Scuba diving inPapua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea diving highlights
- Diverse tropical island destination in the Pacific Ring of Fire
- Explore PNG’s many cultures and hundreds of distinct languages
- Dozens of WWII wrecks, including boats, planes, and more
- Dive Milne Bay, considered the birthplace of muck diving
Papua New Guinea is a fabled adventure travel destination that receives far less recognition than it should. Located due north of Queensland, Australia, and sharing a border with Indonesia to the west, this sizable island nation offers everything you could possibly want from a remote tropical escape – and then some. The country’s consistent climate means visitors can relish its rural, outdoor lifestyle which revolves around spellbinding volcanic vistas, unspoilt rainforests, and warm, biodiverse seas.
Holding its own among the world’s most biodiverse nations, Papua New Guinea boasts a fascinating spectrum of flora and fauna, including tree kangaroos, cassowaries, and birds of paradise, as well as the world’s largest butterfly. And, Papuan’s themselves are equally diverse with hundreds of indigenous ethnic groups and over 800 distinct languages, making Papua New Guinea the most linguistically diverse country on earth.
Situated within the Coral Triangle, it’s no huge surprise that Papua New Guinea’s waters are home to beautiful bustling reefs. But, there’s far more on offer beneath the surface here. Current-swept channels and off-shore seamounts welcome large schools of pelagic fish, alongside reef sharks, manta rays, and passing pods of dolphins and killer whales. Elsewhere, dozens of WWII wrecks litter the seafloor, while Milne Bay’s debris-strewn, volcanic-sand sites gave birth to an entirely new discipline – muck diving.
Top Papua New Guinea experiences
Papua New Guinea has a hot, humid tropical climate year round, making it a great place to visit regardless of the season. Of course, there are some slight variations in climate depending on where you visit, with some parts of the country just 2° south of the equator and others located over 1,000-kilometres further south.
As is typical in the tropics, the country experiences two distinctive seasons - wet and dry. The wet northwest monsoon typically runs from December through March, bringing daytime temperatures in the region of 28-32°C and higher chances of heavy downpours. That said, Papua New Guinea is one of the wettest countries in the world, averaging over 3,000 millimetres of precipitation per year, so visitors should expect to see some showers no matter when they visit. Typhoons can also hit the region during the wet season, occasionally causing damage and disruption in some areas.
The dry southeast monsoon season typically lasts from May through October. Temperatures are a little cooler during this period, but rarely drop by more than a couple of degrees.
Generally speaking, the start and end of the dry season offer some of the best conditions for scuba diving, though this does vary considerably depending on the destination, its geography, and the type of diving on offer. If you’re interested in surfing, the wet season delivers the best breaks.