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Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea essential info

Little-visited Papua New Guinea is a land of pioneering travel: find pristine reefs, highland tribes and jungles bursting with the world's most bizarre birds

Travel in Papua New Guinea: vital statistics

When to go to Papua New Guinea

June to September is the coolest, driest and best time to visit PNG (except in the Lae region, where it will be wet at this time). The heaviest rains fall between December and March; that’s also when the bugs come out.

Papua New Guinea international airport

Port Moresby (POM), 8km from the city.

Getting around in Papua New Guinea

Most visitors use the extensive, expensive internal flight network. Operators include Air Niugini, Airlines PNG and Travel Air. 

Chartering a vehicle is very expensive. Few foreigners use local transportation (called PMVs; usually open-sided trucks/minivans) but for those with high pain thresholds they offer a cheap way of getting around. Travel around the Sepik is by dugout or dinghy.

Papua New Guinea accommodation

Accommodation in Papua New Guinea is cripplingly expensive, especially when compared to nearby Indonesia. Resorts, top-end and mid-range hotels are the norm here.

At the budget end, there are a number of mission guesthouses (run by religious folk who frown upon drinking and smoking), community-run hostels and private guesthouses. Camping is a no-go. For an authentic experience, ask around about accommodation in village houses and stay with the locals.

Papua New Guinea food and drink

Vegetables characterise the countryside diet; sagodominates in the lowlands, kau kau (sweet potato) in the highlands. Dessert might be bananas, papaya and pineapple. Outside city restaurants, meat is rarely eaten, although chicken and pork may be offered to tourists; fish is abundant in the Sepik.

PNG produces coffee although guests tend to be offered Nescafé. Kulau (young coconut milk), drunk from the nut, is widespread. The local beer is SP.

Health and safety in Papua New Guinea

There's a real threat if robbery and theft in Port Moresby and other cities. If using an ATM in Port Moresby, do so in the airport.

Roads are bad, motor accidents common. Tribal fighting can flare in the highlands. The Kokoda Track should not be attempted alone. 

Malaria is a risk as is HIV, TB, typhoid and cholera. Seek medical advice pre travel.

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