Agents photograph Papua New Guinea

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600 islands, 800 known languages and three words - Papua New Guinea.

Situated on the second biggest island in the world (behind Greenland), PNG is a country that has to be seen to be believed.

Last year Travel Weekly ran a picture competition that let five photography-crazed travel agents to do exactly that, and experience PNG in all it's glory.

The group was lucky enough to interact with and photograph its raging rivers, massive mountains, stunning seas, wonderful wildlife, jaw-dropping jungles & perplexing people.

The results of their trip are displayed over the next four pages in a special, bumper edition of Lightroom.

But this is only the breathtaking tip of the iceberg.

In all the group shot over 12,000 pictures.

During their trip they ventured deep into the rainforests, where 38 of the 42 species of Birds of Paradise are found.

They flew on light aircraft into remote regions to visit traditional tribes, touching down on some of the 492 landing strips in PNG, many nothing more than neatly cut patches of grass.

"PNG is a culturally fascinating country with some of the happiest and most welcoming people that I have ever had the pleasure to meet."

- Maria Rainone, TravelManagers/The Adventure Travel Company

"Colourful, friendly and with so much variety, PNG is a fantastic destination for those who wish to go off the beaten track: explorers, photographers and adventurers."

- Peter Curilla, The Perfect Wave

"This is an exotic and raw place, blessed with warm people, breathtaking scenery and unique wildlife. It's like a rough diamond, beautiful and waiting to be discovered."

- Tennille Schell, Traveledge Holidays

"It's a land of beautiful smiling faces, colourful diverse cultures and vast natural landscapes."

- Rob Nicholls, safari-holidays.com.au

"Leave your preconceptions at home and travel into the remote areas to enjoy PNG's fascinating rural-based culture and tribal society - Let the people show you their way of life for experiences you won't forget."

- Graham Habgood, Sid Foggs Travel World