Oro Bay is the province’s main port. It became a major American base after the Japanese had been prised out of Buna, Sananda and Gona, though the bustle of those days is long gone. Today it’s a quiet place with occasional banana-boat traffic up and down the coast, and a larger boat travelling weekly to Lae.
If your ship doesn’t come in, the traditional Oro Bay Guesthouse, run by the friendly Mrs Felicity Watiwati, sits in the middle of a village on the water’s edge near the wharf, but it’s a 30-minute walk around the bay to the PMV boats.
Daily dinghies run to Lae (K250, 12 hours), departing around 4am. Banana boats to Tufi (K150) run if the winds aren’t too high and usually leave mid-morning.