Questions on travel to Papua New Guinea (on QF)

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by Austman, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. Austman

    Austman Established Member

    Sep 21, 2007
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    I'll be taking my first trip to Papua New Guinea soon.

    If anyone can answer my questions below or give some other tips it would be very welcome.

    I'm travelling all on Qantas MEL-CBR, CBR-BNE-TSV, TSV-CNS-POM with stopovers in Canberra and Townsville (my first time ever there) and back POM-CNS-SYD-MEL. In PNG, I'll stay in POM for 2 nights and travel to Tufi Resort for 5 nights.

    Q1. Qantas international at Cairns
    I know the international Qantas Club is closed, but Jetstar give Starclass passengers access to the Reef Lounge. Does Qantas now do the same for gold/platinum/QC passengers?

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    Q2. Visa on arrival at POM
    Costs PGK100.00. Is it possible to pay in AUD or credit card? Are there ATMs or a bank before the VOA process? Do you need a passport photo for the VOA?

    Q3. ATMs at POM airport
    Are there any/many? Is it risky to arrive without PGK? Are there banks in case the ATMs don't work?

    Q4. Port Moresby
    Is it really that dangerous? I'm at the Holiday Inn for 2 nights (on points stays that I needed to align my international and PNG domestic flights), but I plan to at least see the place.

    Thanks again for any advice or tips!
     
  2. Happy Dude

    Happy Dude Active Member

    Oct 13, 2006
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    Hi Austman,

    There are a few members here that are based there or travel frequently so hopefully they'll see your thread. Until then, here's my recollections from a work trip there 18 months ago:

    POM was dangerous then, apparently. So much so, I was not allowed out of the hotel grounds (Holiday Inn) without a driver. Although that may just have been the over-zealous OH&S policy of the oil company, I didn't see any whiteys walking around. Other than the fabulous Parliament House, there's not a lot to see but a drive around was interesting. There's a yacht club, golf club, and my driver took me to a few art/craft-type markets.

    I used kina to pay for my business visa on arrival (as directed by my employer) and I don't recall seeing an ATM in arrivals. I flew direct from BNE, but via CNS on return, using the domestic QP there after clearing C&I.
     
  3. pyffii

    pyffii Member

    Dec 27, 2007
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    POM is really the most dangerous place on this planet and dont underestimate the danger...we were there a few years ago to hike kokoda and we stayed in a prison type fortress complete with rolled razor wire, armed guards ( machine guns ) and bared windows...No place for "whiteys"...You can obtain a visa on arrival and can pay in either AUD or Kina...I think there is an ATM but cant quite remember as had no need to use one...The yacht club is great but you would need to be escorted in...Good luck and stay safe
     
  4. Fifa

    Fifa Established Member

    Sep 17, 2006
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    Q2. Visa on arrival at POM

    I went over to visit a friend's family in April this year - You can only pay for the visa in Kina and there is an ATM which they allow you to use after immigration (but within sight of the immigration officers). I am sure we did not require passport photos.

    Q3. ATMs at POM airport

    As mentioned there is at least one ATM after immigration. I also used ATMs at the Holiday Inn, the Yacht Club and a shopping centre next to the Yacht Club. It would save a lot of time if you had at least 100 Kina for your visa on arrival. We arrived on an Air Nuigini flight at the same time as a Virgin flight and the queue was enormous and was processed extremely slowly.

    Q4. Port Moresby

    Yes, Port Moresby is dangerous. We didn't walk anywhere and were driven around in cars which locked automatically. At all times our friends carried radios and mobile phones in case of emergency.
     
  5. Boris spatsky

    Boris spatsky Established Member

    Oct 8, 2010
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    Q4. I agree with the sentiment here. POM is wild, especially after dark. I normally stay at Airways, across the road from the airport. Never been into town without an 'armed' escort, and no ambition to either to be honest. Moresby IMHO is a place to do business, and not a place to sight see.

    Google 'raskals' and you can read about it yourself. I don't like machetes enough to want to run the gauntlet!
     
  6. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

    Mar 16, 2005
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    A friend of mine works there and some of his stories...:shock:

    An extreme level of awareness of personal security is warranted from what I hear.
     
  7. Jacques Vert

    Jacques Vert Established Member

    Jun 24, 2008
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    Unfortunately while there are a lot of lovely people in PNG, POM is very dangerous.

    My son who works there managed to survive an attempted carjacking a few weeks ago. When we visited, we were awoken by gunshots two nights in a row.

    You need to be very careful. Never catch a taxi, arrange for someone trustworthy to collect you from the airport and drop you back. Don't go anywhere unless in a group. Try not to go anywhere at night unless you are with an expat who knows the area very well. Keep your eyes open at all times.

