Papua New Guinea photo

Papua New Guinea Driving Guide

Papua New Guinea is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit

2021-08-03 · 9 mins

There are many wonders in the world. Some are renowned and some are still yet to be found. Papua New Guinea is one of those diamonds in the rough with natural treasures that beat some of those well-known attractions.

From being the most diverse country to hosting 5% of the global biodiversity; to being the home of one of the world’s few known poisonous birds; snow on the mountain tops, and the third largest rainforest in the world. Papua New Guinea truly is unique from the rest of the countries. It’s no wonder why tourists find it fascinating to visit this place.

How Can This Guide Help You?

Wandering is just a normal thing especially if you are traveling to a foreign country. It would be a waste if you just stay in your hotel without looking at the beautiful scenery outside. That is why in this driving guide, it will help you to be aware of what to do if you are driving around the beautiful country of Papua New Guinea.

General Information

As a tourist, it is important to know the country well. Learning the basic information about the country will help you a lot since it can help guide you throughout your journey, especially if you are driving in Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea is one of the most diverse countries in the whole world especially in culture. It is also a developing country and soon, modern practices will be part of their lifestyles.

Geographical Location

Papua New Guinea is abundant in resources and rich in biodiversity. They are known for its beaches and coral reefs, granite, Mt. Wilhelm, dense rainforest, hiking routes, traditional tribal villages and active volcanoes.

In fact, Papua New Guinea is the second-largest island that is known for having constant volcanic activity, earthquakes, and tidal waves. It seems frightening, but being surrounded by active volcanoes makes those seismic activities normal.

Languages Spoken

As said, Papua New Guinea is the world’s most diverse country and they have more than 800 languages including the native languages. There are four languages that have received official recognition: Tok Pisin, English, Hiri Motu, and Papua New Guinean Sign Language. These languages are widely used in the country.

There are also native languages that have still not been given official recognition but are being used by the natives.

Land Area

Papua New Guinea is the 54th largest country of the world with a total land area of 462,840 square kilometers. As of 2020, they have an estimated total population of 8,935,000. 40% of the population still lives in rural areas with no access to the capital while the rest of the population lives in urban areas.

History

Archaeologists believes that humans that arrives in Papua New Guinea were the descendants of migrants of Africa, around 42,000 to 45,000 years ago. Then around 500 BC, Austronesian-speaking people did a huge migration to the coastal regions of Papua New Guinea in which they also introduces the ways of fishing techniques. During the 19th century, Papua New Guinea was colonized by Germany and was under by Australia after they defeated Germany.

Government

Papua new Guinea's 'underlying law' consists of rules and principles of their common laws and equity in English. Under this Underlying Law Act, they put importance to the "custom" of traditional communities. They are also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Pacific Community, Pacific Island Forum, and the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

Tourism

Since Papua New Guinea is known for their wonderful natural resources and scenic views, they can attract visitors each year despite being a developing country. Each year, the number of tourists are increasing and as of 2015, they have 184,000 international arrivals. Culture, festivals, diving, surfing and hiking are the main attractions of the country along with their unique flora and fauna that can be seen in their country.

IDP FAQs in Papua New Guinea

An International Driver’s Permit is a translation of your national driver’s license as regulated by the United Nations. It allows motorists to drive vehicles in foreign countries. Printed in the six United Nations official languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, and Chinese) as well as German, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Greek, Farsi, and Korean.

Having an IDP means that you can drive in foreign countries without the need to take tests or applications. You must apply for an IDP before you travel to the country that issued you a national driving license. Before traveling make sure to carry your domestic driving license or better if you have a Papua New Guinea driving licence. Of course, obey the traffic rules and regulations to avoid any conflicts with the authorities.

Driving license in Papua New Guinea is important since Papua New Guinea is one of those 150 countries that asks for the International Driving License because of the communication barrier. International Driving Permits issued by governmental agencies and/or private organizations are the only official translations of your driver’s license.

