Caution October 19, 2023

Worldwide caution, update january 10, 2024, information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.

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Papua New Guinea

Travel Advisory January 17, 2024

Papua new guinea - level 3: reconsider travel.

Reissued after periodic review with minor edits.

Reconsider travel to Papua New Guinea due to crime, civil unrest, and piracy . Exercise increased caution due to kidnapping, unexploded ordnance, inconsistent availability of healthcare services, and potential for natural disasters. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • Central Bougainville, particularly areas near the Panguna mine, due to  civil unrest .
  • The Highlands region, other than the towns of Mt. Hagen and Goroka, due to civil unrest .

Country Summary: Violent crime , including sexual assault, carjackings, home invasions, and armed robberies, is common. There have been reports of criminals attacking resorts popular with foreign tourists to steal goods and money. Tensions between communal or tribal groups may lead to civil unrest involving violence and can occur without warning. Police presence is limited outside of the capital, Port Moresby, and police may be unable to assist due to limited resources. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Port Moresby due to limited transportation infrastructure. U.S. government employees must obtain authorization before traveling to areas of concern, including the central part of Bougainville and the provinces of Southern Highlands, Western Highlands (excluding Mt. Hagen), Eastern Highlands (excluding Goroka), Hela, Enga, Jiwaka, and other areas of Papua New Guinea where one is unable to fly directly.

Piracy is active in the waters surrounding Papua New Guinea. Travelers by boat should reconsider travel to the Bismarck and Solomon Seas along Papua New Guinea's north and eastern coasts. In 2021 and 2022, the Embassy was aware of at least three occasions in which sailboats operated by or carrying U.S. citizens were boarded by criminals. The criminals, who have been known to use physical violence, robbed the boats, and in one incident, severely injured the captain when he attempted to fight back.

Visit our website on International Maritime Piracy and Armed Robbery at Sea .

Kidnapping for ransom or political influence occurs in Papua New Guinea, though foreign nationals are not frequently targeted. In February 2023, a foreign citizen was kidnapped. In late 2022, foreign citizens employed by an international company were kidnapped and held for several days.  

Travelers should exercise increased caution when traveling in remote areas of Papua New Guinea due to the presence of unexploded ordnance (UXO) remaining from World War II. UXO is discovered infrequently throughout the country, often on smaller islands.

Papua New Guinea has inconsistent availability of healthcare services which may be difficult to obtain outside of Port Moresby. Pharmaceuticals may be scarce or unavailable.

Papua New Guinea is subject to periodic seismic activity and is home to several active volcanoes. The country does experience regular volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis. U.S. citizens are advised to familiarize themselves with volcano updates , earthquake tracking , and tsunami warnings in Papua New Guinea. U.S. citizens should develop contingency plans in the event of an eruption or major earthquake.  

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Papua New Guinea.

If you decide to travel to Papua New Guinea:

  • Do not use local taxis or buses, known as public motor vehicles or PMVs.
  • Travel with guides from a reputable tour company, particularly if you plan to hike.
  • Avoid walking or driving at night.
  • Avoid areas in the vicinity of active volcanoes.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Do not touch unknown metal objects and avoid traveling off well-used roads, tracks, and paths due to risk of unexploded ordnance.
  • Bring a sufficient supply of over-the-counter and prescription medicines.
  • Avoid sailing around the waters of Papua New Guinea and review the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.
  • If sailing, have functioning communication and emergency equipment, such as a satellite phone, VHF radio, and emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRB).
  • Review Travel.State.Gov’s Natural Disaster information page.
  • Review volcano updates , earthquake tracking , and tsunami warnings .
  • Review the CDC’s suggestions on preparing for natural disasters .
  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive Alerts and make it easier to assist you in an emergency.  
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Follow Embassy Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on Facebook and Twitter .
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for the Papua New Guinea.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .

Areas Near the Panguna Mine on the island of Bougainville – Level 4: Do Not Travel

The Autonomous Bougainville Government has designated areas near the Panguna mine as “no go zones" due to the risk of violence from civil unrest. Bougainville police lack the resources to respond to emergency calls.

Visit our website for  Travel to High-Risk Areas .

The Highlands Region (excluding Mt. Hagen and Goroka) – Level 4: Do Not Travel

There is a heightened risk of civil unrest from tribal violence throughout the region, including the provinces of Southern Highlands, Western Highlands, Eastern Highlands, Hela, Enga, and Jiwaka. The towns of Mt. Hagen (Western Highlands) and Goroka (Eastern Highlands) generally have a more stable police presence than other towns and villages across the Highlands provinces.

Embassy Messages

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Quick Facts

Six months.

One blank page is required.

Obtain a physical visa or eVisa prior to arrival.

No vaccinations are currently required. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends travelers ensure their polio and measles vaccinations are up-to-date.

More than PGK 20,000 must be declared.

Embassies and Consulates

U.s. embassy port moresby.

Harbour City Road, Konedobu P.O. Box 1492 Port Moresby, NCD 121 Papua New Guinea Telephone: +(675) 308-9100 Emergency After-Hours Telephone for U.S. citizens only: +(675) 7200-9439 Email:  [email protected]

Destination Description

Learn about the U.S. relationship to countries around the world.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

 To enter Papua New Guinea, U.S. citizens must have:

  • a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of intended travel,
  • an onward/return airline ticket,
  • and proof of sufficient funds.

Obtain a valid physical visa or eVisa in advance of arrival. The Embassy of Papua New Guinea is located at 1825 K Street, NW, Suite 1010, Washington, DC 20006; telephone: 202-745-3680; email address [email protected]. Visit the website of Papua New Guinea’s Immigration and Citizenship Authority for the most current visa information.

If you transit other countries en route to Papua New Guinea, follow all necessary exit/entry procedures for the countries you transit. You may need to obtain visas or travel authorizations for some of those countries. If you anticipate transiting or visiting Australia, obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) for Australia before leaving the United States.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions:  The Government of Papua New Guinea imposes HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors and foreign residents. If you request residency or intend to remain long term in Papua New Guinea, you are required to have an HIV/AIDS test performed at a U.S. medical facility. Please verify this information with the  Embassy of Papua New Guinea  before you travel.

Find information on dual nationality , prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

  • Crime is a significant concern. U.S. citizens have been victims of violent crime, including sexual assault, carjacking, home invasions, kidnappings, and armed robberies.
  • Tensions between communal or clan groups may result in violent conflict at any time, including in Port Moresby and other urban areas.
  • Exercise a high degree of caution in remote areas, as law enforcement presence is extremely limited and tourist and transportation facilities are inadequate.
  • Unexploded ordinance and mines may be found in Bougainville, East New Britain, and throughout the Papua New Guinea islands. Exercise caution when walking or hiking off marked roads and trails.
  • There has been a recent uptick in small-scale piracy, particularly in waters surrounding Madang and Milne Bay.

Crime: Papua New Guinea has a high crime rate.

  • Crime rates are highest in and around major cities such as Port Moresby, Lae, Madang, Mount Hagen, and Goroka, but crimes can occur anywhere.
  • You are at a greater risk of violent crime such as sexual assault if you travel alone, especially if you plan to hike in isolated rural areas.
  • Pickpockets and bag-snatchers frequent crowded public areas, including parks, golf courses, beaches, and cemeteries. Bag-snatchers may try to open doors of automobiles that are stopped or moving slowly in traffic.
  • Please see our page on  Personal Safety .

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. Report crimes and law enforcement-related emergencies to local police by calling 112. In the event you are unable to get through to the police, operators with St. John Ambulance Service may be able to assist you by passing your request to the police control center. You may also contact the U.S. Embassy at +675 308 2100. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas .

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage .

Organized Tours and Adventure Travel

Organized tours booked through travel agencies remain the safest means to visit Papua New Guinea, although on rare occasions, even persons participating in organized tours have been subject to violent crime and injury. If you choose to travel to Papua New Guinea with a group tour, here are some things to be aware of:

  • Excursions to local shops, restaurants, and tourist sights should be done in groups.
  • Security protocols, standards of professionalism, and pricing can vary widely among tour operators and local guides.
  • Unscrupulous tour guides or criminal elements may attempt to extort money from tour groups and individual travelers through the use of informal roadblocks, unwarranted delays, or by imposing additional undisclosed fees.
  • Before making tour arrangements, research tour operators and guides, and compare itineraries through multiple sources, including the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority.

Diving and Snorkeling: Scuba divers and or snorkelers are advised to check the references, licenses, and equipment of tour operators before agreeing to a tour. Confirm the dive operator is certified through one of the international diving associations, and that their certification is current. Confirm with the diving association directly that the operator is certified. Local dive masters may not consider your skill level when they organize a trip.

Rent equipment only from trustworthy operators and be sure to receive training before using the equipment. Some rental diving equipment may not be properly maintained or inspected. Make sure that your travel medical insurance covers your sport. The Divers Alert Network (DAN) website has information on diver’s insurance.

Deaths and serious accidents have occurred in the past because basic safety precautions were not taken during diving and snorkeling trips. Remember that safety measures and emergency responses may not meet U.S. standards.

Papua New Guinea has one hyperbaric recompression chamber to provide medical assistance for dive-related injuries, located in Port Moresby at the Tropicair Hangar at Jacksons International Airport. However, it may not always be operational. Diving injuries may therefore require medical evacuation to Australia. Many popular dive sites are located near outlying islands, and it may take several hours to reach facilities in the event of an accident.

Other Water Sports: Exercise caution and common sense when engaging in all adventure sports, including but not limited to whitewater rafting, sea kayaking, and windsailing. Make sure your travel medical insurance covers your sport. Never participate in adventure sports alone. Before kayaking, rafting, or windsailing, check water conditions and wear a life jacket and helmet. Water conditions may become extremely dangerous during heavy rainfall, and flash floods are common.

Hiking: Exercise caution if you plan to hike the Kokoda Track, the Black Cat Track, Mt. Wilhelm, Mt. Giluwe, or other established or informal hiking trails in Papua New Guinea. Hikers have been attacked and killed, even along the most well-known routes. Local landowners occasionally threaten to close parts of the tracks due to local land and compensation disputes. Carry a first aid kit and observe all local and trail-specific regulations.

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel .

Demonstrations  occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. 

  • Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly become violent. 
  • Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations. 
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.

International Financial Scams:  See the  Department of State  and the  FBI  pages for information.

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from relevant local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:

  • Faith-Based Travel Information
  • International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
  • Human Rights Report – see country reports
  • Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
  • Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad

LGBTI Travelers: Same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea is a conservative country and public displays of affection are generally not understood or welcomed. 

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance . Papua New Guinea does not have legislation mandating access to transportation, communication, and public buildings for persons with disabilities. The road network in Papua New Guinea is in poor condition. Foot paths, road crossings, and stairways in most major towns are congested, uneven, and are generally not constructed or maintained with an eye toward access for persons with disabilities.

Travelers with Disabilities: The law in Papua New Guinea prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, or mental disabilities, but is not enforced. Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is not as prevalent as in the United States. Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure in both rural and urban areas, including the capital. The availability of rental, repair and replacement parts for aids/equipment/devices, or service providers, such as sign language interpreters or personal assistants is limited.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips .

Women Travelers: Sexual assault and gender-based violence are relatively common in Papua New Guinea. Though most often reported in urban centers and against the local population, these attacks can occur anywhere and also be directed against tourists or foreign residents. Police have limited capacity to respond to such crimes and health workers at local medical facilities may not be adequately trained or have the capacity to provide victim-centered care or administer post exposure prophylaxes. Women are advised of the following precautions:

  • Do not travel alone, and if possible travel with a group of people you trust.
  • Avoid public transport, especially after dark.
  • Limit evening entertainment to venues with professional security.
  • Avoid isolated areas when alone at any time of day.
  • Respect local dress and customs. Customary everyday dress for women throughout the country is conservative, and even more so in non-urban areas, with women wearing clothing that covers their shoulders and their legs past the knees. 
  • Ask if your lodging has a female-only floor or section. Some hotels in Papua New Guinea offer this option.

See our travel tips for Women Travelers .

Special Circumstances:

Customs:  Papua New Guinean customs authorities enforce strict regulations governing firearms, certain prescription drugs, wooden artifacts, animal products, food, and sexually explicit material. Firearms should not be brought into the country. Other products may be subject to quarantine. You should contact the Embassy of Papua New Guinea in Washington, D.C. for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Natural Disasters:  Papua New Guinea is among the most disaster-prone countries in the world. Earthquakes, tropical cyclones, destructive tsunamis, exceptionally high tides, seasonal and flash flooding, and landslides can occur with little or no notice. The country has many active volcanoes. Recent eruptions have occurred in in Bougainville, East and West New Britain, and Manam Island. Ash from volcanoes in East and West New Britain occasionally disrupts air and ground operations at the airports in Kokopo and Hoskins.

Documentation:  Carry a copy of your U.S. passport and Papua New Guinean visa at all times so that you can demonstrate your proof of identity, U.S. citizenship, and immigration status to authorities if asked.

For emergency services in Papua New Guinea, dial 111 to reach St. John Ambulance Service.

Ambulance services are:

  • Not present throughout the country or are unreliable in most areas except for Port Moresby and other major urban areas.
  • Not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.
  • Not always staffed with trained paramedics and/ or may have little or no medical equipment.
  • Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation, as severe injuries often require medical evacuation to Australia, Singapore, the Philippines, or the United States at a cost of thousands of dollars. Medical evacuations to Australia require a visa or Electronic Travel Authority .

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Embassy of Papua New Guinea to ensure the medication is legal in Papua New Guinea.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

  • World Health Organization
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals . We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Health facilities in general:

  • Health facilities are available in Port Moresby and other major urban areas, but health care may be below U.S. standards or vary greatly between locations.
  • Public medical clinics often lack basic resources and supplies.
  • Hospitals and doctors may require payment “up front” prior to service or admission, and credit card payment is not always available.
  • Private hospitals usually require advance payment or proof of adequate insurance before admitting a patient.
  • Generally, in public hospitals, only minimal staff is available overnight. Consider hiring a private nurse or having family spend the night with the patient, especially a minor child.
  • Patients bear all costs for transfer to or between hospitals.
  • Psychological and psychiatric services are extremely limited, even in Port Moresby and other urban areas. Hospital-based care is only available through one government institution in Port Moresby.


  • Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas. Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with little controls. Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients. Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.
  • Persons arriving in Papua New Guinea are advised to travel with copies of any prescriptions for medication. Common prescription and over-the-counter medications are generally available at pharmacies located in major urban areas.

Water Quality:

  • In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.

General Health:  The following diseases are prevalent:

  • Chikungunya
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Rickettsioses
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Traveler’s Diarrhea
  • Tuberculosis
  • Use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended mosquito repellents and sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers even for short stays.
  • HIV/AIDS: Please see the CDC website regarding HIV Basics .
  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in Papua New Guinea.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Motor vehicle accidents are a common cause of serious injury in Papua New Guinea. Road travel outside of major towns can be hazardous due to car jackings, armed robbery, and criminal roadblocks near bridges, curves in the road, or other areas where vehicle speed and mobility is restricted. Be sure to:

  • Lock your doors and keep your windows rolled up.
  • Drive in convoys and avoid driving after dark, if possible.
  • Hire a reputable driver or private transport service.
  • Consult with local law enforcement officials concerning security conditions before driving between towns.
  • Wear a seatbelt at all times.

Safety risks include: 

  • Roads are in a poor state of repair, especially in rural areas.
  • Erratic and intoxicated drivers
  • Poorly maintained vehicles
  • Over-crowded vehicles
  • Landslides, especially during the rainy season along stretches of the Highlands Highway between Lae and Mount Hagen
  • Car jackings, armed robberies, and criminal roadblocks, particularly along the Highlands Highway

Traffic Laws: Traffic in Papua New Guinea moves on the left. Police roadblocks to check vehicle registrations are a regular occurrence at night in Port Moresby, and police may not always act in a professional manner. As a driver, you should ensure that your vehicle registration and safety stickers are up-to-date in order to minimize difficulties at police checkpoints.

If You Are Involved in a Road Accident: Crowds can react emotionally and violently after road accidents.  Crowds form quickly after an accident and may attack those whom they hold responsible by stoning and/or burning vehicles. Friends and relatives of an injured party may demand immediate compensation from the party they hold responsible for injuries, regardless of legal responsibility. If you are involved in an accident and you feel threatened, go directly to the nearest police station instead of remaining at the scene of the accident.

Public Transportation: Avoid using local taxis or buses, known as Public Motor Vehicles (PMVs), as crimes such as robbery and sexual assault on buses are not uncommon. Use a reliable service provided by your hotel, employer, or colleagues.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

For specific information concerning Papua New Guinea driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, road safety and mandatory insurance, please call the Papua New Guinea’s Motor Vehicles Insurance Limited at 675-325-9666 or 675-302-4600. 

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Papua New Guinea, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Papua New Guinea’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.  Further information may be found on the  FAA’s safety assessment page .

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Papua New Guinea should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts . Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website , and the NGA broadcast warnings .

Persons arriving on or transiting through Papua New Guinea on sailboats or yachts should be aware that small-scale piracy can occur and has recently been reported near Madang and Milne Bay.

For additional travel information

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • See the  State Department’s travel website  for the  Worldwide Caution  and  Travel Advisories .
  • Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.

For additional IPCA-related information, please see the  International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA)  report.

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U.S. Embassy to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu

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This page was last updated May 4, 2023.

As of May 12, nonimmigrant air passengers will no longer need to show proof of being fully vaccinated with an accepted COVID-19 vaccine to board a flight to the United States. For more information see Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers .

Check the CDC website for additional information and  Frequently Asked Questions .

Papua New Guinea

Entry and exit requirements.

Are there COVID-related entry requirements for U.S. citizens? No. As of October 5, 2022, all COVID travel restrictions were lifted, including the requirement to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? No. As of August 5, 2022, no COVID-19 tests are required prior to or upon arrival.

Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? No.

Exit Requirements and International Vaccination Certificate : Air Niugini and Qantas Airlines have policies requiring all international flight passengers to be fully vaccinated, regardless of destination or transit country requirements. Passengers vaccinated in PNG must have the yellow International Vaccination Certificate (issued by PNG National Department of Health and includes the traveler’s date of birth and passport number). Travelers can request an IVC by emailing scanned copies of their passport bio page and blue domestic vaccination card to [email protected] copying Ms. Martha Pogo  [email protected]  and Vienna Nonwo  [email protected] . It normally takes about 4 working days to process requests.

Quarantine Information

Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? No.

COVID-19 Testing

PCR and rapid antigen tests are available throughout Papua New Guinea at provincial and local health centers and at major hospitals and clinics. Results are provided in English and generally in hard copy. The cost of testing varies widely throughout the country.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Are vaccines available in Papua New Guinea for U.S. citizens to receive? Yes. Eligibility for vaccination includes all persons 18 years of age or older. U.S. citizens are advised to contact district and provincial health officials to inquire about and/or obtain vaccination services.

Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.

Local Resources

  • Papua New Guinea Official COVID-19 Government Portal
  • Papua New Guinea Department of Health COVID-19 Page
  • National Department of Health Facebook Page
  • World Health Organization Papua New Guinea Facebook Page

Other Links

  • COVID-19 crisis page on
  • CDC page on COVID-19
  • Papua New Guinea  Country Information and Travel Advisory  Page
  • Department of State’s  Crisis Abroad  page
  • Department of State’s  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program  (STEP), which allows the Embassy to send you information on safety and security

Solomon Islands

Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes. All travelers age 18 and older must be fully vaccinated to enter the Solomon Islands. The final dose of the vaccination must be received four weeks prior to the travel date. See or Solomon Islands government websites for specific travel requirements and details.

Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? No. Effective October 11, no tests are required for travel into Solomon Islands. See or Solomon Islands government websites for details.

Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry?  No.

Community testing is largely incident-based and testing services are not widely available in all areas of the country. Contact the nearest provincial or local health office or hospital for additional information.

Are vaccines available in Solomon Islands for U.S. citizens to receive?  Yes. U.S. citizens should contact provincial and national health officials to inquire about availability of vaccination services.

Visit the FDA’s website to  learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.

  • Solomon Islands Government COVID-19 Page
  • Solomon Islands Country Information and Travel Advisory Page
  • Department of State’s Crisis Abroad page
  • Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which allows the Embassy to send you information on safety and security

Are there COVID-related entry requirements for U.S. citizens? No.

Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? No.

U.S. citizens should contact Port Vila Central Hospital for specific information as to whether or not a rapid or 24-hour result will be available. If not, U.S. citizens en route back to the United States may wish to consider a stopover in another country en route where a rapid test may be available.

Are vaccines available in Vanuatu for U.S. citizens to receive? Yes. U.S. citizens should contact provincial and national health officials to inquire about availability of vaccination services.

Visit the FDA’s website to  learn more about FDA-approved vaccines  in the United States

  • Government of Vanuatu COVID-19 Portal
  • Government of Vanuatu COVID-19 Health Situation Reports
  • Vanuatu  Country Information and Travel Advisory Page

travel to png

Please see our step-by-step instructions to apply for a visa at the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby:

Check out our current vacancy announcements here: .

Please refer to the Country Information Pages for details on visa requirements for U.S. Citizens:

You will need a visa that allows you to work in the United States. Please review the detailed information available here: .

We will announce upcoming Consular travel on our website and via emails delivered through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program ( STEP – ).

Please refer to our detailed instructions on our passport information webpage: .

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Papua New Guinea

Latest update.

Exercise a high degree of caution in Papua New Guinea overall due to high levels of serious crime.

Higher levels apply in some areas.

Papua New Guinea Map September 2023

Papua New Guinea (PDF 782.48 KB)

Pacific (PDF 1.22 MB)

Local emergency contacts

Fire and rescue services, medical emergencies.

Call 111 or go direct to the hospital.

Call 112 or go to your local police station.

Advice levels

Exercise a high degree of caution in Papua New Guinea overall.

Exercise a high degree of caution in Papua New Guinea due to high levels of serious crime.

Reconsider your need to travel  to Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands, all of the Southern Highlands, Hela and Enga Provinces. 

Reconsider your need to travel  to Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands, all of the Southern Highlands, Hela and Enga Provinces due to the potential for unrest and ongoing security concerns.

