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Oceania > Papua New Guinea > Madang-Morobe > Wau (Papua New Guinea)
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Wau is a city in the Morobe province of Papua New Guinea.


Wau is at an altitude of around 1,100m. Together with nearby Bulolo, it was the site of a Gold Rush during the 1920s and 1930s. During WW2, the Battle of Wau, in January 1943, was where the Australian Army stopped an advance by the Japanese. While most of the gold has been extracted, industrial gold mining continues at two locations and locals continue to pan for gold.

Get in

Wau is connected by road to Papua New Guinea's second largest city, Lae.

There are three flights a week from the capital Port Moresby to neighbouring Bulolo on Airlines PNG.

Get around


  • Wau Ecology Institute. Not really geared up for tourists, but if you have travelled all the way there they will probably let you look around. Impressive museum with, among other things, an amazing collection of stick insects.


  • The Black Cat trail. goes from Wau to Salamaua on the north coast. Some of the bloodiest battles of WW2 in Papua New Guinea were fought along the trail between the Japanese and Allied Forces. Trekking this trail takes four to five days, involving 8-9 hours walking each day, so you have to be fit. Accommodation is in local villages. There are many remnants of the war along the track. Live munitions, plane wrecks, and huge bomb craters can be seen. There is also an abundance of magnificent flora and fauna. The trip ends with a rafting trip down the Francisco River to Salamaua. Trips are organized by PNG Trekking [1].
  • The Bulldog Trail. This trail is only now being commercially developed and the villagers along the trail have had little exposure to trekkers to date. There was fierce fighting between Lae and Wau between the Japanese and the Allies and Australian troops were supplied by porters carrying food and munitions to Wau from Port Moresby along the Bulldog Trail. This trek is for experts only and can also be organized by PNG Trekking [2].






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