Madang and Lae, Papua New Guinea

Morobe Province is the gateway to the Highlands and the Islands in the Huon Gulf.

A beautiful region, it contains centuryold rainforests, pine trees, the remnants of WWII artillery, volcanoes, fertile valleys and cattle farms.

The capital city of the province is Lae which has an international airport, good harbour facilities and the longest road system in the country. A town from the gold rush era, Lae was the last stop for the American aviator Amelia Earhart and there are relics preserved in many sites from the occupation of the Japanese during the Second World War.

The Morobe people in this area maintain their agricultural lifestyle despite the growth of industry and a large annual rainfall makes the Botanical Gardens thrive. The bustling gold rush town of Wau in the 1930s is now an echo of the past, but visitors eager to safari around the dirt roads will enjoy the trip to Bulolo with its breathtaking scenery. Naturalists will enjoy exploring the McAdam National Park, founded in 1962 with its sanctuary of flora and fauna, preserving hundreds of rare native species. The people of Madang can be broken into four distinct groupsβ€” islanders, coastal people, river people and mountain people.

These groups are similar in appearance except for the smaller Simbai mountain tribesmen from the foothills. The last contacted people in Papua New Guinea were the β€˜Hagahai’, located on the Madang side of the border between Madang and the Enga Province.

Madang township is one of the prettiest towns in the South Pacific. Set on a peninsula, it is a showplace of parks, waterways, luxuriant shady trees and sparkling tropical islands. Although small, the town has modern urban facilities, a museum and cultural centre, and harbour tours can be arranged to nearby islands.

The area is world famous for its coral reefs and superb underwater visibility. Big game fishing is also a popular activity. Yabob and Bilbil villages, located near Madang, are the centres of traditional clay pot production.

Two volcanic islands offshore from Bogia have impressive volcanic cones rising 1800 metres above sea level which provide a spectacular sight for visitors, and the South East Coast road which leads to Balek Wildlife Sanctuary has strange fish filled sulphurous caves, hot springs and jungle walks.