See ' Safety '

  • Civil disorder, rioting and looting can escalate rapidly. Always pay close attention to your personal security and your surroundings. Australian officials always follow heightened security measures, including while travelling through PNG. Avoid high-risk areas and activities and consider using private security.
  • In July and December 2023, the Enga Government declared curfews for the province between 9pm - 6am to control ongoing tribal clashes. Other travel restrictions, including restriction of movement or checkpoints, often occur at short notice. Follow the advice of local authorities.
  • Kidnapping  can happen with criminal motives. There have been incidents of kidnapping in remote areas and near some mining sites. Targets have included foreigners. 
  • The risk of violent crime and sexual assault in PNG is high. Criminals often use 'bush knives' (machetes) and guns (including homemade ones). Always be alert to your surroundings. Avoid going out after dark.
  • Civil disorder and criminal activity have occurred at tourist resorts. Keep doors and windows locked, including when travelling by vehicle. Consider using private security.
  • Civil unrest and violent inter-group and tribal conflict are common and can increase without warning. Avoid protests, demonstrations, political rallies and areas where tribal fighting is happening. Criminal groups operate in remote areas of Papua New Guinea, particularly in the Highlands, including across provincial borders and in areas around logging, mining, oil and gas sites. Check security conditions and tensions by monitoring the media and local security reports before travelling to new areas. 
  • PNG can experience severe weather, heavy rains, flooding, landslides, earthquakes and tsunamis. Monitor the  Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System  for updates. Infrastructure can be damaged, and roads can't be passed. Follow the advice of local authorities.
  • On 20 November 2023, the Ulawun Volcano in New Britain erupted, causing disruptions to services and flight cancellations. Active volcanoes erupt regularly in PNG. Flights may be cancelled at short notice due to ash clouds. Check the  Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre  for updates.

Full travel advice:  Safety

  • Medical facilities are poor. If you're seriously ill or injured, you'll need to be evacuated to Australia. Make sure your travel insurance covers this.
  • Insect-borne diseases include malaria, Zika virus, dengue, chikungunya and Japanese encephalitis. Use insect repellent. Ensure your accommodation is insect-proof. If you're pregnant, ask your doctor about the risk of Zika virus before you travel.
  • Poliovirus outbreaks have occurred. Make sure you're vaccinated against polio. Tuberculosis is common. Children under five years and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk. If you think you have tuberculosis, get urgent medical treatment.
  • HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections are widespread. Take precautions to reduce your risk of infection.
  • Dysentery, typhoid, hepatitis and waterborne parasites are also common. Boil drinking water or drink bottled water. Avoid bathing in freshwater sources.

Full travel advice:  Health

  • Adultery and possessing or selling pornography or sex items are illegal. Same-sex relationships are illegal. Prison sentences may apply.
  • PNG recognises dual nationality for a limited number of countries, including Australia . Our ability to help dual citizens may be limited.
  • In PNG, the local custom of 'payback' includes violence or demands for money.
  • Dress and behaviour standards are conservative. Take care not to offend. Ask permission before taking photos of people, cultural sites and spirit houses.

Full travel advice:  Local laws

  • You need a visa to enter PNG and must apply for one before travel. Visas can't be obtained on arrival. You can apply for certain visas online, such as eVisas. eVisas are available through the  PNG eVisa portal . Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest high commission/embassy or consulate of PNG for the latest details.
  • Poor road maintenance and crime make road travel dangerous. Keep windows up and doors locked. Consider using a security escort. Avoid driving at night. Avoid travel by motorcycle, taxis and public transport. Travelling by boat can be dangerous. Marine search and rescue services are limited in PNG. Consider alternative options.
  • Fuel supply and availability of transport cannot be guaranteed, you should consider this when planning domestic travel in PNG.

Full travel advice:  Travel

Local contacts

  • The  Consular Services Charter  tells you what the Australian Government can and can't do to help when you're overseas.
  • For consular and passport help, contact the  Australian High Commission in Port Moresby or Australian Consulate-General in Lae if you're in Morobe province.
  • To stay up to date with local information, follow the High Commission’s social media accounts.

Full travel advice:  Local contacts

Full advice

Crime levels are high and police response can be slow.

Violent crime

Crime is common in PNG, but particularly in Port Moresby, Lae and other urban centres. This includes:

  • sexual assault  and gang rape
  • bag snatching

Squatter settlements in towns and cities are dangerous.

'Bush knives' (machetes) and guns are often used in assaults and  robberies .

The crime rate increases leading into the Christmas holiday period.

Most crime is opportunistic but foreigners have been targeted at home, at work or while travelling.

Robbery is a higher risk while:

  • driving (carjacking)
  • walking on the street (particularly after dark)
  • at shopping centres or markets
  • visiting hotels or restaurants
  • visiting areas frequented by foreigners
  • at major urban areas, including Port Moresby and Lae

Most robberies involve guns  and/or knives and machetes.

Criminal groups operate in remote areas of Papua New Guinea, particularly in the Highlands, including across provincial borders and in areas around logging, mining, oil and gas sites.  There have been incidents of kidnapping  in remote areas and near some mining sites.

Women are at greater risk of sexual assault and theft.

Disciplinary forces are poorly resourced and corruption is prevalent, many organisations, including the Australian High Commission, use private security.  

More information:

  • Advice for women travellers

Road-based crimes

Carjacking is common in Port Moresby, Lae, and along the highway between Lae and Nadzab Airport, especially at night.

Criminals may use roadblocks outside of towns to stop and loot vehicles and attack you. 

To stay safe on the roads:

  • keep car doors locked and windows up, even when moving
  • consider using a security escort or travel in convoy if you travel at night
  • avoid travel by taxi or public transport, especially if you're a woman

See  Travel

Tourist resorts

Civil disorder and criminal activity, including armed robbery, has happened at tourist resorts in coastal areas and at other locations across PNG.

Trekking safely

Consider using a security escort.

There have been armed robberies and attempted carjackings of foreign day trekkers near Sogeri, Varirata National Park and on the Kokoda Track, mostly recently in 2023. 

Ensure walking companies are experienced.

Find out more about trekking the Kokoda Track under  Travel .

Cyber security

You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.

Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.

  • Cyber security when travelling overseas

Civil unrest and political tension

Tension between tribal, communal or clan groups can increase without warning. There's an increased risk during election periods. There have been instances of unlawfulness during elections and in response to arrest and detention sometimes resulting in deaths.  

Civil unrest occurs regularly, including in Port Moresby, and can escalate quickly. Avoid non-essential travel when civil unrest is occurring. Disputes between police and the Government often lead to civil unrest and can rapidly deteriorate into violence, rioting and looting. Activity is generally opportunistic or focussed around government infrastructure.  Significant civil disorder, violence and looting occurred in Port Moresby and other parts of PNG in January 2024. 

Civil unrest events often disable local transport networks, medical and social services, and force the closure of retail businesses. 

Fighting often involves guns. Rioting and looting can follow.

Outbreaks of violence have happened in squatter settlements, marketplaces and urban centres, and during elections including:

  • Port Moresby
  • Mt Hagen (Western Highlands)

If a clash happens, it may cause:

  • destruction of property
  • serious injury
  • disruption to services, including ground and air transport
  • an increase in opportunistic crime

Violent inter-group clashes and random killings of locals occurred in Enga Province, fuelled by the National Election. Violent tribal clashes resulted in property damage, sexual assault and murder.

Mendi and Nipa in the Southern Highlands Province had outbreaks of election unrest in July 2022. Similar incidents have occurred in Hela Province since 2018, including in 2022. 

There's ongoing violence because of illegal mining at the Porgera gold mine. People have been killed and injured.

Demonstrations and protests

Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent quickly.

To protect yourself during periods of unrest:

  • avoid non-essential travel to areas where civil unrest is occurring
  • avoid demonstrations and protests
  • monitor the media , including local social media, and local security reports
  • consult airlines, accommodation or other local service providers
  • check on security conditions and tensions before travelling to a new area
  • avoid trouble spots
  • follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Demonstrations and civil unrest

Kidnapping  can happen, with political, ideological and criminal motives. Targets have included foreigners.

There have been incidents of kidnapping in remote areas and near some mining sites. A foreigner was kidnapped in the Southern Highlands in February 2023.

Always be alert to your personal security and surroundings. See 'Safety - Personal Security' for more information.

The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers.

Personal security

Many organisations, including the Australian High Commission, use private security:

  • to get a quick response to calls for help
  • as security escorts

Australian officials always follow heightened security measures , including while travelling through PNG .

Officials receive security training and follow strict guidelines, which may include limiting or avoiding travel in certain areas during periods of increased risk.

To safeguard your personal security:

  • avoid high-risk areas and activities
  • arrange appropriate security in public and private spaces
  • consider using private security
  • keep accommodation and vehicle doors and windows locked
  • always be alert to your surroundings

Terrorism is a threat worldwide.

  • Bougainville

In Bougainville, you're more at risk in Central Bougainville and Southern Bougainville because of:

  • remote terrain
  • former combatants with weapons
  • sensitivities around mining, especially the old Panguna mine in Central Bougainville

Medical services in Bougainville are basic. Make sure your insurance covers medical evacuations.

To reduce your risks while you're in Bougainville:

  • avoid political gatherings
  • monitor local media
  • check with local sources about the security situation before travelling
  • be alert to your surroundings
  • turn back if you're concerned for your safety
  • take personal security precautions

Climate and natural disasters

PNG experiences  natural disasters  and  severe weather , including:

  • volcanic eruptions
  • earthquakes

To protect yourself during a natural disaster:

  • secure your passport in a safe, waterproof location
  • monitor local media and other sources, such as the  Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
  • follow the advice of local authorities and your employer
  • keep in contact with friends and family
  • contact your airline or travel agent for updates

If you're visiting after a natural disaster, contact your tour operator to check if services are affected.

Severe weather

Timing of the wet season varies across the country.

During the wet season, heavy rain can cause:

  • damage to roads and infrastructure
  • disruption to services
  • injuries and deaths

Tropical storms can also happen in other months.

If you're arriving during the wet season, contact your tour operator to check if services are affected.

On 20 November 2023, the Ulawun Volcano in New Britain erupted causing disruptions to services and flight cancellations. Active volcanoes erupt regularly in PNG. Flights may be cancelled at short notice due to ash clouds. Check the  Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre  for updates . Monitor the local media and follow the advice of local authorities. 

Active  volcanoes  erupt regularly, particularly around:

  • East Sepik province
  • East New Britain province
  • Manam Island
  • West New Britain province

Volcanic eruptions often lead to displacement of communities and disruptions to services, including airport closures, leading to flight cancellations at short notice. 

Get updates on ash clouds from the  Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre .

Earthquakes and tsunamis

PNG can experience  earthquakes  and tsunamis. Tsunamis can happen after an earthquake in the region.

In September 2022, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Morobe Province causing some deaths and disruptions to power and telecommunications across Madang, Eastern Highlands and Morobe.  In 2018, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake occurred in the Southern Highlands and Hela Provinces where over 100 people died.

Get updates on earthquakes via the  US Geological Service .

To reduce your risk of harm during an earthquake:

  • follow the advice of local authorities
  • follow the advice of your accommodation provider
  • monitor  Pacific Tsunami Warning Center  and local sources
  • if you're in a coastal or low-lying area, move to higher ground

Travel insurance

Get comprehensive  travel insurance  before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won’t pay for these costs.

If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.

If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.

  • what activities and care your policy covers
  • that your insurance covers you for the whole time you’ll be away

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. 

See your doctor or travel clinic to:

  • have a basic health check-up
  • ask if your travel plans may affect your health
  • plan any vaccinations you need

Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.

If you have immediate concerns for your welfare, or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your  nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate  to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.

  • General health advice
  • Healthy holiday tips  (Healthdirect Australia)

Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

If you plan to take medication, check if it's legal in Papua New Guinea. Take enough legal medication for your trip.

Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:

  • what the medication is
  • your required dosage
  • that it's for personal use
  • Medications

Health risks

Insect-borne diseases.

Insect-borne diseases occur throughout PNG, including in Port Moresby.

Malaria  and dengue are common throughout the year.

Cases of  chikungunya  and Zika virus  have been reported.

Japanese encephalitis  is a low-risk for short-term visitors in urban areas.

If you're pregnant, the Australian Department of Health recommends you:

  • discuss travel plans with your doctor
  • consider deferring non-essential travel to Zika virus-affected areas

To protect yourself from disease:

  • make sure your accommodation is insect-proof
  • use insect repellent
  • wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing

Consider taking medication to prevent malaria and getting vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis.

Seek medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.

  • Infectious diseases

A national vaccination campaign was undertaken in 2018 and 2019 following the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting cases of  vaccine-derived poliovirus (type 1)  in parts of PNG.

Make sure you're vaccinated against  polio .

  • Papua New Guinea confirms poliovirus outbreak, launches response
  • Vaccine derived poliovirus – Papua New Guinea


Tuberculosis  is common.

Multi-drug-resistant strains are present, including in Port Moresby and Western Province.

People at greater risk include:

  • children aged under 5 years
  • those with medical conditions that affect their immune system

If you think you have tuberculosis, get urgent medical treatment.

HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases

The  HIV/AIDS  infection rate is high. Other sexually transmitted infections are widespread.

Take precautions if you're doing anything that exposes you to risk of infection.

Other health risks

Foodborne, waterborne and other infectious diseases are common. These include:

  • dysentery (shigellosis)

Local water services can be polluted or turned off. Waterborne parasites occur in many rivers.

To protect yourself from illness:

  • drink boiled water or bottled water with sealed lids
  • avoid ice cubes
  • avoid uncooked and undercooked food, such as salads
  • avoid bathing in fresh water sources

Seek medical attention if you suspect food poisoning or have a fever or diarrhoea.

Emergency health responses

The government may declare a national emergency if there's a health outbreak of diseases such as:

  • seasonal influenza

In an emergency, the government may make provisions, laws, orders or regulations to stop the spread of diseases. This can happen without notice.

During an emergency health response there could be:

  • travel restrictions
  • restaurant closures
  • closed water sources

Animal bites and stings

Venomous snakes are common. Reports of snake bites increase during the wet season.

Jellyfish and other marine animal stings can be fatal.

Seek advice from local authorities, your tour operator or hotel about:

  • seasonal conditions
  • recommended precautions
  • other potential dangers

Medical care

Medical facilities.

Health care facilities are poor, including in Port Moresby.

Large towns usually have enough facilities for routine problems and some emergencies.

Health facilities in rural areas, including along the Kokoda Track, are basic.

Ambulance services outside Port Moresby are limited.

If you're seriously ill or injured, you'll need to be evacuated to Australia. Medical evacuation can be very expensive. 

If you're diving, the only hyperbaric (decompression) chamber is in Port Moresby.

If you plan to dive in PNG:

  • dive well within safety limits
  • check your travel insurance covers it
  • make sure you're covered for medical evacuation

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our  Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

You may get a fine or jail sentence if you:

  • possess or sell pornography or sex items
  • commit adultery

War materials

It's illegal to remove surplus war material from PNG. This includes:

  • aircraft or vehicle parts
  • other items used during WWII
  • PNG Customs

LGBTI information

Sexual acts between people of the same sex are illegal. Prison sentences apply.

  • Advice for LGBTI travellers

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you’re overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.

  • Staying within the law and respecting customs

Dual citizenship

PNG only recognises dual nationality for a limited number of countries, including Australia.

If approved by the PNG Government, PNG nationals can apply for dual citizenship with Australia – see  Immigration and Citizenship Authority (ICA) PNG .

If you're a dual citizen travelling on a non-Australian passport , this limits the  consular services  we can give if you're arrested or detained.

Always travel on your  Australian passport .

  • Dual nationals

Local customs

The traditional custom of 'payback' occurs.

You could face 'payback' if you:

  • offend local customs
  • engage in illegal or inappropriate sexual or financial relations
  • damage someone's property (including livestock)

'Payback' can include violence or demands for money.

Dress and behaviour standards are conservative. Take care not to offend.

Ask permission before taking photos of:

  • cultural sites
  • spirit houses

Visas and border measures

Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering. 

Visa conditions 

You need a visa to enter PNG and must apply for one before travel. Visas can't be obtained on arrival. You can apply for certain visas online, such as eVisas. eVisas are available through the  PNG eVisa portal .

There have been reports of fraudulent websites targeting foreign nationals applying for eVisas to PNG. If applying for an eVisa, use the official PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority website. It's illegal to work in PNG on a tourist visa.

If you breach PNG immigration laws, you can be:

  • banned from re-entry

Border measures

Entry and exit conditions can change. Contact your airline or your nearest embassy or consulate of Papua New Guinea  for details about the latest visa and entry requirements.

You can't bring fruit or vegetables into PNG due to quarantine restrictions.

Some countries won’t let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you’re just transiting or stopping over.

Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.

You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.

The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport’s expiry date before you travel. If you’re not sure it’ll be valid for long enough, consider getting  a new passport .

Lost or stolen passport

Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.

Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.

If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:

  • In Australia, contact the  Australian Passport Information Service .
  • If you're overseas, contact the nearest  Australian embassy or consulate .

Passport with ‘X’ gender identifier 

Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can't guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest  embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination  before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.

More information: 

  • LGBTI travellers

The local currency is the PNG Kina (PGK).

Declare all amounts over PGK20,000 when you arrive or leave.

Exchange Australian dollars for PGK at local banks. 

Most hotels accept international credit cards.

ATMs are in Port Moresby and major urban centres but aren't always working. Only use ATMs in hotels and other secure locations due to the high risk of crime.

Ask your bank if your Australian cards will work in PNG.

Local travel

Local restrictions.

On 26 July, the Enga Government declared a three-month daily curfew for the province between 9pm and 6am. Other travel restrictions, including restriction of movement or checkpoints, may occur at short notice. Follow the advice of local authorities.

Kokoda Track trekking

Walking the Kokoda Track is physically demanding. You must have a high level of fitness.

Weather conditions can be unpredictable.

Health risks include:

  • dehydration
  • poor local services
  • delayed medical evacuation

Every year several Australians are medically evacuated. It's expensive. You or your travel insurance provider must cover the costs. Some people have died.

Adequate travel insurance is essential.

Serious crime and civil disorder occur throughout PNG, including:

  • along the Black Cat Track in Morobe Province
  • along the Kokoda Track
  • at the ends of the Kokoda Track in Central and Oro Provinces

Consider using a security escort. See  Safety

Unexploded weapons and remnants of war are found in PNG. Especially along the Kokoda Track, Milne Bay and Rabaul.

The condition and stability of these weapons is unknown. They can maim or kill you.

If you find a war remnant, don't disturb it.

Permits for the Kokoda Track

The PNG Government regulates trekking along the Kokoda Track. You'll normally need a permit before you trek.

Your trekking operator will need a permit issued by the Kokoda Track Authority before you trek. Make sure they have the permit before you start trekking.

Track blockage by local communities can occur anywhere. In August 2023, the track was blocked at Kovelo and the local community was demanding additional payment. Make sure your trekking company has contingency plans if the track is blocked.  

If you plan to trek the Kokoda Track:

  • prepare with extensive training
  • get medical advice and fitness testing before you commit to trekking
  • make sure your travel insurance covers your planned activities and medical evacuation
  • use guides from reputable trekking companies
  • give your itinerary and trekking company contact details of family or friends in Australia

While on the Kokoda Track:

  • stay hydrated
  • protect yourself from dysentery (see  Health )
  • store your passport in a waterproof bag or container
  • pay close attention to your personal security
  • stay with your group
  • don't touch or disturb anything that could be an unexploded war weapon, whether near the track or on display
  • follow local rules and customs, and let your trekking company handle conversations and negotiations with local communities

Other trekking

  • You should ensure trekking companies have made arrangements with landowners to ensure safe passage.  
  • You should ensure trekking companies have a safety plan if something goes wrong.
  • Tourism Promotion Authority
  • Kokoda Track Authority


Satellite and mobile phone global roaming services can be patchy.

Landline phones can have outages.

To stay in communication:

  • check mobile coverage with your service provider
  • make contingency plans for service outages
  • consider carrying a satellite phone

Driving permit

You can drive in PNG for up to 6 months using a valid Australian driver's licence.

After 6 months, you'll need a local licence.

Road travel

You're more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident in PNG than in Australia.

Roads are poor, especially in rural areas.

Other hazards include:

  • unpredictable and drunk drivers
  • poorly maintained vehicles
  • overcrowded vehicles

Large crowds can form quickly after road accidents. These crowds can become violent with no warning.

Flash floods and landslides can cause roads to close during the wet season. This can result in travel delays. The timing of the wet season varies across the country.

Parts of the Highlands Highway between Lae and Mount Hagen are particularly affected.

Police use roadblocks to check licences and vehicle registrations in Port Moresby.

If you plan to drive in PNG:

  • know local traffic laws and practices before driving
  • keep your car windows and doors locked
  • avoid driving at night
  • if you travel at night, consider using a security escort or travel in a convoy (see  Safety )
  • consider using a security escort along the Highlands Highway (including between Lae and Nadzab Airport)
  • make sure your licence, vehicle registration and safety stickers are up-to-date to minimise problems at roadblocks
  • Driving or riding


Avoid travel by motorcycle.

Poor roads and high crime risks mean riding a motorbike in PNG is more dangerous than in Australia.

It's safer to travel in a locked vehicle.

Make sure your travel insurance covers riding a motorcycle.

Always wear a helmet.

Avoid taxis, especially if you're a woman.

Taxis are poorly maintained and often targeted by criminals.

Use vehicles hired from a reputable company, hotel or secure transport provider.

Public transport

Avoid public transport.

Also avoid privately owned minibuses, known as public motor vehicles (PMVs). They are poorly maintained and often targeted by criminals.

  • Transport and getting around safely

Travel by ferry or small local boats can be dangerous. Modern boats may be overcrowded and lack basic safety equipment (especially for small children), these include:

  • life jackets
  • fire extinguishers

Several ferries have sunk in rough weather. Many people have died.

Boat services can be disrupted at short notice. Overcrowding of ferries and boats is common.

Consider flying to your destination instead.

There are limited marine search and rescue services in PNG.

To reduce your risk when travelling on the water:

  • check with your tour operator/crew to determine safety standards and safety equipment provided is appropriate
  • carry your own life jacket, an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) and a satellite telephone
  • avoid single-engine boats and travelling at night unless the vessel is appropriately equipped
  • travel in convoy with all boats at half capacity or less
  • tell your family or friends in Australia when you expect to leave and arrive
  • use another provider if appropriate safety equipment isn't available

Register EPIRBs and PLBs with the  Australian Maritime Safety Authority . In case of maritime accident, notify the PNG National Maritime Safety Authority on its 24-hour emergency number: +675 7351 7017.

International cruise lines stop over in PNG.

  • Travelling by boat

Flying in PNG can be dangerous because of:

  • difficult terrain
  • extreme weather
  • poor conditions of some remote airfields

Since 2000, there have been more than 20 aircraft accidents:

  • In December 2017, a North Coast Aviation Ltd aircraft crashed in mountainous terrain in Morobe Province, killing the Australian pilot.
  • In April 2016, a Sunbird Aviation aircraft crashed in Kiunga, Western Province killing 12 people, including an Australian.

Flight delays and cancellations are frequent. Shortages of aviation fuel could disrupt domestic air travel.  Check your flight schedule with your airline.

DFAT doesn’t provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.

Check  PNG's air safety profile  with the Aviation Safety Network.


