Getting To and Around Papua New Guinea

Travel Team
By Travel Team 2 Min Read

The national airline of PNG is Air Nuigini, which operates international routes (direct flights) from Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, and Sydney.  

Virgin Australia also flies to Port Moresby from Brisbane, timed at just over three hours, and from Europe or North America, you’ll have to travel via Southeast Asia first.  

To access Lae, the airport is at Nadzab, about 40km north of the city. This was a major US base towards the end of the war and is served by Air Niugini, who operate several daily flights from the capital Port Moresby, as well as connecting Lae with several other centres in PNG. 

The other mode of travel that lets you visit this natural marvel is a cruise boat, and both P&O and True North Luxury Adventure Cruises are popular choices if you’re thinking of making a stop-off. Regular passenger ferries that link various parts of PNG, with connections between Lae and Madang, and Rabaul to Kavieng, are also available. Additionally, some of these boats allow tourists to pay a little bit extra to enjoy more comfort and privacy, while locals can offer small boat and canoe-type services for shorter routes, but you’ll have to negotiate a price. 

The majority of PNG is inaccessible by road and therefore largely unexplored, with new species of flora, and occasionally hidden tribes untouched by modern ways of living. 

Chartering a vehicle is expensive, so you can opt for local transportation called Public Motor Vehicles (PMVs); usually open-sided trucks/minivans. For those willing to suffer a few bumps and bruises, PMVs offer a more affordable way of getting around, as they essentially are the bus network. 

It is highly recommended that a tour guide is used while visiting PNG, in the interests of efficiency, safety, and local knowledge. Trip Advisor offers an excellent round-up of the best tour operators.

Read Issue 15 of Outlook Travel Magazine