps and extensive estuaries. In the southeast of some islands there are volcanoes and warm lakes. Papua New Guinea has the largest number of distinct ecosystems in the South Pacific, including five different types of lowland rainforest, 13 mountain rainforest types, five different palm and swamp forest types, and three different types of mangrove forest.


Parliamentary monarchy (in the Commonwealth) since 1975. Constitution of 1975. Parliament with 109 members. Independent since 1975 (former UN Trust Territory under Australian administration).

Head of state

Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Temporary Governor General Bob Dadae, since February 2017.

Head of government

Peter O’Neill, since August 2012.


240 V, 50 Hz, adapter required. Some hotels still have 110 V.


The official languages are English, Tok Pisin and Hiri Motu; there are also over 700 Papuan languages and languages of the various minorities. This makes Papua New Guinea the country with the greatest linguistic diversity in the world.

Tok Pisin, also known as Pidgin English, New Guinea Pidgin, or Melanesian Pidgin, is most commonly spoken as the Lingua Franca. It is a Creole language based on Melanesian pidgin and heavily influenced by the English language. The grammar is simple, there is no conjugation or declination. In addition to the present tense, only the past tense, perfect and future tense are used as tenses.

English is mainly used in business, in government circles and as the language of instruction in schools and universities in the country. However, it can be difficult to communicate in English, especially outside of the big cities.

Hiri Motu is based on the language of the Motu from the Central Province. During the colonial era, Hiri Motu gained importance as the language of the police, which is why it is also known as Police Motu. Today Hiri Motu is still partly spoken in parliament. Hiri Motu is still spoken as a second language, especially in the southern part of Papua New Guinea, the area of the former British colony. There are hardly any native speakers. Only about 6% of the native population of Papua New Guinea have a written and oral command of the language.



The nightlife in Papua New Guinea mainly takes place in the touristically well developed areas and in the coastal cities. Port Moresby has the liveliest nightlife with pubs, bars, restaurants and a few discos and nightclubs; The Royal Papua Yacht Club right at the port is particularly popular with foreigners (Internet: Many hotels host evening dances and other live entertainment programs. Locals and tourists alike are drawn to The Gold Club in the Lamana Hotel (Internet:, in which you can even turn night into day under the open sky. On some evenings, internationally known DJs create a good atmosphere. There are also two movie theaters, a drive-in theater, and theatrical productions in town. Every now and then there are sing-sings or folkloric performances. The towns of Madang, Wewak and Lae also have a few options for going out in the evening. Current event information can be found in the local regional newspapers and at the hotel reception. Some diving schools offer night diving trips for experienced divers.

Outside the big cities, the nightlife is very quiet. You won’t find any cool nightclubs or trendy bars here. A breathtaking starry sky compensates for this, in which many more stars and planets can be seen than from densely populated Europe.



Hotels of international standard can be found in Port Moresby, Lae, Madang and almost all major cities. Most motels offer good, inexpensive places to stay.

Papua New Guinea Overview

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