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Old 10-03-2002, 11:00 AM
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Geography, just where is Papua New Guinea

GEOGRAPHY

Papua New Guinea lies between longitudes 141 and 160 East and latitudes 1 and 12 South. It consists of a mainland and a collection of islands of varying sizes. Papua New Guinea forms the eastern part of the island of New Guinea, the worlds second largest island after Greenland. The western part is the Indonesian Province of Irian Jaya (formerly Dutch New Guinea). The island as a whole has an area of 868,000 sq km, of which 474,000 sq km is part of Papua New Guinea.

Of the total land are of 474,000 sq km, 85 percent is on the mainland the remainder on some 600 islands. Of these, New Britain, New Ireland and Manus are the largest of the Bismark Archipelago and Buka and Bougainville of the Solomons group.

The dominant feature of the country is the central spine, a complex of high mountain ranges interested by alpine valleys and many plateaus. This spine runs from east to west, in the Indonesia Province of Irian Jaya, and rises steeply from the coastal and river plains to its north and south. Its width varies from 240 km at its centre to 100 km at each of its extremities. The average height of the mountains is 3000 metres, the highest being Mt Wilhelm which stands 4706 metres above sea level.
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