"Remote Vanimo" Vanimo by Bwana_Brown

Vanimo Travel Guide: 5 reviews and 26 photos

I had three trips to this remote provincial capital on the northwest coast of Papua New Guinea, in the course of my work related to fixing up various problems at this one of many isolated diesel generating stations (see my 'General Tips' for an overview map). This particular view of the town was taken from the peak at the end of the narrow spit of land on which Vanimo was built. In the distance is part of the long runway used by both twin-engine jets and other aircraft to link the town to the outside world. The curve of one of the beaches with its palm trees can also be seen and the white blob to the right is the beach hotel that I usually frequented. Extensive logging has sprung up in the nearby mainland jungles in recent years, and this has contributed to an influx of industrial workers.

Although I found Vanimo to be a quiet little spot, with not very much tourist traffic, things are not quite as they necessarily seem. The political situation on the Indonesian side of the border has been volatile over the last few decades as the Indonesian government exerted increasing control over the black-skinned Melanesian people on their half of the island of New Guinea. The result was a wave of immigrants to the PNG side, starting in 1976 and rising again in 1984 and 2000 as independence movements attempted to block the exploitation of the timber and mining resources. Generally, the PNG government has treated the immigrants well and has provided settlement camps for them. Since my business trips were not far-ranging outside of the town, I did not directly experience any of this aspect of life here.

When the political situation is calm, it is possible to arrange trips across the border for the 3-hour drive to Jayapura, the large (about twice as big as the PNG capital of Port Moresby) and interesting city on the Indonesian side.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Some Quiet Spots Along the Beaches Here
  • Cons:Not Much to Do
  • Last visit to Vanimo: May 1982
  • Intro Updated Aug 17, 2005
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Reviews (2)

Comments (3)

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2008 at 3:27 AM

    Another of those fascinating places, Glenn! Without roads to the rest of PNG, presumably supplies came by plane or the occasional boat?

  • traveldave's Profile Photo
    Jul 9, 2007 at 10:03 AM

    This place is definitely well off the beaten path, but a beautiful place nevertheless.

  • acemj's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2005 at 4:24 PM

    So, how are they recovering from the '98 tsunami?


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