Depending on what you need, contact your:

  • family and friends
  • travel agent
  • insurance provider

Always get a police report when you report a crime.

Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Consular contacts

Read the  Consular Services Charter  for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

For consular assistance, contact the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby or the Australian the Consulate-General in Lae (if you are in Morobe province) to make an appointment. Note the Consulate-General in Lae can't issue emergency travel documents.

Australian High Commission, Port Moresby

Godwit Road Waigani NCD Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Phone: (+675) 7090 0100 Fax: (+675) 325 9239 Website: Facebook:  Australian High Commission Papua New Guinea Twitter:  @AusHCPNG  

Check the High Commission website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.

For passport or consular services email [email protected] .

Australian Consulate-General, Lae

Nanbawan Supa Building 4th Floor, 2nd Street Lae, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea Phone: (+675) 7999 5300 Email:  [email protected] Website:

24-hour Consular Emergency Centre

In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:

  • +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
  • 1300 555 135 in Australia


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Home / Coronavirus – Travel Advice

Covid19 - Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel advice in papua new guinea.

The PNG Tourism Promotion Authority warmly welcomes travellers back to Papua New Guinea in 2022.

The travel restrictions and requirements have changed since the Government of Papua New Guinea officially reopened our nation’s borders on the 1st of July 2022.

The travel requirements below for international travellers have been sanctioned by Measure No. 2 effected 18th of April 2022 , under the National Pandemic Act 2020 .

Passport validity, appropriate travel visas, as well as a certificate of COVID-19 vaccination remain as part of the ‘niupela pasin’ (new normal) travel requirements still required of travellers entering Papua New Guinea.

Travel Visas

There is no visa-on-arrival facility in Papua New Guinea. PNG travel visas, especially Visitor Visas , must be applied for online via:

If you require assistance with your visa, you may contact the nearest Papua New Guinean Overseas Mission or Post:

Travel Agents and PNG Tour Operators who need assistance organizing visas for their clients may contact the Tourism Promotion Authority Marketing Division coordinator, Mr. Joel Keimelo: email [email protected] or phone +675 320-0211 ext. 220

Vaccination Requirements

All travellers arriving into Papua New Guinea must show proof of being fully vaccinated, i.e., vaccination certificate (PNG Citizens and Permanent Residents are exempted). Approved vaccines include:

  • Oxford-AstraZenica COVID-19 Vaccine – 2 doses
  • AstraZenica COVID-19 Vaccine (COVISHIELD/SII) – 2 doses
  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine – 2 doses
  • Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine – 2 doses
  • Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine – 1 dose
  • Sinopharm-BBIBP – 2 doses
  • CoronaVac Sinovac – 2 doses
  • Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine – 2 doses
  • Covaxin (Bharat Biotech) – 2 doses
  • Covovax (SIINVX-CoV2373) – 2 doses

For returning international travellers to note

  • Approval from the Controller is no longer required
  • Pre-departure PCR Testing is no longer required
  • COVID-19 testing on arrival is no longer required
  • The quarantine of passengers from India and the Philippines is no longer required
  • The PNG Health Declaration Form is no longer required

Please visit the Air Niugini website for further advice on international travel:  

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Coral Reef

Travel Advice – Coronavirus Travel Update

Find out more on coronavirus and travel updates.

This page provides the latest information on travel restrictions, flight cancellations as well as travel requirements during the Coronavirus pandemic. We are continually monitoring the situation, including travel restrictions and updates to travel policies that may impact you given the rapidly evolving nature of responses to COVID-19. The information is correct to the best of Air Niugini’s knowledge at the time of publication. Air Niugini reserves the right to add or update information at any time.

Air Niugini will continue to operate in a safe and compliant manner, adhering to advice from the PNG Government as per the Pandemic Measures issued to mitigate the risks in the spread against Coronavirus (COVID-19).


There are NO travel requirements and restrictions when travelling domestically within Papua New Guinea (PNG)


Due to the rapid change in requirements this information is provided as a guide and the final obligation remains with the passenger to confirm with their destination country (and any countries of transit) as to the latest requirements. Normal travel requirements such as passport validity, travel visas, �certificate of �vaccination etc. also apply.


As of Thursday 06th October, PNG has removed all Covid-19 restrictions associated with air travel. This includes the requirement to wear a mask whilst inside airport terminals, or wear a mask on an aircraft. It also removes the requirement that passengers travelling to PNG from overseas have to show evidence of having been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Note: Visa On Arrival (VOA) still suspended, therefore must have valid PNG Visa prior to Travel Date.� Official website to apply for PNG Visa;�


From 1am� 25 th April, all pre-departure testing will cease at the airport for all flights . �

All passengers should proceed directly to the Departures Check in through the Main Terminal Entrance. For passengers transiting onto flights to other international destinations� you will be asked for evidence that your destination does not require a pre-departure test at time of check-in. We recommend checking for latest information at and bringing a screen shot of your destinations requirements with you to check-in.�

Pre-departure Covid tests are no longer required for travel to Australia.�

Countries that do not require pre-departure tests include, the UK, EU, Scandinavia , Canada, Australia, Brazil, South Africa. Countries requiring pre-departure rapid tests include USA, NZ and Indonesia.� Countries requiring PCR tests include Malaysia, Japan, China, Hong Kong and South Korea.� This information is rapidly changing and passengers must� check on the latest requirements.

If travelling to Singapore, Hong Kong or Manila, or transiting to a country that requires a negative certificate the certificate must be issued by a Doctor and� include at least the following information

  • the date and time of the test;
  • the name of the individual tested, as stated in the passport;
  • at least one other personal identifier such as date of birth or passport number;
  • the type of test conducted;
  • the brand and make of the test;
  • that the specimen for the test was collected, and the test was carried out, by or under the supervision of a Doctor;
  • the result of the test (such as �negative� or �not detected�);
  • the signature of the Doctor providing the certificate, as well as their Authority to Practise Number.


Australia is open for travel from citizens from all countries including PNG

  • From Tuesday 05th July, travellers to Australia are no longer required to complete the Australia Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD), nor will they be required to produce Covid-19 Proof of Vaccination at check-in.
  • PNG citizens who have chosen not to be vaccinated are also now able to travel from PNG to Australia (and return).
  • Where passengers are transiting through Australia, they need to ensure that they (passengers) are compliant with any Proof of Vaccination both for their onward airline, any countries of transit and their final destination. For example, Qantas at present only uplifts passengers with evidence of being fully vaccinated. Failure to meet these onward requirements may result in the onward airline refusing to uplift the passenger. Air Niugini will still require passengers to produce these necessary documents to support their travel at check-in in Port Moresby.


  • Pre-departure Covid test is no longer required.
  • Normal Travel Documents
  • Australian Digital Passenger Declaration no longer required.�
  • Proof of Vaccination no longer required for passengers stopping in Australia. Passengers transiting through Australia will need to provide proof of Vaccination at Check-in in Port Moresby if their onward airline or country requires Proof of Vaccination.

Updated Border Measures – International Border Advice to Industry � 05 January 2023

Updates to border entry requirements for travellers entering Australia from China, including Hong Kong and Macau.

The Australian Government continues to monitor the global COVID-19 situation. A number of countries are currently experiencing significant surges in COVID-19 infections, most notably there is a very significant wave currently underway in China. In response the requirements for passengers entering Australia from the People�s Republic of China and the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau are changing.

Arrangements from 5 January 2023 � COVID-19 test requirements

From 00:01 AEDT on 5 January 2023, passengers entering Australia from the People�s Republic of China and the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau will be required to undertake a COVID-19 test within a period of 48 hours of travelling to Australia, and to produce evidence of a negative test result prior to boarding and on arrival (if requested).

This applies to passengers entering Australia by air from China, including Hong Kong and Macau, either on a direct flight, or on a flight that has a stopover in another country before landing in Australia. The testing requirement does not apply to those who travel from China, including Hong Kong or Macau to another country and spend several days there prior to travelling to Australia. It does not apply to passengers who have an exemption.

  • If a passenger is transiting Australia and directly travelling to an onwards destination, a negative test result is not required.

Evidence of a negative COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) or any type of Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT), which includes Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, prior to scheduled departure will be accepted.

Exemptions to requirement for negative COVID-19 test

The requirement is for passengers to undertake a COVID-19 test within 48 hours prior to travel and the requirement to provide show evidence of a negative test applies to passengers entering from China, including Hong Kong and Macau, either on a direct flight, or on a flight that has a stopover in another country before landing in Australia.

The requirements do not apply to airline crew.

The requirements do not apply to passengers transiting Australia and directly travelling to an onwards destination.

The following exemptions apply:

  • children under 12 years old on the day they are scheduled to depart.
  • People with evidence from a medical practitioner of a COVID-19 infection in the last 30 days, including confirmation that they are no longer infectious or symptomatic, and the day of the first positive test result (which must be at least 7 days before the date of the medical certificate) .
  • People with evidence from a medical practitioner in the last 30 days that they have a medical condition that prevents them from undertaking a COVID-19 test.
  • Emergency medical evacuation flights and those accompanying people on these flights.

Evidence of a negative COVID-19 test

Effective from 00:01 AEDT on 5 January 2023, the following (alternative) requirements apply:

Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)

Evidence of a negative test administered or supervised by a medical practitioner in the 48 hours prior to scheduled departure .

Passengers must provide an electronic or paper statement issued to them by a medical practitioner or testing provider, which includes the following:

  • the name of the individual tested;
  • that the specimen for the test was collected, and the test was carried out, by or under the supervision of a medical practitioner;
  • the signature of the medical practitioner providing the certificate.

The evidence does not need to be in English.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and other Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT)

A result from your testing provider can be used as evidence of a negative test if a NAAT test is used.

�If the flight is delayed, the passenger meets the pre-departure testing requirements. They do not need a new RAT, PCR test or other NAAT.

If the flight has been re-scheduled or cancelled, the passenger will need to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 RAT, NAAT or PCR test result taken within the appropriate timeframe of the re-scheduled or newly booked flight.

More information about updated pre-departure test requirements, including: the evidence required for medical exemptions from testing; and what to do when travellers present a positive result but have recovered from COVID-19, is available on the Department of Health website.

Calculating timeframes associated with COVID-19 testing requirement

Where a passenger is required to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of scheduled departure, the scheduled time of departure counts as hour zero.

For example, where a passenger�s flight is scheduled to depart on a Thursday (day zero), a PCR test would need to be taken sometime on the Tuesday (48 hours prior) or Wednesday (24 hours prior).

Questions and answers

Q: When do these new requirements come into effect?

  • The testing requirements apply to affected passengers due to arrive in Australia after 00:01 5 January 2023, until further notice.

Q: Will a RAT or PCR test be needed?

  • A negative RAT or PCR test result from a test conducted within 48 hours of departure will be accepted.
  • A RAT test will need to be verified by a medical professional to be valid.

Q: Does this requirement apply to Australian citizens and permanent residents?

  • All passengers entering Australia from China, including Hong Kong or Macau must undergo pre-departure testing and provide evidence of their negative test result. This includes Australian citizens and permanent residents.

Q: Is testing required for passengers that transit through China, including Hong Kong and Macau?

  • Travellers on flights transiting through China, including Hong Kong and Macau originating in other countries do not need to undertake pre-departure testing. For example, people boarding a flight in London that transits through Hong Kong and ends in Sydney do not need to test.
  • However, the testing requirement does apply to those who travel to China, including Hong Kong or Macau from another country and spend several days there prior to travelling to Australia.

Q: Do the requirements apply to passengers from China, including Hong Kong or Macau that are transiting Australia for an onward destination?

Q: Does this requirement apply to passengers on a flight that has a stop in another country?

  • All people boarding flights originating in China, including Hong Kong and Macau and ending in Australia need to be able to show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test. This includes indirect flights that transit through a third country. For example, from Hong Kong to Singapore before ending in Australia.

Q: Are tests needed for passengers from China transiting through Australia to an onward destination?

  • If a person is travelling directly through Australia to another country, a negative test result is not required.
  • However, if a person intends to spend several days in Australia before travelling to a third country, a negative pre-departure test is required.

Q: Does the requirement apply to passengers that have had the COVID-19 vaccine?

  • Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to undertake pre-departure testing if they are travelling to Australia from China, including Hong Kong or Macau.


Singapore is open for travel from citizens from all countries including PNG

  • Proof of Vaccination. Certificates valid for travel includes (amongst others) the PNG International Certificate of Covid Vaccination (ICCV) ,� the WHO yellow card, the Australian Covid-19 Digital� Vaccination Certificate, as well as compliant certificates issued by other countries. The Green Card PNG Vaccination Certificate is not valid for international travel, as it does not include either the persons Date of Birth or their Passport Number.� The PNG International Certificate of Covid Vaccination is available from PNG National Department of Health (NDoH) upon production of a copy of your green vaccination card and passport either to email: [email protected] �or by visiting the NDoH office- Level 3 Aopi Centre in Waigani. Passengers of ages 12 years and below are Exempted from having to provide evidence of having taken taking the Covid19 Vaccine.
  • Passengers must submit an electronic health declaration form 3 days prior to the date of arrival in Singapore via the SG Arrival Card (SGAC) e-service or via the mobile application. This does not apply to passengers connecting through Singapore. Fully vaccinated passengers who had been vaccinated outside Singapore must submit a Recognised digitally verifiable vaccination certificate (DVC) , via the SC Arrival Card or via the mobile application. Travellers fully vaccinated in Singapore or do not hold a recognised DVC, do not have to submit their certificates. Refer to the vaccination certificate FAQ for more information.
  • All Travellers must install and activate the TraceTogether app mobile application on their mobile phones for contact tracing. Children aged 6 and below in this calendar year and individuals who are unable to use a mobile device due to a certified disability or special need can obtain a TraceTogether token after arrival in Singapore.


All travellers are allowed to transit through Singapore, onto any airline including spending time outside of the airport.


Philippines is open for travel from citizens from all countries including PNG


As per IATF Resolution No. 2 (s. 2022) on the ENTRY, QUARANTINE and TESTING Requirements of inbound travelers to the Philippines

A. FULLY VACCINATED (Filipino and Foreign Travelers)

  • No pre-departure COVID-19 Test requirement
  • Must have received the 2nd dose in a 2-dose series or a single dose COVID-19 vaccine more than fourteen (14) days prior to the date and time of departure from the country of origin/port of embarkation.

B. UNVACCINATED or PARTIALLY VACCINATED (Filipino and Foreign Travelers)

  • Travelers 15 years and older shall present a remotely supervised/laboratory-based Rapid Antigen Test administered and certified by a healthcare professional in a healthcare facility, laboratory, clinic, or other similar establishment taken 24 hours prior to the date and time of departure from country of origin/first port of embarkation in a continuous travel to the Philippines, excluding lay-overs; provided that, he/she has not left the airport premises or has not been admitted into another country during such lay-over.
  • Travelers 15 years and older who fail to present a negative pre-departure testing shall be required to undergo a laboratory-based Antigen Test UPON ARRIVAL at the airport.
  • ACCOMPANIED minors below 15 years of age who are NOT VACCINATED for any reason whatsoever shall follow the quarantine protocols of their parent/s or an accompanying adult/guardian traveling with them.
  • UNACCOMPANIED minors below 15 years of age who are NOT VACCINATED for any reason whatsoever shall follow the protocols set forth in Section B (1) and (2) above.

– Any inbound traveler, whether Filipino or Foreign national, who shall test positive for COVID-19 through rapid antigen test shall be subjected to the latest prevailing quarantine and isolation protocols of the DOH.

Acceptable Proof of Vaccination:

  • World Health Organization International Certificate of Vaccination and Prophylaxis;
  • National or State Manual/Digital Vaccination Certificate of the Country/Foreign Government;
  • Other proof of vaccination permitted by the IATF.

Follow link to review the detailed IATF Resolution No. 2, s. 2022: �

  • Proof of Vaccination. ��Certificates valid for travel includes (amongst others) the PNG International Certificate of Covid Vaccination (ICCV) ,� the WHO yellow card, the Australian Covid-19 Digital� Vaccination Certificate, as well as compliant certificates issued by other countries. ����The Green Card PNG Vaccination Certificate is not valid for international travel, as it does not include either the persons Date of Birth or their Passport Number.�� �The PNG International Certificate of Covid Vaccination is available from PNG National Department of Health (NDoH) upon production of a copy of your green vaccination card and passport either to email: [email protected] �or by visiting the NDoH office- Level 3 Aopi Centre in Waigani.� Passengers of ages 12 years and below are Exempted from having to provide evidence of having taken taking the Covid19 Vaccine.
  • Pre-departure test is not required for passengers over the age of 18 who have received their booster vaccine dose. Fully Vaccinated passengers need to present a negative RT-PCR test taken within forty-eight (48) hours or a remotely supervised, or laboratory-based rapid antigen negative test, administered and certified by healthcare professional in a healthcare facility, taken within twenty (24)� hours, prior to departure from country of origin/first port of embarkation, excluding layovers, provided the passenger has not left the airport premises or was not admitted into the transit country.
  • Health Insurance may be required in some cases. For these cases, passengers must have travel insurance to cover COVID-19 expenses, with minimum coverage of USD 35,000. This does not apply to nationals of the Philippines.�


Air Niugini operates every Saturday to Hong Kong and return. At present only Hong Kong citizens or Permanent Residents are permitted uplift to Hong Kong.

  • Proof of Vaccination. ��Certificates valid for travel includes (amongst others) the PNG International Certificate of Covid Vaccination (ICCV) ,� the WHO yellow card, the Australian Covid-19 Digital� Vaccination Certificate, as well as compliant certificates issued by other countries. ����The Green Card PNG Vaccination Certificate is not valid for international travel, as it does not include either the persons Date of Birth or their Passport Number.�� �The PNG International Certificate of Covid Vaccination is available from PNG National Department of Health (NDoH) upon production of a copy of your green vaccination card and passport either to email: [email protected] �or by visiting the NDoH office- Level 3 Aopi Centre in Waigani.� Passengers of ages 12 years and below are Exempted from having to provide evidence of having taken taking the Covid19 Vaccine. You must also carry your PNG �Green Card� as Hong Kong Authorities require to sight where you received your vaccinations. This information is not on the PNG ICCV.
  • You must complete a negative PCR test at Port Moresby airport within 24 hours of departure.� You must bring the negative certificate with you to check-in.



  • NZ: Individuals with past (recovered) cases of COVID-19 who have a positive test result taken less than 48 hours prior to the departure of the first leg of their flight, and a medical certificate showing that the individual is no longer considered by a medical practitioner to be infectious with COVID-19.
  • UK: No pre-flight testing is required for entry into the UK
  • USA: If you tested positive for COVID-19, do not travel until a full 10 days after your symptoms started or the date your positive test was taken if you had no symptoms.


Fully Recovered Philippine Nationals with Positive RT-PCR Pre-Departure Test Results:�� Note: �Non-Philippine Citizens must test negative as a condition of uplift to Manila

  • was an asymptomatic, mild, moderate, severe or critical case of COVID-19
  • has completed the mandatory isolation period
  • is no longer infectious; and
  • has been allowed free movement/travel
  • Positive RT-PCR test taken 10-30 days prior to departure from the country of origin


Uplift of �Historical Cases to Hong Kong is presently not approved


For onwards travel to other countries, the passenger must email Air Niugini at least 48 hours in advance at NOC Approval [email protected] . ��This must include what your destination country is,� and evidence of the requirements of your destination country.�� Additionally what countries are to be transited and the requirements for your country/ countries of transit (other than Australia and Singapore as above) and evidence that you satisfy these requirements.� This will normally be a printout of the countries requirements from their applicable webpage).


For all fully COVID-19 vaccinated passengers, pre-departure COVID-19 testing and pre-approval prior to departure is no longer required for entry to Solomon Islands.�Unvaccinated Solomon Islands citizens can also return home however pre-departure testing requirements still remain.

  • Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination certificate at check-in and again to immigration on arrival in Solomon Islands.

More details available here: � �


Thinking of travelling internationally? To avoid unpleasant surprises, please use our interactive map to check country-specific entry requirements before your travel.�

Click the link to view the interactive map:

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and the associated entry requirements and restrictions being imposed by relevant Government authorities are beyond the airline�s control.

Important Notices & Forms

We understand your travel concerns and we’re here to help in these challenging times.� All intending travelers are strongly advised to check all relevant travel requirements for International and Domestic Travel as issued by Government Authorities.

Air Niugini Sales Offices are open for business and 08:00 am to 5:00 pm on Mondays to Fridays and from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm on Saturdays. Air Niugini Waigani and BTC offices operate Mondays to Saturdays from 8:00am to 8:00pm.

For new bookings, visit your nearest Air Niugini Sales Office or Travel Agent. Online Bookings are temporarily unavailable until further notice.

You may also contact our Call Centre on Toll-Free Number 180 3444 or +675 327 3444 or email [email protected] for bookings and general assistance. The Call Centre operates daily from 6:00am to 6:00pm.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during these challenging times and we encourage all to stay safe and practice high levels of hygiene. Stay healthy and stay safe.

Booking Changes and Cancellations

Rebooking of existing travel – covid-19 – updated 08 april 2020.

Customers with rebooking inquiries as a result of disruptions to travel caused by the travel ban can be sent via email to [email protected] . A representative of our team will be in touch with you to assist accordingly.

What we’re doing to keep you safe

As a valued and loyal customer, we continue to update you on the evolving situation, and the precautionary measures Air Niugini is taking to protect your well-being whenever you travel with us.� �

The health and safety of the people of PNG, our passengers, and our crew are always our absolute priority. Air Niugini has always been proud of the steps we take every day to ensure our processes are the world�s best in protecting the health of our passengers and staff.� �We are taking a number of additional steps to enhance your protection on our flights, and to reduce any risk of COVID-19 being spread by travelers. �We note that the World Health Organisation has advised that there is an extremely low risk of cross-transmission between passengers and crew and that to date there has been no confirmed inflight transmission of COVID-19 anywhere in the world.

To date Air Niugini is already;

  • Ensuring our aircraft are sprayed with hospital-type disinfectants every night they are at a maintenance base, including Port Moresby.
  • Ensuring all our offices where we interact with you, our customers, such as sales outlets, are sprayed with hospital-type disinfectant every night
  • Reducing and canceling flights voluntarily for those locations where the infection rates were previously increasing rapidly such as previously through Asia, and we will continue to do so to all locations showing signs of significant spread. �
  • Replacing headrest covers every time an aircraft transits through Port Moresby
  • Removing in-flight magazines from all our aircraft, to reduce any risk of cross-transmission
  • Ensuring in-flight blankets are cleaned using industrial laundry practices, whenever their sealed container has been opened and replacing earpiece covers on all distributed headsets after every flight.
  • Ensuring at all international departure airports with increased levels of infection that enhanced screening processes are in place and being implemented to reduce any chance we uplift any passengers to PNG who are showing any symptoms of COVID-19
  • Ensuring all headsets, blankets and headrests are removed off all seats, prior to the aircraft cleaning.

