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Alotau

Getting there & away

Contents

Boat

The prices listed here are for adults, one-way. Children travel for half-price, students get a 20% discount and families are entitled to special fares. Apart from the Star Ships, work boats service the trade stores on the islands and offer uncomfortable, slow and irregular trips to anywhere with a stoa (store). Getting a ride can mean waiting around wharves, asking about destinations and usually adding a few hours to the alleged departure times. But once you are on the open water, sitting atop a load of SP Lager, Kundu Crackers and margarine, you will be feeling the province’s charm – until you start feeling very uncomfortable.

D’Entrecasteaux & Trobriand Islands Has weekly departures for Salamo (K60), Budoya (K60), Wailagi (K65), Mapamoiwa (K60), Kalokalo (K70), Boyama (K75), Watuluma (K80) and Losuia (K105). It offers economy class only.

North Coast The Samarai Queen travels north calling at all ports to Oro Bay (for Popondetta, K120) including Dogura (K75), Rabaraba (K75), Cape Vogel (K80) and Tufi (K105). Economy class only.

Port Moresby & China Strait The Morobe Queen runs to Port Moresby (economy/1st class/tourist K150/300/350, overnight, Sundays) Travels via Samarai Island. It returns on Tuesday, arriving Wednesday.

Rabaul Shipping (Star Ships; 641 0012; mona@pngbd.com; Masurina Business Centre, Charles Abel Hwy, Gurney) Provides scheduled services throughout Milne Bay Province, but inclement weather can cause long delays and frequent disruptions.

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Air

As has been the case for years now, there are rumours of an international flight between Cairns (Australia) and Alotau. Air Niugini (641 1031; Masurina Business Centre, Charles Abel Hwy) has one or two flights between Port Moresby and Gurney (K458, 50 minutes, daily). The morning flights are more reliable and have better onward connections in Port Moresby.

Airlines PNG (641 1591 in Alotau, 641 0013 in Gurney) flies on Monday and Friday from Gurney to Misima (K410), then returns to Gurney, then flies to Losuia (K441) and then to Port Moresby (K441).

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