Does the International Driver’s Permit Replace the Local Driver’s License I Hold?

The IDP is a requirement for driving in Papua New Guinea now. You need to have this document along with your national driver’s license while driving in Papua New Guinea itinerary. It is a legal document that requires you to have, in order to drive in many countries, including Papua New Guinea.

An IDP does not replace your national driving license in Papua New Guinea. Instead, it translates your license into the language the country uses. The government officials will understand the document better. Present your International Driver’s Permit along with your driving license in Papua New Guinea.

Is a Local Driver’s License Valid in Papua New Guinea?

The Papua New Guinea driving license is equal to the IDP. Again, it is a translation of your license. You need to have your local driving license when driving in Papua New Guinea on map along with the IDP for it to be valid. The local government insists on you bringing the IDP along as it is a requirement when driving in Papua New Guinea zip code areas.

The international translation is not self-supporting. You must bring the International Driver’s License along with your domestic driving license.

Who can apply for an International Driver’s Permit?

If you are a holder of a valid domestic driving license, you are eligible to apply for an International Driver’s Permit. Though temporary licenses are valid, some countries will not accept temporary licenses. Be sure to apply for an IDP as it is, again a translation of your driving license in Papua New Guinea. Drivers aged 18 and above can apply for an International Driver’s Permit.

Applying for an IDP in the International Driver’s Association is straight forward. Be sure to bring the required documents that the agency asks for. Like a colored photo, a copy of your driver’s license or permit, and a signature. These are considered the driving in Papua New Guinea requirements.

Renting a Car in Papua New Guinea

Getting to places will be easier if you opt for car rental. This is where your International Driver’s Permit will come in handy! We are sure that there will be a lot of top destinations that would be needed for you to get on the road. Though the commute is easier and more fun because you would experience Papua New Guinea’s public transport, it is not a hundred percent safe.

Driving to the places you plan on going to will be safer and more convenient, not to mention germ-free. There are car rental places in Papua New Guinea that are guaranteed to fit your budget.Most airports will have Car Rental booths already available for you. But these airport car rental booths do charge extra because the rental companies pay the extra charge to the airports which also mean you could start driving in Papua New Guinea airport.

Then the airports will relay it to their customers. You will be paying extra because the rental booths are placed in airports. There is no way of avoiding that fee if you rent at airports. You would have much better luck when you rent on-site the rental companies. And allow me to tell you that there are tons!

Car Rental Companies

There are a lot of car rental locations around Papua New Guinea. They offer budget rentals that would not eat up your bank account! These rental companies offer the types of cars that would fit the number of occupants and the budget that you carry. Wouldn’t that be easier? Here are a few rental locations that are available in Papua New Guinea:

1. Hertz Car Rental

Hertz is an American-based car rental company in which they have a flexible and risk-free rental. They are expanding their business all around the world including Australia. They also have a branch at Papua New Guinea which is located at Port Moresby.

2. AVIS Rent A Car

Avis is also an American-based car rental company and they are currently not available in Asia however, they have 12 branches at Papua New Guinea. You can visit their branches at Ports Moresby, Wewak, Lihir and more.

3. Jacksons International Airport International Terminal

Jacksons International Airport also offers car rental that you can use for a trip. They are located at the International Airport of Port Moresby.

Documents Required

You might be thinking about the kind of documents you need to present while renting a car. There are only a few you will need. Bring your birth certificate or any form of identification that confirms your age. The driver’s complete information (in case you’re not the one driving)

Your credit card information – this is needed for the advance payment and a blocking deposit in the case that you get into a car accident. Your driver’s license, the limit of the minimum period of holding your license might be required.

Your credit card information – this is needed for the advance payment and a blocking deposit in the case that you get into a car accident. Your driver’s license, the limit of the minimum period of holding your license might be required.

