Papua New Guinea consists of the eastern half of the island of New Guinea plus eastern islands. There are an estimated 826 languages spoken in PNG, making it one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world. Add in astounding natural beauty and incredible biodiversity for a fascinating destination. At times a German, British, and Australian colony, Eastern New Guinea achieved independence in 1975. Western New Guinea remains a part of Indonesia.
A highlight of any traveler’s trip is a visit to the highlands, a region that stretches east to west across the island as the Central Cordillera Range. Mt. Wilhelm is the highest peak at 14,793 feet. Most of the mountains sustain village communities in the grassy valleys. The region is also famous for its cultural festival, the best known one being the Goroka Show. It is the biggest Sing-Sing in the region. A Sing-Sing is a cultural gatherings of different tribes where each tribe displays its unique culture,decoration and music.
The Eastern Highlands Cultural Show, better known as the “Goroka Show” is a huge tourist draw, and a fascinating display of the multiple cultures in the region. It is held every year close to the Independence Day (16th September) in the town of Goroka, and over 100 tribes arrive to show their music, dance and culture. It is one of the few tourist opportunities to see all of these tribes and their customs.
Spend the full 3 days at the show to get the maximum experience, see all of the groups and take in the atmosphere. There is also ample exploring to be done in the surrounding highlands.
Such a large influx of tourists has brought multiple accommodation options to the town. Bird of Paradise and Pacific Gardens are both well recommended.
Flights to Goroka or Mt. Hagen are possible from Wewak. Road travel is long and difficult. The highlands have a reputation for being dangerous for travelers, and tour guides will advise not to get out of the car at certain stops. Listen to them and use caution. Enjoy the experience!