Travel Alert Status
Level 4: Do Not Travel
UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Papua New Guinea lies wholly within the Tropics, and its climate is monsoonal. The "wet" northwest monsoon season extends from December to March and the "dry" southeast monsoon from May to October. Average annual rainfall is high, ranging from 80 to 100 inches. Although many areas have a wet and dry season, these terms are relative. Even in the so‑called dry season, 2–4 inches of rain per month fall in most areas. Many areas receive more than 200 inches, but a few, like Port Moresby, lie in a rain shadow and receive 40 inches or less annually.
Although tropical, temperatures are not extreme. Most lowland, coastal, and island areas have a daily average temperature of 81°F, and seasonal variations are slight. In the highlands, temperature varies with altitude. At 6,000 feet, the average temperature is 61°F; daytime temperatures rise to 90°F and nighttime temperatures fall between 40°F and 50°F. Lowland humidity is uniformly about 80% with very little seasonal variation. Humidity fluctuates more in the highlands where temperatures are lower.
In Papua New Guinea, languages fall within two basic language stocks: Melanesian and Papuan. English is the official language and is taught in public schools. The language used at home, however, is almost always that of one’s language group. Melanesian Pidgin (Tok Pisin) is the most widely used language. Motu is the most common indigenous language, used primarily in the Papuan region.
Melanesian Pidgin serves as the lingua franca, English spoken by 1%-2%, Motu spoken in Papua region
Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian
Independence Day, 16 September (1975)
6 00 S, 147 00 E
Oceania, group of islands including the eastern half of the island of New Guinea between the Coral Sea and the South Pacific Ocean, east of Indonesia