Kiunga Travel Guide

Plan your trip to Kiunga in Papua New Guinea with our comprehensive travel guide featuring things to do, where to go, where to stay, and more.

Introduction to Kiunga

Kiunga is a remote town located in Western Papua New Guinea, known for its abundant wildlife and panoramic views of the Fly River. Tourism in Kiunga is still developing, making it an ideal destination for those seeking an authentic experience away from the crowds. In this guide, we’ll explore the best things to do, places to stay, and places to eat in Kiunga.

List of Places to Visit in Kiunga

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Crater Mountain Cultural Centre: A museum showcasing the history, culture, and customs of the local tribes through artifacts, exhibits, and live performances.
  • Tabubil Cultural Centre: Another museum focused on preserving and promoting cultural heritage in the Western Province.

Natural Attractions of Kiunga: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • The Fly River: Take a boat ride to witness the breathtaking views of the Fly River and its surrounding wildlife, including crocodiles, birds, and monkeys.
  • Obo Wildlife Sanctuary: This protected area within the 10,000-hectare Kiunga-Aiambak Community Conservation Area offers the chance to see Western Papua’s unique flora and fauna up close.
  • Kiunga-Tabubil Highway: A scenic drive through the lush rainforests of Papua New Guinea, offering picturesque views of the landscape and local villages.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Kiunga

  • Bosavi Crater: A challenging hike that takes about six days to complete, beginning in Kiunga and ending in Wau. This trek leads through rainforests and ends at the Bosavi Crater, a caldera that is 1,100m deep.
  • Bismarck Range: This challenging bike and hike trail takes you through the rugged terrain of the Bismarck Range and concludes with a summit day.

Best Things to Do in Kiunga: Activities and Tours

  • Fly River Fishing: Kiunga is known for its excellent fishing, with the Fly River being one of the top locations for fishing enthusiasts to catch species like the Barramundi.
  • Birdwatching: Kiunga’s rainforest ecosystem is home to over 350 species of birdlife, including the beautiful-browed babbler and the black-capped babbler.
  • Kayaking and Rafting: Take on the rapids of the Fly River or enjoy a serene paddle down one of the calmer waterways in the area.
  • Cultural Tour: Experience the rich history and culture of the local tribes by going on one of many cultural tours offered around Kiunga.

Week-Long Itinerary for Kiunga

Day Activities
1 Arrival and check-in at your accommodation
2 Guided tour of Obo Wildlife Sanctuary
3 Hike to Bosavi Crater
4 Fly fishing on the Fly River
5 Cultural tour of the surrounding villages
6 Birdwatching and kayaking/rafting on the Fly River
7 Departure from Kiunga to the next destination

Food and Drink Scene of Kiunga

Must-Try Dishes

  • Mumu: A traditional dish of Papua New Guinea that consists of pork, sweet potato, taro, and vegetables slow-cooked in an underground oven.
  • Sago: A staple food made from sago palm, resembling tapioca in texture.
  • Yam: Another staple food in Kiunga, often served with coconut milk and seafood or pork.

Local Beverages

  • Coffee: Papua New Guinea is known for its high-quality coffee, and Kiunga is no exception.
  • Coconut Water: A refreshing drink that can be found at stalls on the sides of the road, freshly cut from coconuts in the local area.

Where to Stay in Kiunga: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Tabubil Guesthouse: A budget-friendly option located in Tabubil, offering comfortable rooms and basic amenities.
  • Kiunga Guesthouse: A basic and clean guesthouse located in the center of Kiunga.
  • Ok Tedi Mining Village: A comfortable hotel located near the airport, offering well-appointed rooms and a range of facilities.

What to Buy in Kiunga: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Traditional carvings and statues made from wood and clay, reflecting the local culture and art.
  • Sarongs and clothes made from the colorful fabrics of Papua New Guinea.
  • Coffee beans: fresh from the local plantation, Papua New Guinea coffee is highly regarded and a great souvenir to take home.

Local Culture and Customs of Kiunga

  • Respect the local customs and follow the local dress codes: Men should wear long pants and no sleeveless shirts, while women are advised to wear dresses or skirts that go below their knees and cover their shoulders.
  • Greet the locals: A simple “hello” or “good morning” can go a long way in making friends during your visit.

Best Time to Visit Kiunga

The best time to visit Kiunga is during the dry season, which lasts from June to September. This is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and kayaking. Keep in mind that Kiunga can be very hot and humid during the wet season. It generally runs from November through March.

Do’s and Don’ts of Kiunga


  • Carry sunscreen, insect repellent, and enough water to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Dress conservatively and show respect for the local customs and beliefs.
  • Try local dishes and drinks to experience the unique flavor of Papua New Guinea.
  • Always greet the locals and be open to learning about their culture and customs.


  • Take pictures of the locals without their permission.
  • Enter a village without permission from the traditional local leaders.
  • Litter or pollute the environment.

Safety and Health

Safety in Kiunga

Kiunga is generally a safe destination for travelers. However, visitors should still take necessary precautions to ensure their safety. The region is remote, so visitors should be cautious when venturing out on their own. Visitors should also be aware of the dangers of wildlife, including crocodiles, snakes, and other dangerous animals.

Health in Kiunga

Before traveling to Kiunga, visitors are advised to get vaccinated for yellow fever and Hepatitis A & B. Mosquitos carry malaria, so it is also recommended that you take an anti-malaria medication before your trip. Visitors should also bring along a first-aid kit and be careful to avoid dehydration in the hot weather. It is always a good idea to consult a doctor before traveling to Papua New Guinea.

Getting to Kiunga: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Kiunga

Kiunga Airport serves as the main air gateway to the region. There are daily flights from Port Moresby to Kiunga Airport operated by Air Niugini.

Bus Stations Near Kiunga

Kiunga can be accessed via an extensive network of buses connecting Kiunga to other destinations in Papua New Guinea. However, as the journey is lengthy and requires multiple transfers, it is not recommended.

Other Options

Frequent ferry services to and from Kiunga are also available. Visitors can also opt to hire private cars or take a shared taxi to Kiunga from nearby towns and cities in Papua New Guinea.

How to Get Around in Kiunga

The best way to navigate Kiunga is by hiring a local guide or using a car for hire service. Bikes and motorcycles are also available for rent, for those who love to explore on their own.

Where to Go Next from Kiunga: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Mount Wilhelm: The tallest mountain in Papua New Guinea, with its summit standing at 4,509 meters above sea level.
  • Port Moresby: The bustling capital city of Papua New Guinea, offering cultural and historical sites, shopping, and dining.
  • Kokoda Trail: A historic trek popular among trekkers and those interested in World War II history.


Kiunga is a gateway to the vast and beautiful Western Province of Papua New Guinea, with its stunning landscapes, unique wildlife, and intriguing culture. With this comprehensive guide, you should have an idea of what to expect, where to go, what to see, and what to eat during your visit. We hope this guide has helped you plan the perfect trip to Kiunga.