Business travel guide to Papua New Guinea

Practical tips and advice for the business traveller to Papua New Guinea.

Steamships’ Windward 2 apartments under construction in Port Moresby.

Steamships’ Windward 2 apartments under construction in Port Moresby. Credit: Steamships

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CLIMATE

With the exception of the Highlands, Papua New Guinea has a warm tropical climate. The wet season in Port Moresby is from December to April.

COMMUNICATIONS

Internet: Web access in Port Moresby has improved immensely in recent years. In other urban centres, you may still be relying on dial-up. For those staying longer, wireless internet, via a USB modem, is available. Complimentary Wi-Fi is becoming more common at hotels, and is also available at Jacksons International Airport.

Phone: International mobile phone roaming is possible in PNG but it can be costly. A cheaper option is to buy a local SIM card and pre-paid credit (including data packs for smartphones).

ELECTRICITY

The current in PNG is 240V AC, 50Hz, using Australian-style plugs.

GETTING AROUND

Taxis: Recommended firms are City Loop (1800 000), Comfort (325 3046), and Scarlet (7220 7000).

Car hire: Deal with one of the international names and ask them to provide a driver (PGK450+ per day). With the poor state of roads, especially in Lae, 4WDs/SUVs are recommended.

Airport transfers: For arrival/departure in Port Moresby, any of the hotels listed in this guide will provide a complimentary transfer.

Domestic flights: Travelling within PNG often means taking an internal flight (for instance, you cannot drive between Port Moresby and Lae). Air Niugini offers passengers the chance to book (and for some flights, also to check in) online, but make sure you print out a copy of your receipt to show at the check-in counter. Aircraft and helicopter charter services are available for travel to remote locations.

HEALTH

Serious medical conditions typically require treatment outside the country. Travellers should ensure they have adequate health cover (the cost of medical evacuation alone can reach $US30,000). Visitors should also note that malaria is prevalent in PNG and there have been cases of measles and tuberculosis in some parts of the country.

MEDICAL EMERGENCY

For St John Ambulance phone 111 or 7111 1234. St John provides 24-hour ambulance service in Port Moresby and air medical evacuation throughout PNG.

MONEY

PNG’s currency is the kina (PGK). ANZ and Bank of South Pacific (BSP) have branches at Port Moresby’s international airport. ATMs are located around Port Moresby, Lae and other urban centres.

SAFETY

While the situation is not as bad as portrayed by some international media, you should always take precautions, especially at night.

TIME ZONE

PNG has a single time zone, 10 hours ahead of UTC/GMT.

EATING OUT

PORT MORESBY

Airways Hotel: Port Moresby’s ritziest hotel has several places to eat. If you’re after fine dining, Bacchus is the place to go. For something more casual, go poolside to Deli KC. The Vue Restaurant, which has a buffet each morning and evening, as well as an a la carte menu, has stunning views.

See airways.com.pg.

Asia Aromas: Offering Chinese and Thai by the water at Harbourside, this eatery has consistently good reviews on social media. Outdoor seating available. A good spot for sunset drinks.

Tel. +675 321 4780.

Aviat Club: The club is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Home-style meals include stir-fries, toasted sandwiches and salt-and-pepper prawns. This is a great spot to sit at lunchtime under the shady mango trees, or in the air-conditioned bar.

See facebook.com/pages/Aviat-Club/141553252563094.

Bel Cibo: A casual and affordable family style restaurant serving Italian-American at Vision City.

See belcibopng.com.

Cafe on the Edge: There are good hamburgers here and breakfast options such as eggs benedict, avocado and crispy bacon. Located under the residential buildings at Harbour City, behind the ANZ and BSP banks.

See facebook.com/edgebythesea.

Crowne Plaza Hotel: There are multiple eating options at Crowne. The in-house restaurant includes a buffet for breakfast (eggs cooked to order), as well as lunch and dinner. It’s one of the few restaurants in Port Moresby with gluten-free choices. The hotel also has fine dining at the Rapala restaurant.

See ihg.com.

Daikoku: The extensive Japanese menu has teppanyaki, donburi bowls and a large range of sushi. Tucked away above the SVS shopping centre in Harbour City, chefs will whip up your meal at your table.

See daikokupng.com.

Duffy Cafe: This chain has rapidly become popular among the expat and business community, with excellent coffee and homemade cafe-style food.