Vehicle Types

There is a wide variety of cars you can rent from Mini cars to Economy cars; from compact cars to intermediate cars. Standard cars to full-sized cars. Premium cars to luxury cars. From minivans to SUV cars and oversized cars. The choices are plenty. They depend on your preference and the number of passengers and baggage quantity you have.

They offer both automatic and manual vehicles. Some are provided with satellite navigation and/or air conditioning. Locals do prefer to use SUVs as they help with the mountainous terrains of Papua New Guinea. They also opt to ride airplanes sometimes to get to difficult places.

Age Requirements

Usually, the age allowed to drive is 18 years old. But they offer an option that costs higher if the driver is not 18 years old yet. The minimum driving age varies between 16-21 years old, depending on the country and region. As per Papua New Guinea, they require drivers to be at least 18 years of age.

Car Rental Cost

The price range is from $92-$132 per day depending on the vehicle you would be using. It also depends if you have added fees that the rental company is asking of you. Make sure to canvass the rental companies that offer cheaper and safer transactions. Also, do not forget to pay extra attention to the vehicle’s well-being and maintenance, otherwise the added fees will bite you in the butt.

Be extremely cautious when you are out looking for car rentals because some people will pretend that their car rental place is legit when it actually is not. Just be careful.

Car Insurance Cost

Car Rental Insurance is the insurance that protects you and helps you if ever you meet with an accident on the road. Though car rental insurance is a pain in the butt to pay, it is worth it as insurance companies offer products that would cover a certain type of problem you may face. There are a few companies that offer car rental insurance, one in particular offers 3 products that would help you in the event of an accident.

1. Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) / Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)

This waiver waives damages that costs in full with high excess payable for damages.

2. Super Collision Damage Waiver

It can be purchased at US$20.00 – US$30.00 per day. This waiver reduces your remaining excess to US $0.00.

3. Roadside Assistance Cover

It can be purchased at US$10.00 – US$15.00 per day. This covers roadside costs like:

  • Towing
  • Fuel
  • Key lockout

Car Insurance Policy

It is easy to rent a car in Papua New Guinea however in renting a car, you must also be aware about the insurance and waiver for the collision damage. It is important to secure the insurance because it will help you to save your money and less charges. Car rental companies such as Avis offers Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) in a low price of $9 per day. Others can also cover the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) along with the roadside charges such as fuel, towing and key lockout.

Top View Papua New Guinea Photo

The Road Rules in Papua New Guinea

In many countries, you will find a set of rules drivers have to follow. Odd enough, some of those rules are still ignored and many are still encountering road accidents. Negligence is one serial killer! Driving in Papua New Guinea today is difficult due to its tropical climate, geography and absence of paved roads.

It’s dangerous to drive on the highways outside major cities. The countryside roads are in bad condition and during the rainy season, landslides occur. That’s not your only problem! There are carjackers and locals that would sometimes throw at your vehicle if they feel like it.

What can you do to avoid problems with the authority and the locals? What are the necessary rules you have to keep in mind while driving in Papua New Guinea on map? What are the steps that would help you get to your destination with ease?

Important Regulations

Driving rules in Papua New Guinea are all the same in the different zip codes. These driving rules apply to all of Papua New Guinea and must be followed by motorists strictly in order to avoid problems and motor vehicle accidents. You can also apply these rules along the way.

It is understandable that you must be 18 above if you are driving and always wear your seatbelt on. In Papua New Guinea, the driving is on the left side. It is also important to not to accelerate your car that is past the speed limits. It is required to follow the speed of 60 km/h (37mph) in towns and 75 km/h (47mph) in country sides. Police might pull you over if ever you passed the limit. Also, part of humans’ common sense not to drive when you are under the influence of alcohol. If so, take a cab rather than driving to keep you and your car safe.

General Standards of Driving

The general standards of driving in Papua New Guinea now are very similar to that of the rest of the world. In Papua New Guinea, you have to take the extra mile in driving safely. Carjacking may occur, and road conditions are untrustworthy. Especially with the weather changes, there is no telling what the road would be like.

