Papua New Guinea (PNG), the second largest island in the world and Australia’s closest neighbour, is a largely untouched surf destination where waves remain uncrowded and pristine.
It offers warm, clear waters with a range of different breaks to conquer and the surfing experience is complemented by the rich and diverse traditional culture of the PNG people.
Surf season kicks off in November and runs through until the end of April, so where do you find the best surf break?
We’ve listed three of the best places to stay in the top surf locations in PNG:
1. Tupira Surf Club, Madang
Tupira Surf Club is located in the Madang province two hours’ drive from Madang Airport and is the first and only surf club of this picturesque area.
If you’re looking for uncrowded breaks and an opportunity to immerse yourself in a friendly culture, Tupira is definitely worth a look. Check out Ulingan Bay, which offers some of PNG’s most consistent swells and with half a dozen accessible breaks within short travel by boat or car from Tupira Surf Club crowding is not an issue.
2. Nusa Island Retreat, Kavieng
Head to the friendly and safe province of New Ireland and discover the environmentally low-impact Nusa Island Retreat, only a couple of minutes boat ride from the capital of Kavieng.
Surrounded by an unspoilt natural playground, Nusa Island Retreat is a real change from your conventional holiday destinations.
This retreat, owned by an Australian family who have lived in PNG for more than 30 years collectively, share a love of surfing and are passionate about finding their guests the best surf spots in the area.
The local island community understand and appreciate the support surf tourism generates and extends a friendly welcome to all travellers.
3. Vanimo Surf Lodge
If you’re after variety, Vanimo Surf Lodge is the place to go, especially if you’re looking for quiet location. Located near the Indonesian territory border of the West Sepik province, Vanimo offers the opportunity to meet local surfers, discover their culture as well as catch a wave with them.
The breaks are really accessible either on foot or by boat, not far from the traditional beachfront hut accommodation. The surf here is so good that even on the edge of surf season, in October and May – you’ve got a good chance of catching a few waves.
The secret to PNG’s surf paradise
PNG really does have some of the world’s best swells, perfect for surfing, so how is it, unlike other popular surf spots around the world, these waves remain un-spoilt and without the crowds? It’s thanks to the Surf Management Plan (SMP) that was put into place by the Surf Association of PNG (SAPNG).
Basically, surfers are required to pay a small fee to surf in PNG and this money goes back into the local surfing community to assist with anything the village needs, meaning surf tourism is benefiting the local people.
As well as this, bookings at each surf holiday location are limited, restricting the amount of people permitted on a wave at any one time, which means you’re not fighting crowds for the best waves.
PNG surf holiday providers can advise on the SMP fee and how to make the payment.
Click here for more information on surfing in PNG.
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