Manus Province: Papua New Guinea Business Guide


Also referred to as the Admiralty Islands, Manus Province comprises 18-plus islands covering about 2000 square kilometres of land and 220,000 square kilometres of sea. It is Papua New Guinea’s smallest province. Manus Island is the largest of the islands in the province.

A bird’s-eye view of Lorengau on Manus Island. Credit: Rocky Roe

Economic overview

Best known internationally as the location of a now-closed Regional Processing Centre for refugees, Manus’s economy is largely driven by agriculture and fisheries (including beche-de-mer), with some tourism activity (see below). PNG’s Mineral Resources Authority has identified bauxite as a mineral resource with development potential. A proposal was announced in 2017 for a multi-million kina fisheries project to counter loss in revenue from the closure of the Regional Processing Centre. Momote Airport has undergone a major K100 million redevelopment. In November 2018, the PNG and Australian governments announced plans to redevelop the Lombrum naval base on Manus. Early works started for this in 2020.  


It may be the smallest and the least populated province in Papua New Guinea, but Manus has some of the loudest drumbeats in the country. Manus is famous for its riveting cultural dance. The thundering rhythm of the garamut (a long slit drum) draws people to the dance, where men, women and children jump, shake and shout ‘Hey, hey! Hey hey!’ You can join them in August–September each year at the Manus Cultural Show.

Tourism highlights

  • Surf at Rambutso Island and stay at Bundro Village Bungalows.
  • Surf at Manus Island and stay at Chopon Surf Lodge, which has access to nine major surf breaks. There are never more than six surfers booked into the lodge.
  • Hike up Mount Dremsel (arrange through local hotels). It is the province’s highest point and includes limestone caves with large chambers, and war relics.
  • Spot an endangered greenback turtle at M’Buke Island (inquire at Seaadler Bay Hotel), a three-hour boat ride from Lorengau.
  • Take the plunge at Ahus and Onetta islands (contact Mark at Manus Tourism), reputed to have some of the best snorkelling and diving sites in the province.

Where to stay

The Seeadler Bay Hotel is within walking distance of Lorengau and the 28-room Lorengau Harbourside Hotel is positioned in the heart of Lorengau township. Village stays can be arranged by both hotels.

Manus Island in brief

Province name: Manus

Capital: Lorengau

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Population: 60,485

Area: 2000 square kilometres

Distance from Port Moresby: 821 km

Getting there: Air Niugini flies daily from Port Moresby to Lorengau Momote Airport. Flight time is 1 hour 20 minutes.

Sectors: Copra, cocoa, fisheries (including beche de mer)

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