With locals being aggressive at times, it is difficult to be safe, unless you follow some of these steps. Here are a few steps to take to ensure your safety and your passengers as well:

  1. Service your vehicle regularly. Make sure that your vehicle gets enough care is crucial especially being in a foreign place. You have to think ahead because the roads are unfamiliar, you would have to take that extra step to be safe.
  2. Never leave important documents or valuables in your car. Leaving your valuables behind is sure to attract any criminal around the area. Be mindful of your belongings that way you would not be frustrated.
  3. Many of the roads in PNG are unsealed and filled with potholes and even suffer landslides. During their dry seasons, driving in Papua New Guinea areas is problematic and during the wet season, it’s impossible to pass through. A four-wheel drive is a necessity in Papua New Guinea.
  4. Planning your route ahead of time avoids the chance of you stopping to check where you are and which roads to take. This makes the chance of being carjacked slimmer and you safer. Remember that being safe is your top priority, so take the extra mile to actually be safe.
  5. Keep your windows up and always lock your doors.
  6. Keep moving and avoid stopping whenever you can.
  7. Start your car and drive away quickly when beginning a journey
  8. Park in populated areas.

These are a few precautions that you can take in order for you to be safe. The crime rate in the facet of driving in Papua New Guinea quotes is no joke. Study it and the roads as well. Take note of the secluded areas where most crimes happen. Also, avoid driving at night as the crime rate escalates during the night time.

Speed Limit

Papua New Guinea has a national speed limit law implemented. The speed limit of 60 km/h applies in the town areas unless indicated otherwise by the speed control signage on a specific road. Outside town areas, a 75 km/h speed limit is applied in highways unless indicated otherwise.

As with all other countries, some of the laws are practiced and some may be overlooked. If for instance, you are pulled over by the police, instead of receiving a ticket, a bribe will be enough to withdraw the charges against you.

Seatbelt Laws

In section 26 of the Road User Rule, it states that the passengers seated in front and rear of motor cars must wear seatbelts where they are provided. The seat belts must also be fitted to both the front and rear seats of the vehicle.

Driving Directions

You can find driving directions on Google Maps with ease or calculate your up to date driving in Papua New Guinea itinerary to and from Papua New Guinea or its neighboring countries. Find any address in Port Moresby and Papua New Guinea by just clicking on your phone.

The maps show a detailed road map of Papua New Guinea along with its administrative divisions – 20 provinces, 1 autonomous region:

  • Central Chimbu
  • Eastern Highlands
  • East New Britain
  • East Sepik
  • Enga Gulf
  • Hela
  • Jiwaka
  • Madang
  • Manus
  • Milne Bay
  • Morobe
  • National Capital
  • New Ireland, Northern
  • Southern Highlands
  • Western
  • Western Highlands
  • West New Britain
  • West Sepik

The interactive google maps may also be used as the satellite map of Papua New Guinea, or as a reverse search map for finding an address from its GPS coordinates.

Traffic Road Signs

Traffic Road signs in Papua New Guinea are often written in English. Road Traffic Signs include Mandatory Signs to ensure that all vehicles follow the same pattern so there would be no problem in the roads. The road signs are given their respective sign board that state what it means.

These signs are being developed and implemented in the country as there were articles talking about how locals ignore them thus causing accidents. It is generally unsafe to drive in Papua New Guinea because some throw caution to the wind.

Traffic road signs includes:
  • Keep right
  • Keep left
  • One way
  • Two way
  • Turn left at any time with care
  • Form 1 lane
  • Children
  • Winding road
  • Curve
  • “Y” junction
  • “T” junction
  • Hair pin bend
  • Side road intersection
  • Narrow bridge
  • Give way ahead
  • Road narrows
  • School
  • Pedestrian crossing
  • Low clearance
  • Traffic signals ahead
  • “Ford” Liklik wara kar ken brukim
  • Gross road limit
  • Hospital “haus sik
  • “Crest” Rot Igo antap
  • Cross roads
  • Stop sign ahead
  • hump

Right of Way

The Right of Way is typically a road rule which indicates which vehicles should go first according to the sequence. Their position on the road will determine when it is their turn to drive through the road.

