On safari-- wildlife and nature photos

Niugini Days

Papua New Guinea in the late 1960s, a few short years before it gained independence from Australia...

This is a page about the ordinary people (rather than the wildlife) of that jungled and mountainous nation of Melanesian islands

Approaching the capital, Port   Flying into Port Moresby   Moresby from the Coral Sea

Fading colours and mould spots show the age of the slides scanned for this page. All needed more than usual digital treatment to be shown here. I hope I've done a reasonable job. Please enjoy...point to the small images for captions, then click to enlarge the pictures

The photographs below show the different faces of the pace of change as the country headed towards independence. On one hand, there's the small but busy port and harbour in the heart of the capital and the search for oil a short flight away in the Gulf District. On another, in the same years, Government patrols were still advancing into remote territory in the Western District and making contact with people who hadn't seen Europeans before or had done so only recently. The images taken on patrol were kindly given to me by John Ryan, author of 'The Hot Land'. Again, at the same time, young educated Papua New Guineans were demonstrating their political awareness by protesting about Indonesia's aims in neighboring West Irian
Port Moresby harbour  Searching for oil   Western patrol ŠJohn Ryan  New people ŠJohn Ryan  Political protest

A Highlands Highway accident   Traffic jam on a lifeline   constricts a country's artery

Such a mishap could choke for days the main supply line to the populous and spectacular highlands of Papua New Guinea. There was access by air, but the towns and villages of the high country and their youthful industries and business were very dependent on the single unsealed road from Lae

Goroka Show  Applying face-paint for the show   Highland warrior puts on a show  Highland woman and a cuscus  Long houses for visitors

Each year, people from all over the highlands flocked to the alternating Goroka and Mount Hagen shows, for singing, dancing, competitions, mock battles, trade, and displays of crafts, produce and livestock. The warriors wore elaborate decoration, using material both traditional and modern...such as Bird of Paradise plumes and empty drink cans. Long-houses were specially built for the thousands of visitors

Baiyer River Valley  Western Highlanders

North of Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands lies the beautiful Baiyer River Valley. On the road there, I came across the face of local government, the man on the right proudly wearing his council ward committee badge

Trobriand Islands  Young woman of the Trobriands  Trobriand Islands child

Papua New Guineans rarely seem far from mountains. Those who are include the people of the low-lying Trobriand Islands, in eastern Papua

Close to Port Moresby   Start of the Kokoda Trail   the Kokoda Trail starts

The Kokoda Trail across the Owen Stanley Range is famous for the successful overland defence of Port Moresby in the Second World War. A quarter of a century later, the bustling and growing town was leading hundreds of islands towards nationhood, while close by many rural and semi-urban communities continued a traditional lifestyle...though with some non-traditional materials

Village over water  Papuan village  Floating homes  Traffic duty  Island playground

Where the photos were taken Click on the Maplink to see where the photographs were taken

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