Mapping a route through Papua New Guinea

One of the issues we’re facing as we make plans to head for Papua New Guinea is how to choose a path that is sensible and safe. While it’s unfair to make the blanket statement that the country should be avoided, there are clearly places here where we do not want to go- it has earned a reputation as a dangerous country.

In an effort to begin planning to point us on a safe path, I’ve been putting a Google map together, and finding it very helpful for visualization.

View PNG Routing in a larger map

The warning signs are documented incidents of a serious nature in places that we will avoid. Unfortunately, there is violent crime in many parts of the country. The red pins are for “coconut telegraph” reports of places to avoid for less serious reasons (petty theft or harassment, or unsubstantiated suggestions to avoid a locale). The balance of the pins are for places that other cruisers have visited and reported upon positively.

You can view the dynamic map here. If any of our blog readers have information to share that can add to this map, please send it via email (see the Get In Touch! tab) or post to the comments.

Anyone can edit this map! If you’d like to help, send me a note and I’ll give you access to add details directly.

Eventually, I’d like to add more detail to this: using more consistent color coding and references in the pins to help identify comment sources or additional details. There are just a few more pressing things to do at the moment!

Because the details in this map can be exported in a .kml file and viewed with Google Earth, we’ll be able to reference this even when we have long since left the land of internet. I’m hoping it will be a helpful reference that others can build on and benefit from as well.

Updated in 2013 with actual map instead of a screenshot. Map is updated with pins at places we stopped. There are comments in the pins as well. Note: pins are not waypoints- they are general locations for visualizing a route! We do have waypoints / tracks for cruisers, just get in touch.

5 Responses

  1. Hi,

    We’re a kid boat from Seattle (S/V Madrona) thinking of PNG, Indonesia and Malaysia ourselves. Right now we are in Fiji. Your PNG map is a good resource. Thanks.

    Where do you anticipate spending hurricane season?


    Owen, Carrie, Tamsyn & Griffyn

  2. aloha Madrona crew! We’re not sure yet. We will probably start cyclone season in PNG (there’s no risk in most of the country). Then, we might head up to the Philippines via Yap and Palau. Or, we might go straight to Indonesia. Different weather issues and pros/cons with each. More explanation than fits into a comment here! Where do you expect to finish this season? We’d love to trade info with you! Please drop us an email, see “Get in Touch” link from the top of the blog.

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