However, in case there is a road rehabilitation, whichever vehicle is further ahead, will be the first one to pass.

The legal driving age varies all over the world. In Papua New Guinea, the legal driving age is 18 years old. If you haven’t reached this age yet, it is best to have someone who will act as your legal guardian to drive the vehicle instead.

Law on Overtaking

Overtaking can be life-threatening as it imposes danger to the passengers of not only your vehicle but to those who will be involved in a possible collision. A handbook titled, "Motor Traffic Handbook," reminds drivers to take extra precaution when overtaking another vehicle.

Some reminders that was on the handbook is to not overtake in:
  • A pedestrian crossing
  • An intersection
  • A corner of the road
  • The top of a hill where you cannot see other vehicles
  • When the road is narrow
  • The road is marked with double lines and the line near your vehicle is not a broken line.
  • If you cannot see the road ahead of you.

When a car is overtaking your vehicle, move to the left to allow the vehicle to pass by. Avoid collision at all costs!

Driving Side

Most countries drive on the right side of the road but Papua New Guinea, since it was colonized by the British. Papua New Guinea driving side is on the left side of the road and they have the steering wheel on the right.

If you need to overtake the car ahead of you, overtake on the right side of the road. Before you overtake, make sure that there is no other vehicle behind you and that road is clear. If the road is clear, make a right turn signal and then pull out. When merging, there will be a road sign that would tell you when you can merge traffic.

The Driving Etiquettes in Papua New Guinea

Try to get in touch with the International Driving Permit in Papua New Guinea today. Watch some videos of driving etiquette in Papua New Guinea online to get to know what you need to do. Ignorance can sometimes get you into trouble too. People who drove in Papua New Guinea quotes that “if you travel at night, you should bring a security escort”. You can consider these scenarios:

Car Breakdown

Call the police, a tow truck operator or your insurance company immediately to aid you. Before leaving your car, make sure that you locked it, left the window up, and that you did not leave any of your valuables behind. Make sure that your auto insurance, safety stickers and vehicle registration are up-to-date. We would not want any more problems piling up to the broken car!

Stay calm and aware and move to safety. Inspect your vehicle and call for help. Turn on the hazard lights to warn other drivers that there is something wrong. Keep them on until help comes, drive off slowly to the right side of the road to avoid causing heavy traffic.

When you are safely out of the way, open the hood of the trunk of your car. This would give the signal to other drivers to proceed with caution. Call for help from the tow truck service. Make sure you know the emergency numbers so that you would not have to waste time looking it up.

Here are the numbers in Port Moresby you can contact if in the event that your car breaks down:

  • Ambulance: 111
  • Fire and Rescue Services: 110
  • Police: 112

Police Stops

Slow down your vehicle and move it to a safe place as soon as possible. Turn off the car engine and turn on the lights inside. Open the window only half way and put your hands on the wheel. If you are on the passenger seat, put your hands on the dashboard. If they request your documents, be sure to give it to them. Do not make any sudden moves to agitate the officer.

Asking for Directions

It’s hard to get lost in an unfamiliar place, and even harder to ask for directions especially if you do not speak the same language. It ruins the whole driving itinerary you prepared to drive in Papua New Guinea. Study the basic conversation before going to the country.

It would be great that you have a local guide that would translate what you say or lead you to your destinations. When you ask for directions, start it off with a polite greeting and show a polite expression. Smile! To get a vibrant direction, start the conversation with a “hi!” and let the person match your energy!

You should know the basic vocabulary when asking for directions. Be specific when asking for directions if you want a specific response. Tell the person you are asking directions from where you intend to go. Also, getting to know the Transport system and the landmarks that way it would be easier for you to know where you are and where you are going.

