"POM+Alotau- Tips from my "end-of-mission" report" Top 5 Page for this destination Port Moresby by carolerica

Port Moresby Travel Guide: 80 reviews and 155 photos

GENERAL LOGISTIC MATTERS

Telephone code for Papua New Guinea: 675
All numbers starting by "68" are mobiles

CURRENCY
PNG kina (1PNK roughly equals 0.30 USD)

VISA
you can get a "tourist" visa upon entering PNG, at Jackson's international airport. When you pass immigration, there is a special "line" for visitors without a visa, a return ticket is required. It takes about 10mn do be done, allows you 60 days in the country, costs PNK100. Departure tax: 60 Kina

SECURITY
A lot of stories of rape in town, don't go out at night unaccompanied! Many stories of people being mugged in the highlands while trekking. While I was visiting a top view place in Port Moresby, our car was broken in, we had forgotten a phone in it! Otherwise, no problemo, just be careful where you go, if alone, and make it a rule to stay within the hotel grounds at night, unless accompanied by a group of men or local people!

HEALTH
This place has malaria, so bring the usual pills, otherwise, you can find some medication at Jhonston's pharmacy in town, they are very professionals. Bring some sun lotion as well, it's hard to find good quality sunscreen with a high exposure. And also good mosquito repellent if you go in the jungle!
I had some back pb and was treated at Pacific Hospital, not that great even though it's suppose to be the best? hummmmm. I was told there were private clinics though!

COMMUNICATIONS
Get a cell SIM CARD from Pacific communication, B-mobile. It costs 125PNK with some credits in it, then you can buy recharge card (PNK 20, 50 or 100)

INTERNET
There are some cyber cafes in Port Moresby as well as Alotau (Milne Bay), but I've never used them. Instead I bought a "webtaim" from Daltron which enables you to connect via your own computer from any phone line. It's PNK99 for registration and 10 hours use, then you can top up for extra hours (10, 20, 30, 40 hours) you'll have to pay extra at your hotel for local telephone, but local phone fees are really cheap. Don't use hotel's internet, it's PNK44 for half hour!!!
The internet can be sometime real slow, try to connect early morning or after 7pm.

TRANSPORTATION
Taxi's can be a problem, I heard of taxi driver agressing their clients. So for safety, I asked the door man of the Holiday inn if he knew a reliable taxi driver, and he arranged a meeting. My taxi driver was very nice, extremely punctual (which is rare) had an ok looking car, but no air conditioning. I had to deal with him for the price.
You can see with Avis or other rental car agencies, but their price are way above budget.

ACCOMODATION & RESTAURANTS

ACCOMODATION
I first stayed in the Holiday Inn, but besides the fact that it's getting old, not having an appealing swimming-pool, rooms being very humid, it was also quite expansive.
I did not check out the Crown Plaza, which is set in the middle of town, but it is also very expensive.
I had a wonderful deal at Airways Hotel, who has an amazing view, great comfortable executive rooms (with mini kitchenette, Jacuzzi) or one bedroom apartments (fully equipped kitchen, washing and drying machines, Jacuzzi), great pool... You can deal it for USD 100/night with breakfast and 15% discount on pone bills, business center bills and restauration! It's really the best place in town! A bit far from central town though...

In Aoltau (Milne Bay) I stayed at Alotau's International hotel, belonging to the same group as Airways, but not as modern and cozy. The rooms are spacious yet simple and they have a dive center run by very friendly Japanese people.

RESTAURANTS in Port Moresby
The Pool-side restaurant of Airways is nice for every day meals, they also have Bacchus restaurant which is the best restaurant in town, with price according to it's reputation.
An other VERY very nice restaurant is The Cellar and it has also a VIP bar quite nice, prices are salty though!
In town, Itchizen is a very nice Japanese place. An other one, in Borokko, is Daikoku, great Japanese place.
The Royal Yacht Club is very nice for lunch as well, great view on their harbor, but can be hard to get in if not accompanied by a member of the Yacht club.

There is numerous well provisioned super markets, such as Foodworld, Steamships, Andersons foodmarket, RH hypermarket.