Providing all our staff who are interacting with the public, including our cabin crew and check-in staff, with personal protective equipment appropriate to the risk level for their role and location.�

Our senior leaders are meeting regularly to discuss our ongoing response and ensure we have the latest information from health authorities. We stand ready to support passengers who need to change their travel due to COVID-19, and we�re waiving change fees for eligible guests.

Air Niugini acknowledges that this is a rapidly evolving situation, and Air Niugini already has well-developed plans ready to roll out should there be any reported cases of COVID-19 in PNG. Whilst we acknowledge some of these may mean your travel experience seems different from normal, these would be implemented to minimize any chances of domestic transmission of COVID-19 within PNG, and to ensure your and our staff�s safety on all our domestic flights.�

Hygiene Practices

As noted, to date, there has been no confirmed inflight transmission of COVID-19 anywhere in the world, but it�s still important that you are aware that we maintain the highest hygiene and cleaning practices on our aircraft and on the ground. ��We�re closely following all advice received from WHO,

PNG and other worldwide medical authorities, regarding precautions that are needed to minimize risks concerned with COVID-19.� We�re ensuring our crew maintains high hygiene standards in the cabin, including practicing proper hygiene procedures.

All our flights are equipped with hand sanitizer and face masks, and if any guest presents as unwell or with flu-like symptoms on one of our flights, they�ll be provided with a face mask and hand sanitizer, and where possible, moved away from other passengers.

Aircraft Cleaning

We uphold the highest standards when it comes to cleaning our aircraft and have stringent processes in place. Our aircraft are cleaned every night they are at a maintenance base, including Port Moresby, and on every transit through Port Moresby, which includes the use of an antibacterial, antimicrobial cleaning product that reduces the risk of harmful viruses, molds, fungus, algae, and any other possible harmful pathogenic bacteria.�

Our Boeing aircraft are also fitted with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which perform similarly to those used to keep the air clean in hospital operating rooms. This means the air quality on the aircraft is essentially sterile and particle-free.

Useful Links

  • For updated International Travel Restrictions and Requirements, refer to:
  • For updated PNG Travel Measures, Restrictions and Requirements, refer to the PNG Official COVID-19 Info website:
  • To learn more about coronavirus, including what the symptoms are and how to protect yourself against getting sick, we recommend visiting the� World Health Organization
  • A comprehensive list of the travel advisories in place across our network is available on the IATA Travel Centre website .

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An Intrepid Traveler's Guide to Exploring Papua New Guinea

It’s not easy to travel to Papua New Guinea. The exact qualities that make the country so attractive to adventurers—its rugged natural beauty, thriving traditional cultures, an anachronistic lack of infrastructure—is precisely what makes it such a challenging destination. The Australian government’s travel guidelines for the country is one long warning about a terrifying compendium of biblical and modern-day plagues: Landslides! Car-jackings! Gang violence! Venomous snakes! Civil unrest!

The eastern half of the second largest island on earth, Papua New Guinea first gained notoriety in the Western world after Errol Flynn visited in 1927 and declared the land one of his greatest loves. In 1930, while searching for gold, Australian brothers Mick and Dan Leahy discovered a million isolated people living in the lush, secluded valleys of the Highland. Previously thought to be uninhabited, it was actually the most densely populated region—a colossal anthropological discovery. Altogether, Papua New Guinea has one of the world’s most diverse cultural and linguistic landscapes, with over 800 indigenous languages, or 25 percent of the world’s spoken tongues.

The site of Amelia Earhart’s doomed final flight as well the 1961 disappearance of Michael Rockefeller, the 23-year-old son of New York governor Nelson Rockefeller, the country remains steeped in a history, mystery, and myth that, for me, at least, overrode the potential hazards. With its unique topography, prolific birdlife, and remote indigenous cultures, PNG had long captured my imagination.

My travel partner George and I arrived in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea’s dusty capital, last November, after a 25-hour journey from Los Angeles. After visiting the National Museum, Parliament House, and well-maintained botanical gardens, we flew to the Southern Highlands town of Mount Hagen, overlooking the Waghi Valley, PNG’s food basket and home to the Melpa people. Our flight had been set up by Audley Travel , which handled all logistics after we arrived in PNG. (Traveling without a local agent is not advised in the country because of the complexity of domestic travel, including a total lack of infrastructure, telephones, and electricity in the areas outside of the capital.) Audley contracts with PNG’s largest ground agent, TransNiuginiTours, which arranged all domestic air travel, all transfers, all lodge stays (including meals), and local, English-speaking guides.

Although I had heard various stories concerning PNG’s raskols —hoodlums—and there was significant rioting in Lae during our nine-day journey, I had only one yikes-that-was-close moment. While strolling the outdoor Hagen Market, where possum hair, seeds, tobacco, and vegetables were on display, a man lunged for my small canvas satchel. Fortunately, I was quicker and slipped aside. Locals who viewed the would-be-thief’s attempt badly beat him right there. Later I learned that security arrived and continued pummeling the man. Bearing witness to this display of extrajudicial justice was a strange, powerful moment.

A completely different scene unfolded a few miles away, in Pulga Village, where young men from the Wurup clan, their bodies covered in white clay and precious little else, wore heavy ceramic masks and danced alongside the matriarch amid the tropical foliage. Although the vast majority of Melanesians are now Christian, here, Jesus exists in detente with animism, ancestor worship, bride prices (namely, pigs and Kina, the country's currency), polygamy, haus tambarans —spirit houses—and ritual body scarification.

In a five-seater, 1973 Beechcraft Baron piloted by a septuagenarian Aussie named Bob, we flew northwest, landing on a narrow, impossibly short, grassy airstrip 300 feet from the Karawari River, a tributary of the mighty Sepik. This lowland rainforest in the East Sepik province foothills is as far off the grid as imaginable.

We walked through mud to the river, where a pontoon was waiting with our guide Paul, a Karum tribe member from nearby Yimas Village. While heading upriver, we passed a few stilted houses, the homes of subsistence farmers living with their clans. These groups exist with virtually no outside influence—other than the occasional intrepid traveler—precisely as they have for generations.

Twenty minutes later, the pontoon docked and Argus, manager of the 12-room Karawari Lodge, drove us 10 minutes uphill on a potholed, dirt road in an open, slat-seated 1990 Landy that looked more war relic than truck. Our rooms faced the river, and while we ate lunch with the only other guest, an Australian educator, a beautiful, massive hornbill dubbed Jonny happily perched on the veranda’s railing, eventually sauntering inside to join us.

Across the river was Kundiman Village, inhabited by the Yokoium tribe. The men were covered in white clay and chopping sago—a ground and pummeled starch and their main dietary staple—and the women invited us into their open pavilion, where they cooked the sago along with a river-fish stew. The women were topless, some of them breastfeeding. Besides clay, the men were adorned with only leaves, feathers, and penis gourds. We, on the other hand, were covered head to toe in lame attempts to ward off the swarms of potentially malaria–carrying nat-nats (mosquitoes).

In every village we visited, throngs of school-aged children were present. The government—including a charming provincial governor I interviewed named Paias Wingti—boasts that 92 percent of school-aged children attend primary school. However, education, even primary, isn’t compulsory. International organizations’ statistics confirm that actual numbers are significantly less, and more than one-third of the population (UNICEF reports 37.6 percent) is illiterate. Repeatedly, I was told that public school teachers had not been paid and had been on strike since September, when government coffers were exhausted by PNG’s participation in the South Pacific games.

That night, sleep was fitful, given the 90-degree heat, stifling humidity, a 2 a.m. torrential downpour, the jungle’s continuously intense cacophony, and pervasive nat-nats. In the morning, after leaving Manjami Village, we headed upriver to Konmae Village. Lush trees and the seemingly never-ending horizon stretched out as far as the eye could see. A teenaged girl in a canoe glided by with a cuscus—a honey-colored marsupial—atop her head. As our pontoon passed, the cuscus moved to her shoulder, and I saw her back, covered with crocodile cuts: deep scar formations, ritually performed at puberty to reflect tribal allegiance. A mixture of white clay and Tigaso tree oil is inserted into the wounds during cutting to promote keloid formation.

After lunch on the pontoon, we stopped at the Tanganbit Village, home to the Alamblack tribe. Traditionally named Kombrop, Alamblack people were well-known headhunters and cave dwellers, but in 1959 the Australians forced them to move riverside. As a foreign woman, I was permitted into their haus tambaran (indigenous women are not allowed to go in) and there, lined up on a mantle, were an array of human skulls.

Returning later to the lodge, I had a cold shower and a warm beer. I would have preferred those temperatures reversed, but that warm beer tasted like fine cognac.

Flying southeast with heavy clouds the next day, Captain Bob took the Beechcraft up to 13,000 feet. My heart’s loud thumping distracted me from the marvelous vistas. Finally we arrived at the incredibly remote Hela province and its tiny capital, Tari. Forty-minutes up Highlands Highway brought us to our stay, Tari Lodge, which offered views of the Tari Basin.

Later, we went in search of birds-of-paradise, for which the province is known. After passing a massive waterfall, we hit pay dirt, seeing both a blue bird-of-paradise and a King of Saxony with incredibly long, flirtatious plumage.

In the small Tigibi Village, we met Chief Tumbu, who was adorned with red, yellow, and white facial clay, a wig, myriad cassowary feathers, pig tusks, shells, and septum piercings. He boasted of his three wives and ten children, a reflection of his elevated tribal position. In contrast, our guide along the Hulia River, a divorced woman with two teenagers, spoke of returning the bride price to her husband, so that she “could leave and he could buy another wife.”

Perhaps the most extraordinary village we visited was Poroiba Akau, where Chief Kubumu and wig specialist Nabeta showed us how the decorative human-hair wigs they make are grown, cut, and adorned. The Huli Wigmen cultivate their own hair, and when it's sufficiently grown, it's shorn, adorned, and then worn by the grower. It's a major badge of honor to wear a wig of your own hair.

The unmarried men who make these wigs live together in isolation for 18 months, observing rituals, eating special diets, and casting spells to advance hair growth. Once their wig is completed, the men return to their village to marry, or they stay another 18 months and grow another wig to sell.

I ventured to PNG to glimpse life utterly unchanged by modernity, and the country didn't disappoint. In their traditions and adornments Papuans possess a key to their colorful past. Traveling there can be very frustrating at times, but when asked if I would return, my response is always the same: absolutely.

How to Get There

From LAX, connecting service(change of planes) to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, is offered on Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong, Singapore Air via Singapore, or Quantas via Brisbane, connecting to Air Niugini. Restricted, round-trip airfare begins at $2,165, including taxes and fees. Domestic air travel is best arranged by tour operator or local ground agent.

Local Guides

Nine-day custom tours with Audley start at $6,950. Longer custom Audley tours are also available. For those interested in the magnificent snorkeling and scuba diving that PNG offers (including diving among WWII wrecks), in September 2016 Silversea Cruises is offering a 14-day expedition that will visit 12 regions of PNG along the Bismarck Archipelago.

Where to Stay

Airways Hotel Jackson International Airport,Jacksons Parade,Port Moresby, 121. An unusual, aviation-themed hotel with heavy security, a nice pool area, and great views of the nearby runways, minus the noise. Request a room in the new wing.

Rondon Ridge Located about an hour from Mount Hagen City, this lodge is 7,100 feet above sea level with Waghi Valley views and its own hydroelectricity and water supply.

Karawari Lodge A rustic, 20-room lodge set atop a ridge in a vast expanse of dense, lowland rainforest, with views of the nearby Karawari River. Generator electricity is turned off at 10 p.m. No air conditioning, phones, or internet service.

Ambua Lodge Located in the Hela province, this 56-room lodge is 7,000 feet above sea level with views of Tari Valley and has its own hydroelectric plant. No heating but electric blankets are provided, and no phones.

Leave at Home

Blue jeans and other dark clothes, which attract mosquitos and other insects, rodents, and animals. Also, leave all jewelry, dressy clothes, and make-up at home. Think utility, not fashion. Bring a good travel flashlight as electricity is turned off at night at many lodges, and an extra pair of walking shoes (mud is prevalent).

Light planes, which service the outlying areas, have a 22-pound weight maximum, plus a very small carry-on. Luggage can be stored until return at Port Moresby hotels. Most lodges have low-cost laundry service; two or three changes of clothing will suffice.

To Learn More

Embassy of Papua New Guinea, [email protected] , (202) 745-3680.

For general information and trip planning,

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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

Papua New Guinea travel advice

Latest updates: Safety and security – removed Port Moresby protests information

Last updated: February 13, 2024 18:09 ET

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Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, papua new guinea - avoid non-essential travel.

Avoid non-essential travel to Papua New Guinea due to high levels of crime, inter-ethnic violence and civil unrest.

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Violent crime

Violent crime, such as sexual assault, carjacking, home invasion, kidnapping, and armed robbery, is common and often includes the use of lethal weapons such as firearms or machetes. The Highlands provinces and the cities of Lae and Port Moresby are particularly affected.

In Port Moresby, the area around Parliament and the suburb of Waigani experience increased levels of crime.

  • Do not travel alone, especially after dark
  • Consider hiring private security as police capacity to respond to crimes and other incidents is very limited

Criminals tend to target areas and establishments often frequented by foreigners, including:

  • restaurants and bars
  • places of worship
  • outdoor recreation events
  • tourist areas, including markets, parks and beaches

Petty crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, frequently occurs, particularly in public markets.

  • Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • Avoid displaying signs of affluence

Carjacking occurs in Port Moresby and along the highway between Lae and the Lae Nadzab Airport. They are particularly frequent in the Two-Mile and Nine-Mile settlement areas. Violent attacks on vehicles travelling on the Highlands Highway also occur, particularly between Goroka and Kainantu.

Criminals may attempt to open doors of cars that are stopped or moving slowly in traffic. Assailants may assault their victims while robbing them. Criminals may demand tolls at illegal roadblocks and can assault you if payment is not made.

  • Be vigilant while travelling by road
  • Drive with windows up and doors locked at all times
  • Avoid travel after dark
  • Avoid leaving personal belongings unattended in your vehicle

Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters, particularly in the Milne Bay and its capital, Alotau. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau

Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:

  • pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
  • use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements

Overseas fraud

Women's safety

Sexual assault, including gang rape, frequently occurs. Foreigners have been targeted. Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Advice for women travellers

Inter-ethnic violence

Inter-ethnic tensions often lead to communal violence, sometimes deadly. They occur particularly in:

  • the province of Enga
  • the province of Hela
  • the province of Southern Highlands
  • the city of Lae
  • the city of Port Moresby


Demonstrations take place from time to time, particularly in the cities of Port Moresby, Lae and Mount Hagen. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Unexploded Ordnance

Unexploded ordnance and landmines are present in many islands, including Bougainville and East New Britain.

Avoid walking or hiking off marked roads and trails.

Bougainville Island

There are no tourist facilities in the area. Transportation options are limited.

There is a risk of violence in the central mountainous area around the Panguna mine and access is restricted. You need a special permission to enter this area.

Adventure sports

Attacks on trekkers have occurred, including on the Black Cat track, in Morobe, and on the Kokoda track. Facilities along the Kokoda track are limited.

If you intend on trekking:

  • never do so alone
  • always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • do not venture off marked trails
  • ensure that you're properly equipped
  • ensure that you're well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back
  • obtain detailed information on each activity before setting out

Rescue services may not be consistent with international standards.

  • Ensure that rental aquatic equipment is safe and in good condition
  • Ensure you are diving within the limits outlined by your tour company

Water safety abroad

Venomous snakes

Venomous snakes are common throughout Papua New Guinea.

If bitten, seek immediate medical attention. The cost of anti-venom is very high. Medical staff can charge up to CAD $6,000 for treatment.

Road safety

Road conditions and road safety are poor throughout the country.

Driving can be hazardous, especially outside major towns. Poorly maintained cars, drunk drivers and roads in disrepair increase the safety risks.

Roads may become impassable due to flash floods and landslides during the rainy season.

If you are involved in a traffic accident, proceed directly to the nearest police station. Crowds tend to form quickly after an incident, and could become hostile and aggressive.

Public transportation

Public buses, known as public motor vehicles (PMVs), and taxis are poorly maintained. They also are a common target for criminals.

  • Avoid travelling by taxi or on public buses
  • Whenever possible, arrange for hotel or other private transportation
  • Plan to have someone waiting for you at the airport, particularly if arriving in the evening

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the authorities of Papua New Guinea. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid at least 6 months upon entering Papua New Guinea.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

Tourist visa: required  Business visa: required  Student visa: required

You may obtain a tourist e-visa prior to travelling to Papua New Guinea. It’s also possible to obtain your e-visa upon arrival at the Jacksons International Airport in Port Moresby.

Online visa application - Government of Papua New Guinea

Other requirements

Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay.

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children .

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 31 August, 2023
  • Zika virus: Advice for travellers - 31 August, 2023
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 31 August, 2023

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow fever   is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country   where yellow fever occurs.


  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Contact a designated  Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre  well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada * It is important to note that  country entry requirements  may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest  diplomatic or consular office  of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Practise  safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Malaria  is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.   There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this destination. 

Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving.    Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times:  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows. • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing.    If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

In this destination, rabies is carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions , including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. Rabies treatment is often available in this destination. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain.  It is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is very low for most travellers. Travellers at relatively higher risk may want to consider vaccination for JE prior to travelling.

Travellers are at higher risk if they will be:

  • travelling long term (e.g. more than 30 days)
  • making multiple trips to endemic areas
  • staying for extended periods in rural areas
  • visiting an area suffering a JE outbreak
  • engaging in activities involving high contact with mosquitos (e.g., entomologists)

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.

To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions .

Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:

  • visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
  • visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring

Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

  • In this country,   dengue  is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites . There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.

Zika virus is a risk in this country. 

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

During your trip:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel. 

For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

Medical services and facilities

Good health care is limited in availability. Quality of care varies throughout the country.

Specialist services are extremely limited. There are long delays for emergency treatment.

Shortages of basic medical supplies are common. Doctors often expect immediate cash payment for services.

Medical evacuation, which can be very expensive, may be necessary in the event of serious illness or injury.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a   travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences.

Drugs, alcohol and travel


Photography may be restricted at certain cultural sites.

Do not photograph individuals without their prior consent.

Intimate relationships

Adultery is a criminal offence. Offenders can face imprisonment.


The possession and sale of pornographic material are strictly prohibited.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

Papua New Guinean law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Those convicted can face up to 14 years’ imprisonment.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Papua New Guinea.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dress and behaviour

To avoid offending local sensitivities:

  • dress conservatively
  • behave discreetly
  • respect religious and social traditions

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Papua New Guinea.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Papua New Guinea, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements .

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Papua New Guinea.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Papua New Guinea by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Papua New Guinea to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

  • International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
  • Travelling with children
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Emergency Watch and Response Centre

Traffic drives on the left.

You must always carry the following when driving:

  • valid driver’s licence and International Driving Permit
  • valid registration
  • safety sticker

If your driver’s licence is in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by an official English translation.

Police roadblocks are common. You could be fined if your documents are not up-to-date.

International Driving Permit

The currency of Papua New Guinea is the kina (PGK).

ATMs are available in Port Moresby and other main cities but may be rare in certain rural areas.

Seismic activities

Papua New Guinea is located in an active seismic and volcanic zone. Earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions occur.

There are several active volcanoes throughout Papua New Guinea, and eruptions occur regularly.

Heavy smoke and ash from volcanoes periodically lead to flight disruptions, particularly in the Rabaul region.

In the event of an eruption:

  • pay careful attention to all warnings issued
  • avoid restricted areas
  • follow the instructions of local authorities, including evacuation orders
  • check with your carrier or tour operator to determine if the situation could affect your travel plans

A tsunami can occur within minutes of a nearby earthquake. However, the risk of tsunami can remain for several hours following the first tremor. If you’re staying on the coast, familiarize yourself with the region’s evacuation plans in the event of a tsunami warning.

Tsunami alerts - U.S. Tsunami Warning System

The rainy (or monsoon) season extends from:

  • December to March in the northwest
  • May to October in the southeast

Seasonal flooding and landslides can hamper overland travel, damage infrastructure and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged. This is of particular concern on the Highlands Highway between Lae and Mount Hagen.

  • Keep informed of regional weather forecasts
  • Avoid affected areas

Tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons

Local services

In case of emergency in Port Moresby, dial:

  • police: 000
  • ambulance: 111
  • fire department: 110

In the rest of the country, there is no centralized number to reach emergency services.

Local emergency services - Papua New Guinea white pages

Consular assistance

There is no resident Canadian government office in Papua New Guinea. Canadians in Papua New Guinea can obtain consular assistance and further information from the Australian High Commission to Papua New Guinea, in Port Moresby, under the Canada-Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement.

Sign up to receive email updates from the Australian government on situations and events that could affect your safety while in Papua New Guinea.

Smartraveller - Australian travel advice

Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Guam, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Northern Marianas, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Australia, in Port Moresby, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

Rebecca and the World

Visit Papua New Guinea: 20 Things to Know Before You Go

Photo of author

Papua New Guinea is a mystifying country to many people. Known as the Land of the Unexpected , this small Pacific nation has a reputation as “untouched”, “exotic” and “frontier”. And while these descriptors may be a tad clichéd, PNG is definitely a country for adventure travellers. There’s a distinct lack of tourist infrastructure and travel is challenging, which means that pre-trip planning is required when you visit Papua New Guinea .

I lived in PNG for four years and, while I’m nowhere near an expert on the country, I have travelled a lot and have some practical travel tips and advice to get you prepared for travelling to Papua New Guinea .

Save this guide to visiting Papua New Guinea to read later by clicking the “Save” button on any of the images below to save the article to Pinterest.

20 things to know before you visit Papua New Guinea, from safety in PNG to what to wear and how to get around. | Visit Papua New Guinea | Travelling to Papua New Guinea | Papua New Guinea Travel | Best Time to Visit Papua New Guinea | Things To Do in Papua New Guinea | Papua New Guinea Itinerary | What To Do in Papua New Guinea | Is Papua New Guinea Safe | Travel to Papua New Guinea | Papua New Guinea Travel | How to Get to Papua New Guinea | Papua New Guinea Facts | PNG Travel | Visit PNG

This blog post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you).

1. You can get to PNG via Australia

One of the questions I used to get the most when I lived in PNG was where is Papua New Guinea ? Surprisingly, this question came mostly from confused Australians when I’d be down in Brisbane for the weekend. Despite the fact that PNG is only a 3-hour flight from Brisbane!

But it wasn’t just my fellow Aussies who were perplexed about the location of this small Pacific Island nation . I once had someone call me at work asking me to attend a West Africa conference. I think she was confusing Papua New Guinea with Guinea-Bissau?