Checkpoints

There will always be checkpoints in Papua New Guinea. This is where the police check the licenses and vehicle registrations. So, prepare your documents or put them where you can easily get them.

  1. Be polite and be attentive. Avoid any confrontations. Do not pressure them because their time and your time are not the same! Above all show them respect, they are government officials after all.
  2. If you are walking, walk to the checkpoint with the proper documents available. When in a vehicle, keep the windows up and the doors locked. Wait for them to knock or give you a command. Open the window a bit only to see their eyes and to speak. Never record without their permission!
  3. If the officers who are at the checkpoint are hostile, you may offer them something to calm them down. Offer them water or food. Do not appear dangerous, look friendly! Smile! Make them see where your hands are all the time like putting them up on the wheel or dashboard.

They may think you’re reaching out for a weapon if you do not do this. Show them that you mean them no harm, and you just want to enjoy your vacation. Let them know that there are people waiting for you and know where you are. Let them know that these people are expecting you to come back to them.

Other Tips

You can also consider some things that might be useful for you along the way. So, you must put this in your mind to avoid circumstances in the future:

Is it Safe to Drive at Night?

Knowing the driving situations in Papua New Guinea, you need to be vigilant when driving at night. There are also places in Papua New Guinea that is not perfect for driving, so you need to read signs and ask directions as much as possible. Being aware is a must, especially when you are in a foreign country that is why you must keep your guards on if you are going to drive at night.

Don’t forget also to keep your headlights on, it will help you to see the road clearly. Whether it’s safe or not, always apply the safety procedure since driving at night is different if you are driving in a broad daylight.

Driving Conditions in Papua New Guinea

Driving can be very frustrating at times, and there are many factors that can add on to the frustrations. There is no telling how the weather and the road conditions affect the road you’re on. There are road hazards that make it difficult to drive in Papua New Guinea like the unpredictable drunk, poor conditions on some roads, and overcrowded vehicles.

It is also frustrating to encounter accidents on your way to your destination. There is no safety guarantee once you’re out on the road and there are many contributors to road accidents. Carelessness is one of them.

  1. To assess these situations you may encounter, slow down and match the traffic speed.
  2. Make sure to keep ample distance from the vehicle ahead of you. This would lessen your chances of being involved in life-threatening accidents.
  3. Remember to keep your windshields clear, the weather can affect clarity and may cause accidents because your windshield is foggy.

Sadly, sometimes, our accidents are caused by other people’s recklessness. Those drivers who use their cell phones while driving are not allowed But the recklessness does not just go to the drivers, but to the pedestrians as well. Always be wary and on the lookout for the different driving and road conditions in Papua New Guinea.

Accident Statistics

Papua New Guinea is a developing country, therefore some roads are underdeveloped. Road conditions are hazardous throughout Papua New Guinea and driving is often aimless. It’s basically chaotic. You should be extra vigilant when driving around Papua New Guinea.

According to a 2020 article, between 2011 and 2015, there were 12,000 crashes reported to the police, resulting in 16,000 recorded deaths and injuries. Statistics show that between 2011 and 2015 alone, the reported accidents were 12,000 and the recorded deaths and injuries are 16,000. In other words, there are a lot of accidents that have already happened in Papua New Guinea, so careful driving is necessary.

As of the moment, Papua New Guinea has over 13 times more road accidents per 10,000 registered vehicles in Great Britain. Most fatal accidents occur on the weekend

Common Vehicles

The most popular brand used in Papua New Guinea is Toyota. Because of its difficult terrain, SUVs are the locals, and tourists go to vehicles of choice. The sales of used cars have increased rapidly in Papua New Guinea in the recent years as more middle class people are buying more cars.

