Surfing Papua New Guinea
With uncrowded waves, exotic cultural experiences and some of the world’s most picturesque natural beauty, add Papua New Guinea on your surf destinations list. An adventurous and unforgettable surf destination.
Located just south of the equator and 100 miles to the north of Australia. Papua New Guinea enjoys warm waters and consistent waves (Oct – April), complemented by the rich and diverse traditional culture time of its people in its premier surf destinations of Vanimo, Wewak, Madang and New Ireland provinces.
Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half of rugged tropical island of New Guinea (which shares with the Indonesian territory of Iran Jaya) as well as number of smaller islands and atolls in the Pacific. The coast and island atolls are packed with coral reefs generating quality waves for surfers! As a surfing destination, Papua New Guinea is relatively new to surf enthusiasts, but the breaks are quickly becoming known for providing a great challenge that will keep surfers entertained for days! The uncrowded surf ensures that you will have a magical trip.
The main Papua New Guinea surfing season is October through to April (from the Northern hemisphere swells) and receives regular swells of between 3ft-6ft. The winds during these months are very light and variable- so a lot of glassy days!.
However, Papua New Guinea has surfing potential all year-round. On the southern side, 10 minutes out of Port Moresby is Sero Board Riders Club (Taurama Point) where the main barrier reef stretches along the southern seaboard all the way to the Milne Bay Province. You might be surprised to find such challenging and exhilarating breaks! There is thousands of miles of coastlines just waiting to be explored, not to mention breath taking scenery and pristine atolls.
A handful of resorts and boats offer a variety of trip choices, and plenty of new waves still being discovered. The most surfed regions are the north east area of the Papua New Guinea mainland around Vanimo, and the north east islands of the New Ireland and New Hanover areas.
PNG is perfect for surfers wanting to avoid large crowds!
INFORMATION + MAP (click to open/close)
The Major banks in Papua New Guinea are Bank South Pacific, Westpac Bank, ANZ, Maybank. The currency in Papua New Guinea is ‘kina’ Note denominations are available in K2, K5, K10, K20 and K50.
International credit cards are accepted at most major hotels. American Express, Mas-tercard and Visa credit cards are accepted at the Wilderness Lodges, AMBUA LODGE, 6 KARAWARI LODGE, MALOLO PLANTATION LODGE, RONDON RIDGE and the MV SEPIK SPIRIT. It should be noted that at the Wilderness Lodges, Mastercard and Visa attract a 5% administration fee.
Kina cash can be acquired at the Foreign Exchange counters most international portsof departure to PNG. It is strongly recommended you acquire your Kina cash prior to departing for PNG. When ordering Kina, it is highly recommended that you get mainly small denominations, such as K2, K5 and K10. Small denominations are preferred by villagers should you choose to make purchases in a village.
Banking hours in PNG are generally from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Mon to Fri. American and Australian Dollars are the best foreign cash to bring to PNG, but please note that only Kina is accepted when purchasing art and crafts in villages.
ATM machines are available for Bank South Pacific, Westpac, ANZ and Maybank. EFTPOST available in selected areas.
Ensure that your passport is valid through your return date home. Tourists are required to have a visa to enter PNG. Currently a 60-day tourist visa is available upon arrival for nationals of many countries including Australia, Japan, New Zealand, UK, USA and most western European countries at Port Moresby airport.
To acquire a visa upon arrival, you will need a valid passport, proof of sufficient funds for your stay, an onward airline ticket with confirmed bookings and Kina cash.
Alternatively, you may acquire your visa prior to leaving your home country with either the nearest PNG Embassy or in some 7 cases at the Australian Embassy in your country. Always check with these embassies for current visa requirements prior to leaving home.
The climate in Papua New Guinea is tropical and pleasant. You will experience two distinct types of climate in PNG. The first is in the lowland and coastal areas being hot and having a temperature range of 24-35° (75-95°F) with high humidity. The second is the highlands regions being cooler, having a temperature range of 12-28°C (54-82°F) and with less humidity. In both areas, the days are generally fine, but often there are clouds in the afternoon resulting in rain late afternoon and evening.
There is an estimate of 800 traditional languages in PNG. The official national language is English. The two most commonly used languages are Hiri Motu and Melanesian Pidgin.
Indigenous religions, varying widely in ritual and belief, remain important in tribal societies in Papua New Guinea, with about 34% of the population practicing some form of traditional belief either exclusively or in conjunction with another faith. However, most of the population is nominally Christian. Of these, about 22% are Roman Catholics; 16% are Lutheran; another 8% are Presbyterian, Methodist, or London Missionary Society; 5% are Anglican; 4% Evangelical Alliance; and 1% Seventh-Day Adventist. Other Protestant sects account for 10% of the population. Baha'ism is the only other nonindigenous faith that has gained a foothold. The Muslim community maintains a mosque in Port Moresby.
All travellers to PNG are strongly recommended to acquire Travellers Insurance for trip cancellation and delays, for baggage loss and damage, and for illness, accident and medical evacuation. Government owned general hospitals, church affiliated hospitals, private doctors and pharmacies are available in all major centres of the country. Services at both public and private medical facilities in PNG are not to the same standard as those found in western European countries, USA, Canada, Japan, or Australia. Medical aid posts are found in remote areas such as the Karawari and Sepik Rivers, although services are limited to very basic first aid and medication.
We recommend you bring a personal first aid kit including ample supply of medication, and pack this in your carry-on baggage. The only health requirement is a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever or cholera if arriving from or travelling through infected areas prior to arrival in PNG. Visitors are advised to take malaria precautions, but only your doctor can recommend and prescribe the appropriate medication for you. As a precaution, most travellers keep their tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis, and polio inoculations current. Although the problem of diarrhoea and Dysentery does not seem to be nearly as severe in PNG as in some of the neighbouring Asian countries, it is possible you will get some kind of diarrhoea at some stage of your trip. This is normal for travellers whose bodies are adapting to strange food and water. In most cases the problem is short term, not severe and is easily treated.
In most major centres, the public water supply is treated and is comparable to World Organisation standards. At the Wilderness Lodges, water sources vary. At AMBUA LODGE, the water comes from a stream in which the source is run-off from the surrounding high altitude moss and rainforest having no human or domestic animal inhabitants. At KARAWARI LODGE, the water source is a nearby natural spring. The water source at MALOLO PLANTATION LODGE is a stream running from nearby lowland lakes and swamps. And on the MV SEPIK SPIRIT, the water source is the Sepik River and is filtered on board. At MALOLO PLANTATION LODGE and the MV SEPIK SPIRIT, drinking water is boiled before serving.
While on adventure tours, again, water also boiled before serving. Some choose to bring and use their own personal water purification system while in PNG, however this is not really necessary. Bottled water is sold at the Wilderness Lodges.