If you’re reading this blog post, though, I’m sure you have some idea of where PNG is because hopefully you’re thinking about visiting or are already in planning mode for your trip to PNG .

Australia’s closest neighbour is just 2,300 kilometres north. Papua New Guinea shares a border with Indonesia and then the Solomon Islands are just a little to the south-east. PNG is a country made up of islands – there’s the mainland, where the majority of the population lives, and then a sprinkling of islands throughout the seas that surround.

Depending on where in the world you’re coming from, the easiest way to get to PNG is often via Australia , with daily flights from Cairns, Brisbane and Sydney to the capital, Port Moresby . There are also direct flights to PNG from Hong Kong, Honiara, Singapore, Tokyo, Manila and Bali. (Note that most of these flight routes aren’t currently operating due to the global pandemic.)

You can search Skyscanner or Kayak to research the best route from your country.

2. It’s (almost) always hot and it rains year-round

The best time to visit Papua New Guinea is between April and October . PNG has a tropical climate , so there’s rain throughout the year, but these months are the driest. Plan for rain regardless of the time of year, though!

Having said that, if you want to surf , then June to April is the best time to visit PNG. For diving , you can go year-round, but different areas have better visibility at different times of year.

Port Moresby and the coastal areas have an average temperature of around 28°C throughout the year, coupled with high humidity . The Highlands regions are warm but are cooler at night, so you’ll need to pack a jacket.

I highly recommend timing your visit to PNG with one of the incredible festivals . The famous Hagen Show is in August, and the Goroka Show and Hiri Moale Festival are in September.  These festivals are one-of-a-kind and celebrate the hundreds of cultures throughout the country. Check out my post on my favourite PNG festivals .

During the wettest months, usually December to March, some tour companies don’t operate at all, especially along the Kokoda Track.

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3. PNG has hundreds of different cultures, customs and traditions

With an estimated 7,000 different cultural groups that speak more than 800 distinct languages , PNG is a fascinating place to visit. And if you consider that the population of PNG is less than 9 million, these numbers are even more astonishing!

These cultures have distinct customs and traditions – an anthropologist’s dream. Across the country, different regions are known for their specific bilas (costume), music and rituals.

In the Highlands, young Huli Wigmen boys grow their hair to produce ceremonial wigs, guided by rules and rituals that have been around for thousands of years.

Young Baining men in East New Britain are initiated into adulthood through an exhilarating firedance .

The Chambri people of the Sepik region revere crocodiles , believing that they are descendants of these reptiles.

These are just a few of the cultural groups of PNG – there are so many more across the country with intriguing practices to learn about.

For many tourists, it can be challenging negotiating the customs and making sure you don’t put a foot wrong. For example, local women aren’t able to go into the haus tambaran (traditional spirit houses), but foreign women are usually invited in. You also need permission to photograph these buildings. Pigs are of significant value across the nation, both culturally and monetarily. It’s important to have at least a basic understanding of the cultures you’re visiting, and come with a curious and respectful attitude .

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4. A guide can be a good idea

Unless you’re an experienced traveller who has spent a lot of time in countries with limited tourist infrastructure, I’d recommend joining a tour or hiring a guide for your visit to Papua New Guinea.

That’s not to say that you can’t visit PNG independently – you most certainly can. But I think that’s an adventure only for those with significant intrepid travel experience .

PNG is a challenging country to travel in , due to the limited infrastructure and safety concerns. Tourism is still a small but growing industry. A tour operator – see the Papua New Guinea Travel Promotion Authority website for a list of licensed operators – can deal with everything: arranging your flights, transport and accommodation, buying tickets for festivals, gaining access to cultural engagements, and making sure you’re safe on your trip.

They can teach you about the different traditions , and make sure you don’t commit any cultural faux pas. They’ll speak the local languages , so you’ll be able to converse with people who may not speak English.

While a guide won’t be necessary for everyone, it’s definitely worth considering to make your trip smoother.

5. Watch where you go

It’s estimated that the majority of land in Papua New Guinea is customarily owned – around 97%. This means that much of the land is not public property.

It also means that at any time you could be trespassing on someone’s property without even knowing it. Before you head out for a wander, check with someone to find out where you can and can’t go.

This is another reason why having a guide will help.

6. Pack practical clothing when you visit Papua New Guinea

When packing for Papua New Guinea, plan to take clothes that are practical and functional over fashionable. Most activities will involve visiting festivals, hiking or birdwatching, diving or hanging out by the sea. You’re going to get dirty, get rained on, you’re going to step in mud.

Also, dress modestly in PNG. Women should cover their knees and shoulders in rural areas, and men should consider doing the same. Long sleeves and pants will also keep mosquitoes away . You can wear your bikini when you’re wandering around a resort, but cover up as soon as you leave.

Leave your fancy jewellery at home, and make-up won’t be necessary .

For those doing hiking or trekking, I’ve got a Kokoda Trail packing list that will cover you. It’ll be generally applicable to most trekking trips, although you may want to bring a few extra items to suit your trip. For example, if you’re planning to climb Mt Wilhelm , you’ll need some extra layers and warm clothes to deal with the altitude chill.

7. You’ll spend a lot of time in planes

If you’re visiting more than just Port Moresby, you’ll probably spend quite a bit of time in planes. Papua New Guinea is a mountainous country , so the road network is limited . In fact, there are only around 30,000 kilometres of roads throughout the entire country.

But there are more than 500 airports in the country (although only a few dozen have paved runways!), making air travel the easiest way to get around PNG. Air Niugini and PNG Air are the two domestic airlines, and there are also charter companies like MAF and TropicAir .

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8. Get used to PNG time

PNG is an island, so island time applies . Everything will take longer than you expect, journeys will stretch on, planes will be delayed, people won’t turn up on time.

Relax and just roll with it !

9. You’ll probably have a forced digital detox

While the majority of hotels in Port Moresby have fairly decent WIFI , outside of the capital you may struggle. You can pick up a sim card at the airport. There are three cell companies; Digicel has the best coverage around the country, but you won’t have guaranteed reliable internet or phone coverage. In the Highlands, it can be pretty spotty when you’re not in one of the main cities (and even when you are…).

As I said in my previous point, just roll with this . Use this time to disconnect from the outside world and really connect with PNG people , culture and nature.

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10. PNG isn’t cheap to visit

One of the biggest misconceptions about PNG is that because it’s considered a developing country, it’ll be cheap to visit. Unfortunately, unlike many popular tourist destinations, PNG is an expensive country to visit .

Because PNG has such limited tourist infrastructure , prices are high. Many products and foods are imported, so shopping at the supermarket can be pricey. Most tourists come in on fairly expensive tour packages, that can cost between $2,000 to $5,000 for a weeklong trip .

If you’re travelling independently in PNG, there are a few ways you can save some kina . Stay in people’s houses (home stays), buy fresh vegetables from local markets and avoid eating expensive meat, and take PMVs (public motor vehicles) to get around.

11. Learn some Tok Pisin

There are three official languages in Papua New Guinea: English, Motu and Tok Pisin. That’s just three languages in a country where more than 800 are spoken. Tok Pisin is the language that unites everyone. This language has developed over 150 years as a common way for everyone to communicate with each other.

Having said that, not everyone in PNG speaks Tok Pisin. But it’s still worth learning a few words. The Oxford Tok Pisin English Dictionary is a great resource, as is the Lonely Planet Pidgin phrasebook .

Tok Pisin has often been described as pidgin English, but it’s much more complex than that. It isn’t just throwing out a few simplified English words and hoping you get by. It’s also been used by expats and foreigners as a way to talk down to Papua New Guineans, so either don’t try to speak it at all, or use the language  respectfully . Even knowing just a handful of words will help you really engage with people, especially in rural areas.

12. Food can be fairly basic

Food in Papua New Guinea revolves around staples like starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes are common) and rice, plus some protein. While pigs abound in the country, they’re usually saved for big celebrations. So, if you are eating meat, it’ll most likely be chicken. There’s actually great beef produced in PNG.

In Port Moresby, the restaurant scene has changed so much since I first moved there – for the better. There are dozens of fantastic Asian restaurants and hotels with international food , so there’s plenty of variety if you eat out. My guide to where to eat in Port Moresby needs to be updated with all the new restaurants, but it’ll give you a few ideas.

Of course, in the coastal areas you’ll find plenty of seafood , including shellfish. Fresh lobster is cheaper here than in other places in the world.

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13. You’ll see a lot of people with red-stained teeth

I remember my first few days in Port Moresby, seeing red stains along the roadside. I thought that there’d been a terrible accident but I soon discovered it was the remnants of betel nut .

If you’ve travelled around the Pacific and parts of Asia, you’ve probably seen people chewing betel nut. In PNG, the nut is chewed with a mustard stick that’s dipped in lime powder and then spat out (hence the splatters you’ll see on the ground). It’s a stimulant that suppresses appetite and increases alertness. Unfortunately, it also causes mouth cancer and other diseases, but chewing buai (as it’s called in PNG) is firmly a part of PNG culture for many.

If you’re adventurous, you can try it when you’re in PNG. It tastes pretty gross, and the first time you chew it you’ll probably get a spinning head or feel nauseous.

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14. Cash is king

While most hotels accept credit card, you’ll want to have plenty of cash on hand as soon as you leave the major cities. Even in the city, you’ll need to cash to pay for souvenirs at markets or when you visit smaller shops.

Kina is the currency of the country and it’s comprised of 100 toea (pronounced toy-ah). Kina means shell and harps back to the days when shells were the currency of trade. Prices are denoted with a K in front of the amount (ie. K20 is 20 kina).

You can change money at the airport (of course, expect terrible rates as always!) or withdraw money from the BSP, ANZ or Westpac ATMs around Port Moresby, Lae, Madang and other bigger cities.

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15. Don’t pack too much

Don’t pack too much when you visit Papua New Guinea. The airlines have a domestic flight baggage weight limit of 16 kilos .

Some essentials that you want to make sure you have:

  • The Lonely Planet Papua New Guinea and Solomons Islands guide
  • A Tok Pisin dictionary so you can speak a few words with people
  • Your camera for the thousands of photo opps (I love the Sony A6300 )
  • Rain jacket, regardless of the time of year
  • Good hiking boots if you’ve got some treks on your itinerary
  • Swimwear if your visit to PNG involves visiting the islands
  • First aid kit
  • Any medications that you take regularly
  • Plenty of sunscreen
  • Insect repellant
  • A travel adapter if you’re not from Australia (PNG has the same plugs and voltage as Australia)
  • A portable charger to keep your electronics charged
  • Torch, flashlight or a headlamp for when the electricity goes out
  • Water filter bottle or water treatment tablets (to avoid buying plastic bottles)

16. Be careful what you buy in PNG if you’re transiting through Australia

Papua New Guinea has so many great souvenirs to buy. I’m a particular fan of the carved masks and bowls, handmade drums, bilums, and shell jewellery.

But if you’re transiting through Australia when you leave PNG you need to be aware that Australia has very strict regulations about certain items. Even if you’re just passing through. Australians and New Zealanders are well aware of this, but if you’re from Europe or the United States or anywhere else in the world, you may not be familiar with my country’s rules.

Anything with animal parts (for example, lizard skins on kundu drums), items made from wood or grass, baskets, fruits and nuts are going to attract the attention of Aussie customs officials. They may fumigate these items (at your cost and the expense of a few days) or confiscate them entirely.

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17. Most foreigners can get a tourist visa on arrival

All visitors to PNG need a visa . Citizens of some countries, including those with a passport from any Pacific countries, Western Europe countries, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Israel, can obtain a free tourist visa on arrival .

Other nationalities need to arrange a visa before travelling to Papua New Guinea.

This information was current at the time of writing, but make sure you check with your  nearest PNG mission  for the latest visa requirements .

18. Don’t believe everything you hear about PNG

Safety is always a big concern for anyone considering visiting Papua New Guinea. PNG unfortunately has a reputation as a dangerous country to visit because of high crime rates that are a result of fairly rapid changes to society.

Yes, safety is something you need to be aware of, but you shouldn’t let it put you off travelling to PNG. I lived there for four years and had no safety issues , but of course I know other expats and foreigners who have run into trouble. I do think that PNG’s reputation as an unsafe country is mostly perpetuated by people who haven’t even visited. And, sadly, the reality is that the majority of crime affects Papua New Guineans.

What you’ll find in Papua New Guinea are friendly people who are curious to meet you and welcome you to their country. Bar a small number of people with bad intentions, I’ve always found that Papua New Guineans will always keep an eye out for foreigners and make sure they’re safe.

As I mentioned earlier, joining a tour group or hiring a guide is one way to ensure your trip is a safe one. Guides know where to go, what to do and how to diffuse situations.

If you do travel independently, there are some basic commonsense precautions you can take:

  • Don’t wander around at nighttime , and women shouldn’t go out alone at any time of the day. Women do need to be more aware of their surroundings.
  • Avoid flashy jewellery  or showing off expensive camera gear.
  • Always  check with someone  from the area whether it’s safe to visit somewhere.
  • Be friendly and smile at people and talk to them. Don’t be paranoid and assume everyone is out to get you. As I said, Papua New Guineans are usually genuinely curious about who you are and what you think of their country.
  • If you do get into trouble, don’t fight back . Keep a small note or two in your pocket that you can hand over. (My husband used to keep a K20 note in his car just in case the police pulled him over.)
  • If you’ve read about  tribal fighting , be aware that it rarely affects tourists. Talk to people about the current situation and if you hear anything about fighting, stay away from the area.

As always, check your own government’s travel advice and make your decision based on facts and information rather than sensational headlines.

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19. Get up to date with your vaccinations

Before you travel to PNG, schedule in some time with a doctor to get all the necessary vaccinations and the latest health information.

I like to visit a specialist travel doctor , because I feel like they’re more across tropical and unusual diseases and health issues. Otherwise, the World Health Organization   lists recommended vaccinations .

PNG has some  malaria areas , so ask your doctor whether you need to take medication and which kind is best for you. Personally, I don’t like malaria prophylaxis medications and prefer to instead take steps to  prevent bites . This includes covering up, using insect repellent and sleeping under mosquito nets (all hotels and lodges provide these).

PNG trekking companies will want to know that your insurer has adequate medical evacuation coverage , and you’ll need to show this to them before hitting the trail.  World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance.

Pack a good first-aid kit along with any medications you take regularly. Outside of Port Moresby, healthcare is limited, so you need to take the basics. I always pack pain-relief medication (like Nurofen or Ibuprofen), Pepto-Bismol for tummy troubles, Imodium, antiseptic cream, antibiotics (prescribed by a doctor) and Band-Aids.

Bring plenty of hand sanitiser , as you’ll be shaking hands with people all the time. In some areas of Papua New Guinea, hygiene isn’t the same as what you’re probably used to back home, so avoid spreading germs.

20. Read up on PNG before you go

I always like to read up on a country before I visit it, and I think this is especially important for visiting Papua New Guinea. Read a few books about PNG so that you really have an appreciation for the myriad of cultures in the country. Having the knowledge before you go will make your trip all that more rewarding.

A few insightful books are:

  • Throwim Way Leg by Tim Flannery
  • Papua New Guinea: People, Politics and History Since 1975 by Sean Dorney
  • Beyond the Coral Sea by Michael Moran
  • The Last Men: Journey Among the Tribes of New Guinea by Iago Corazza
  • Four Corners: A Journey into the Heart of Papua New Guinea by Kira Salak

My friend Elvina also recommends:

  • Kiki: Ten Thousand Years in a Lifetime by Sir Albert Maori Kiki
  • My Mother Calls Me Yaltep by Sir Ignatius Kilage

All of these books are fairly old and can be difficult to find, but check your local library and second-hand bookstores if you can’t get them (or they’re too expensive) on Amazon.

Papua New Guinea is one of my favourite countries in the world and I think it’s such a special place to visit . Hopefully these tips will help you plan your trip and make it a safe and incredible one!

I’ve written more  Papua New Guinea travel guides  to help you plan your  trip to PNG :

  • 15 best things to do in Papua New Guinea
  • The best Papua New Guinea festivals
  • Kokoda Trail packing list
  • What to expect when you hike the Kokoda Track
  • How much does it cost to live in Papua New Guinea?
  • Where to eat in Port Moresby

Is there anything else you’d like to know before you visit Papua New Guinea? Let me know in the comments below how I can help you prepare.


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I'm a travel junkie who started dreaming about seeing the world from a very young age. I've visited more than 40 countries and have a Master of International Sustainable Tourism Management. A former expat, I've lived in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Argentina and the United States. I share travel resources, tips and stories based on my personal experiences, and my goal is to make travel planning just that bit easier.

30 thoughts on “Visit Papua New Guinea: 20 Things to Know Before You Go”

Hi Rebecca, This is a very interesting blog on PNG. Thanks I got to know very good information about the place. I am from India and getting an offer to work in Goroka, wanted to know how safe is this place for a foreigner to take a job opportunity and to think from a long term perspective. Looking forward for your valuable suggestion to take up the job.

Hi Sri! Goroka is one of the most beautiful places in PNG – and considered one of the safest in the highlands. There is a decent-sized expat community there. What kind of work will you be doing?

Hi Rebecca, much to my shame I have only today discovered your blog and as a fellow traveller I am overjoyed to see someone writing about both their adventures and the practicalities of survival abroad! I myself am about to move over to PNG next month despite having never been there before and am about to forward all my friends your concise breakdown of everything they need to know as I too have been met with blank stares when confessing my plan! I am moving over to Kimbe in West New Britain and stopping in Port Moresby on the way over. If you think of any not to be missed experiences do let me know! Equally if you’re still living out there and fancy a chat/drink with a fellow traveller just let me know! (Always good to find an ally I think…)

Definitely let me know when you arrive – I can take you out for a drink! What will you be doing in Kimbe?

I’m heading over to conduct some research on the village courts and legal practice around Kimbe as part of my PhD. Very excited about the whole thing, if a little intimidated as well! A drink sounds lovely, thanks! Would be keen to pick your brains about the time you have spent there so far. Still awaiting my research visa at the moment but as soon as I have a plan I’ll be sure to get in touch.

Good luck with the visa – and see you soon!

Hi Rebecca,

Nice blog for anyone to know about a particular country he/she needs to visit.

I am planning on visiting PNG specifically Goroka. May I have your advise since I see that you have already been there.

Hi! Goroka’s gorgeous – I’d highly recommend visiting during the Independence Day weekend (September each year) so you can see the Goroka Show which is stunning. When are you visiting? Are you coming with a tour group or alone?

Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, I will miss the show. I am arriving only in the month of october. Do you keep visiting Goroka?

I’ve been there a couple of times. It’s a really nice town with things to so other than the show.

#•The first recorded sighting of Papua New Guinea occurred in 1512; the first landing was by the Portuguese and the country was named Ilhas dos Papuas meaning Land of the Fuzzy Hair” This is what you wrote. But there were people living in PNG in 1512. Didn’t they “sight” it? And those people came from somewhere a lot earlier than that, and landed there. We need to realize that even non western people can explore and that they count too. Areas unexplored? By whom?

Good point Lisbeth – I should have been more specific: first sighting “by foreigners”.

i’ll be there PNG

Just opened a production/play about people in PNG. It’s called “The Broken”. 🙂 Check it out on Youtube. Search: “The broken: A Devised Piece.”

Cannibalism? Yikes! I really know nothing about Papua New Guinea, so this is great! I have friends going to Australia in a few weeks and they were going to go to PNG, but one of them thinks it’s too dangerous. I know you posted this a while ago, but I was cut off from the world in South Africa then, so I hope you are doing well and enjoying your time there!!

Hey miss! How are you? Yep, not many people know about PNG – outside of Australia if I tell anyone where we live they generally have a blank stare… Loving our time here – it’s such an interesting country. It does have a bad reputation but once you get out of Port Moresby it’s really quite safe. If you’re friends are still interested I’d be happy to give them some tips if they want to get in touch with me. Right now though we’re actually back in South Africa! How was your time here? I have not been very good at all at keeping up with all the blogs so sorry I didn’t even know you were back there! Hope alli s well!

I live in Indonesia (hello neighbor!) and actually I’m pretty curious with PNG. But since there’s no direct flight from any city in Indonesia to Port Moresby, then I never put PNG into my travel list. However, the most common route for Indonesians (Papuans) to go to PNG is through the land border on the northern coast of the island (connecting Jayapura in Indonesia with Vanimo in PNG). I hope one day there will be a direct flight from Indonesia to PNG for a better access for everyone.

Hey! The most frustrating thing for me about living here is the lack of connections – I’d love to be able to visit Indonesia again while I’m here but it’s so difficult (and expensive) to get around. I’ve heard the border crossing up there is pretty interesting, and it looks like a beautiful part of the world.

Great round up! I remember watching a documentary about some film guys that were kidnapped by some tribes for a while. Was super interesting.

It’s SUCH an interesting country! Still parts of the country where people only came into contact with white people in only the last couple of decades. So much to see here!

I know nothing more than your post about Papa New Guinea and now I want to go there SO BAD.

It’s a really amazing country – and you would get some AMAZING photos!

Good post Rebecca. I did not know the PNG was still considered off the tourism radar, especially with its close proximity to Australia. Does the gov’t not allow permits for resorts?

What are some traditional foods there? Is pork on a lot of menus since pigs are valuable?

Do the indigenous people there govern themselves and own a lot of businesses?

After seeing the pictures, I think I want to dress as a Mud Man for Halloween.

How much longer are you there?

It’s more the perceived “danger” of PNG, Fidel, and the difficulty that you can have travelling around PNG. Food of choice here for people in rural areas are mostly starchy vegetables like taro and sweet potato, sago and chicken. Although there are health concerns now with a lot of people eating tinned foods which don’t have a particularly high nutritional value. You should totally dress as a Mud Man! And I’ll be here for two or three more years.

I feel very well informed!! I hope there’s some PNG questions next time at pub trivia!!

I’ll be your lifeline if you get any tricky questions!

PNG needs so many airports because there are no connecting roads to many places, and if there are roads they are at best hazaous, at worst impassable and dangerous. There are 842 seperate languages – not counting dialects. The cities are not the “real” PNG. A couple of kms from the city is as basic and primative as one could imagine.

Totally agree – I can’t wait to get out of Port Moresby and see the “real” PNG!

I was born & raised there…no they do not need any airports. Terrible idea.

Great post. PNG sounds like such a fascinating place. 500 airports for 6 million people — that’s quite a ratio!

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travel to png

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Papua New Guinea

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Your travel insurance could be invalidated if you travel against advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Areas where FCDO advises against all but essential travel

Hela and southern highlands provinces.

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to Hela and Southern Highlands provinces due to the high risk of tribal fighting.

Find out more about why FCDO advises against travel . 

Curfew in Enga Province

There is a daily curfew in Enga Province from 9pm to 6am due to an increase in tribal fighting. 

