• Solomon Islands!

    Solomon Islands: Looking up at palm trees. Go Now!

    Solomon Islands
    This Melanesian country is best known for its many islands and beaches... and this natural landscape (pictured) is why most people go. Don't miss out on the unique Melanesian culture and foods though! Begin Your Journey!

  • Tonga!

    Tonga: Coastline. Go Now!

    The heart of Polynesian culture is rooted in Tonga, but most visitors just come for the natural beauty. Explore Tonga!

  • Vanuatu!

    Vanuatu: Jetty into the ocean. Go Now!

    Picturesque serenity is a good way to describe Vanuatu, but the culture offers much more, including the inspiration for bungee jumping, which remains a rite of passage for young men. Explore Vanuatu!

  • Palau!

    Palau: "70 Islands!" Go Now!

    Few people have even heard of this small Micronesian country, but those who have often return with stories of beauty unmatched elsewhere, such as view of the "70 Islands" (pictured). Go Now!

  • Explore the: Federated States of Micronesia!

    Federated States of Micronesia: Overlooking some islands. Go Now!

    Federated States of Micronesia
    This diverse country stretches for thousands of miles and has the diversity to prove it, including the people from Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Yap among others. Begin Your Journey!

  • Samoa!

    Samoa: A traditional home. Go Now!

    Among the most famous of the South Pacific's many countries, Samoa sits in the heart of Polynesia and has a culture to match. Begin Your Journey!

Architecture of Papua New Guinea

Most of the people in historic Papua New Guinea lived along the coasts so it's not a surprise that life revolved around the water and the housing matched this lifestyle. Most of the region's earliest architecture is in the form of stilt houses standing over the water. These were generally very simple in design and style as men tended to live in one house while women and children often lived in a separate house.

As people moved inland they generally remained divided by sex, but houses grew in size and design. Although many were still built on stilts, whether that meant stilts over a river or lake or just on land.

With the arrival of the Europeans a number of things quickly changed in Papua New Guinea, most noticeably with the types of building materials, techniques, and types of construction. These changes often times led to stronger, and longer lasting houses, while introducing new types of buildings, most notably in the form of churches and schools, most commonly found in urban centers that had a strong European influence.

As more Europeans settled the region and cities, such as Port Moresby, they began to expand in the European style. Houses, churches, and other buildings in Port Moresby and other large cities were built almost entirely in the European styles.

Over time the construction in these cities has been slightly altered. Although they continue to use modern materials and techniques, most of the stylistic elements and designs have been removed to save money. Today many of the housing structures in Papua New Guinea are simple grey block buildings and plain office buildings dominate cityscapes. Fortunately, other constructions are noteworthy. Parliament House is perhaps the best example of a building that combines local culture and design with European elements.

This page was last updated: February, 2013