Review: Cassowary Hotel, Kiunga


We travel to the Cassowary Hotel in Kiunga, in Papua New Guinea’s Western Province.

The Cassowary is part of the Coral Sea Hotels chain.

Kiunga, the last main town accessible by boat on the Fly River in the Western Province, flourishes as it provides the port access for the Ok Tedi Mine, about a three-hour drive away in Tabubil.

Air Niugini flies from Port Moresby to Kiunga daily, providing the fastest route of two hours and 55 minutes with a short stop in Tabubil. The green of the mountains and the beautiful sunsets provide a natural accent for this essentially industrial town.

The place

Credit: Penny Burns

Local landowners are shareholders of the hotel through their Community Mine Continuation Agreement Trust Investment. This ensures that when you stay you are directly supporting people in the region. The Cassowary Hotel provides the most upmarket, and modern accommodation option in Kiunga, with friendly, proactive staff. Stay a few days and you will feel like family.


Spacious, with modern fittings and one of the biggest showers you will see in a hotel in rural PNG, it’s set up for the comfort of business travellers, with complimentary access to Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, and a desk in every room. Security is good, with electronic key room access.

The apartments are well appointed and adequately stocked with kitchen items for your independence. To cater for business travellers needing to meet larger groups, there are two small meeting rooms that can be joined for total seating capacity of 60.

Food and drink

Sitting on the outside deck of the restaurant watching the sun disappear each evening is a nice place to enjoy one of the excellent coffees, or a cold drink. The food will equally impress, with the restaurant offering a diverse menu with many dishes, including a twist with local ingredients.

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Who stays? Mostly business and government travellers, and the occasional tourist.

How big? 43 rooms, including six long- stay apartments.

Cost?  From PGK487 per night. Check in 2pm Check out 10am

Highlights? The staff make an excellent cup of coffee, no matter your preference.
The rooms are exceptionally clean and have large rain-showers, divine after a long, hot day working. The food at the restaurant is diverse and seriously delicious; be sure to try the curry lobster.

Nearby? Take a drive to the local market to get some fresh fruit and engage with people from all over Papua New Guinea. You can also take a 20-minute walk (a short drive from the hotel) to the closest bird of paradise viewing area.

What guests like

‘For a port town, very good service. Great meals. Scrumptious club sandwiches. Great coffee too.’ – Trip Advisor

‘Stayed here for three days. By far the best option in Kiunga … good rooms, great food and friendly staff. Would recommend to anyone.’ – Trip Advisor

This article was first published in the March/April edition of Paradise, the in-flight magazine of Air Niugini. Reproduced with permission.


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