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Beginner’s Papua New Guinea Travel Guide (You NEED to Read!)

Papua New Guinea feels like one of the last untouched places in the world. Guaranteed you’ll be hard pushed to find someone who’s been, let alone can tell you about travelling there, which makes it all the more attractive.

I wanted to put together this Papua New Guinea travel guide to help anyone who’s thinking of travelling to this wonderful country in the future. 

Papua New Guinea

I went one September for two weeks and had a truly eye opening and interesting time. I had no preconceptions and knew very little about the country before I went. 

It’s slightly larger than California, if you’re looking for some kind of reference for its size.

Papua New Guinea might seem like a million miles away but if you’re in Australia, and up in Darwin, in the Northern Territory, then it’s an 11-hour direct flight to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea’s capital city. Or, even better, it’s just six hours from Singapore. Which is the flight I took, from England and stopping over there. 

Visiting Papua New Guinea

There are over six million people living in Papua New Guinea, speaking over 800 indigenous languages between them, with hundreds of different beliefs and ways of life. This means there’s no one way of doing things in Papua New Guinea – delve deeper and you’ll see that even just one village varies greatly from the next, never mind province.

The country is made up of 4 regions, with 20 provinces, that aren’t particularly well connected. Travel to Papua New Guinea and you’ll be travelling around by air most of the time, but where to go?  

Where to go in Papua New Guinea

Don’t stay in Port Moresby is the short answer for this Papua New Guinea travel guide. To really get out and experience Papua New Guinea you need to either aim high, and get yourself up in the mountains, or go low, and head to the coast to find some of the best scuba diving in the world .

And that’s a confirmed fact about Papua New Guinea , the scuba diving is incredible.

travel guide papua new guinea

My top recommendations for where to go in Papua New Guinea would be:

– Tari or Mount Hagen, for the cultural villages.

– Hoskins, for the scuba diving

– Tufi, for diving, beaches, fishing and culture

– Sepik River, for tropical wilderness living

– Kokoda Trail, for hiking

I managed to go to the first three when I was in Papua New Guinea. For more tips on what you need to know before travelling to Papua New Guinea , click the link. 

Get your visas before you go

Make sure you have all your visas sorted for travel to Papua New Guinea if you’re stopping off anywhere, and for entry into the country. Visa restrictions change all the time so you can check Byevisa for updates, and your local government travel site too. 

Visiting Papua New Guinea

What to do in Papua New Guinea

Research ‘Papua New Guinea’ online and you’re bound to see pictures of the village tribes adorned with colourful costumes, and happy Papua New Guineans bouncing to the sound of the drums. I saw these people, I even recognise some of them from the pics, and I know where to find them.

This isn’t all there is to do in Papua New Guinea though…

papua new guinea advice

Tari and Mount Hagen

Head to Tari, or Mount Hagen, and sign yourself up for a cultural village tour in among the mountainous terrain. It’s the only way to gain the unique access to see how the villagers live, and what life in Papua New Guinea is really like.

I visited the Sili Mului Women and saw them dance, I watched the Skeleton Boys of Mount Hagen do their tribal dance and found out about the every day and funeral rights of the women in the area through roleplay in the village. Not many is the answer.

Papua new guinea travel guide

Make sure to go to a Sing Sing, where locals dress in elaborate skirts and headdresses and dance to the beat of the drum. In Tari I met the Huli Wigmen – famous for the fact that their sole purpose in life is to grow their hair and then sell it to make wigs. Everything they do is around getting their hair long and healthy enough for people to want to pay for it.

Visiting Papua new guinea

The area is genuinely fascinating and so different to anywhere else I’ve ever been in the world. I checked to see if these ‘shows’ were just a super touristy thing that they put on for tourists. Turns out it’s hammed up a bit for us, but even just a few years ago it was a way of life. Now it’s perfectly normal to see one tribesman all dressed up, next to another in standard tshirt and shorts.

In Mount Hagen you can also climb Mount Wilhelm, the highest mountain in Papua New Guinea.

travelling to papua new guinea

Hoskins in Papua New Guinea 

In Hoskins it’s all about the water. You can take a ride to the natural Hot Springs in among the palm trees, hike a volcano or go scuba diving down near the Walindi Resort. Even just the snorkelling here will be among the best you’ve ever done.

The amount of palm trees here is overwhelming – take a drive out to the plantations and see how the island keeps the palm oil business afloat. Keep an eye out for the money houses with the chutes in the roof – they catch the money dropped by helicopters to distribute in the village.

Visit Tufi in Papua New Guinea

I didn’t actually go to Tufi when I went to Papua New Guinea in September 2017, but everywhere I went people told me how it was the best place in Papua New Guinea.

papua new guinea travel guide

Apparently it’s a microcosm of everything that makes PNG so great – the culture, the beaches, the forests, the diving. So, if you’re going to go to Papua New Guinea I’d definitely recommend it. And let me know what it’s like!

Sepik River in Papua New Guinea

Another spot I didn’t quite have time for on my two-week Papua New Guinea trip is the Sepik River. Located in the north of the country it’s Papua New Guinea’s longest river and the banks are home to thousands of species and animals, and humans too.

It’s a fascinating place to learn more about what life is like for Papua New Guinea’s locals, and to spot some of the wildlife and fauna you’d never see anywhere else. The Sepik River is basically Papua New Guinea’s Amazon. Join a boat trip to really get the most from what you can see there.

Walking the Kokoda Trail

You can’t talk about things to do in Papua New Guinea without mentioning the Kokoda Trail. It’s super popular for Australians, eager to hike in their ancestors’ footsteps in World War II. The track stretches through the Owen Stanley Mountain Range near Port Moresby and is a chance for the Ozzies to pay their respects to those who defended Australia from the Japanese.

travel guide PNG

Throughout Papua New Guinea old fighter jets lay wrecked and washed up in the rainforests, while underwater divers can investigate biologically rich reefs surrounding the Second World War ship and plane wrecks. Ask around locally to find your nearest one.

Click for more articles on Papua New Guinea

Guide to Papua New Guinea

What you’ll eat in Papua New Guinea

It’s all about the local produce when you travel to PNG, which basically amounts to sweet potatoes and veggies, along with rice and some sort of fish or meat. There are local beers available to wash it down – but don’t drink in public as booze is restricted here thanks to local problems with over consumption.

Papua new guinea travel guide

Don’t be scared if you see locals with bloody red mouths, they’re following the local tradition of chewing on the betel nut. The colour from the nut turns your saliva crimson and your teeth too. Looks terrifying but the locals love it.

Make sure you’ve packed well for your trip, with this guide to packing for Papua New Guinea . You might want to include a few snacks if you like your sugary treats. 

Accommodation in Papua New Guinea

Accommodation is limited in Papua New Guinea – it’s one of the least developed countries in the world.

You might have to pay a little extra than you’re used to for somewhere, seeing as they’re not really totally set up for the budget traveller yet. Others recommend staying in locals’ houses as you travel, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable unless I had at least a Trip Advisor review to go off. Hostels aren’t to be seen quite yet but what you spend on a bed in a hotel, you’ll save on transport and food.

Here’s some of the best hotels in PNG for you to check out.

Vlog about Papua New Guinea

Watch my video on Papua New Guinea to learn more

Why go to Papua New Guinea?

Visiting Papua New Guinea isn’t your standard, straight up, easy trip. It’s going to require a bit of determination and resilience to visit such an incredible place as yet mostly untouched by mass tourism. I spent ten days in Papua New Guinea, which was actually a two-week trip but the flights from England take up a lot of time either side. 

Visiting Papua New guinea

You need to plan before you go, be prepared for long journeys on dirt tracks, accept that you might not be understood or understand, and be ready for a culture shock. Make sure you read my advice for arriving into Papua New Guinea before you leave your house – knowledge is power. 

Papua new guinea travel guide

Papua New Guinea is an incredibly poor country with many people living way under the poverty line. As you’re shown around the villages of Tari and Mount Hagen you’ll see just how basic the amenities there are.

One of the things that really shocked me about Papua New Guinea was the treatment of women. They’re expected to do all the work, in grass skirts, aren’t allowed to get married following the death of a husband, have to sit in an outhouse with no contact with their children when they’re on their period and they’re also expected to keep the house in order and raise the children too.

Travelling to Papua New Guinea

It was difficult to understand the country, compared to the UK I’d left behind. But fascinating to see how media and Western values had failed to affect it. If you want to know more about what Papua New Guinea is like , click this link. 

Travelling to Papua New Guinea

The unique tribal cultures, the lush landscape, the 700 bird species, the wonder of the active volcanoes, the hundreds of islands and the white sand beaches, all in one country though, mean it’s an absolute travel bucket list item.

Bird of paradise Papua New Guinea

You won’t find many museums and iconic buildings here – being in Papua New Guinea is all about learning from the cultures, the wildlife and the Great Outdoors.

I hope you have a wonderful time visiting Papua New Guinea. It really is one of the most fascinating and memorable places I’ve ever been. 

My trip to Papua New Guinea was sponsored by PNG UK . They invited me to come and explore the country in return for my thoughts on the blog – definitely lots of them to come!


travel to png

Related Posts:

  • 11 Tips You Need for Travelling to Papua New Guinea 
  • 23 Interesting Facts About Papua New Guinea to Know…
  • My Advice for Arriving in Papua New Guinea
  • What is Papua New Guinea Like?
  • What to Pack for Papua New Guinea
  • 7 Best Hotels in Papua New Guinea

Hi, I'm Vicky! I wrote this. I love a bit of adventure, will try anything once, and have a strong passion for the local food and drink, whatever it may be. I'm here to help inspire you to travel to places a little out of your comfort zone, or at least to explore the usual destinations in a different way. Stay, have a look around, and if you have any questions – let me know below.

Ever since I was a child in the ’80s (I was born in ’83), I’ve longed to visit this place. Back then, I had a book detailing the adventures of Huey, Dewey, and Louie as scouts in Papua New Guinea. I was captivated by the inhabitants adorned with masks, the vivid depictions of the Bird of Paradise and the breathtaking array of wildlife. Moreover, the knowledge that it remains one of the last relatively developed places on Earth only adds to its allure as a true paradise.

Do you have recommendations for travel planners, guides etc?

Thanks a lot for so many helpful information and valuable details on PNG!. This is one of the countries to visit I have in my immediate shortlist.

Who organized and planned your trip to PNG? A tour company? I’m thinking about going to PNG in 2023 for at least 14 days.

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Papua New Guinea

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  • Reviewed: 20 February 2024, 14:42 NZDT
  • Still current at: 26 February 2024
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If you are planning international travel at this time, please read our COVID-19 related travel advice here , alongside our destination specific travel advice below.

Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to the Hela, Enga and Southern Highlands provinces due to ongoing violent tribal clashes and politically motivated unrest (level 3 of 4).

Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution elsewhere in Papua New Guinea due to violent crime and the potential for civil unrest (level 2 of 4).

On 10 January 2024, protesting, looting and forms of civil unrest took place in and around Port Moresby city. This led to businesses being closed including supermarkets and fuel stations. The State of Emergency has been lifted and business operations are back to normal.

Violent Crime The law and order situation in Papua New Guinea continues to pose serious risks to travellers. Violent crime, including armed robbery, carjacking, home invasions and sexual assault, is common throughout the country, especially in urban areas such as Port Moresby, Lae, Madang and Mt Hagen. The settlement areas in these centres  are particularly dangerous.

Expatriates and foreigners have been the target of robbery and carjacking in the past. Robberies have been known to take place inside business premises in Port Moresby and other urban centers. Most of the time crime is opportunistic but organised criminal groups also operate in Papua New Guinea.

Due to high levels of violent crime, New Zealand officials in Port Moresby adopt enhanced security measures for pedestrian and vehicle movement, their workplace, accommodation and public places. In Port Moresby, the area around Koki Market to 2 Mile Hill experience increased levels of violent crime.

New Zealanders in Papua New Guinea should exercise a high degree of personal security awareness at all times, especially in public places and areas frequented by foreigners. No resistance should be given if you are the victim of an armed robbery or carjacking, as this could lead to an escalation in violence. It is dangerous to walk the streets, particularly after dark. Avoid walking and travelling to isolated areas such as golf courses, beaches and parks. As victims of robbery are often targeted due to their perceived wealth, it is advisable to avoid wearing or displaying items that appear valuable, such as electronic devices and jewellery. Consider hiring private security services such as security escorts when driving or use secure transport services.

Road Travel Armed and unarmed carjackings and road blocks in Port Moresby, Lae, Madang and Mt Hagen continue to be a problem, as well as in the area between Lae and Nadzab Airport. Violence in such cases can occur. Road travel outside of major towns can be hazardous and travel along the Highlands Highway, and the Highway connecting Lae to Madang, can be affected by bad weather, poor road conditions, tribal and community disputes. Armed robbery is also a regular occurrence and roadblocks can be used to stop vehicles and rob, extort or attack their occupants.

Drivers are urged to take extra caution when driving at any time of the day, and driving at night should be avoided wherever possible. If travelling at night, you should not travel in a vehicle alone and strongly consider travelling in a convoy with other vehicles or with a security escort. Always drive with windows closed and car doors locked. Where possible, avoid smaller or remote roads with less traffic.

Following a road accident, crowds can form quickly and may attack those perceived to be responsible. If you’re involved in an accident and perceive that your safety is at risk, don’t remain at the scene, instead proceed to the nearest known safe place before getting in contact with the New Zealand High Commission in Port Moresby, which will then facilitate reporting the incident to Police.

Visitors to Papua New Guinea should avoid using buses, known as PMVs (public motor vehicles), as they are poorly maintained and are often targeted by criminals. Vehicles hired from a reputable car hire company, or hotel transportation are a safer alternative. New Zealanders are advised to seek advice from their hotel or other trusted source.

Civil Unrest On 16 June 2018, a state of emergency was declared in Southern Highlands province, after significant civil unrest and violence in the provincial capital of Mendi. Authorities have deployed additional security resources into the area.

Tensions between ethnic or clan groups occur periodically, particularly in the Highlands region and in larger urban areas such as Lae and Port Moresby. These sometimes lead to outbreaks of tribal fighting, often involving the use of machetes or firearms. Disputes can escalate with little warning and can result in destruction of property, disruption to services and injuries or deaths. While foreigners are not usually targeted in this violence, New Zealanders should remain vigilant, stay clear of settlement areas and avoid large crowds or gatherings. Closely monitor the media and other local information sources for advice about safety or security risks.

Protests and demonstrations occur in Papua New Guinea and previously have resulted in sporadic violent clashes between protestors and security forces.

New Zealanders are advised to avoid all demonstrations, protests and political rallies given the potential for these to turn violent with little warning. You should follow the instructions of local authorities at all times.

Seismic Activity Papua New Guinea is in an active seismic area, and the most common natural disasters are earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Mt Ulawun volcano erupted in June 2019 forcing thousands to flee their homes. Kadovar island volcano erupted in January 2018 leading to an evacuation of the island. On 26 February 2018 a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Highlands causing significant damage to infrastructure including roads and telecommunications. A state of emergency was declared in the area to allow for disaster relief, and there has been large scale population displacement in the region. The security situation remains unstable.

Travellers should be aware of the possibility for travel disruptions in the event of seismic or volcanic activity. There is an ongoing possibility of further earthquakes, which increases the risk of avalanches and landslides. Pay attention to all warnings issued, and follow any evacuation orders from local authorities.

Local Travel New Zealanders travelling outside major urban areas in Papua New Guinea, especially to more isolated areas, should seek local advice before beginning their journey. Tourist facilities outside major towns are limited. Travel plans should be left with friends, relatives or reliable local contacts. We recommend double-checking your travel insurance to ensure you will be covered in the event of rescue or medical evacuation.

Bougainville New Zealanders travelling to Bougainville should seek local advice before doing so. Road conditions outside the main towns can be hazardous, particularly after heavy rains. Road blocks also occur from time to time. Community sensitivities remain in the central mountainous area around the former Panguna mine and New Zealanders are advised not to enter the area without seeking current local advice. Travellers should not enter or leave Papua New Guinea from Bougainville without making prior arrangements with Papua New Guinea Immigration.

Hiking Trails New Zealanders intending to walk the Kokoda Track, Black Cat track, Mt Wilhelm or other trails should hire a guide from a reputable travel company and ensure that the trekking permit is paid before leaving. For further information see the Kokoda Track Authority website. Exercise caution as serious crime is a risk and there have been attacks and robberies at each end of the trail.

Unexploded ordnance from WWII still exists in Papua New Guinea, particularly along the Kokoda Track and at Milne Bay, Rabaul, Bougainville and East New Britain. 

General Travel Advice New Zealanders are advised to respect religious, social and cultural traditions in Papua New Guinea to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour.

Medical services in Papua New Guinea are very limited and New Zealanders travelling or living in Papua New Guinea should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Papua New Guinea are encouraged to register their details with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

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The New Zealand High Commission Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Street Address Waigani, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea Postal Address PO Box 1051, Waigani, NCD, Papua New Guinea Telephone +675 7373 7000 Emergency Telephone +675 7091 5613 (After-hours) Email [email protected] Web Site Hours Mon - Thurs 0800 - 1200, 1300 - 1630 hrs; Fri 0800 - 1200, 1230 - 1600 hrs

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Papua New Guinea Travel Restrictions

Traveller's COVID-19 vaccination status

Travelling from Australia to Papua New Guinea

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Not required for vaccinated visitors


Not required in public spaces, enclosed environments and public transportation.

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Can I travel to Papua New Guinea from Australia?

Most visitors from Australia, regardless of vaccination status, can enter Papua New Guinea.

Can I travel to Papua New Guinea if I am vaccinated?

Fully vaccinated visitors from Australia can enter Papua New Guinea without restrictions.

Can I travel to Papua New Guinea without being vaccinated?

Unvaccinated visitors from Australia can enter Papua New Guinea without restrictions.

Do I need a COVID test to enter Papua New Guinea?

Visitors from Australia are not required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test or antigen result upon entering Papua New Guinea.

Can I travel to Papua New Guinea without quarantine?

Travellers from Australia are not required to quarantine.

Do I need to wear a mask in Papua New Guinea?

Mask usage in Papua New Guinea is not required in public spaces, enclosed environments and public transportation.

Are the restaurants and bars open in Papua New Guinea?

Restaurants in Papua New Guinea are . Bars in Papua New Guinea are .

Papua New Guinea - Tribes at the Mt Hagen cultural show, Papua New Guinea

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Papua New Guinea travel guide

Papua New Guinea is a fascinating country where travellers can explore remote villages, as well as enjoying spectacular diving, stunning wildlife, scenic surfing and myriad cultures. The tribal diversity of a country with over 800 languages and 600 islands cannot easily be summarised, although in Papua New Guinea it is the tribal life that is most fascinating to the visitor.

Beyond the dizzying array of ethnic groups to get to know, there are many unique attractions, excursions and activities on offer, from discovering wrecks of World War II aircraft that lie in the jungle, to peeking inside the sacred wooden haustambarans (spirit houses) of towns and villages in the country.

One of the largest draws for those visiting Papua New Guinea is the country's extensive wildlife and unique ecosystem. From the mountainous highlands to the Evian-blue waters, travellers can expect to discover weird and wonderful creatures, from tree-climbing kangaroos to spectacular birds of paradise; there are almost 700 bird species on the islands. Be sure to visit the National Botanic Gardens in Port Moresby, which is probably the capital's greenest, most beautiful sport. Most of the country remains undeveloped, with the largest island of Bouganville avoiding from resort hotels and commercialisation – ideal for the independent traveller.

Above all, though, it's the inhabitants that make Papua New Guinea truly unique. Many of the hundreds of languages spoken here are kept alive by a just a few dozen people. Each ethnic group has its own proud artistic traditions, with deft handicrafts, entrancing dance performances and bracing music. If you happen to visit during a festival – to be fair, there are many of them occurring throughout the year – prepare to be spellbound by tribal concerts and elaborate headdresses. Spend a bit of time here, and you'll feel as if you've gained access to a bygone era, although it would be wrong to describe the inhabitants as stuck in the past. Anyone welcomed into their embrace will say that they are thriving.

462,840 sq km (178,704 sq miles).

7,776,115 (UN estimate 2016).

14.4 per sq km.

Port Moresby.

Constitutional monarchy.

HM King Charles III since 2022, represented locally by Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae since February 2017.

Prime Minister James Marape since 2019.

Travel Advice

Your travel insurance could be invalidated if you travel against advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Areas where FCDO advises against all but essential travel

Hela and southern highlands provinces.

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to Hela and Southern Highlands provinces due to the high risk of tribal fighting.

Find out more about why FCDO advises against travel . 

Curfew in Enga Province

There is a daily curfew in Enga Province from 9pm to 6am due to an increase in tribal fighting. 

See Regional risks .

Before you travel

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide and any specific travel advice that applies to you:

  • women travellers
  • disabled travellers

LGBT+ travellers

  • solo and independent travel
  • volunteering and adventure travel

Travel insurance

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance . Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.

About FCDO travel advice

FCDO provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice .

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated.

This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Papua New Guinea set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the Papua New Guinean High Commission in the UK .

COVID-19 rules

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Papua New Guinea.

Passport validity requirements

To enter Papua New Guinea, your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the date you arrive. 

Check with your travel provider that your passport and other travel documents meet requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.

You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid travel document or try to use a passport that has been reported lost or stolen.

Visa requirements

You must have a visa to visit Papua New Guinea.

Applying for a visa

Apply for a Papua New Guinea visa online before you travel.

You can no longer get a visa on arrival. 

Vaccine requirements

You must have a certificate to prove you’ve had a yellow fever vaccination if you’re coming from a country listed as a transmission risk .

For full details about medical entry requirements and recommended vaccinations, see TravelHealthPro’s Papua New Guinea guide .

Customs rules

There are strict rules about goods you can take into or out of Papua New Guinea, see:

  • prohibited goods
  • duty-free allowances for travellers

You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.

It is illegal to enter Papua New Guinea with many fruits, vegetables and animal products due to local quarantine controls.

This guide also has safety advice for regions of Papua New Guinea .

There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.    

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad .

Terrorism in Papua New Guinea

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Papua New Guinea, attacks cannot be ruled out.  

Tribal fighting

Outbreaks of tribal fighting are common across Papua New Guinea, including tourist areas. Ethnic disputes can quickly escalate and lead to widespread destruction of property, disruption of normal services and serious injury. Tribal fighters may be armed.

Although tribal fighters do not normally attack foreign nationals, you should stay away from areas where there is fighting.

Stay alert, monitor local media and consult local contacts such as your hotel before you travel to a new area. Be particularly cautious in the suburbs of Port Moresby and the Highlands Region. See Regional risks .

There is a high risk of serious crime in the capital, Port Moresby, and in the cities of Lae and Mount Hagen. Suburbs of towns and cities can be particularly dangerous.

