Papua New Guinea lies just south of the equator and 100 miles north of Australia. The western Pacific island nation occupies roughly 178,703 square miles and borders Indonesia to the east.
The terrain of more than 600 islands of Papua New Guinea includes a combination of jungles, mountains and swamplands. The land is divided into 4 regions of 22 provinces and the National Capital District of Port Moresby. The nearly seven million residents of Papua New Guinea speak more than 800 indigenous languages. Papua New Guinea gained independence from Australia in 1975; the economy is bolstered by oil, gold, copper ore and log exports.