Again, cannot stress highly enough this is NOT a country set up for Tourism. Last dive trip was 17 days...Alotau has a nice little place called Driftwood but it is not a cheap option. There are very few backpacker/dorm type accoms anywhere in PNG and you may find those that do exist are unfortunately filled with mine workers. If you google tourism papua new guinea you will find links to all accomodation in the country - and take note that backpacker listings say the starting price is $50 - $100 AUD per night so not exactly budget. Realistically expect a budget of at least $150AUD a day.
You will also find that the accomodation places listed generally organise any tours you may want to do for good reason - you cannot just wander along hoping to bump into different tribes because the tribe you may have just met may be in conflict with the next tribe you come across so you will not be given a warm welcome. Papuans are lovely people but it is not a safe place for anyone travelling alone or in small groups and the logistics of going off trekking by yourself are ridiculous......the humidity and terrain make trekking very very difficult. Several people have died trying to trek the kokoda trail with organised guides so dont expect it to be a walk in the park. The owen stanley ranges are like knife edges..add in mud, torrential rain and humidity and you will find its not like trekking anywhere else.
You dont see backpackers in PNG for all of the above reasons...You see plenty of PSAs (private security agents) for good reason......its a dangerous place. There are no similarities between travelling in asia and travelling in PNG, its a whole world and 40,000 years apart.
As Erik has said you cant hire motorbikes and go do your own thing. I hate organised tours but the best advice I could give would be to contact one of the places listed in the PNG tourism website and ask them about rates and tours.
Regarding visas -
A 60-day Tourist Visa is available on arrival in Port Moresby at a fee of K100.00. To obtain a visa before you enter the country costs K75.00. You will need travel documents, sufficient funds for your stay in the country and airline ticket with confirmed outbound flights before expiry date of your Visa. As some restrictions apply to several Asian, Eastern European and African countries check with the PNG government via their website.
June is in the dry season but it doesnt mean its not going to rain - if it does expect roads to get washed out - As Erik has said the main method of getting around is air transport for this reason..plus corruption and risk of raskol gangs so driving yourself around isnt really an option - walking after dark or walking alone in PM including the Ella Beach area is just asking for trouble. It WILL find you.
Dave & Merry Jo - I have dived Alotau and the Trobriand islands, Kavieng, Madang and Tufi and once you've dived PNG you will be spoiled for life. Under the sea is just amazing. Really awesome variety of diving from muck diving to wrecks. As you are divers, the best recommendation i could make is book on a liveaboard or the dive resort at madang. There are no dive shops around to hire gear from and go for a DIY dive. Currents can be pretty intense. Vis is amazing.
People out of Port Moresby are a lot friendlier and are generally very curious about travellers. We had many encounters with villagers in dug outs paddling up and hanging behind the boat for hours before plucking up the courage to say hello. Try and learn a few words of pidgin. Theres an online pidgin dictionary. For all the difficulties, if you can get there, it will be an amazing experience you will never forget if you do it properly. Papuans dont look people in the eye until they know you so dont be suprised to find people shaking your hand but looking at their feet. Dont be suprised to have kids following you with wide eyes. Its amazing, beautiful, raw, humbling and when you do make contact with local villagers they will more than likely adopt you as a family member - and when they have nothing, they will find something to give you - and a gift from a papuan is truly...a gift from the heart.
Im not trying to put anyone off going to PNG im just trying to make people aware that this is not a tourist destination with infrastructure to cater for tourists on a budget. Its a difficult place to get to and you will pay a lot to get there but if you can.........you will never forget it :) Reply to this