See duffypng.com.

Dynasty at Vision City: This may be the biggest restaurant in Port Moresby. Its size, its chandeliers and its gold decor make it a favourite for balls, dinners and parties. The menu is huge, too, with pages of Asian dishes.

See facebook.com/pages/Dynasty-Restaurant-Vision-City/148278471918956.

Ela Beach Hotel: The Beachside Brasserie aims to be one of Port Moresby’s best value-for-money restaurants, offering seafood and other dishes from the Pacific Rim, curry, pastas, and a classic grill menu. It’s located next to the pool, set in Italian gardens.

See coralseahotels.com.pg.

Fusion: This is one of the city’s busiest restaurants. It’s a fusion of flavours from China, Thailand and Vietnam. Takeaway available. There’s also a sister restaurant, Fusion 2, in the far corner of the ANZ Bank Compound in Waigani.

See facebook.com/pages/Fusion-Bistro/199229050205354.

Gateway Hotel: The hotel’s dining options include Jackson’s Gaming–Restaurant–Bar, which has a rooftop bar with views of the airport, as well as claims to the best lamb rack in town. Sizzler’s Family Restaurant offers value dining, while Enzo’s Express does quick lunches, coffee and pizza. The hotel’s Departure Bar, next to the hotel lobby, is a comfortable and air-conditioned space to while away some transit hours in between flights.

See coralseahotels.com.pg.

Grand Papua Hotel: The elegant Grand Brasserie has an a la carte menu of modern European cuisine, as well as buffet options. The Grand Cafe, on Douglas Street, has barista-made Goroko coffee, fruit juices, freshly made salads and sandwiches. The Grand Bar – with stylish marble, high ceilings, timber floors and window shutters – has a light menu and is a popular place to wind down after work.

See grandpapuahotel.com.pg.

Hosi Ramen: As the name suggests, this Japanese restaurant at Vision City specialises in ramen (noodles served in broth with meat and vegetables).

See facebook.com/pages/Hosi-Ramen/565779996932557.

Korean Garden: An affordable menu at Vision City that includes a do-it-yourself barbecue, as well as traditional favourites such as kimchi and gimbap.

See facebook.com/pages/Korean-Garden/595454767289525.

Lamana Hotel: You’re spoilt for choice here with Spices (Indian), the Italian Restaurant, Rio’s at the Temple (Brazilian), Cafe Palazzo, Lanes Ten Pin Bowling, and PNG’s biggest nightclub, The Gold Club.

See lamanahotel.com.pg.

Mojo Social: This casual Mediterranean-inspired bar and restaurant is on the ground floor of PWC Haus at Harbour City. Tapas-style dishes, risotto and pizza are among the offerings.

See mojosocialpng.com.

Naked Fish: A seafood and steak restaurant at Harbourside. Great spot for sunsets and the water views.

+675 320 2293.

Royal Papua Yacht Club: Relaxed, spacious and open to non-members. Comfort food, draught beer and an open-plan bar area showing sport on large screens.

See rpyc.com.pg.

Seoul House: This restaurant specialises in Korean and Thai food, cooked on the hot plate right in front of you. Seoul House is tucked away in a garden oasis compound in Five Mile.

Tel. +675 325 2231.

Sogno: This is a traditional Italian restaurant with pastas, risottos and pizzas served out of a stone oven at Harbourside.

See sogno.restaurant.

Stanley Hotel and Suites: This new hotel in Waigani has several restaurant choices, including the fine-dining Silver Leaf on the 17th floor, and the chic tapas-style Monsoon Lounge, which is great for after-work drinks on the leather-lounge seating. The casual Green Haus restaurant has all-day dining, including buffet dinners with live cooking stations.

See thestanleypng.com.

Tandoor on the Harbour: Come here for a curry with great bay views.

See facebook.com/tandoorontheharbour.

Tasty Bites: This Indian restaurant is tucked away in the town centre in Hunter Street near Crowne Plaza. Bookings recommended.

Tel. +675 321 2222.

Vision City: PNG’s first major shopping mall houses an increasing array of eateries. The cavernous Dynasty (Chinese) and the Ten (Japanese) are stand-outs.

See visioncity.com.pg.

LAE

Bunga Raya: This local favourite, serving Malaysian-style Chinese, is located next door to the Lae Golf Club. Be sure to try the stuffed lettuce cups, laksa and claypot tofu.

