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Madang (region)

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Madang (region)

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Madang is a province of Papua New Guinea.



  • Madang. Claims to be the prettiest city in the South Pacific but this should be taken with a pinch of salt. Nevertheless it has some fine scuba diving, attractive carvings to buy, a picturesque harbour and good quality accommodation.
Manam Island

Other destinations

  • Kar Kar Island. 30km off the coast and 60km NNE of Madang this is an impressive oval-shaped volcanic island with a population of around 50,000. The volcano is still active and the latest eruptions occurred in 1978. It has two nested calderas and the inner one still smokes. The cone can be visited. Although not a tourist destination the island reportedly has spectacular diving and attracts dive trips from Madang. The only commercial accommodation, Kar Kar Island Hideaway, has two bungalows on the beach in the middle of a working plantation. Phone: 853 7481; Fax: 853 7473.
  • Manam Island. 200km NW of Madang, this island was evacuated after volcanic eruptions in 2004 but the people have now returned. The Anua Negu Lodge at Bogia [1] can organize tours to the island.
The Ramu River


Madang has a good range of things to do and see and is arguably PNG's main tourism destination. The province has a population of over 365,000. It has mountain ranges interrupted by river valleys and fertile plains. There is a dry season from May to September but the wet season is not oppressive. On the coast temperatures go up to 35 degrees but in the mountains it is much cooler.

Mt Wilhelm, the highest mountain in the country, lies at the border of Madang and Chimbu provinces. Mountain ranges run through the province, with waterfalls cascading hundreds of metres. Despite logging and agriculture (sugar, livestock, cocoa and copra) there is still much pristine rainforest. The major river is the Ramu, which is navigable by dugout or motorised canoe. A recent development is the RamuNico nickel mine, which has attracted considerable controversy with its plans to dump large quantities of tailings in the sea.

The coastline of Madang is volcanically active. Manam Island recently erupted. The crater of the imposing Karkar Island can be visited. Numerous species of bird, including birds of paradise, are found in Madang. The province also has huge butterflies. Madang plays host to many different tribes and up to 200 different dialects are spoken.


Get in

There are coastal roads running north and south of Madang but the only road that provides access with the rest of the country is the Ramu Highway which links up with the Highlands Highway connecting Lae with Goroka.

Get around


  • Ohu Butterfly Conservation Project. 45 minutes inland from Madang. You can wander freely through the Conservation Area. It has been planted with flowering shrubs to attract butterflies and encourage them to reproduce. There is also good birdwatching and impressive waterfalls. One guest bungalow is available for visitors.
  • Balek Wildlife Sanctuary. This is 20 mins along the Ramu Highway from Madang city. Apart from its wildlife, it is famous as a location for the film Robinson Crusoe. It is centered around a sulphur spring that bubbles out of a cave in a limestone escarpment and is a nesting or breeding ground for a wide variety of birds, animals, eels and fish. There is tropical rainforest as well as local plants and flowers.



  • Diving. An undiscovered area as far as diving is concerned. Between May and November visibility is usually very good. In Hansa Bay there are wrecks of 35 Japanese ships, some in quite shallow water. Tours are organised by Anua Negu Lodge and Tours [4].

  • Village Stays There are several villages near Madang that have guesthouses. Hobe Village and Haya Village offer 25 Kina/night stays. Contact the Madang Visitor and Cultural Bureau for more information. For Hobe Village, which is a 30 minute minibus ride from Madang, contact Joel Laleg 7692-4039 or Rassol Laleg 7271-7987. A village stay includes birdwatching and Japanese hideouts from WWII.

Get out

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