Papua New Guinea Geography and Climate

Papua New Guinea is a unique country. There are few places on Earth with such a variety of languages, customs and cultures, landscapes, flora and fauna. The local jungle, inhabited by original tribes, has not yet been touched by civilization, which makes this region especially attractive. The local mountains, valleys, volcanoes, rivers, waterfalls and coastal marshes are great for hiking. But the main attraction of Papua New Guinea is the underwater world of the seas surrounding it. It is one of the world’s premier diving destinations and the birthplace of mak-diving.

The most comfortable weather is observed in Papua New Guinea from May to October, but it is worth remembering that even within hundreds of kilometers the climate can vary significantly. From July to October, colorful festivals are held in the country, which attracts many tourists.

The official language of Papua New Guinea is English. It is used in business, education and government circles. Local tribes speak more than 700 languages, and the languages of different tribes can be radically different from each other. The tribes communicate with each other in the Tok Pisin languages (a simplified version of English with admixtures of German, Portuguese and Austronesian languages, the most common language of intertribal communication), Hiri-Motu, Enga, Chimbu (Sambu), Hagen, Kamano and others.

Geography in Papua New Guinea

According to top-engineering-schools, Papua New Guinea is located in Oceania, 160 km north of Australia, in a region that has been referred to as Melanesia since the 19th century. The state occupies the eastern part of the island of New Guinea and the islands of the Bismarck Archipelago (Admiralty Islands, St. Matthayas, New Britain and New Ireland), the northern part of the Solomon Islands (Bougainville, Buka and Tauu Atoll), the D’Antrecasteaux, Louisiade and Trobian archipelagos, and also over 600 other smaller islands, atolls and reefs. The total area of the country is 473.2 thousand square meters. km. From the north of Papua New Guinea it is washed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean, from the northeast – by the New Guinea Sea, from the east – by the Solomon Sea, from the south – by the Coral Sea, the Gulf of Papua and the Torres Strait. In the west, it has a land border with Indonesia, as well as maritime borders: in the east – with the Solomon Islands, in the south – with Australia.

Most of the territory of Papua New Guinea is occupied by mountains. In the central regions of the island of New Guinea, several ridges stretch from northwest to southeast with average heights of about 3000 m. The highest point of the island and the whole country is Mount Wilhelm (4509 m). It is located in the northwestern part of it. North and south of the mountain ranges are wide plains and lowlands. Off the northeast coast of the island, mountain ranges come almost to the very shore and can be traced on the nearby islands. Here is a zone of increased seismic activity, which is confined to the Pacific ring of fire. Most of the volcanoes are located in this part of the island of New Guinea (about two dozen). The country’s largest rivers are the Fly and the Sepik, both 1.1 km long. They originate in the mountains and flow through the plains. Closer to the coasts, the river valleys are swampy. The islands of Papua New Guinea are of both volcanic and coral origin. The volcanic islands are mountainous and are located north of the island of New Guinea. On the New Islands Britannia and Bougainville are towering active volcanoes. Coral islands, for the most part, are located off the southeastern tip of the island of New Guinea.

Climate in Papua New Guinea

In the northern part of Papua New Guinea, the equatorial type of climate prevails, in the south – the subequatorial marine type of climate. The hottest and most humid climate is observed on the coast and islands. In the north of the state, the temperature is uniform throughout the year – in the daytime the air warms up to +30..+32 degrees, and at night it cools down to +24..+26 degrees. In the southern regions of Papua New Guinea, which belong to the distribution zone of the subequatorial climate type, seasonality is better expressed. In the summer (October to April), the daytime air temperature rises to +30..+32 degrees, and at night it drops to +23..+25 degrees. In winter (from March to September) daytime air temperatures reach +27..+29 degrees, and nighttime temperatures range from +21 to +23 degrees. In the central part of the country, in mountainous regions, the air temperature is 7-10 degrees lower than than on the coast. Here, even in summer at high altitudes, the temperature at night can drop to +6 degrees.

The annual amount of precipitation is very different in different areas, and no particular regularity can be distinguished. In general, the largest amount of precipitation falls on small islands, where tropical showers can be observed at any time of the year. For example, off the western coasts of the island of New Britain, up to 8000 mm of precipitation falls annually. As for the island of New Guinea, Port Moresby receives about 1000 mm of precipitation per year, and in Lae, which is located just 300 km to the north, up to 4500 mm of precipitation. In most parts of the island of New Guinea, the rainy season lasts from December to March (at this time up to 300 mm of precipitation falls per month), the dry season lasts from May to October (from 50 to 100 mm of precipitation falls monthly). But in some provinces these seasons fall on other months. For example, in Lae (east coast of the island of New Guinea), the wet season lasts from May to October. During this period, up to 500 mm of precipitation falls monthly.

Best time to visit:
The most comfortable weather is observed in Papua New Guinea between May and October, but it is worth remembering that even within hundreds of kilometers the climate can vary significantly. From July to October, colorful festivals are held in the country, which attracts many tourists.

Papua New Guinea Geography