- Air connections - Papua New Guinea’s national airline carrier, Air Niugini, flies direct to Papua New Guinea from Australia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan and the Solomon Islands. Another operator, Airlines PNG, is also operating services from Brisbane and Cairns in Australia to Papua New Guinea. As all international flights only go to Port Moresby at present, it is necessary to get a connection to Alotau. Discussions are currently underway however to operate direct flights to Alotau from Cairns. See the Air Niguini or Airlines PNG websites for schedules and bookings.
- Visas - Visitors must have a valid passport or internationally recognised travel document valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of entry into Papua New Guinea. We recommend applying for the 60-day tourist visa upon arrival at Jackson’s airport in Port Moresby. At the time of writing the cost of the visa was K100. It is best to bring this with you from home, however, during weekdays you can also convert currency at the exchange bureau in the Port Moresby international terminal. Make sure you also bring a few passport photos
The wet season in Papua New Guinea is roughly between December and March, and the dry season is from May to October. In Milne Bay however, the patterns are almost reversed, with the wet season being from May to October, and November to January being mostly dry. In Milne Bay, April to June is the least windy period, with the northern Australia and Coral Sea cyclone season impacting upon Milne Bay from December to March, although the Bay area is usually calm.
It is recommended that you take out travel insurance before you depart. Make sure your policy covers game fishing, and any other activities you wish to undertake whilst in Papua New Guinea. It is also a good idea to make sure your policy is able to pay doctors or hospitals directly as most doctors in PNG often expect to be paid in cash upfront.
Regardless of your destination, the World Health Organisation recommends that all travelers be covered for diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and polio. Other specific vaccinations required when traveling to Papua New Guinea include yellow fever (if you are entering from a yellow fever endemic country), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid fever and Japanese B encephalitis.
The currency of Papua New Guinea is kina (K), where 100 toea make 1 kina.
Exchange rates (Saturday 01/10/2016)
The Bank of South Pacific (BSP), ANZ, and Westpac can be found in Port Moresby and some of the larger cities around Papua New Guinea. Alotau has only only two banks, Westpac and BSP. In the Westpac and BSP Bank, Visa and Mastercard are accepted as part of the Cirrus, Maestro and Plus networks. Some of the larger hotels and businesses in town also accept credit cards. Whilst travellers’ cheques are accepted, it takes more time for processing, and hefty charges apply.
Public telephones can be found in all major centres around Papua New Guinea with phone cards (telikads) able to be bought in most supermarkets and stores.
All mobile networks provide competative prepaid and post paid voice and data plans for GSM phones.
The time in Papua New Guinea is 10 hours ahead of UTC (GMT). At 12.00pm noon in Papua New Guinea, it will be 12.00pm noon in Sydney, 11.00am in Japan, and 9.00pm in New York on the previous day. Papua New Guinea does not have daylight saving (summer time).
Papua New Guinea is home to a number of unique arts and crafts which includes such things as wooden ‘story boards’ and masks from the Sepik, woven ‘billums’ (bags) from the Highlands, and pandanas leaf mats and baskets from Milne Bay. Most local markets, hotels and lodges will be selling handicrafts.