Geography of Papua New Guinea

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The geography of Papua New Guinea describes the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, the islands of New Ireland, New Britain and Bougainville, and smaller nearby islands. Together these make up the nation of Papua New Guinea in tropical Oceania, located at the western edge of the Pacific Ocean.

Papua New Guinea is largely mountainous, and much of it is covered with tropical rainforest. The New Guinea Highlands runs the length of New Guinea, and the highest areas receive snowfall - a rarity in the tropics. Within Papua New Guinea Mount Wilhelm is the highest peak, at 4 509 m. There are several major rivers, notably the Sepik River (1 126 km long), which winds through lowland swamp plains to the north coast, and the Fly River (1 050 km long), which flows through one of the largest swamplands in the world to the south coast. The Highlands consist of a number of smaller ranges running west to east, such as the Finisterre Range which dominates the Huon Peninsula to north of the city of Lae.

Papua New Guinea has one land border - that which divides the island of New Guinea. Across the 820 km border, the western half of New Guinea is officially known as Papua province, governed by Indonesia. There are maritime borders with Australia to the south and Solomon Islands to the southeast.


Physical geography

The island of Papua New Guinea has a total area of 462 840 km², of which 452 860 km² is land and 9 980 km² is water. Its coastline is 5 152 km long.

The northernmost point is Mussau Island (1°23' S), southernmost point is Hemenahei Island (11°29' S), easternmost point is Olava, Bougainville (155°57' E) and the westernmost point is Mabudawan (140°54' E).

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