High-risk crime areas include the:

  • area around Parliament House in the Port Moresby suburb of Waigani, particularly outside of working hours
  • highway between Lae and Nadzab Airport

Protecting yourself and your belongings

There is a serious risk of bag-snatching and robbery. Criminals often use machetes (‘bush knives’) and firearms in assaults and thefts. They target people who are using banks and ATMs.

Walking after dark is particularly dangerous in Port Moresby and other urban centres.

You can take precautions such as:

  • not displaying valuables like laptops, cameras and mobile phones
  • not wearing expensive-looking jewellery
  • carrying only small amounts of cash – avoid withdrawing a lot of money, particularly at night
  • keeping valuables secure (for example, in a hotel safe)
  • not travelling alone or at night
  • monitoring the media for possible new security risks

Vehicle crime

Carjacking and other types of vehicle crime are common. Criminals use roadblocks outside towns to stop and loot vehicles and then attack the occupants.

If you plan travel in these areas, particularly after dark, take great care and consider travelling in convoy or using a security escort. Always lock car doors and keep windows up.

Public buses and taxis

Armed criminals have attacked and robbed passengers on public buses (known as ‘PMVs’) and in taxis. There have also been incidents of rape on Port Moresby PMVs. Many PMVs and taxis are not roadworthy.

Rape and sexual assault

Rape and sexual assault are common in Papua New Guinea. Stay alert and leave travel plans with friends, relatives or reliable local contacts. See advice for women travelling abroad .

Kokoda Track

There have been serious attacks and robberies along the Kokoda Track. Although community leaders have assured tourists of their safety and wellbeing while walking the Kokoda Track, you should take care. Avoid walking independently and travel with guides from trusted travel companies. You can get details from the Papua New Guinea Tourism Authority or the  Kokoda Track Authority .

Criminal kidnapping

Organised gangs have abducted people and forced them to open office safes while others are held captive until a ransom has been paid. A foreign national was kidnapped in a remote part of Southern Highlands Province in 2023. Be vigilant and leave travel plans with friends, relatives or reliable local contacts.

Unexploded weapons

There are unexploded World War 2 weapons in Papua New Guinea, particularly along the Kokoda Track, at Milne Bay and Rabaul. If you are concerned, get advice from a trusted travel company for the areas you’re visiting.

Laws and cultural differences

Illegal drugs and prison sentences.

It is a serious offence to use, possess or traffic illegal drugs, including marijuana. If convicted, you can get a long prison sentence.

Same-sex sexual activity between men is illegal. People who are convicted face up to 14 years imprisonment. Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers .

Outdoor activities and adventure tourism

If you plan to participate in outdoor or adventure activities, consider getting advice on safety from a trusted travel company. You can get information from the Papua New Guinea Tourism Authority .      

Transport risks

Road travel    .

If you are planning to drive in Papua New Guinea, see information on driving abroad .

You can use a UK photocard driving licence to drive in Papua New Guinea for the first 6 months after you arrive. If you still have a paper driving licence, you may need to update it to a photocard licence or get the correct version of the international driving permit ( IDP ) as well.

See rules for using a foreign driving licence in Papua New Guinea .

Hire car companies often have stricter requirements for their customers, such as a year of driving experience, a higher minimum age and holding an IDP .

Road conditions

Roads are in a poor state of repair, especially in rural areas, and driving is often erratic.

Following a road traffic accident, crowds can form quickly and become violent towards those they consider responsible. If you are involved in an accident, do not remain at the scene. Go to the nearest safe place before reporting the incident to the police.

Delays and cancellations of international and domestic flights often happen. Check with your airline before travel.

Extreme weather and natural disasters

Papua New Guinea is in an active seismic region known as the ‘Ring of Fire’. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis are possible.

Find out what you can do to prepare for and respond to extreme weather and natural hazards .


Earthquakes are a serious risk in Papua New Guinea. Seismic and volcanic activity is more likely near Rabaul in East New Britain Province, Kimbe in West New Britain Province and on Manam Island in Madang Province.

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency website has advice about what to do before, during and after an earthquake .

Earthquakes can be followed by tsunamis. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency website has advice about what to do before, during and after a tsunami .

Volcanic eruptions

Papua New Guinea has many active and dormant volcanoes. You should check with your travel provider or airline and seek advice from local authorities before travelling to affected areas.

In November 2023, Mount Ulawun volcano erupted on the island of New Britain and caused flight cancellations and the evacuation of over 5,000 people. Volcanic and seismic activity may continue.

Mount Bagana in Bougainville has shown increased volcanic activity since July 2023, displacing thousands of residents.

Manam Island volcano, one of Papua New Guinea’s most active, erupted in 2018 forcing thousands to flee to the mainland. It has shown further low-level activity since then, most recently in 2022.

Tropical cyclones

The tropical cyclone season normally runs from November to May. Monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organization and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology .

There is a risk of flooding and landslides, especially in rural areas and during monsoon season from November to May. Exceptionally high tides (‘king tides’) can cause flooding in coastal areas.

Damage caused by heavy rain can make travel difficult.

This section has safety advice for regions of Papua New Guinea. It only covers regions where the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) has specific advice.

You should also read FCDO ’s overall travel advice and safety and security advice .

If you plan to travel there, be cautious, stay away from large crowds and gatherings and consider getting private security advice.  

See Tribal fighting .

Enga Province

There is a daily curfew in Enga Province from 9pm to 6am due to an increase in tribal fighting.

The authorities may impose travel and other restrictions at short notice. Be particularly cautious throughout the province and stay away from the area around the Porgera gold mine (currently closed), which has been subject to violent landowner disputes.

Papua New Guinea-Indonesia border

The land border between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia stretches for around 760km and is poorly defined. There are sometimes armed clashes along the border between the Indonesian military and the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM, Free Papua Movement).

The Papua New Guinea government has defence units at its Wutung border post in Sandaun Province. Be extremely cautious and be prepared for possible sudden closure of the border crossing.

Bougainville Island

Bougainville Island has been calm since a 2001 peace agreement ended separatist fighting. You should still be cautious, particularly in central and southern Bougainville. There is a risk of lawlessness and violence. The autonomous Bougainville government has designated the mountainous area in central Bougainville around the old Panguna mine a ‘no go zone’. Do not travel to it without prior authorisation.

Before you travel check that:

  • your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
  • you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation

This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.

Emergency medical number

Call 111 and ask for an ambulance.

Contact your insurance company quickly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Vaccine recommendations and health risks

At least 8 weeks before your trip:

  • check the latest vaccine recommendations for Papua New Guinea
  • see where to get vaccines and whether you have to pay on the NHS travel vaccinations page

Go to TravelHealthPro to see what health risks you’ll face in Papua New Guinea including:

  • tuberculosis
  • malaria and dengue
  • chikungunya

Altitude sickness is a risk in parts of Papua New Guinea. Read more about altitude sickness on TravelHealthPro .

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.

Read best practice when travelling with medicines on TravelHealthPro .

The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad .

Healthcare facilities in Papua New Guinea

Medical facilities in Papua New Guinea are very basic. Hospitals often run out of basic drugs and supplies and suffer from power shortages. Evacuation by air ambulance to Australia is available in more serious cases. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

FCDO has a list of medical providers in Papua New Guinea where some staff will speak English.

There is also guidance on healthcare if you’re living in Papua New Guinea .

Travel and mental health

Read FCDO guidance on travel and mental health . There is also mental health guidance on TravelHealthPro .

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.

Emergency services in Papua New Guinea

Ambulance: 111 

Police: 112

Contact your travel provider and insurer

Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.

Refunds and changes to travel

For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.

Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans , including:

  • where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
  • how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim

Support from FCDO

FCDO has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:

  • finding English-speaking lawyers and funeral directors in Papua New Guinea
  • dealing with a death in Papua New Guinea
  • being arrested or imprisoned in Papua New Guinea
  • getting help if you’re a victim of crime
  • what to do if you’re  in hospital
  • if you’re affected by a crisis , such as a terrorist attack

Contacting FCDO

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . You can also sign up to get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.

You can also contact FCDO online .

Help abroad in an emergency

If you’re in Papua New Guinea and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the British High Commission in Port Moresby .

FCDO in London

You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.

Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)

Find out about call charges

Risk information for British companies

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating in Papua New Guinea on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

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Young Pioneer Tours


8 Things to Know Before Travel to Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea, or PNG, is one of the most unexplored countries on the planet. With an array of diverse tribes and stunning scenery, this country is one that is certainly worth the journey it takes to get there.

PNG is not the easiest place to travel to, so here are a few tips to know before setting foot in the country.

travel to png

#1 Visa on arrival

For US, Canadian, Australian, and EU citizens there is a free visa on arrival for 60 days which you can get at Port Moresby International Airport. This is also available for most other Pacific Island nations and some Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

#2 Where to fly from

Flying into Port Moresby (the capital) is not the cheapest, however, if you are looking for cheap flights then your best bet will be from Singapore, Australia or Manila. There are other flights from other Pacific Island countries, but these can be extremely expensive.

travel to png

#3 Plan your trip in advance

Papua New Guinea is not the type of place you can simply rock up and explore. Planning ahead will save you an incredible amount of money and will make your trip much safer, especially if you are planning on traveling around. If you are wanting to see festivals such as the Mt Hagen show, then look into tours which have all-inclusive packages. Young Pioneers Tours has the cheapest package out there and offers internal flights and hotels with local experienced guides. If you have booked internal flights, leave a day or two in between your departing flight from Port Moresby in case there are delays from weather, which is not unheard of.

#4 Mobile coverage is limited

You can purchase a SIM card on arrival at the airport in Port Moresby and you can get 3G access throughout the capital. In the Highlands, you will have some service, but don’t expect to be able to watch Netflix. SIM cards are easily topped up with cards that can be purchased at many stores throughout the country.

#5 Bring a jumper

Despite PNG being a hot tropical country, some of its locations are at high altitudes and with that comes lower temperatures. It’s not going to be freezing, but weather in the highlands can be surprisingly cold when compared with Port Moresby or other coastal areas.

#6 Don’t travel alone or at night

PNG can still be a very dangerous country and so it is recommended that travel is done only during daylight hours, even in Port Moresby. If you are by yourself use known taxis and go with a security guard to the ATM if you need cash. Travel in groups is best for your safety and women should also not where revealing clothing. Yes Port Moresby is dangerous .

Port Moresby

#7 Bring Malaria medication

While the hospitals are well equipped to deal with malaria, they a few and far between in some of PNGs more remote locations. Malaria and Dengue fever exist in the low lying areas of PNG so it is recommended you begin a course of either Doxycycline or Malarone when planning on entering the country.

#8 Spoken language

Many people speak English or a Pigeon English, however there are over 800 known languages that are spoken throughout the country. Ask what the local language is in the area you are and try and pick up some basic phrases.

If you’re thinking of heading to PNG then check out YPT’s Mt Hagen festival tour which brings you into the highlands to one of the most spectacular tribal displays available in the country.

Click the link to see our full schedule of Papua New Guinea Tours

About Post Author

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Gareth Johnson

Gareth Johnson is the founder of Young Pioneer Tours and has visited over 180+ countries. His passion is opening obscure destinations to tourism and sharing his experience of street food.

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Papua New Guinea Traveler View

Travel health notices, vaccines and medicines, non-vaccine-preventable diseases, stay healthy and safe.

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Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor at least a month before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. If you or your doctor need help finding a location that provides certain vaccines or medicines, visit the Find a Clinic page.

Routine vaccines


Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)

Immunization schedules

All eligible travelers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Please see  Your COVID-19 Vaccination  for more information. 

COVID-19 vaccine

Hepatitis A

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers one year old or older going to Papua New Guinea.

Infants 6 to 11 months old should also be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. The dose does not count toward the routine 2-dose series.

Travelers allergic to a vaccine component or who are younger than 6 months should receive a single dose of immune globulin, which provides effective protection for up to 2 months depending on dosage given.

Unvaccinated travelers who are over 40 years old, immunocompromised, or have chronic medical conditions planning to depart to a risk area in less than 2 weeks should get the initial dose of vaccine and at the same appointment receive immune globulin.

Hepatitis A - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep A

Hepatitis B

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers of all ages traveling to Papua New Guinea.

Hepatitis B - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep B

Japanese Encephalitis

Recommended for travelers who

  • Are moving to an area with Japanese encephalitis to live
  • Spend long periods of time, such as a month or more, in areas with Japanese encephalitis
  • Frequently travel to areas with Japanese encephalitis

Consider vaccination for travelers

  • Spending less than a month in areas with Japanese encephalitis but will be doing activities that increase risk of infection, such as visiting rural areas, hiking or camping, or staying in places without air conditioning, screens, or bed nets
  • Going to areas with Japanese encephalitis who are uncertain of their activities or how long they will be there

Not recommended for travelers planning short-term travel to urban areas or travel to areas with no clear Japanese encephalitis season. 

Japanese encephalitis - CDC Yellow Book

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine for US Children

CDC recommends that travelers going to certain areas of Papua New Guinea take prescription medicine to prevent malaria. Depending on the medicine you take, you will need to start taking this medicine multiple days before your trip, as well as during and after your trip. Talk to your doctor about which malaria medication you should take.

Find  country-specific information  about malaria.

Malaria - CDC Yellow Book

Considerations when choosing a drug for malaria prophylaxis (CDC Yellow Book)

Malaria information for Papua New Guinea.

Infants 6 to 11 months old traveling internationally should get 1 dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before travel. This dose does not count as part of the routine childhood vaccination series.

Measles (Rubeola) - CDC Yellow Book

Rabid dogs are commonly found in Papua New Guinea. However, if you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other mammal while in Papua New Guinea, rabies treatment is often available. 

Consider rabies vaccination before your trip if your activities mean you will be around dogs or wildlife.

Travelers more likely to encounter rabid animals include

  • Campers, adventure travelers, or cave explorers (spelunkers)
  • Veterinarians, animal handlers, field biologists, or laboratory workers handling animal specimens
  • Visitors to rural areas

Since children are more likely to be bitten or scratched by a dog or other animals, consider rabies vaccination for children traveling to Papua New Guinea. 

Rabies - CDC Yellow Book

Recommended for most travelers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas.

Typhoid - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Typhoid

Yellow Fever

Required for travelers ≥1 year old arriving from countries with risk for YF virus transmission; this includes airport transits or layovers in countries with risk for YF virus transmission. 1

Yellow Fever - CDC Yellow Book

Avoid contaminated water


How most people get sick (most common modes of transmission)

  • Touching urine or other body fluids from an animal infected with leptospirosis
  • Swimming or wading in urine-contaminated fresh water, or contact with urine-contaminated mud
  • Drinking water or eating food contaminated with animal urine
  • Avoid contaminated water and soil

Clinical Guidance

Avoid bug bites.

  • Mosquito bite
  • Avoid Bug Bites

Ross River virus disease

Ross River fever

  • An infected pregnant woman can spread it to her unborn baby

Airborne & droplet

  • Breathing in air or accidentally eating food contaminated with the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents
  • Bite from an infected rodent
  • Less commonly, being around someone sick with hantavirus (only occurs with Andes virus)
  • Avoid rodents and areas where they live
  • Avoid sick people

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Breathe in TB bacteria that is in the air from an infected and contagious person coughing, speaking, or singing.

Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in Papua New Guinea, so your behaviors are important.

Eat and drink safely

Food and water standards around the world vary based on the destination. Standards may also differ within a country and risk may change depending on activity type (e.g., hiking versus business trip). You can learn more about safe food and drink choices when traveling by accessing the resources below.

  • Choose Safe Food and Drinks When Traveling
  • Water Treatment Options When Hiking, Camping or Traveling
  • Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Healthy Water
  • Avoid Contaminated Water During Travel

You can also visit the Department of State Country Information Pages for additional information about food and water safety.

Prevent bug bites

Bugs (like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas) can spread a number of diseases in Papua New Guinea. Many of these diseases cannot be prevented with a vaccine or medicine. You can reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites.

What can I do to prevent bug bites?

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
  • Stay and sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms.
  • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

What type of insect repellent should I use?

  • FOR PROTECTION AGAINST TICKS AND MOSQUITOES: Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET for protection that lasts up to several hours.
  • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone
  • Always use insect repellent as directed.

What should I do if I am bitten by bugs?

  • Avoid scratching bug bites, and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itching.
  • Check your entire body for ticks after outdoor activity. Be sure to remove ticks properly.

What can I do to avoid bed bugs?

Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance. See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them. For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs .

For more detailed information on avoiding bug bites, see Avoid Bug Bites .

Stay safe outdoors

If your travel plans in Papua New Guinea include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip.

  • Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
  • Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit.
  • Consider learning basic first aid and CPR before travel. Bring a travel health kit with items appropriate for your activities.
  • If you are outside for many hours in heat, eat salty snacks and drink water to stay hydrated and replace salt lost through sweating.
  • Protect yourself from UV radiation : use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during the hottest time of day (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
  • Be especially careful during summer months and at high elevation. Because sunlight reflects off snow, sand, and water, sun exposure may be increased during activities like skiing, swimming, and sailing.
  • Very cold temperatures can be dangerous. Dress in layers and cover heads, hands, and feet properly if you are visiting a cold location.

Stay safe around water

  • Swim only in designated swimming areas. Obey lifeguards and warning flags on beaches.
  • Practice safe boating—follow all boating safety laws, do not drink alcohol if driving a boat, and always wear a life jacket.
  • Do not dive into shallow water.
  • Do not swim in freshwater in developing areas or where sanitation is poor.
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming. Untreated water can carry germs that make you sick.
  • To prevent infections, wear shoes on beaches where there may be animal waste.

Keep away from animals

Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies.

Follow these tips to protect yourself:

  • Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
  • Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
  • Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
  • If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately. Bat bites may be hard to see.

All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:

  • Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
  • Go to a doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.

Consider buying medical evacuation insurance. Rabies is a deadly disease that must be treated quickly, and treatment may not be available in some countries.

Reduce your exposure to germs

Follow these tips to avoid getting sick or spreading illness to others while traveling:

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room, unless you need medical care.

Avoid sharing body fluids

Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen.

Protect yourself:

  • Use latex condoms correctly.
  • Do not inject drugs.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
  • Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
  • If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.

Know how to get medical care while traveling

Plan for how you will get health care during your trip, should the need arise:

  • Carry a list of local doctors and hospitals at your destination.
  • Review your health insurance plan to determine what medical services it would cover during your trip. Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance.
  • Carry a card that identifies, in the local language, your blood type, chronic conditions or serious allergies, and the generic names of any medications you take.
  • Some prescription drugs may be illegal in other countries. Call Papua New Guinea’s embassy to verify that all of your prescription(s) are legal to bring with you.
  • Bring all the medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) you think you might need during your trip, including extra in case of travel delays. Ask your doctor to help you get prescriptions filled early if you need to.

Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website ( ).

In some countries, medicine (prescription and over-the-counter) may be substandard or counterfeit. Bring the medicines you will need from the United States to avoid having to buy them at your destination.

Malaria is a risk in Papua New Guinea. Fill your malaria prescription before you leave and take enough with you for the entire length of your trip. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking the pills; some need to be started before you leave.

Select safe transportation

Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries.

In many places cars, buses, large trucks, rickshaws, bikes, people on foot, and even animals share the same lanes of traffic, increasing the risk for crashes.

Be smart when you are traveling on foot.

  • Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks.
  • Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas.
  • Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.


Choose a safe vehicle.

  • Choose official taxis or public transportation, such as trains and buses.
  • Ride only in cars that have seatbelts.
  • Avoid overcrowded, overloaded, top-heavy buses and minivans.
  • Avoid riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, especially motorbike taxis. (Many crashes are caused by inexperienced motorbike drivers.)
  • Choose newer vehicles—they may have more safety features, such as airbags, and be more reliable.
  • Choose larger vehicles, which may provide more protection in crashes.

Think about the driver.

  • Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
  • Consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area.
  • Arrange payment before departing.

Follow basic safety tips.

  • Wear a seatbelt at all times.
  • Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis.
  • When on motorbikes or bicycles, always wear a helmet. (Bring a helmet from home, if needed.)
  • Avoid driving at night; street lighting in certain parts of Papua New Guinea may be poor.
  • Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal in many countries).
  • Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas.
  • If you choose to drive a vehicle in Papua New Guinea, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork.
  • Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP and a US-issued driver's license at all times.
  • Check with your auto insurance policy's international coverage, and get more coverage if needed. Make sure you have liability insurance.
  • Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft.
  • If possible, fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats); larger airplanes are more likely to have regular safety inspections.
  • Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.

Medical Evacuation Insurance

If you are seriously injured, emergency care may not be available or may not meet US standards. Trauma care centers are uncommon outside urban areas. Having medical evacuation insurance can be helpful for these reasons.

Helpful Resources

Road Safety Overseas (Information from the US Department of State): Includes tips on driving in other countries, International Driving Permits, auto insurance, and other resources.

The Association for International Road Travel has country-specific Road Travel Reports available for most countries for a minimal fee.

Traffic flows on the left side of the road in Papua New Guinea.

  • Always pay close attention to the flow of traffic, especially when crossing the street.
  • LOOK RIGHT for approaching traffic.

Maintain personal security

Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home, and always stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

Before you leave

  • Research your destination(s), including local laws, customs, and culture.
  • Monitor travel advisories and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) .
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home.
  • Pack as light as possible, and leave at home any item you could not replace.

While at your destination(s)

  • Carry contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate .
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
  • Follow all local laws and social customs.
  • Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
  • Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
  • If possible, choose hotel rooms between the 2nd and 6th floors.

Healthy Travel Packing List

Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for Papua New Guinea for a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.

Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?

It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries. Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.

If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic . Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.

If your doctor prescribed antimalarial medicine for your trip, keep taking the rest of your pills after you return home. If you stop taking your medicine too soon, you could still get sick.

Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. If you become ill with a fever either while traveling in a malaria-risk area or after you return home (for up to 1 year), you should seek immediate medical attention and should tell the doctor about your travel history.

For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel .

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Papua New Guinea Tours & Vacations

Panorama of the marine reserve Raja Ampat in Papua New Guinea,with deep blue ocean and blue sky

Papua New Guinea’s complex culture and biodiversity mean an endless supply of amazing discoveries for even the widest-traveled adventurer.

While hiking the historic Kokoda Track   is an act of pilgrimage for some, the insight into remote indigenous cultures and encounters with rare wildlife are reason enough for many. From thick jungles, gorges, lagoons and volcanoes to diverse, ancient traditions practiced by hundreds of tribal groups, join us on an Intrepid adventure to discover why Papua New Guinea is one of the   South Pacific 's most intriguing destinations.

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Papua New Guinea at a glance

Capital city.

Port Moresby (population 400,000)

English, Tok Pisin, Hiri Motu

(GMT+10:00) Guam, Port Moresby



Type I (Australian/New Zealand & Chinese/Argentine 2/3-pin)

Learn more about Papua New Guinea

Best time to visit papua new guinea.

