Your Time in PNG
A good idea before leaving Australia, or while at the airport in Port Moresby is to exchange your Australian Dollars into PNG Kina. Some bank key cards etc, are not accepted or maybe blocked in PNG (Make sure your bank is aware of your travel).
PNG is a beautiful place, and when flying into Port Moresby (POM) the best views are out of the right side windows of the plane.
During the wet season PNG is heavily blessed with rain, due to the hot and humid conditions. As a result of this rain, POM is immersed in green, however in the dry season the area around POM is quite brown. So depending what time of the year you fly, will determine the colour surrounding POM.
While coming into PNG you will fly over beautiful reefs, fishing villages with houses jutting out into the water. Closer to POM, you will notice the Owen Stanley Range, reaching up, often into the clouds, holding many of the secrets of WWII and the Kokoda campaign.
As the plane banks around for its approach to the airport, you will see no pools in backyards, unlike in Australia, and many of the streets are dirt. This points to the economic situation that has been the reality for much of PNG for years. You will also fly over many of small farms that families rely on to bring in income and food.
After leaving the plane, if you have not arranged a visa in Australia, you will need to line up and get your 'Visa on Arrival' - 100 Kina ($60Au).
NOTE: kina is the only currency accepted.
Once through Customs, you will be met by an Investa Treks staff member, before being transferred to your accommodation at the Gateway Hotel, or the Building Project accommodation.
As you leave the airport you will notice that Port Moresby (POM) is fairly clean. This is due to the Government placing efforts into having the city cleaned up, from the mess of recent years.
Around POM some of the communities are called settlements. These communities are the result of people from regional areas, moving to the city to find work to support their family. However, due to the 67%+ unemployment rate, they are forced to live in settlements, with friends or family, or to purchase a cheap place to live. Many of the locals have market stands on the streets selling beetlenut, drinks and anything else that they can to provide for their families.
People in PNG are very friendly, but there is a need to remember that you are in another culture, so stay together, and keep valuables out of sight, and out of reach.
After your Investa Treks experience, your return flight to Australia, will require you to check in 1.5 - 2 hours before your flight. You will be transferred in the hotel bus to the airport for your flight back to Australia.