Home Forums General Forums News Key Facts On Port Moresby

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    Often trekkers who have never been to PNG before ask many questions about life up here and so on. I have listed various subject matters below so that you satisfy some of your concerns. Law and order is often the first item on your list.

    Whilst we all know we have to live by common sense rules here in PNG, I as a female have lived and worked here since 1972 so it cant be that BAD! Just make sure you ask what you can and cannot do and we will do our utmost to keep you safe in and around Port Moresby. Out on the Kokoda Trail not one incident that I am aware of during the whole of 2005.

    Now for various subject matters:

    Getting Around

    Jackson Airport is located 11 km from the centre of Port Moresby. The international Terminal offers duty free shopping, care hire and foreign exchange facilities. Taxis are available from the international terminal and domestic terminal. Most hotels provide courtesy transfer buses. Please confirm when reserving your accommodation. Public Motor Vehicle (PMV) operates city routes at a cost of 70 toea per trip. (This method is ok but not recommended unless you have a group of our porters with you).

    In PNG locals start counting from the CBD. 1 mile, 2 mile, 3 mile etc….when you get to the airport it is 7 mile. The Gateway Hotel & The Airways are located at 7 mile and so on.

    When possible try and book a 'Scarlet Taxi' as your first preference. They are superior in quality much cleaner and newer.



    Useful Phone Numbers

    Air Niugini – General Information (675) 327 3409
    Airlines of PNG – (675) 325 2011 – ask for operations for flight info
    Reservations & Confirmations (675) 327 3555 (Domestic)
    Reservations & Confirmations (675) 3273444 ( International)
    Qantas- General Information 180 1222
    Police 000
    Fire 000
    Ambulance (675) 325 6822
    Tourism Promotion Authority (675) 320 0211
    Kokoda Trekking (675) 325 4423 or 323 6650 – Email contact: gail@pngbd.com




    Papua New Guinea currency is the Kina which is divided into 100 toea. Most international currency and travellers? cheques are accepted by banks and hotels. Banks can be found in all the major centres. Major credit cards are also accepted at most of the hotels, restaurants and travel agencies.

    A branch of the Bank of South Pacific is open for business at Port Moresby?s International terminal for currency exchange at arrival and departure times of all international flights . Westpac and ANZ have ATM facilities for credit and debit cards – withdrawals are in local currency. Check with your financial provider to ensure that you are able to use ATMs in PNG.

    A lot of trekkers head down to Anderson's Supermarket situated near the Royal Papuan Yacht Club in Port Moresby to get out extra cash.

    Banking hours: Monday to Thursday 9.00am – 3.00pm , Friday 9.00am – 4.00pm

    CLICK HERE for daily updates on our http://www.pngbd.com website from three major banks:



    Customs and Quarantine

    Adults (18 years and over)

    • 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco (& YES, your porters love packets of cigarettes!)
    • 2 litres of alcohol beverages including wines and spirits
    • New goods to the value of K1,000.00 excluding electronic and electrical appliances like non portable stereos, digital cameras, VCR, VCD players, DVD players etc.
    • Visitors to PNG are allowed one still photographic camera and video camera duty free so long as the items are taken out o f the country with them when they leave.
    • Laptops and other equipment brought in for use while in PNG are also allowed duty free so long as they are taken out again when they leave the country.
      Minors ? (17 years and below )
    • K500.00 worth of goods excluding electronic and electrical appliances. No alcohol and tobacco allowance for minors.



    Although there are over 800 languages spoken in PNG, English is widely spoken and is accepted as the official language of Government and the business community. Tok Pisin and Motu are also widely spoken throughout the country.

    On the Kokoda Trail, the main language spoken is Motu, however all guides and porters can speak English. Tok Pisin is spoken a lot as well throughout PNG not just on the Kokoda Trail. All our guides & porters speak English but some had never had the chance to practice it. Of course the more experienced ones no worries, but we employ a lot of first timers to give everyone a chance to earn a living and they will be shy to start with….so the more you talk, the more confidence you will give them to talk back. Most of them can speak up to 5 different languages fluently.

