"3 Years Living in Papua New Guinea" Top 5 Page for this destination Papua New Guinea by Bwana_Brown

Papua New Guinea Travel Guide: 592 reviews and 1,318 photos

I spent 3 years in Papua New Guinea from 1979-1982 with my family while I was working with the Papua New Guinea Electricity Commission. My job gave me the opportunity to travel throughout the country as I dealt with various problems at the many isolated diesel and hydro-electric power stations. PNG is a very diverse country with tropical beaches, snow-capped mountains, rain forest, volcanoes, numerous islands and big rivers. Most trips were done by flying out of Port Moresby on twin-engine propeller-driven Fokker F-27s with a switch to Toyota Land Cruisers once the destination was reached. Most of the country was constantly hot (usually low 30s C) and humid, except in the Highlands where it was quite comfortable. I had been looking for another tropical job overseas, and decided to try for one in PNG after seeing and applying for an ad in the back of an electrical power magazine. Although I was really enjoying my electric power job in New Brunswick, Canada, my wife and I felt the need for another adventure after our Africa days! Only later did I find out that the saying is that any white man who goes to PNG is either a missionary, a mercenary or a misfit! You figure it out! The following commentary is based on our experiences during our stay. The photo is of two women on their rounds in the mountainous Highlands in the central part of the country, near Goroka. I have added Travelogues describing my visit to a 1930's-vintage gold mining operation near Lae as well as on our first few months in PNG, a family trip into the Highlands mountain region of the country and also various World War 2 sites that I was amazed to come across!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:An Experience of a Lifetime!
  • Cons:Hot, Humid and Isolated
  • In a nutshell:I was lucky - it was an amazing 3 years in that era!
  • Last visit to Papua New Guinea: Jun 1982
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (24)

Comments (121)

  • Paul2001's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    This is a fascinating page. I have a friend who attempted to live there. He was an anthropologist and he had to leave because his funding ran out and the political situation grew sour. I think the country is currently in a very troubled state. Otherwise I would love to visit.

    • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
      Jan 20, 2014 at 5:08 AM

      Hello Paul, it is good to hear from you again! Thanks for your comment on my PNG page. Yes,the situation there has deteriorated quite badly in recent years (reportedly now one of the worst in the world) - it was not too bad when I was there in 1979-1982 trying to keep the lights on all over the country. I will say that it was a very interesting experience for me and the family!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    An interesting, informative page. Live close by, and still haven't been!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 12, 2009 at 8:20 AM

    Wow, three years in Papua New Guinea! Fascinating tips and travelogues!

  • ranger49's Profile Photo
    Sep 8, 2009 at 4:30 AM

    Thanks to Arthur Mee's encyclopedia for kids I had a passion for all things to do with PNG. Rekindled now by news of "Darwinian" finds in Mt Bosavi Crater. Thanks for your great pages!

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Apr 14, 2009 at 3:22 AM

    Excellent overview of Papua New Guinea. Your tips on warnings or dangers and tourist traps must be taken seriously by any foreign tourist visiting the country. Thanks for sharing. ~ho & pang

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Dec 28, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    Hi,shame!I will just have to keep coming back to see PNG here in your pgs!Yes the news there before i left for the UK was too much unrest & too many volatile characters about then.We knew a nbr of people who also workd there but were moving back home.

  • janiebaxter's Profile Photo
    May 26, 2008 at 4:23 AM

    Hi Glenn, This has been on my wish list for a long time - these pages make me want to go even more!

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo
    Jan 12, 2008 at 3:42 PM

    Papua is on my near future destination list ! It is a fascinating country and your memories make me dream a bit more! Merci Glen. Ah: let’s nywa pombe baridi, as you are also an « old » east African !

  • aloha088's Profile Photo
    Jan 4, 2008 at 4:00 PM

    jambo bwana! thank you for your very interesting page! love your local customs capter about the language :-)

  • shelnlin's Profile Photo
    Nov 6, 2007 at 11:14 PM

    Thank you for a wonderful read! I loved your write up as it felt as if you were talking to me as you described everything, I loved your photos too. Best wishes from NZ! ;-D

Bwana_Brown Used To Live Here!


“Don`t sweat the small stuff”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 1 3
Forum Rank:
0 3 5 5 5

Badges & Stats in Papua New Guinea

  • 180 Reviews
  • 228 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 68,719PageViews
  • 17 Cities

Have you been to Papua New Guinea?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in Papua New Guinea

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)