PNG General Info

Tourism Websites:
Lonely Planet about PNG










The following information has been extracted from the website “The Economist: Intelligence Unit”

Basic data

Land area: 462,840 sq km

Population: 7.1m (2011 preliminary census figures, National Statistical Office)

Major islands: New Britain, New Ireland, Manus, Bougainville

Population (2000 census):

Port Moresby (capital) 254,000

Lae 79,000

Madang 29,000

Mount Hagen 28,000

Rabaul 24,000

Wewak 20,000

Goroka 20,000

Climate: Tropical

Weather in Port Moresby (sea level): Hottest month, December, 24-32°C (average daily minimum and maximum); coldest month, August, 23-28°C; driest month, August, 18 mm average rainfall; wettest month, February, 193 mm average rainfall



The following information has been extracted from the PNG Tourism Website:

People & Papua New Guinea Culture 


The people are largely descendants of the Papuans – Melanesiansinclude island countries as Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Today there are 5,130,560 people living in Papua New Guinea – more than a third of them in the rugged Highlands. The traditional Melanesian cultures are kept alive in elaborate rituals that accompany deaths, feasts, marriages, compensation ceremonies and initiation rites.

Variations in village construction, dialect and dress are common in country areas while annual Sing Sing shows, part of the Papua New Guinea Cultural Events Calendar, see villagers from around the country demonstrate their singing, dancing and elaborate bilas (traditional costumes). The shows at Goroka and Mount Hagen are among the country’s most impressive, attracting thousands of spectators to Papua New Guinea each year.  Our selection of vibrant cultural Papua New Guinea images show these fantastic costumes.

More than 800 local languages (in addition to many minor dialects) exist in Papua New Guinea – about a third of the world’s indigenous tongues. Pidgin (Tok Pisin) is common to most Papua New Guineans, and learning a few words can be handy, especially when travelling in more remote areas.

English Tok Pisin
Yes Yes
No Nogat
Good morning Monin
Good night Gut nait
Thank you Tenkiu
How much does it cost? Em hamas? / Hamas long em?
I would like to buy Mi laik baim
Where is the toilet? Toilet istap weh?
Please help me Halivim mi, plis
I do not like it Mi no laikim
Where are we going? Yumi go weh?
Food or to eat Kai kai
What is your name? Wanem nem bilong yu?
Where are you from? Yu bilong weh?
Hospital Haus sik
May I take a photo? Inap mi kisim piksa?

Village Life
Many people still live in small villages making a living from subsistence agriculture or specializing as gardeners, fishers, hunters or craftspeople; women are responsible for daily household and village work, while men take care of hunting, trade and warfare. Taking a Papua New Guinea tour to stay in a village is a wonderful way to learn more about the local culture and lifestyle, during your Papua New Guinea holiday. However, remember to be respectful of local customs and religious beliefs, and do not wander off alone – always take a local guide with you. Most land is owned by a community or village, which means visitors will need to ask for permission to enter.
General Information About Papua New Guinea

The currency is the PNG Kina, with daily exchange rates listed in banks, newspapers and at Papua New Guinea hotel accommodation properties. Papua New Guinea’s currency is the Kina which is divided into 100 toea. K100, K50, K20, K10, K5 and K2 notes and a K1 coin are in circulation.

Money can be exchanged at Jackson’s Airport.  Travellers’ cheques and international credit cards are accepted in major hotels and restaurants and some shops or can be cashed at banks throughout the country, which are open from 9.00am to 3.00pm Monday – Thursdays and 9.00 – 4.00pm on Fridays.

Value Added Tax (VAT)
All transactions within Papua New Guinea’s hotels, restaurants and bars are subject to 10% tax which is included in published prices.

Credit Cards
Port Moresby hotels, restaurants, shops, rental car companies, Papua New Guinea tours and cruise operators and travel agents accept most major credit cards including Amex, Diners, Master Cards and Visa Cards.


More than 800 distinct languages are spoken in Papua New Guinea. Melanesian Pidgin and Hiri Motu are the two most widely used, although English is the official language in education, businesses and government circles.

Looking at the Papua New Guinea map, we can see that it lies just south of the Equator and 160km to the north of Australia. With a total land mass of about, the country encompasses the eastern side of New Guinea Island – the second largest island in the world, plus some 600 other islands, atolls and coral reefs and more than 800 indigenous languages (tok ples), and is home to the largest area of intact rainforest outside of the amazon.