    If you want to check on some word translations, PLEASE CLICK HERE to be taken to our png website:

    If you wish to purchase a Motu – English Dictionary, please click on our corner shop on the front page of our website produced by Bob McDonald.



    Time Zone

    PNG is 10 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.




    PNG has modern satellite communications with ISD and STD dialing available in most parts of the country. Overseas mobile phones do not operate in PNG.

    Prepaid mobile sim cards and Telikads (landline) are available in major centres.

    Telex and facsimile services are also available except in very remote areas where high frequency radio is in use .

    Note: (No Roaming services presently available in PNG)

    Satellite phones operate on the Kokoda Trail so if you have access to one, by all means bring it along to phone home. Please advise your family and friends however that they will not be able to phone you…reason…your phone has to be switched on and pointing towards the satellite. I am not familiar with all sat phones but ours does not have a ring tone and the only way you can know there is a call is to be looking at the screen and notice an incoming call. They are also quite expensive to call Australia. Top up cards are around the K350 mark.



    Foreign country drivers ? licenses are valid for 3 months upon arrival. Vehicles travel on the left side of the road with a city speed limit of 60 kph .

    Important Message: If you decide to hire a motor vehicle, it is 'compulsory' that you carry your drivers license at all times. This is a must as there are lots of road blocks around Port Moresby and being new to PNG the last thing you need is hassles with the police.

    At road blocks they are only interested in checking to see if your license is valid and if the safety sticker on the vehicle you are driving hasnt expired. I cannot recall hearing of anyone being charged for speeding! – no radar cameras in PNG and no hidden cameras…




    Electricity supply is 240 volts AC 50Hz. Some hotels have 110 volt outlets in guestrooms.




    Climate is warm to hot and humid through out the year. Temperatures on the coast vary between 25 ?C ?30?C all year round and in the Highlands, the temperature can reach 20?C during the day but can be very cold at night.

    Russell always says if its raining on the trail its warm in some of the villages and vice versa.

    If you are walking from Kokoda and overnight there, you can expect it to be hot. Once you hit Isurava, the nights get cooler until you reach Efogi then it starts to get hotter again.

    Its not too cold however and resembles Brisbane climite in May/June. Trekkers from Melbourne sometimes say they didnt even get into their sleeping bag but I know I did! However, inside your tent it can get rather hot at times. Basic rule of thumb, bring something lightweight to cover your legs and arms.

    In times of rain, its best to have a cloak type raincoat which leaves your arms free as I made the mistake of buying one with long sleeves and it was like being in a sauna so I took it off and walked in the rain.




    Although water quality complies with WHO standards, it is advisable for visitors to drink bottled or boiled water in towns and rural areas. While Port Moresby is relatively malaria free, PNG is still class if ie dasa malaria-prone zone and travellers are advised to seek medical advice prior to travel.

    To protect against nasty bugs, travellers may choose to use insect repellent and wear long sleeved shirts, trousers and shoes in the evening. When staying at hotels however, avoid dark spots because thats where the mozzies will be hiding.

    In the compound where we live a WHO experts assures me there is no more Malaria carrying mozzies in Port Moresby due to spraying etc. but you can never be too careful.

    Dental, medical and hospital services are all available in major centres. Medical clinics and aid posts are found in remote areas and there are several privately owned hospitals.

    It is recommended that you commence your malaria tablets prior to coming up and that you continue to take them for at least 4 weeks after you get back home….please check with your doctor! During 2005 I only know of one trekker who ended up with a case of Malaria out of almost 700. I have not heard however, if he was taking tablets or not but we always recommend it.