The best time to visit PNG is during the dry season when cool breezes and low humidity on the coast make temperatures comfortable.

Coastal areas can be very hot and humid during the monsoon and rainfall can be torrential.

The highlands are much cooler and have even been known to experience snowfalls.

Culture and customs

Papua New Guinea is home to hundreds of tribes – each with its own languages, beliefs, traditions and customs.

Cultures vary considerably throughout the island as tribes were isolated from each other for hundreds of years.

Locals wear bilas (traditional costumes and body decorations) at sing-sings (festivals) and many tribes still practice traditional ways of life, including initiation ceremonies to welcome young men and women into adulthood.

Learn more about the tribes of PNG

Geography and environment

Papua New Guinea is part of a chain of islands stretching between Asia and Australia. It has over 600 islands, the largest of which, Bougainville, shares a border with Indonesia .

The islands are notoriously rugged with heavily forested peaks hiding all manner of weird and wonderful flora and fauna.

Eating and drinking

Papua New Guinean cuisine is largely vegetarian with lots of tropical fruits and starchy root vegetables like sago, taro roots and sweet potato. Seafood, chicken and pork are also popular, though traditionally pork is eaten on special occasions. Below are some traditional foods to try in Papua New Guinea:

Sago is a starch extracted from the sago palm tree. It's one of the most popular foods in Papua New Guinean cuisine and is used for a wide range of sweet and savory dishes including pancakes and dumplings.

Saksak is a traditional Papuan dumpling made with sago. The pearls are mixed with mashed bananas and coconut milk and steamed in banana leaves. Sweet, chewy and moreish, saksak makes for a great breakfast or sweet snack.

Mumu is a traditional Papuan way of cooking in an earth oven. Parcels of vegetables, starches, meat and fruit are wrapped in banana leaves and steamed in a small pit filled with hot coals.

4. Kokoda fish

Kokoda fish is native to Papua New Guinea and Fiji. The fish is traditionally eaten ceviche-style by marinating cubes of raw fish in lime juice, coconut milk, sliced onions and fresh herbs.

5. Chicken pot

Chicken pot is a simple and hearty one-pot dish. It's made by boiling chicken, sweet potatoes, corn, onions and curry powder in a coconut milk-based broth.

Learn more about Papua New Guinean food

Wildlife encounters

Papua New Guinea's diverse, fertile landscapes are home to a variety of wildlife – many of which you have a good chance of spotting when you're hiking. Below are some of the animals you may encounter:

1. Long-beaked echidna

The long-beaked echidna is an interesting critter, and not just because of its protruding schnoz! Looks-wise, this mammal is a mix between a platypus and a hedgehog. It also lays eggs which then hatch in a pouch. Fascinating, huh? Their long beaks have an awesome ability to detect small electric fields created by earthworms and insects that are a staple in their diet.

2. Flying fox

During the day, these guys literally hang out in mangroves, paperbark and bamboo forests to roost in groups that often exceed tens of thousands. Unlike other bat species, they have great eyesight and don't use   echolocation to hunt.

3. Raggiana bird of paradise

This beautiful bird is found predominantly on the eastern side of the island. They're known for their stunning plumage – especially the males with their brightly colored tail feathers, which attract mates during the breeding season.

4. Tree kangaroo

The tree kangaroo is similar to its ground-hopping cousin, except it spends most of its time hanging out in the treetops. They're awesome climbers and have adapted to have s maller legs and stronger forelimbs to ascend trunks and branches.   Their diet consists largely of leaves and fresh fruit.

5. Cuscus possum

This nocturnal marsupial is the world's largest possum species and is native to Papua New Guinea and the northernmost tip of Australia. They live in forests at high altitudes of 1200 meters and eat a varied diet of fruits, leaves and the occasional small mammal or egg.

Festivals and events

Nowhere does festivals quite like Papua New Guinea. Home to hundreds of tribal groups – each with their own languages, beliefs, customs and traditions – the sing-sings (festivals) here are like nothing you've ever seen before. Here are some of the most famous ones:

1. Sepik Crocodile Festival

The Sepik River is home to some of the world’s biggest fresh and saltwater crocs. Crocodiles are highly symbolic in Sepik culture and this festival is a way to honor the cultural connection to the reptile. Tribes arrive dressed in their best traditional bilas (body decorations) and performers entertain with elaborate dances to the hypnotic beats of kundu drums. You can also meet Sepik men who've had scars cut into their skin to resemble a crocodile’s scales as part of a rite of passage ceremony.

2. The Mask Festival

Every year the many language groups of East New Britain gather to celebrate the Mask Festival. Masks play a significant role in rituals and storytelling and are believed to be symbolic of spirits. Immerse yourself in mask culture and witness a spectacle of song, dance and costume. One of the highlights is the Kinavai opening ceremony where members of the Tolai clan arrive in canoes donning spectacular full-bodied masks to the skin-tingling sound of drums and chanting.

3. The Enga Cultural Festival

The outside world didn’t know about the tribes of the Enga Province until the 1930s, and the Enga Show was started to conserve and uphold the Engans' cultures and customs. Tribes gather in the thousands to chant, sing, dance and take part in centuries-old rituals.

4. Kenu and Kundu Canoe Festival

Canoes and kundu drums are a big part of life for the tribes of the Milne Bay Province, and this festival is a celebration of those things. Tribes come together to take part in a riveting race in traditional wooden canoes to the rhythmic beats of kundu drums – a sight bound to get your heart pumping a few extra beats! There are also art and craft displays and singing and dance performances from various regions.

Learn more about festivals in PNG

Top 5 Kokoda moments in Papua New Guinea

1. village stays.

Days away from the outside world, the villages and villagers along the Kokoda Track have been able to maintain their customs, languages and traditions with little interference from the outside world.

2. Isurava Battlefield

Once a WWII battleground, now a moving memorial. The four pillars encapsulate the battle along Kokoda with the words: ‘Courage, Sacrifice, Mateship and Endurance.’

3. Mt Bellamy

It’s an arduous challenge to get to the track’s highest point, but at 7218ft (2200m) your efforts are rewarded with sprawling views across the Owen Stanley Ranges.

4. Fuzzy Wuzzy Friends

Thousands of Australian soldiers owed their lives to the actions of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels and they’ve become legendary throughout the country. At Menari, we have the opportunity to meet with one of the remaining angels.

5. The Golden Staircase

The original stairs (built by Aussie soldiers) may no longer exist but the steep hill they climbed lives on!

Papua New Guinea travel FAQs

Do i need a covid-19 vaccine to join an intrepid trip.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travelers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Do I need a visa to travel to Papua New Guinea

All foreign nationals traveling to Papua New Guinea must hold a visitor entry permit. Citizens from over 60 countries are now eligible for a single-entry visa on arrival for stays of up to 30 days, including citizens of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.

Citizens from countries not listed will need to apply for a visitor entry permit. This visa is free (excluding postage costs) and allows you to stay for up to 60 days. You must enter within six months of the permit’s date of issue. You may also be able to extend onshore if you fancy sticking around for a little longer – with so much to see and do, we don’t blame you!

You can see the full list of eligible countries on the   Immigration and Citizen Authority’s website.

Is tipping customary in Papua New Guinea?

Tipping isn’t expected in Papua New Guinea but if you’ve received good service consider a 10% tip.

What is the internet access like in Papua New Guinea?

Service can be slow and intermittent even in major towns.

Can I use my mobile/cell phone while in Papua New Guinea?

Reception is poor in most areas. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier if you wish to use your phone.

What are the toilets like in Papua New Guinea?

It's likely that you’ll encounter different types of toilets while traveling in Papua New Guinea. Western-style flushable toilets are commonly found in high-end resorts, hotels and restaurants, while squat toilets are common in rural areas and homes. Be prepared by carrying your own supply of toilet paper and soap, as these aren't always provided.

What will it cost for a...?

Bottle of soft drink = 3 PGK Beer in a bar or restaurant = 10 PGK Simple lunch = 10 PGK Three-course meal = 50 PGK

Can I drink the water in Papua New Guinea?

Drinking tap water in Papua New Guinea isn’t recommended. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.

Are credit cards accepted widely in Papua New Guinea?

Credit cards are widely accepted in major towns.

What is ATM access like in Papua New Guinea?

There’s good access to ATMs in Port Moresby.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance before traveling?

Absolutely. All passengers traveling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

What public holidays are celebrated in Papua New Guinea?

  • 1 Jan New Year's Day
  • 2 Jan New Year Holiday
  • 14 Apr Good Friday
  • 15 Apr Holy Saturday
  • 16 Apr Easter Sunday
  • 17 Apr Easter Monday
  • 12 Jun Queen's Birthday
  • 23 Jul National Remembrance Day
  • 24 Jul Public Holiday
  • 26 Aug National Day of Repentance
  • 28 Aug National Day of Repentance Holiday
  • 16 Sep Independence Day
  • 18 Sep Independence Day Holiday
  • 25 Dec Christmas Day
  • 26 Dec Boxing Day

For a current list of public holidays in Papua New Guinea go to:

How do I stay safe and healthy while traveling?

From Australia?

Go to: Smart Traveller

From Canada?

Go to:  Canada Travel Information

From the UK?

Go to:  UK Foreign Travel Advice

From New Zealand?

Go to:  Safe Travel

From the US?

Go to:  US Department of State

The World Health Organisation also provides useful health information.

Does my trip support The Intrepid Foundation?

Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. Trips to this country directly support our global Intrepid Foundation partners, Eden Reforestation Projects and World Bicycle Relief. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Eden Reforestation Projects

Eden Reforestation Projects are helping to mitigate climate change by restoring forests worldwide; they also hire locally and create job opportunities within vulnerable communities. Donations from our trips support restoration across planting sites in 10 countries around the globe. Find out more or make a donation World Bicycle Relief

World Bicycle Relief provides people in low-income communities with bicycles to mobilize school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas – giving them access to vital education, healthcare, and income. Donations help provide Buffalo Bicycles – specifically designed to withstand the rugged terrain and harsh environment of rural regions – to those who need them most. Find out more or make a donation

Deseret News

What countries to avoid on your travels, according to the U.S. government

T he U.S. State Department regularly updates travel advisory levels for more than 200 countries globally. Levels depend on risk factors such as health, terrorism and civil unrest. Currently, 10% of countries, 19 total, have a level four advisory, meaning no one should travel to that location, per U.S. News & World Report .

Twenty-four countries have a level three travel advisory, meaning to reconsider travel. While citizens are not barred from traveling, additional advice is given because of the severity of risks to safety and security, according to U.S. News & World Report .

Which countries have updated ‘do not travel’ warnings?

Level four is the highest and most dangerous advisory the U.S. government gives. Here are the areas to not travel to and the reasons why, in order of date updated, according to the State Department website .

Burma (Myanmar)

With armed conflict, civil unrest and arbitrary law enforcement, Burma was updated to a level four on Jan. 22.

  • Certain areas within the country, Shan, Chin and Kachin, also contain unidentifiable or unmarked landmines.
  • Many U.S. citizens have been wrongfully detained without due process.
  • Explosives are used during armed conflicts.
  • There are limited medical resources because of shortage in staffing and medical supplies.

Information on Iran was updated on Jan. 11. Terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping and the arrest of U.S. citizens are risk factors for Iran.

  • Terrorist organizations, such as ISIS, operate in Iran.
  • The U.S. is unable to provide emergency services.

Which countries should tourists highly consider not traveling to?

Where possible, U.S. citizens should stay away from countries with a level three travel advisory. However, if necessary, appoint one family member to serve as the point of contact with others in emergencies; keep travel documents up-to-date; avoid demonstrations or crowds and do not touch unknown objects.

Here are the areas to reconsider traveling to and the reasons why, in order of date updated, according to the State Department website .

Crime, civil unrest, terrorism, kidnapping, landmines and armed conflict causes Lebanon to have a level three advisory. Southern Lebanon, the border with Syria or refugee settlements have a level four, do not travel, advisory. Lebanon’s advisory was updated on Jan. 29.

  • The U.S. Embassy is sometimes unable to assist travelers.
  • Terrorist groups are plotting attacks, especially in tourist locations.
  • Disputes often escalate quickly within families and neighborhoods, causing gunfire or other violence.
  • Kidnapping occurs due to the want of money, political motives and family disputes.
  • Landmines are found in roadside ditches, shoulders and unmarked trails.
  • Protester gatherings often turn violent. Major roads can be blocked for the protests.

Saudi Arabia

Updated on Jan. 24, Saudi Arabia has a level three advisory. There are currently threats of missile and drone attacks, terrorism, arrests due to social media activity and prohibited items within the country.

  • The U.S. government is unable to provide aid for most emergencies.
  • Iran has conducted destructive and lethal attacks with missiles and drones against government and civilian sites.
  • Debris from drone and missile attacks are dangerous.
  • U.S. citizens have been arrested for social media comments, likes, posts or reposts that are deemed critical of Saudi Arabia.
  • Drugs, weapons, pornographic material and other illegal items are often imported into the country.

Travel to Jamaica should be reconsidered because of crime and reduced medical services. The country’s travel advisory was updated on Jan. 23.

  • Violent crimes such as sexual assault, armed robberies and home invasions occur.
  • Police respond poorly to criminal incidents.
  • Families of U.S. citizens are often killed in homicides with death certificates given a year or more later.
  • Hospitals are under-resourced.

Papua New Guinea

Crime, civil unrest, piracy, kidnapping, limited health care services and natural disasters cause Papua New Guinea’s level three advisory, updated on Jan. 17, 2024.

  • Violent crime such as assault, home invasions, carjacking and robberies occur.
  • Criminals attack foreign tourist hotspots for money.
  • Police presence and their resources are limited.
  • Piracy is active in the surrounding water. The criminals often use physical violence.
  • Foreign citizens have been kidnapped.

Updated on Jan. 11, Nicaragua has increased in arbitrary law enforcement, limited health care and false detention.

  • Nicaragua’s government searches and seizes personal items, targets pro-democracy advocates and families, and prevent individuals from departing.
  • U.S. citizens can find themselves charged without fair trials.

Travel to Niger should be reconsidered because of crime, kidnapping and terrorism. The travel advisory was updated on Jan. 8.

  • Demonstrations often become violent.
  • Terrorists operate in different areas within the country and have attacked security forces.
  • Robbery is common.

Crime, terrorism, civil unrest and kidnapping are current risks in Colombia. The level three travel advisory was updated on Jan. 2.

  • Violent crimes such as assault, homicide and robbery occur.
  • Terrorist groups carry out attacks in both local and tourist locations.
  • Demonstrations regularly shut down major roads and have resulted in fatalities.
  • Why U.S. travelers are being warned about the Bahamas

Navigating fear when the world seems unsafe

Does it ever feel like you hear news about tragedy constantly? Living in a digital age allows us to hear or see recent crises in an instant.

However, for me, I’ve found that being in constant fear makes life difficult. Learning how to cope while dealing with fear has been important as I want to continue to be immersed in the news.

Promises Behavioral Health offers five ways to cope with fear to help prevent bigger problems, like depression or substance abuse, down the line.

  • Pay attention: Take the time to recognize what you are feeling and why you are feeling that way. Running from fear can make someone more anxious and depressed long-term.
  • Give fear a shape: Give your fear a silly or child-like identity, an appearance or even a name. You can then speak to your “fear” as a parent talking to a child or a person trying to get someone annoying to know why they’re wrong.
  • Focus on your present reality: Take the time to understand if you are overgeneralizing. Though there are bad people, not every one has lost kindness. Question if your thoughts are actually true or if you are just convincing yourself something bad will happen.
  • Balance the negative with the positive: Notice the good things happening around you. If you want to look into tragic events, look into heroic stories as well for balance. You can also inspire yourself and others to take action against injustices you see.
  • Get help: Never be afraid to get help if fear is consuming and creating problems in your life. Therapy and help from friends or family can be effective.

Sunbathers walk along a badly eroding patch of resort-lined crescent beach in Negril in western Jamaica in this 2014 file photo.

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  1. Papua New Guinea Travel Advisory

    Travelers by boat should reconsider travel to the Bismarck and Solomon Seas along Papua New Guinea's north and eastern coasts. In 2021 and 2022, the Embassy was aware of at least three occasions in which sailboats operated by or carrying U.S. citizens were boarded by criminals. The criminals, who have been known to use physical violence, robbed ...

  2. Papua New Guinea International Travel Information

    For additional travel information. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern ...

  3. The Official Website of Papua New Guinea Tourism

    Best of PNG, a subsidiary of Indigo Safari's Limited, creates tailor-made itineraries to the four best dive resorts in Papua New Guinea, like: Tufi, Lissenung, Rapopo, Walindi (and the liveaboards FeBrina, Oceania, and Golden Dawn), as well as cultural trips, Highland sing-sings, Sepik River mini-expeditions, outrigger safaris, bird watching ...

  4. COVID-19 Information for Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu

    Papua New Guinea. Entry and Exit Requirements. Are there COVID-related entry requirements for U.S. citizens? No. As of October 5, 2022, all COVID travel restrictions were lifted, including the requirement to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? No.

  5. Papua New Guinea Travel Advice & Safety

    Australian Government travel advice for Papua New Guinea. Exercise a high degree of caution. Travel advice level YELLOW. Understand the risks, local safety and laws. ... Criminal groups operate in remote areas of Papua New Guinea, particularly in the Highlands, including across provincial borders and in areas around logging, mining, oil and gas ...


    The travel restrictions and requirements have changed since the Government of Papua New Guinea officially reopened our nation's borders on the 1st of July 2022. The travel requirements below for international travellers have been sanctioned by Measure No. 2 effected 18th of April 2022 , under the National Pandemic Act 2020 .

  7. Air Niugini

    a: travel into port moresby, papua new guinea As of Thursday 06th October, PNG has removed all Covid-19 restrictions associated with air travel. This includes the requirement to wear a mask whilst inside airport terminals, or wear a mask on an aircraft.

  8. PDF Papua New Guinea Immigration & Entry Permit Information Handbook

    WHAT TO PRESENT AT CHECK-IN FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL TO PNG You must show proof of the following documents at the check-in counter for travel into Papua New Guinea. 1. Passport validity of more than 6 months 2. Visa 3. Return ticket (if necessary) 4. Proof of Covid-19 vaccination. The PNG Government allows its citizens, Permanent Residence ...

  9. Papua New Guinea travel

    Purchase our award-winning guidebooks. Get to the heart of Papua New Guinea with one of our in-depth, award-winning guidebooks, covering maps, itineraries, and expert guidance. Shop Our Guidebooks.

  10. How to Travel to Papua New Guinea

    From LAX, connecting service (change of planes) to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, is offered on Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong, Singapore Air via Singapore, or Quantas via Brisbane, connecting to ...

  11. 8 Things I Wish I Knew Before Visiting Papua New Guinea

    7. Papua New Guinea transport. Getting around Papua New Guinea is a challenge. Flying is the best method of transport, and there are a number of domestic airlines that serve provincial capitals and regional towns, making it easy to get to remote places. If you have booked a packaged tour, flights should be included.

  12. Travel advice and advisories for Papua New Guinea

    Papua New Guinea is located in an active seismic and volcanic zone. Earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions occur. Volcanoes. There are several active volcanoes throughout Papua New Guinea, and eruptions occur regularly. Heavy smoke and ash from volcanoes periodically lead to flight disruptions, particularly in the Rabaul region.

  13. 11 Tips You Need for Travelling to Papua New Guinea

    11 Tips for Travelling to Papua New Guinea. 1. Planes are always late. Or at least the 4 I took were. They'd come in at anything from 30 minutes to 90, and there was never any information up. It's usually due to weather or supply and demand - just buy yourself an airport snack and sit back, relax and hope that one even turns up.

  14. Visit Papua New Guinea: 20 PNG Travel Tips

    Papua New Guinea is a mystifying country to many people. Known as the Land of the Unexpected, this small Pacific nation has a reputation as "untouched", "exotic" and "frontier".And while these descriptors may be a tad clichéd, PNG is definitely a country for adventure travellers. There's a distinct lack of tourist infrastructure and travel is challenging, which means that pre ...

  15. Papua New Guinea travel advice

    FCDO travel advice for Papua New Guinea. Includes safety and security, insurance, entry requirements and legal differences.

  16. Beginner's Papua New Guinea Travel Guide (You NEED to Read!)

    And that's a confirmed fact about Papua New Guinea, the scuba diving is incredible. My top recommendations for where to go in Papua New Guinea would be: - Tari or Mount Hagen, for the cultural villages. - Hoskins, for the scuba diving. - Tufi, for diving, beaches, fishing and culture. - Sepik River, for tropical wilderness living.

  17. Papua New Guinea

    Avoid non-essential travel to the Hela, Enga and Southern Highlands provinces due to ongoing violent tribal clashes and politically motivated unrest ... Papua New Guinea. On 10 January 2024, protesting, looting and forms of civil unrest took place in and around Port Moresby city. This led to businesses being closed including supermarkets and ...

  18. Papua New Guinea Travel Restrictions

    Find continuously updated travel restrictions for Papua New Guinea such as border, vaccination, COVID-19 testing, and quarantine requirements.

  19. Papua New Guinea travel guide

    Papua New Guinea is a fascinating country where travellers can explore remote villages, as well as enjoying spectacular diving, stunning wildlife, scenic surfing and myriad cultures. Due to the impact of COVID-19, you are recommended to check travel restrictions from your government sources and contact local venues to verify any new rules

  20. 8 Things to Know Before Travel to Papua New Guinea

    Papua New Guinea, or PNG, is one of the most unexplored countries on the planet. With an array of diverse tribes and stunning scenery, this country is one that is certainly worth the journey it takes to get there. PNG is not the easiest place to travel to, so here are a few tips to know before setting foot in the country.

  21. Papua New Guinea

    If your travel plans in Papua New Guinea include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip. Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe. Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic ...

  22. Papua New Guinea Tours & Vacations| Intrepid Travel

    Papua New Guinea Tours & Vacations. Papua New Guinea's complex culture and biodiversity mean an endless supply of amazing discoveries for even the widest-traveled adventurer. While hiking the historic Kokoda Track is an act of pilgrimage for some, the insight into remote indigenous cultures and encounters with rare wildlife are reason enough ...

  23. What countries to avoid on your travels, according to the U.S ...

    Papua New Guinea Crime, civil unrest, piracy, kidnapping, limited health care services and natural disasters cause Papua New Guinea's level three advisory, updated on Jan. 17, 2024.

  24. Travel Png Images

    Travel Png Images. Images 100k Collections 16. ADS. ADS. ADS. Page 1 of 100. Find & Download Free Graphic Resources for Travel Png. 99,000+ Vectors, Stock Photos & PSD files. Free for commercial use High Quality Images.