The Best Hiking Trails in Papua New Guinea

Photo of Juliette Sivertsen
27 April 2017

Layered in dense rainforests and untouched lands, Papua New Guinea offers hikers wild and extremely remote adventures. The island’s hiking trails will take you far away from western civilisation but leave you among the best of what nature — and history — has to offer.

Kokoda Trail

The Kokoda Trail is perhaps Papua New Guinea’s most famous hiking trail, in part due to its challenging mountainous terrain and dense rainforests, but also because of its wartime history. The 96 kilometre trail will see hikers traverse across the Owen Stanley Ranges through this iconic track, which takes on average around 10 days to complete. The track marks the site of a bloody campaign in World War II, where hundreds of Australians were killed and a thousand wounded by Japanese forces.

Kokoda, Papua New Guinea | © Alistair Kitchen / Flickr

Mt Giluwe

Standing at 4,368m (1,4330ft), Mt Giluwe is Papua New Guinea’s second highest mountain. It’s also the highest volcano in Australasia. Hikers can wind through wild jungles, cross rivers and valleys and trek through grassland, and witness ancient tribes still living in the area, far removed from modern day society.

Hiking Mt Giluwe, Papua New Guinea | © Michal Knitl / Flickr

Mt Wilhelm

Once the peak of Mt Giluwe has been achieved, it’s time to move up to to the tallest peak in Oceania, Mt Wilhelm. Mt Wilhelm is gaining more publicity following targeted campaigns by Papua New Guinea’s tourism agency. The area for the hike is accessible, but it is by no means an easy feat to scale this summit. Guides are recommended.

A lake near Mt Wilhelm, Papua New Guinea | © Michal Knitl / Shutterstock


Goroka is a great base for a number of different hikes ranging from half day to multi day treks. Two excellent hikes from Goroka include Mt Michael and Mt Gahavisuka. Experience and witness remote village life along the way, next to PNG’s incredible natural beauty. Time your treks right and you can return to Goroka for the annual Goroka Show, where over 100 groups and tribes gather for this unique cultural festival.

Papua New Guinea Highlands | © David Bacon / Flickr

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