Flights To Port Moresby
The prices given are for return Air Niugini flights and include all taxes. Bookings made well in advance can be up to 40% cheaper (‘wantok’ fares) than the standard ‘paradise’ rates listed here.
|Brisbane||11 weekly||$624||Air Niugini, Airlines PNG, Qantas|
|Cairns||9 weekly||$485||Air Niugini, Airlines PNG, Qantas|
|Honiara||3 weekly||$1020||Air Niugini|
|Hong Kong||3 weekly||$1092||Air Nuigini|
|Nadi||3 weekly||$865||Air Niugini|
|Manila||3 weekly||$1138||Air Niugini|
|Singapore||4 weekly||$1028||Air Niugini|
|Sydney||2 weekly||$1076||Air Niugini, Airlines PNG, Qantas|
|Tokyo||1 weekly||$1005||Air Niugini|
Airports & Airlines
The good thing about flying into PNG is that you don’t have to shop around too much looking for a ticket. The major international airport is Port Moresby’s Jacksons Airport. In late 2015, recently instigated direct flights from Cairns to Rabaul/Kokopo had been suspended, and there were reports that flights linking Brisbane with Mt Hagen and Alotau (Gurney airport) would commence.
At the time of research only three companies offer international connections to PNG but it's likely that this could change.
Air Niugini PNG’s national airline flies to Australia (Cairns, Brisbane and Sydney), Bali (Indonesia), Japan (Tokyo), Philippines (Manila), Singapore, Fiji (Nadi), China (Hong Kong) and Solomon Islands (Honiara).
Qantas A code-share agreement with Air Niugini means that even though you book your ticket with Qantas, or QantasLink (the regional arm of Qantas), and are issued with a Qantas boarding pass, the aircraft may actually be run by Air Niugini. Regardless, Qantas Frequent Flyer points are awarded and can be redeemed for any flight with a Qantas flight number.
Virgin Australia Virgin Australia flies between Brisbane, Australia and Port Moresby six days a week.
Air Niugini flies Between Bali (Denpasar) and Port Moresby one day each week. Garuda Indonesia and a couple of Indonesia’s new budget airlines fly to Jayapura (Papua), just across the border from PNG.
Air Niugini has weekly flights between Port Moresby and Manila (four days each week), Singapore (five days), Hong Kong (three days) and Tokyo (Saturday only). Phillipines Airlines is expected to join Air Niugini on the Manila–Port Moresby route in 2016.
Australia & New Zealand
Papua New Guinea is well connected to three Australian cities: Cairns, Brisbane and Sydney. Australians and New Zealanders will need to make their way to one of these cities for an onward flight to Port Moresby.
Air Niugini flies to Nadi (Fiji) via Honiara (Solomon Islands). The only other way of flying to PNG from the Pacific is via Australia.
Flying via Asia or Australia is the obvious way to get to PNG from the UK, Ireland or continental Europe. The Singapore option is shorter, but coming via Australia gives you a bit more flexibility with onward connections. Some European airlines airlines allow baggage to be checked through to Port Moresby.
The USA & Canada
There are a couple of options from North America: fly to Australia, then on to Port Moresby; or fly to Narita (Tokyo), Hong Kong, Manila or Singapore, then on to Port Moresby.
The only land border crossing is between Vanimo in Sandaun Province and Jayapura in Papua Province (West Papua Region), Indonesia. Leaving PNG for Indonesia is relatively straightforward.
Indonesia visas If you haven’t already got an Indonesian visa in Port Moresby you’ll need to get one at the Indonesian Consulate in Vanimo. It takes 24 hours to issue a 30-day visa (single/multiple entry K120/300). You’ll need two photos, a completed application form (which you get there), a passport valid for at least six months and, occasionally, proof of onward travel. It’s best to say you’re heading for Bali or Manado as they are less controversial destinations than anywhere in Papua.
Transport to the border On Tuesday and Thursday locals travel by PMV (K10, 1½ hours) to the Batas Market on the Indonesian side of the border to stock up on cheaply made goods. Immigration officials turn a blind eye to shopping day-trippers although this courtesy is seldom extended to foreigners. Tuesdays and Thursdays aside, only occasional PMVs travel all the way to the border from Vanimo’s main market. If you are desperate and PMVs are conspicuously absent, Sandaun Surf Hotel will drive you there for K200. To get from the border to Jayapura catch a shared taxi (400,000Rp for the whole car) or hitch.
PNG visas To enter PNG requires a visa which (in theory) can be obtained from the PNG Jayapura Consulate. To apply for a free-of-charge, 60-day tourist visa fill out the application form and write a cover letter requesting a visa and stating where you want to go to in PNG. You will also need two colour passport photos (6cmx 4cm) with your signature on the back; a photocopy of an onward air ticket out of PNG; and a photocopy of the information page of your passport. A far more convenient ploy is to obtain your visa from another PNG mission in advance.
Papua permit Remember: foreigners are required to obtain a travel permit known as a surat keterangan jalan (or more commonly, surat jalan) to travel to most places outside of Jayapura (though this is rarely enforced except for very remote regions). This is easily obtained at the police station in Jayapura. Take your passport, two passport photos, a photocopy of your passport pages showing your personal details and Indonesian visa and a list of every place you intend to visit in Papua.
There are plenty of boats plying the waters around PNG but very few are scheduled services to other countries.
Unless you are a Torres Strait Islander, it is illegal to island hop across the string of Torres Strait Islands in Australian territory between Thursday Island (TI to locals) and PNG. You can exit Australia from TI but you must go directly to PNG, usually Daru, where you can pass through immigration if you already have a visa.
PNG and the Solomons are popular stopping points for cruising yachts, either heading through Asia or the Pacific. Ports where you can clear immigration include Alotau, Daru, Kavieng, Kimbe, Lae, Lorengau, Madang, Misima Island, Port Moresby, Rabaul, Samarai and Vanimo. You must get a visa before you arrive. See Noonsite (www.noonsite.com) for a full rundown.
The following companies offer luxury cruises that incorporate some of the PNG islands – usually those in the Milne Bay Province.
Aurora Expeditions (www.auroraexpeditions.com.au)
North Star Cruises (www.northstarcruises.com.au)
Coral Princess (www.coralexpeditions.com)
The major PNG-based inbound tour operators offer a wide variety of tours but prices are usually disconcertingly high. Smaller operators such as those based in Goroka are also worth checking out.