Where To Hike When - Discover Best Hikes and Trails Around the World.

Best Hiking Trails in Papua New Guinea

Overview

Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea as well as islands off the ‘mainland’, close to Australia.  Most known for the Kokoda Track, there is hiking in the mountainous region running through the island and its surrounding smaller islands.  Some of the main hiking areas include: the Highlands containing Mount Wilhelm, Morobe province (containing Bulldog and Black Cat Trails), the Prince Alexander Mountains, around Port Moresby (including the start of the Kokoda Track) and trails on the islands of New Britain and Goodenough Island. The best months to hike in Papua New Guinea are May to October. Read on for more information on where and when to go hiking in Papua New Guinea. 

Capital: Port Moresby

When To Hike in Papua New Guinea?

May – October: For the northeastern provinces, June – September are the best months and for the Highlands, June – August are the best months
May; September: In the Highlands
November – April: Rainy

Climate: Equatorial (no real dry season) and Tropical (wet and dry seasons); steady temps throughout the year.  Rain throughout the year.  Some parts VERY rainy and some parts not so much rain.  The eastern side rainier than western side. 

 

Papua New Guinea

Accessibility of Hiking

Medium – Hard: Some trails such as Kokoda Track are quite well organized and relatively easy to access and complete.  But much of the hiking has to be organized through local means and there can be challenges in physically getting to certain places (due to lack of roads, transport, etc) and also cultural challenges. 

Transportation required: Vehicle required to access many trails

Where to stay in Papua New Guinea for hiking:

  • Goroka
  • Port Moresby
  • Maprik
  • Apangai

Top Places to Hike in Papua New Guinea

Most people think about the Kokoda Track when they think about hiking in PNG, but there are lots of other great hiking opportunities in this mountainous country. A lot of it can be found in the Highlands region.

Filter out hiking places of Papua New Guinea by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Bougainville

  • Very little tourist infrastructure but rugged island
  • Mt Balbi
  • Nooma Nooma track

New Ireland

  • While this island is mountainous, there’s no info on established trails or any hiking infrastructure
  • Hans Meyer range

New Britain

  • Mountainous ‘island is divided into two provinces – East New Britain is much more developed than West, base yourself in the East; Baining Mtns
  • Lark Force Wilderness Track (in East New Britain) – is a 4 day trek that is one of the most accessible here 
  • Kombiu (Mt Mother) – hikeable volcano
  • Mt Vulcan
  • Rabaul Nakaia

Prince Alexander Mountains

  • Maprik and Apangai are two towns to explore Prince Alexander Mountains

Highlands

  • This is where the best hiking can be found 
  • Goroka and Mt Hagen are good bases to do treks
  • Mt Wilhelm
  • Mt Michael
  • Mt Gahavisuka
  • Crater Mountain Wildlife Management Area – www.rcfpng.org 
  • Mt Giluwe

Madang Province

  • Karkar Island – tiny island off the coast, has a volcano (1831 m) that’s hikeable

Morobe Province

  • Rugged interior
  • Bulldog Trail
  • Black Cat Trail

Goodenough Island

  • One of the D’Entrecasteaux Islands; one of the most steeply sided islands on Earth
  • Mt Oiautukekea (2566 m), can be reached on 2 day trek

Ferguson Island

  • Largest of the three D’Entrecasteaux Islands, can be difficult to access
  • Mt Maybole
  • Mt Kilkerran

Around Port Moresby

  • Varirata National Park has lots of well-marked walking trails

Papua New Guinea's Long Distance Trails

  • Kokoda Track – world famous, PNG’s most well-known trail, 96km trail – www.kokodatrackauthority.org 
  • Black Cat Trail
  • Bulldog Trail
  • Lark Force Wilderness Track (in East New Britain) – is a 4 day trek that is one of the most accessible here

Papua New Guinea's Walking & Hiking Resources

Papua New Guinea Hiking Books: 

  • Walking with Ghosts in Papua New Guinea: Crossing the Kokoda Trail in the Last Wild Place on Earth, by Rick Antonson, 2019, Skyhorse Publishing
  • Kokoda for Dummies, by Peter Williams, 2012, published by Wiley – gives military history but also info on hiking the Kokoda Track
  • Lonely Planet Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands, by Brett Atkinson & Charles Rawlings-Way, 2016, Lonely Planet Publications 

 

Best Hiking Trails in Papua New Guinea:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from trail maps/apps, websites, and tourist offices:

  • Kokoda Track
  • Mount Oiautukekea – Goodenough Island
  • Bulldog Trail
  • Black Cat Trail
  • Mount Giluwe
  • Mount Wilhelm
  • Lark Force Wilderness Track – New Britain Island
  • Mount Balbi – Bougainville Island
  • Nooma Nooma Track – Bougainville Island
  • Mount Mother – New Britain Island
  • Mount Vulcan – New Britain Island

 

Papua New Guinea Hiking Websites:

 

Papua New Guinea Weather site:

 

Papua New Guinea Official Tourism Organizations:

 

Papua New Guinea Hiking Apps: 

 

Papua New Guinea Hiking Maps:

What Else To Do

  • WW II stuff
  • Snorkelling/diving
  • Birdwatching 
  • The mighty Sepik River
  • Festivals

Other Important Points

  • In the Highlands region, make sure to acclimatize 
  • There are risks when travelling in Highlands region related to tribal conflicts