    The Yacht Club will let you in if you ask nicely but it's quite a drive from the Holiday Inn. The ATM there is one of the safest places to withdraw money. Airways is very nice but also a considerable distance from the Holiday Inn.

    Good Luck,

    JV
     
  8. Austman

    Austman Established Member

    Sep 21, 2007
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    Thanks for the replys so far.

    Q2. I'm on QF197 (a DHC-8 400) CNS-POM which arrrives late in the afternoon. This seems usually to be a quiet time at POM for 737/757/767 international arrivals. Except on Tuesdays when PX4, a 767 from Brisbane arrives 10 mins before QF197. Guess which day I'm flying in :(

    I'll get some PGK in Cairns before I fly.

    Q4. Oh dear the 'raskols'. Raskol gangs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia I think if I do go to downtown Port Moresby, it'll be in daylight hours only.
     
  9. Dr Bob

    Dr Bob Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    Am contemplating a trip to the north coast of PNG next year for some diving etc. with overnighting in POM. So is all of PNG a problem for security or just POM?
    What about the outer island provinces?
     
  10. Justinf

    Justinf Established Member

    Sep 8, 2009
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    And to think that some people want an NRL team based in PM!!!!!!! No player in their right mind would want to relocate there.
     
  11. PineappleSkip

    PineappleSkip Active Member

    Mar 30, 2007
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    Austman, hope you come, and enjoy the trip. If we had more of you we could have an AFF gathering in POM!! I travel POM to CNS or BNE every 3-4 weeks and live there so feel free to post more questions

    When flying on a QF flight number, Yes! The reef lounge is the former QP. Actually QF now pay CX to give you access, a delicious irony, given it used to be their lounge. The lounge is down a corridor immediately to the right after security. Wonderfully quite and olde worlde compared to the QFs new domestic oddity, and blissfully uncrowded as well


    No. You have to pay in PNG currency

    Yes. There is an BSP ATM in the arrivals hall after between the customs and quarantine checkpoints, and adjacent is a currency exchange desk which is normally staffed for the afternoon flight. A further ATM has recently been installed at the immigration checkpoint, you'll see it to the left as you queue up for the passport check.

    No. All they want is your $$$ - actually your PGK. You need a free page in your passport for the visa sticker.

    In addition to the above, there is an ANZ ATM in the main hall. It is to your right as you walk out of the secured area, behind the people with signs with peoples and hotels names on them. There's usually a couple of RPNG constabulary hanging around there. And if none of these 3 places to get/change money work, there is another ANZ ATM at the Holiday Inn, and you don't need cash to get the shuttle bus.

    You can normally get PGK at the travelex in CNS, if thats your preference.

    This is the question asked more than any other about PNG. Everyone has a different concept of dangerous. I've posted a lengthy comment on the subject here
    Dont go - Papua New Guinea Forum - TripAdvisor. [Incidentally, 'don't go' isn't my recommendation]

    Not clear on what you're referring to by 'the place'; the HI, POM or PNG? Happy to comment further if you detail what you want to see...

    The HI is fine. The good news is that the food was crap, but theres a new cook and the food is quite edible now. There is an informal art gallery on the footpath immediately outside the gate which its safe to visit in daylight. Don't walk anywhere else.

    Incidentally, it might cost you more points, but the Crowne Plaza is much nicer; better rooms, better food, nice Ocean and Harbour views, and you can walk into town, which is only one OK block, in daylight. Don't walk anywhere else.

    Cheers skip
     
  12. Austman

    Austman Established Member

    Sep 21, 2007
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    Thanks PineappleSkip! Great information!

    Re: "but I plan to at least see the place". I mean Port Moresby. I have two stays in POM. On the first stay, I arrive from CNS on QF197 at 16:50 and leave for Tufi the next day at 14:20. On the second stay I arrive from Tufi at 9.05 and leave the next day on QF192 to CNS at 09:20. So for the second stay, I might switch to the Crowne Plaza? I have a whole day in Port Moresby.

    Great to know Qantas gives lounge access for QFF Platinum/Gold/QP passengers at Cairns International!

    I don't suppose there is access to Air Niugini's lounge in POM when flying Qantas as a QFF Platinum/Gold/QP passenger? Air Niugini gives access to Qantas lounges in Australia...
     
  13. Boris spatsky

    Boris spatsky Established Member

    Oct 8, 2010
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    The wholeplace is. The highlands are very bad, also Lae etc. I used to think Madang and Wewak in the north were fine until a gang rape and murder in Madang the week we were there.

    I hear the outer islands like Rabaul are better.
     
