Getting there & away

Airport


Jackson's International Airport is the official gateway into Papua New Guinea, situated about 8km away from the main town centre of Port Moresby. The airport itself has the Domestic Airport and terminal adjacently connected (500 metres apart) to the International terminal to make connecting flights to domestic airports easy and within time.

Arriving visitors to Papua New Guinea who have successfully cleared Customs and have immediate connections to other destinations within Papua New Guinea are advised to go straight to the Domestic Transfer Counters within the International Check-In counters for an onward boarding pass to their destination, before proceeding to the Domestic Lounge for boarding.

Jacksons International Airport provides duty free services and shopping for departing visitors, and transit lounges are also provided for transit passengers to other international destinations.

Air Niugini


Since its inception in the 1973 as the national airline of Papua New Guinea, Air Niugini is the longest serving airline in Papua New Guinea. With 20 international offices and including GSA offices, Air Niugini provides international flights as well as domestic connections within Papua New Guinea, with domestic offices around the country. Air Niugini services a fleet of aircrafts that include B767, Q400, F100, Dash 8’s and newly included Q4000 series aircrafts, and has an excellent safety record in Papua New Guinea. Visit the www.airniugini.com.pg for more information.

Airlines PNG


Airlines PNG operates a fleet of 18 aircrafts consisting of De Havilland Dash 8 and Twin Otter aircrafts. It has offices in Australia (Cairns & Brisbane) and domestic sales offices in Port Moresby and Lae. Airlines of PNG provide a strong domestic route within the rugged terrain of PNG and provide charters as well as medivac services. The airline has now expanded their domestic services around Papua New Guinea to include the New Guinea islands sector.
Visit the website www.apng.com for more information on flight schedules and bookings.

QantasLink


QantasLink a regional brand of Qantas operates three flights to Papua New Guinea's Jackson International airport from Cairns, Australia using its 74-seat Q400 aircraft. For more information on flight schedules and bookings visit the QantasLink website at www.qantaslink.com.au.

See the Passports and Visas section of this site (internal link) for more information on requirements.

Getting around


Roads and Highways


Papua New Guinea has a total of 19,600 km of all-weather highway, of which only 686 km is sealed. Where there are roads there are many privately operated Public Motor Vehicles (PMVs), mostly minivans, which function as unscheduled buses.
Apart from the Highlands Highway linking Lae with Goroka, Kundiawa, Mount Hagen, Mendi and their hinterlands, most of the national network is discontinuous, serving the relatively well-developed areas around the main commercial centres.

By car


Papua New Guinea is a strange place when it comes to travel. The tropical conditions, fierce geography, and lack of government capacity means there are very few paved roads in the country.
With the exception of a brief span of road connecting it to the immediate hinterland and a road that will enable you to follow the coast southeast for a few hours, there are no major roads linking Port Moresby to anywhere else.
The big exception to this is the Highlands Highway, which begins in Lae (the country's main port) and runs up into the highlands through Goroka to Mt. Hagen with a fork going back to the coast and Madang. Shortly outside Mt. Hagen the road branches, with southern line going through the Southern Highlands to Tari while the northern line runs through Enga province and ends in Porgera.

By public motor vehicles (PMV)


The most common way to travel is by PMV/bus with the locals.
Lae, Madang, Goroka, Tari, and Mount Hagen are all connected by a good highway. As a newcomer it is probably advisable to get help from locals (e.g., hotel-staff). Most towns have several starting points. A trip from Lae to Madang costs around 20 Kina, to Mt. Hagen 30 Kina.

By plane


Papua New Guinea has historically been one of the world centres for aviation and still features some of the most spectacular flying in the world. In the 1920s, Lae was the busiest airport in the world - it was there that aviators in the gold mining industry first proved that it was commercially feasible to ship cargo (and not just people) by air. In fact, Lae was where Amelia Earhart set off on her last journey.
Air transport is still the most common way to get around between major urban centres - indeed, pretty much every major settlement is built around an airstrip. In fact, the main drag of Mt. Hagen is the old airstrip! Travel from the coast into the Highlands is particularly spectacular (don't take your eyes off the window for a second!) and pilots from Australia, New Zealand, America and other countries work here just for the great flying experience. If you do not like small planes (or even smaller helicopters) however, flying to more remote locations here may not be the best option for you.

The two major domestic airlines are Air Niugini and Airlines PNG:
Air Niugini connects Port Moresby and, to a lesser extent, Lae with most of the provincial capitals, but does not offer much of a service between the smaller towns.
Airlines PNG connects a large number of smaller centers.

By boat


People living on the coast or on rivers systems get around locally with the ubiquitous banana boat, a 30-40 ft fiberglass hull with an outboard motor.
Also, two or three shipping lines also sell tickets for passengers who want to leapfrog from one city to another.

As with land PMV’s, a small fee is payable to the driver for the use of these boats.
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