In the year 2010, around 2,940 units of used cars were imported to the country which then increased to 4,245 units in 2012. The popular car models they prefer are Toyota Progres, Toyota Estima, Toyota Raum, Nissan Presage, Toyota Vitz, Mitsubishi Outlander, Mitsubishi Pajero, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Voxy, and Toyota Corolla Rumion.

Road Situations

The road situation in Papua New Guinea is in poor condition. Transport is difficult as Papua New Guinea is heavily limited by mountainous terrains. In most places, you would either have to go on foot or take an airplane. Some roads are not fully formed in Papua New Guinea yet.

As of 1999, Papua New Guinea has a total of 19,600 km of all-weather highway. 686 km of which is sealed. The longest road in the country is the Highlands Highway, which links Lae and Madang to the Highlands region.

Driving Culture

Judging from the high accident rate, we can say that some locals are very reckless when driving on the road. There are cases of drunk drivers causing accidents. Some even overcrowd their vehicles which will cause just a lot of damage. Seeing that Papua New Guinea is only starting to develop, the locals are not really used to the improvements that the roads are receiving.

They have yet to be educated in proper road rules and etiquette. But driving is generally not the issue, it is the crimes that happen in the country that drive the people insane. Seeing that the roads in Papua New Guinea are not really that fully developed yet, it is quite impossible to meet the safety standards

Things to do in Papua New Guinea

Now that you know about the general things to note in Papua New Guinea, let’s find out what you can do in Papua New Guinea that is worth your time. Take note that Papua New Guinea is a developing country so doing business there could be a little difficult. You never know what may happen. So be wary about business transactions.

Drive as a Tourist

It’s easier to own a car in foreign places because then, you would not have to spend so much money on rental cars and commute. Usually, foreigners buy cars when they are going to stay longer than a year in Papua New Guinea. You can buy new or used cars from car sales or previous car owners.

Consider the maintenance, renewal and the insurance of the car before doing anything else. If you want to own a car in Papua New Guinea, you have to secure a Population Registration Card (PRC). You would also need to renew the vehicle registration every 12 months.

Work as a Driver

To apply for work, you must get a Working Permit Visa (WPV) for you to work as a driver. You can work as a private car driver or teach driving schools in Papua New Guinea. There might be also some bigger companies for driving or taxi operators that are looking for new drivers, you can apply for that. Requirements may vary on what type of driving job you want to apply for, but as a foreign driver, it is important for you to have the working visa since you can’t work if you don’t have that.

Work as a Travel Guide

A foreigner can also guide a foreigner. You can also consider in applying as a travel guide. By learning the basic information of the country, you can be qualified to be a travel guide. One can be part of your advantage is that, you was once a tourist as well!

Apply for Residency

If you want to permanently stay in Papua New Guinea, it will be your time to apply some important documents including the working permit and for the residency. All you have to do is to follow the requirements that are need such as passport, photos, health documents and such. Applying for working visa can also help you to be automatically entitled as a resident of the country.

Other Things to Do

Aside from applying various driving jobs and residency in Papua New Guinea, here are some things that you can also consider doing:

Can a Foreigner Buy Land in Papua New Guinea?

Foreigners are allowed to have residency in Papua New Guinea however, they are forbidden to own a land. It is under the law of the country to not allow the foreigners to purchase a land and almost 97% of the land in Papua New Guinea are owned with the traditional landowners. There is only 3% of land that is only owned by the state, the rest of it are not allowed to invest nor purchase.

Top Destinations in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea, dubbed as the final frontier. Its beauty is still intact and the lands untouched. A number of their islands are considered as “Virgin Islands” due to how uninhabited they are. The tribal culture and traditions are still alive and kicking throughout the island nation. Surely, the culture will entice you to visit this virgin island nation. But there is more to that beauty than meets the eye.

The island nation is filled with history, and you will be awestruck of the things you will see: from beautiful beaches to spectacular views. You will never regret visiting this beautiful country. There is a lot to see in Papua New Guinea. If you plan on going there right now, a week will not be enough to travel to all the sights, so here are some of the top destinations that we at IDA can recommend. Make sure to add them to your list!

