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Huon Gulf

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Huon Gulf

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Huon Gulf is in Papua New Guinea.


Salamaua in Morobe Province


  • Bulolo — a pre-war goldrush town. You can still pan for gold. Eight river dredges used for prospecting were abandoned and some can still be seen. Now a major forestry center.
  • Finschhafen — located 50 miles east of Lae on the Huon Peninsula. Formerly part of German New Guinea it was largely abandoned because of Malaria but was taken over by the Japanese in 1942 and subsequently recaptured by Australians in 1943. A small port with limited economic activity.
  • Lae — Papua New Guinea's second city and main economic hub. Beginning of the Highlands Highway.
  • Wau — another goldrush town that was site of important WW2 battle in 1943. Home of the Wau Ecology Institute and beginning of the Black Cat Trail to Salamaua.

Other destinations[edit]

  • Salamaua. — coastal area 35 km south of Lae, involving a one-hour boat trip, that has been popular with expats since before WW2, when it was a thriving port. Beautiful spot just waiting for someone to build a hotel. Right now there is just a small guest house, the Salamaua Haus Kibung. The bay has tropical reefs, and several wrecks from WWII close to the coastline, which make for excellent diving.


Huon Gulf is the area on the northern coast of Papua New Guinea occupied by Morobe Province, which has a population of close to 600,000. The province, which is drained by the Markham River, has 171 languages. Tok Pisin (pidgin) is the lingua franca. The province gets much of its income from the importance of Lae as a port that exports produce from the Highlands, but the Markham Valley in the province is also an important agricultural area. Oil exploration and mining are growing in importance and there is a timber industry in the Bulolo area.

Huon Gulf offers spectacular scenery, accessible diving spots, and a range of climates from sub-alpine and alpine to tropical. The Province's jungles and forests offer over one thousand species of birds and mammals, including the Raggiana Bird of Paradise, the Cassowary, a flightless emu-like bird, and the tree-kangaroo. Over 15,000 species of plant have been identified and there may be many more.

The Province has many battlefield relics from World War II, with submerged shipwrecks, aircraft and artillery. It receives many visitors from Japan.


Get in[edit]

  • Air Niugini has several daily flights to Lae from the capital Port Moresby, as well as flights from several other centers in PNG. [1]
  • Airlines PNG has flights from Port Moresby, Mt. Hagen and Goroka to Lae and three-weekly flights from Port Moresby to Bulolo.[2]

Lae can be reached from the PNG Highlands by the Highlands Highway. There are no coastal roads but Lae can also be reached from Madang by taking the Ramu Highway that follows the Ramu River and connects with the Highlands Highway to follow the Markham River down to Lae.

Get around[edit]

Apart from the Highlands Highway, road connections are limited in Morobe, with the exception of a road that branches off the Highlands Highway to the left to go up to Wau and Bulolo. The road is good from Lae to Nadzab airport. Public Motor Vehicles ply the Highlands Highway and the Wau-Bulolo road and are a relatively inexpensive, although not particularly safe, form of transport.

See[edit][add listing]

  • The Huon Tree Kangaroo. The Huon Peninsula (nicknamed by geologists as the champagne cork because of the rate of growth of its mountains) is home to one of PNG's seven species of tree kangaroo. Also known as the Matschie's Tree Kangaroo, some can be seen in the Rainforest Habitat in Lae. To see them in the wild will require a hike to 2000 meters. In 2009 the YUS Conservation Area was established to protect the habitat of the kangaroo in the northern part of the Huon Peninsula. YUS includes three rivers, Yopno, Uruwa and Som, after which it was named.


Do[edit][add listing]

  • The Black Cat Trail. This goes from Wau to Salamaua. It was used before World War II during the goldrush and during the war some of the bloodiest battles were fought along it. The scars of the war remain and live mortars, munitions, plane wrecks, and huge bomb craters can be seen. The trek should take four to five days. It is tough 8-9 hours walk each day, with hospitality in villages that have little other contact with the outside world. There is an abundance of wildlife and magnificent flora and fauna. The trail is almost always followed from Wau to Salamaua, allowing you to reach Salamaua on the last day with a recuperative rafting trip down the Francisco River. Treks are organized by PNG Trekking [3].
  • The Bulldog Trail. Although this trail is rich in history it is only now being commercially developed and the villagers along the trail have had little exposure to trekkers to date. Following their defeats at Buna and Kokoda, Japanese forces fell back to Lae. They then ventured south towards Wau, looking for another route to Port Moresby. There was fierce fighting between Lae and Wau with Australian troops being supplied by porters carrying food and munitions to Wau from Port Moresby along the Bulldog Trail. This trek is for experts only and can be organized by PNG Trekking [4].

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Stay safe[edit]

Get out[edit]

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