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Madang

Bismarck Sea in Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Sea in Papua New Guinea

Madang, capital of Madang Province on the north coast of Papua New Guinea, is often referred to as the 'prettiest town in the Pacific' – not least because of its location on a peninsula, surrounded by azure waters and the most picturesque islands.

Despite suffering war-time devastation, Madang has retained much of its natural charm, and has an abundance of pleasant parks with water-lily filled ponds. The town has a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere, and the thriving, friendly market at its centre is well worth visiting. One truly unmissable sight are the huge Casuarina Trees that tower over the streets, and the colonies of Flying Foxes that live in their branches.

The fascinating Madang Museum has many cultural exhibits, and while the 30m-high Coastwatchers Memorial Beacon is impressive but not particularly attractive, the 3km beachfront road next to it offers a pleasant walk with views across Astrolabe Bay. The coast to the north has beautiful beaches lined with palm trees and they provide access to some of the most spectacular diving in the world.

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