  14. vitaminp

    vitaminp Intern

    Apr 10, 2008
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    You are in for a treat at Tufi. We live in POM and travelled there two months ago for a long weekend. The staff, food, location, diving are all fantastic. The 'cultural tour' is a must-do - it's amazing.

    I take it you are travelling to Tufi on Airlines PNG? If so, this should be via Popondetta (provincial capital of Oro). The approach into Tufi is very exciting, and you can get some excellent photos.

    In terms of Moresby, you may be limited without transport. You could walk from Crown into town (as skip says - in daylight). The restaurant 'Asia Aromas' in the Steamships building downtown is an expat haunt and quite good. You could buy a newspaper from a street-seller, get a good coffee from Bon Cafe, also in Steamships or the Espresso Bar (Deloitte Tower) and walk back to the hotel.

    Bomana War Cemetary is an excellent site, maintained by Aust. War Graves and really moving. However, it is 25 min from downtown Moresby.

    PM me and I can recommend some reputable transport providers that offer a driver/car (Prado/Landcruiser) or if you want any other Moresby specific info.
     
  15. PineappleSkip

    PineappleSkip Active Member

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    #16 PineappleSkip, Dec 17, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
    Austman, the good news is yes WP/SG/QP members can get into the Executive Club lounge in POM, so long as they have a QF ticket. After you go thru the second security check, which is after customs, its on the opposite corner of the waiting area behind a couple timber panelled doors. The bad news is its pretty ordinary but at least isn't crowded for the AM Qantaslink flight.

    If you want entertainment on the way out of POM, go into the cafe (upstairs but before Customs) and ask for toast. They won't sell it, but they have toasted sandwiches on the menu:lol:

    Cheers skip
     
  16. Austman

    Austman Established Member

    Sep 21, 2007
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    Thanks for the advice and tips everyone!

    I've moved to the Crowne Plaza for the second, and longest, of my two stays in Port Moresby. An extra 10,000 PC points over the HI, but it should be worth it.

    During the day I'll look around the beach, town etc. I wondered about the Yacht Club in the late afternoon and maybe for dinner? I'll be alone so that might be a bit more of a social place? Is it easy to get in as a visitor? And is getting back to the CP at night easy?

    I see that both the HI and CP have shuttle busses for the airport. How do they work? I've emailed both hotels but got no reply, so far. Do they have a desk at the airport where you ask for the bus?
     
  17. Jacques Vert

    Jacques Vert Established Member

    Jun 24, 2008
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    If you go to Ella Beach, go in the morning and go with a group. The Ella Beach Hotel is also a good spot for meals.

    If you go to the Yacht Club and tell them you are a visitor only in town for a day or two, they will normally get the manager to sign you in; meals are OK and it's safe.

    Not sure about how you get back to the CP without a car; whatever you do, don't even think about walking at night.

    JV
     
  18. klavdy

    klavdy Intern

    Nov 28, 2007
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    PNG is a beautiful, amazing place that I dearly love.
    It should be one of the worlds richest (per capita) counties.
    The Bikmen trouser all the loot, grassroots get nothing.

    Airways is O.K for a meal and a drink.
    Crowne Plaza is pretty ordinary now,smells of mildew, run down and tired (I stayed there last week for three nights) but theres a new tower block being built, its actually close to being finished.
    Lots of Seppos at the Crowne from the LNG projects.
    Pondo bar downstairs is fun.
    There's an ANZ ATM in the lobby.

    The Lemana is good,nice big clean rooms.

    Ela Beach hotel is a bit of a gay bar, has great meals, lively atmosphere and is just down the hill road from the Crowne.
    Best night life is probably at the Lemana, Yacht Club is generally just a sit down piss up bar full of moaning expats.
    You need to be signed in as a guest anyway.
    Don't stay at the Hideaway.
    Lae is a toilet.
    Get onto Guard Dog or G4s security for a driver if you want to explore, but the Hotels have minibuses that will drop you off & pick you up.

    DO NOT CATCH STREET TAXIS.
    Maski Taxi!

    Big HIV risk in POM, umm, don't try and score any pot,and don't shake hands with a crushing grip, just a light touch is normal.
    Blokes hold hands if they are good mates, there's red Buai spit everybloody where,SP beer is really good,umm, you should have a great time ,PNG is nowhere near as bad as its made out to be.

    If you like, I can put together a list of useful PNG things.
     
  19. straitman

    Moderator

    Apr 27, 2003
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    It is about 35 years since I spent time in PNG and it was really great then so long as you obeyed a few basic rules.

    Unfortunately a few of my friends did not survive the experience as it is an extremely dangerous place to operate aircraft.

    A list of where to go and what to do would be really great from my perspective.
     

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