Practical tips and advice for the business traveller.
CLIMATE With the exception of the Highlands, PNG has a warm tropical climate. The wet season in Port Moresby is from December to April.
Internet: Web access in Port Moresby has improved immensely in recent years. Although it remains costly, all the Port Moresby hotels listed on page 58 now provide a fast-speed internet service. In other urban centres, you may still be relying on dial-up. For those staying longer, wireless internet, via a USB modem, is now available although download speeds can vary considerably depending on your location. Phone: International mobile phone roaming is possible in PNG but it is costly. A cheaper option is to buy a local SIM card and pre-paid credit (including data packs for smartphones).
It is much cheaper to make international calls from PNG than vice versa.
The current in PNG is 240V AC 50Hz, using Australian-style plugs.
GETTING TO PNG National airline Air Niugini has direct flights between Port Moresby and Australia (Brisbane, Cairns, Sydney), the Solomon Islands, Fiji and an increasing number of Asian destinations (current schedule available from www.airniugini.com.pg).
Virgin Australia (www.virginaustralia.com) also operates on the Brisbane route (www.virginaustralia.com) while Qantaslink provides its own flights from Cairns and codeshares with Air Niugini on other Australian routes (www.qantas.com).
As a general rule in PNG, you need to plan your travel carefully. Taxis: Recommended firms in Port Moresby are Ark (323 0998/ 7122 5522), Red Dot (+675 311 3257) and Scarlet Taxis (+675 323 4266), although availability can vary and they do not operate late at night. Ark also operates in Lae. Car hire: Deal with one of the international names and ask them to provide a driver (around K400 per day). With the poor state of roads, especially in Lae, 4WDS/SUVS are recommended. Airport transfers: For arrival/departure in Port Moresby, any of the hotels listed on page 58 will provide a complimentary transfer.
Domestic Flights: Travelling within PNG often means taking an internal flight (for instance, you cannot drive between Port Moresby and Lae). There are regular services from Port Moresby to Lae. While the price of domestic fares has fallen, they are still on the high side. Air Niugini now offers passengers the chance to book (and check in) online but make sure you print out a copy of your receipt to show at the check-in counter. Airlines PNG (www.apng.com) also operates domestic flights. Aircraft and helicopter charter services are available for travel to remote locations.
Serious medical conditions typically require treatment outside the country. Travellers should ensure they have adequate health cover (the cost of medical evacuation alone can reach US$30,000), while foreign companies operating in PNG should have a comprehensive health plan in place. Visitors should also note that malaria is prevalent in PNG.
PNG’S currency is the Kina. ANZ and Bank of South Pacific (BSP) have branches at Port Moresby’s international airport. ATMS are located around Port Moresby, Lae and other urban centres.
While the situation is not as bad as portrayed by some international media, you should always take precautions, especially at night.
PNG has a single time zone, 10 hours ahead of UTC/GMT.
Business travellers require a business visa to enter PNG. There are two types of business visa: single entry (for one visit of up to 30 days) or multiple entry (visits totalling up to 60 days over a 12-month period). Single-entry business visas can be obtained on arrival and cost K250*. However, a multiple entry business visa must be applied for from a PNG diplomatic mission before you travel, at a cost of K500. In both cases, a letter from a ‘business associate in PNG’ outlining the purpose, duration, location and frequency of your visit(s) is required, as is a return ticket. * In March 2014, the PNG government instituted a ban on issuing nontourist Australian visitors with visas on arrival. For more information, and to locate your nearest PNG diplomatic mission, visit www.immigration.gov.pg.
EATING, DRINKING, SOCIALISING IN PORT MORESBY
(see also hotels below) Town: The coffee shop at the Crowne Plaza Hotel remains a convenient daytime option, as are the two cafés on the ground floor of Deloitte Tower.
Duffy Café, Gabaka St: this newcomer has rapidly become very popular among the expat community, with excellent coffee and homemade café-style food.
Royal Papua Yacht Club: relaxed, spacious and open to non-members. Comfort food, draught beer and an open-plan bar area showing sport on large screens. If it’s too busy, try the Aviat Club in nearby Konedobu.
Vision City: PNG’S first major shopping mall houses an increasing array of eateries. The cavernous Dynasty (Chinese) and the Ten (Japanese) are stand-outs.
PNG’S only top-tier hotel, Airways, is located within a large, secure compound next to Jacksons International Airport. An inspiring setting, luxurious rooms and amenities and excellent service make for a memorable stay. Among an attractive selection of bars and restaurants, the deli/pizzeria is always popular. Tel +675 324 5200. www.airways. com.pg
Port Moresby’s newest large hotel opened in late 2011. The hotel features 156 suite rooms (short and long stay), an executive floor, gym and conference facilities. The separate restaurant and bar areas are popular venues for business meetings in town. www.grandpapuahotel.com.pg
Upmarket rooms and suites in the heart of the CBD. Decent gym, business centre, undercover parking, thriving café and Mediterranean restaurant. Tel +675 309 3329.
Located in the government district of Waigani. Large grounds with walking track, in a tropical garden setting. Outdoor restaurant dining and bar area, business centre and gym. Two adjacent sister properties are close to completion. Tel +675 303 2000.
Also in Waigani, this modern hotel’s facilities include the popular Palazzo restaurant (steaks, pizzas and Indian cuisine), business centre, conference facilities and fashionable nightspot, the Gold Club. Tel +675 323 2333.
Ela Beach Hotel and Apartments
On the fringe of the CDB, this constantly-expanding hotel/apartment complex is part of the Coral Sea Hotels group. Its main eatery is popular at lunchtime. www.coralseahotels.com.pg
Another member of Coral Sea Hotels, located next to the airport. A range of amenities include Port Moresby’s largest dedicated meeting space.
In PNG’S industrial hub, the Lae International Hotel has a secure, central location, pleasant grounds, cable TV and several dining options. Tel +675 472 2000, www.laeinterhotel.com.pg .
The smaller Lae City Hotel has quickly established a good name since opening in 2013, but be sure to make a reservation well in advance. (www.laecityhotel.com).
The Melanesian Hotel, part of the Coral Sea Hotels group that also provides business-standard hotels in several other urban centres.