    On the Kokoda Trail you will hardly come across a mozzie but here in Port Moresby and Kokoda, now thats a different story. In Kokoda you can choose to sleep in the win haus (traditional open sided house) on your mat….or pitch your tent in the win haus and/or erect your tent on the grass lawn if you are afraid of mozzies – the choice is yours as on the trail itself.




    Dress is informal and casual for most occasions. Thongs, sneakers, collarless shirts or shorts are not permitted in some restaurants and bars .

    Lightweight clothing is suitable for coastal areas but a sweater or jacket will be needed in the highlands.

    On the Kokoda Trail we ask that you dress conservatively as the culture of these people is such that they bathe in shorts and t/shirts and have separate bathing areas for the men and women. Unless they live in the city and date or marry an expatriate, the liklihood of them having a swimsuit is next to none.

    Hence, when women bathe in campsites, we ask that you think of their culture and do not expose yourself to much to our boys. They will do their best to look the other way, but always bring a sarong with you and unless you are washing in a creek, please cover up and respect their wishes.




    Western cuisine is available in hotels, restaurants , guest houses and lodges. Port Moresby has many Asian and European restaurants . Most hotels serve a variety of international and local food.

    Highly recommended:

    • Asia Aromas, downturn Port Moresby – most popular chinese restaurant.
    • Roundhouse Restaurant, Boroko – closer to the Gateway Hotel and nice chinese food.
    • Daikoku Japanese food , Upstairs, Anderson's Foodland Supermarket, near Royal Papua Yacht Club – food can be cooked at your table.
    • Bachus – nice western cuisine – Airways Hotel, 7 mile – paino musician playing background music – good atmosphere.
    • Ela Beach Hotel – downtown Port Moresby – nice atmosphere – western style food as well as pizzas. Sometimes with live music for entertainment.



    Tipping is neither expected nor encouraged in restaurants or around town.

    Kokoda Trail – re – our porters and guides:

    On our treks we have a guide, assistant guide, personal porters and food porters. If you are happy with their services we have no problems with you giving them a tip but we would prefer you all contributed and gave the whole team a tip as the food porters work just as hard and sometimes get left out.

    If you choose this method, please make sure you hand it to either Russell or myself to distribute or you give it to the guide in 'front' of the other porters so everyone is clearly aware that it is meant to be 'shared'….otherwise, the guide may get to keep the lot!

    On one trek we had trekkers who put an amount in an envelope for each of the staff and would you believe sang the song one by one….I want to have beer with John….coz John's my mate! They went around the whole table singing this song stating each boys name and each boy got a real kick out of their nice gesture.

    For personal porters they really appreciate some small keepsake from you.

    On one trek recently, the leader of a family group of trekkers was so moved by the way the boys had treated his trekkers that he surprised everyone at nights end when he took off his watch and handed it over to our guide John Derick Eroro.

    It is something that John will never forget for the rest of his life this gesture of thanks from this gentleman. He said in all his treks (400 odd spanning more years than he care to count) no-one had ever done this.

    On another occasion this year a trekker from 2004 sent his personal porter K200 for school fees to send his two children to school. The tears rolled down Rod's face when I handed him the money. Turned out his children had not been to school in 2005 because trekking had finished in Oct'04 and he was waiting until after the Anzac treks to pay his school fees. He said please thank him because now my children can go to school!

    So as you can see there is no general rule of thumb, it entirely over to you our trekkers and how you think the boys look after you and how well you gel with them.

    We ask however, that you do not get them drunk. A beer or two is ok but when given too much, they end up going home and buying more on the black market and before you know it, their pay is gone and nothing to take home to the family.




    Commercial business:

    Monday ? Friday 8.00am ? 4.30pm
    Saturday 8.00 am -12.00noon
    Sunday individual shops are open
    Government offices: Monday ? Friday 7.45am ? 4.00pm
    Local markets sell a wide range of freshfruit and vegetables . Artisans sell their crafts by the roadside or at the local markets.

    To continue reading, please click on Page (2) directly below on the left hand of this page.

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