Vast tracts of the country are wild and undeveloped, with magnificent scenery that ranges from pristine coral atolls to volcanic mountains, dense tropical rainforest and large rivers. The mainland is divided by the Owen Stanley Range, a massive central spike with peaks towering over 4,000m. Great rivers begin their journey to the sea from these mountains, among them the mighty Sepik River, one of the world’s longest waterways.

Beneath the mountain chain, fertile coastal plains, flooded delta regions and mangrove swamps exist alongside broad sandy beaches and sheltered bays. The rugged mountain terrain and deep cave systems offer wonderful adventure opportunities for walkers, cavers and climbers. There is canoeing, kayaking and fishing on the river and delta system. PNG also enjoys some of the world’s best diving, around its warm coastal waters, with striking coral reefs around the mainland coast and the islands of the Bismarck Sea and the Milne Bay area.



Safety & Health in Papua New Guinea

The PNG Tourism industry has taken a highly coordinated approach to safety and security, working with various law enforcement agencies in order to provide a strong framework for ensuring that safety and security is always paramount.

Papua New Guinea cannot be isolated with regards to the safety and security issues that are faced everyday. It is just like any other country around the world, where safety can be an issue and security issues can be pinpointed to only one area within the country – but everywhere else you travel within the country, it is often safe, secure and full of happy Papua New Guineans.

While it is always advisable to take safety precautions, the destination is usually filled with smiles all around and friendly people. For all our visitors, we always advise them that common sense must prevail at all times when visiting areas around Papua New Guinea.

Guides & Safety 
It is advisable to use a local guide when exploring. They know the tok ples ( local language), and will know the places you can safely visit. Common sense should always prevail- try to avoid secluded areas, always stay with your possessions and don’t walk alone at night.

Medivac Pacific Services provides emergency medical services: Port Moresby Ph: +675 323 5626. For 24-hour emergency Ph: +675 76835227 or +675 76831818. Port Moresby only: Police 112, fire 110/002 and St John Ambulance 111

Health Regulations 
Certification or vaccination against yellow fever or cholera is required for travelers over one year of age, coming from or through infected areas. Malaria is the only serious health risk in Papua New Guinea. Visitors are strongly advised to consult their local doctor or tropical disease clinic to commence anti-malarial preparations before arrival in PNG. Use insect repellents. Water quality is within World Health Organisation standards in most towns; however, bottled water is available and in rural areas it is advisable to boil water at all times. Dental, doctor and hospital services are available in all major centres. Another health risk is teh HIV virus, which is a worldwide concern. Please look after yourself.


Getting In and Around Papua New Guinea

Jackson’s International Airport is the official gateway into Papua New Guinea, situated about 8km away from the main town center of Port Moresby. The airport itself has the Domestic Airport and terminal adjacently connected (500 metres apart) to the International terminal to make connecting flights to domestic airports easy and within time.

Arriving visitors to Papua New Guinea who have successfully cleared Customs and have immediate connections to other destinations within Papua New Guinea are advised to go straight to the Domestic Transfer Counters within the International Check-In counters for an onward boarding pass to their destination, before proceeding to the Domestic Lounge for boarding.

Jacksons International Airport provides duty free services and shopping for departing visitors, and transit lounges are also provided for transit passengers to other international destinations.

Air Niugini
Since its inception in the 1973 as the national airline of Papua New Guinea, Air Niugini is the longest serving airline in Papua New Guinea. With 20 international offices and including GSA offices, Air Niugini provides international flights as well as domestic connections within Papua New Guinea, with domestic offices around the country. Air Niugini services a fleet of aircrafts that include B767, Q400, F100, Dash 8’s and newly included Q4000 series aircrafts, and has an excellent safety record in Papua New Guinea. Visit the for more information.

Airlines PNG
Airlines PNG operates a fleet of 18 aircrafts consisting of De Havilland Dash 8 and Twin Otter aircrafts. It has offices in Australia (Cairns & Brisbane) and domestic sales offices in Port Moresby and Lae. Airlines of PNG provide a strong domestic route within the rugged terrain of PNG and provide charters as well as medivac services. The airline has now expanded their domestic services around Papua New Guinea to include the new guinea islands sector and internationally to Cairns and Brisbane. Visit the website for more information on flight schedules and bookings.

Virgin Australia
Virgin Australia has entered the market by providing an alternative to the travelling public in Papua New Guinea as well as our visiting travellers. Virgin Australia operates a B737 with four flights to PNG every week from Brisbane and continues to be an aviation competitor in Papua New Guinea. For bookings visit their website

QantasLink a regional brand of Qantas operates three flights to Papua New Guinea’s Jackson International airport from Cairns, Australia using its 74-seat Q400 aircraft. For more information on flight schedules and bookings visit the QantasLink website at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *