Tawali Leisure and Dive Resort

Papau New Guinea an exotic way of life

CULTURE

There are four regional, cultural and political groups: Papuans (from the south), Highlanders, New Guineans (from the north) and Islanders. Some authorities divide the people into Papuans (predominantly descended from the original arrivals) and Melanesians (more closely related to the peoples of the southwest Pacific), though some people (particularly those in outlying islands) are closer to being pure Polynesian or Micronesian. The dividing lines between these definitions is very hazy.

culture of PNG

I cannot tell you what I like most. I was blown away. The food...and God knows I love to eat, was fantastic. The resort was laid out very well and the rooms were to die for. I mean with so much room I felt I was in a home.

Patrick Hammer, Scuba Emporium

ENVIRONMENT

Papua New Guinea lies south of the equator and north of Australia. It's the last of a string of islands spilling down from South-East Asia into the Pacific, and comprises the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and a collection of surrounding islands. The country is dominated by a central spine of mountains, the Owen Stanley Range, with many peaks over 4000m (13,120ft).

culture of PNG

There are close to 9000 species of plants in PNG, most of them found in lowland rainforests. Around 250 species of mammals live in the islands, mostly bats and rats, but also including marsupials such as the tree kangaroo. There are also two kinds of echidnas (spiny anteaters). The real treat however is the 700 species of birds. There are more parrot, pigeon and kingfisher species - from huge crowned pigeons to delicate pygmy parrots - than anywhere else in the world. Other notable birds are giant cassowaries, kokomos (hornbills) and cockatoos.

Papua New Guinea has only four national parks, including Varirata National Park and McAdam National Park, but more have been proposed. The major problems facing the environment and its flora and fauna are logging and heavy-metal pollution from copper mines such as Panguna on Bougainville Island (currently closed) and Ok Tedi in the Star Mountains.

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