LEISURE & DIVING

Port Moresby National Museum, right next to the Parliament (check it out as well, beautiful building!) is a must see if you want to get some knowledge of the country’s cultural diversity (even though the museum is very… dusty and old setting) it even has an inner court with some parrots and other birds flying around you.

The crocodile farm near Airways is an interesting place to see huge crocodile. They have seven of them. This place has no sign post, you’ll need someone who knows it to get there. Once there, there are nothing but huge ponds surrounded by fences, you’ll need to find one of the two keepers, one of them being dumb. They will show you the crocodiles, attract them. If you bring some frozen chicken, they’ll be delighted! They’ll feed the crocodile with it (they don’t have enough money to feed the crocodile as they should) and you’ll have a great show!!!

Next is the Botanical Garden, a little paradise place, very well tended and kept, with a wonderful orchid garden and bird cages. In one of them, if you find a guide in the park, you can enter the “cage” and see the birds without having to peak through fences! Great parrots, birds of paradise, cassowary! However, if you don’t have mosquito repellent lotion, the place can turn into a living hell!!!!

Once a month, Ela Beach School hosts the Ela Beach Marketwich is the BEST place to do your shoping for presents. All kind of crafts are sold there, and you'll even have a performance of Sing-sing!!!!

Out side Port Moresby, going towards Sogeri (where the Kokoda trail starts) there is a beautiful national park (go with a 4 wheels car though, the road is really bumpy!). You’ll have a wonderful view over the Port Moresby area.

Not far, there is the Sogeri town, with small market, and the school museum worth seeing (open on Sundays, yes!) and further away there is a dump in which there are wall paintings dating from the prehistoric time. Get directions from the local people. On your return you can stop close from a nice waterfall (you can miss the place easily, be for the look out for a small parking place next to a power line pylon giving on the edge of the road, then walk into the bushes around a big roc, find some stairs and follow the “path” until you reach a small platform from which you have a view over the waterfall!).

When visiting villages, I always have sonme candies for kids! You can make friends for life with a little menthos!!!

Snorkeling and diving are WONDERFUL. PNG is one of the best spot in the world, with 30 degrees water, wrecks to dive around, stink rays, dolphins, clown fish, lion fish, sea-horses, scorpion fish, maori wrasse, puffer fish, colorful corals and all your eyes and heart content!

For Diving and PADI courses in Port Moresby, The Dive Center located INSIDE Airways (at the pool), is THE BEST. They are very professional, reasonable rates, very friendly and patient with scarred beginners like myself!
Loloata island is very close from Airways. It's a "resort Island" where you can go diving, snorkelling and take PADI courses. You can spend the day there, a great get away from the city for a day! Just call them, and they'll pick you up at ypour airport! They serve a buffet for lunch!

There is a new dive resort being built in Milne Bay, I dive in Alotau with the dive center within Alotau International Hotel run by firendly japenese people.

I was told that the Sepik area is wonderful, highlands as well, basically all of PNG is worth visiting if you have time and money (airfares are outrageous!). For more infos, go on the Lonely planet web site (lonelyplanet.com), even though it has not been updated for a while, there are good infos, and also on their “thorn tree” section.

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  • Last visit to Port Moresby: Mar 2004
  • Intro Updated May 22, 2004
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Reviews (7)

Comments (4)

  • ZiOOlek's Profile Photo
    Jan 2, 2007 at 11:59 AM

    Very usefull tips, especially about malaria... Best regards to u and wonderful trips in New Year.:)

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2005 at 11:17 AM

    Excellent tips and updated information on Port Moresby! Things have changed quite a bit since I was there but I had trouble getting into the Yacht Club restaurant too! Lovely clear photos!

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    May 22, 2004 at 2:20 AM

    A interesting comment on the foru, plus for a member who has only just started your tips are very detailed - I predict you will very quickly rise through the ranks on VT - have fun

  • May 21, 2004 at 5:13 AM

    Carol great start..Awaiting more..Will come back later. Welcome to VT . Visit India too.

carolerica

“under the sea, on land, in the air”

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