Tel. +675 472 7177.

Chigi’s Cafe: This delightful place inside the temporary Brian Bell store near the Lae main markets serves good coffee, milkshakes, sandwiches, cakes and salads.

Tel. +675 7217 1966.

Golden Aviat: A good option for Chinese, located on Huon Road in Eriku. Open for lunch and dinner, and yum cha on Sundays.

Tel. +675 472 0486.

Huon Club: This private members’ club offers air-conditioned facilities, comfortable lounge chairs, an expansive deck overlooking the Lae Golf Club, a fully stocked bar and Foxtel to preview all the racing and sporting events.

Tel. +675 7347 1058.

Lae International Hotel: Home to three restaurants – Luluai’s Italian Pizza, Vanda and Kokomo – which serve an array of international cuisine, including Indian and seafood buffets. The Sportsman’s Bar (aka Jack’s Bar) is a good place for a nightcap.

See laeinterhotel.com. Tel. +675 472 7000.

Lae Golf Club: The club is excellent for a few sundowners as you overlook the stunning green.

Tel. +675 472 1363.

Lae Yacht Club: The perfect place for late-afternoon beers, or just as nice for a relaxing lunch. Serves pub-style food.

See laeyachtclub.com.pg. Tel. +675 472 4091.

Mountain View Restaurant: Located at the Crossroads Hotel at Nine Mile. Be sure to try the Japanese fusion menu – it’s the only place in town where you can get good sushi.

See hornibrook.com.pg/crossroads/. Tel. +675 475 1124.

 

TOUR OPERATORS

Air Niugini: The airline offers a range of PNG holidays, including packages to cultural shows and getaways to the coast and highlands. It also has a Business Travel Centre (Tel. +675 321 2888) with an office in Port Moresby.

See airniugini.com.pg.

Baia Sportfishing PNG: Estuary and blue-water fishing specialist.

See baiasportfishingpng.com.

Buna Treks & Tours: A Kokoda trekking specialist that also arranges Mount Wilhelm treks, day tours around Port Moresby and more.

See facebook.com/bunatrekkers.

Country Tours: Offers a wide range of tours across PNG, from bird watching to diving and cultural shows.

See countrytours.com.pg.

Kabaira Dive & Tours: If it’s on, or under, the water this tour company has it covered.

See kabairadive.com.pg.

Kokoda Track Authority: The KTA manages and promotes the trail and has a listing of 36 accredited operators, plus other useful information for trekkers.

See kokodatrackauthority.org.

Pepeta PNG: Offers packages to festivals, destinations around the country, and Port Moresby day tours, including craft markets.

See pepetapng.com.

PNG Holidays: Has a comprehensive listing of tours and accommodation all around the country.

See pngholidays.com.au.

PNG Surfaris: A surf charter operator, based in Kavieng, that runs liveaboard surf and dive trips on the PNG Explorer.

See pngsurfaris.com.

PNG Trekking Adventures: Has a big listing of treks, cultural tours and kayaking packages.

See pngtrekkingadventures.com.

Sepik Adventure Tours: A range of trips available, including exploring the famous Sepik River by canoe. Locally owned and operated.

Tel. +675 7259 6349.

Sepik River Tours: Explore the Sepik River region with locals.

See sepikrivertours.com.

Siale Travel & Tours: An Alotau-based company that specialises in tours for cruise ship passengers.

Tel. +675 7008 0878.

Sportfishing PNG: River, reef and coastal fishing trips.

See sportfishingpng.net.

Surfing Association of PNG: Provides a guide to PNG surfing, places to stay and list of operators that run surf trips.

See sapng.com.

Trans Niugini Tours: Owns and operates a series of wilderness lodges and tailors trips to those lodges. Also operates the Sepik Spirit riverboat.

See pngtours.com.

Village Huts: An adventure and backpacker specialist with a network of small locally owned huts, guesthouses and activity providers.

See villagehuts.com.

ViLink Tours & Expeditions PNG: ViLink is short for ‘village link’. This Alotau-based operator offers culture, wildlife and village experiences.

Tel. +675 7339 4580.

*In addition to these operators, many hotels, resorts and lodges arrange, or conduct, PNG activities.

 

HOTELS & RESORTS

For an extensive listing of hotels and resorts click here.