Port Moresby Photo

Port Moresby

If you need to visit the most highly visited destination in Papua New Guinea, you need to start with its capital, Port Moresby. It is the capital and the largest city in Papua New Guinea. The capital of Papua New Guinea has multiple activities to offer its visitors. Being the gateway to the rest of the island, Port Moresby offers a good deal of entertainment, activities, and even nightlife that encourage visitors to participate.

The Port Moresby Nature Park is set on the outskirts of the city; it showcases many plant species, including 11,000 native orchids. There is plenty of wildlife in Port Moresby alone. The National Museum exhibits Papua New Guinea’s beautiful history along with its beautiful people.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Jacksons international airport, head east.
  2. At the roundabout, take the 4th exit.
  3. Then by the roundabout take the 2nd exit into John Guise Dr. and continue to Waigani Dr.
  4. Take the 3rd exit at the roundabout.
  5. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit to Somare Circuit then turn left into Pipit St.
  6. Follow Waigani Dr. to Goro – Kaeaga Rd. and turn right into Waigani Dr
  7. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Waigani Rd.
  8. By the roundabout, take the 3rd exit at Goro – Kaeaga Rd then in 300 meters, make a U-turn

Things to Do

Being one of the top spots in Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby offers its visitors a set of fun activities. Here are some of them:

  1. Shop at the Koki Fish Market

    You can see the best fish markets in PNG. Koki Fish Markets have the best seafood that you could ever taste. They also offer various seafood that you may like.
  2. Visit the National Museum Art Gallery

    You can see the impressive collections of artifacts, traditional crafts and arts in their national museum gallery. You can look back the historical arts of Papua New Guinea and will take you deeper with their different cultures.
  3. Pay a visit to the war heroes at the cemetery

    Remembering to those brave people who died in fighting the former territory of Papua New Guinea and on Bougainville Island. This war cemetery contains 3,824 burials and 699 were unknown.
  4. Stroll around the Port Moresby Nature Park

    Your relaxation will never be complete if you haven’t strolled around the Port Moresby Nature Park. Filled with all things natural, let nature take over you as you relax to the sounds of animals and wildlife.
  5. Swim at Ela beach

    In Port Moresby, you can visit the Ela beach and take a dip to cool down your body. Strolling around the capital of Papua New Guinea must be tiring; thus, it is highly recommended that you stop by this beach to relax and regain your energy for the next trip.

Mount Wilhelm

If you’re into hiking mountains, the second destination will suit you best. Trek up to the highest point in Papua New Guinea and Oceania: Mount Wilhelm. If you thought trekking the Kokoda Trail is tough? Be prepared as you venture out to Mount Wilhelm! It is the tallest peak in Oceania at an estimated 4,509 meters! The total distance of the hike from Betty’s lodge to base camp to summit is 11.7 km away only!

Learn how you can get there by following these instructions. If you want to drive to this location however, that is not possible. Driving towards Mount Wilhelm is impossible.

Driving Directions:

  1. Take a flight to Mt. Hagen Airport.
  2. From the airport drive to the starting point of the climb.

Things to Do

Mountains have their own beauty which make them stand out. And fun-filled activities are considered add-ons to the magical experience they offer:

  1. Trekking at Mount Wilhelm

    Mount Wilhelm is best for trekking, and you can view almost the whole PNG and Oceania. It is worth it to try since this mountain has the highest peak. If you are into the extreme, then you can try this one.
  2. See the wildlife residing on the mountain

    Papua New Guinea is known for its wildlife that is why this will be your chance to have a closer look at the wildlife of Papua New Guinea. Be careful not to disturb the animals, they may harm you if you harm them as well.
  3. Spend a night at the lakes

    You can enjoy the lakes in Mount Wilhelm. No need to book for a pool since these lakes could satisfy your cravings for swimming. You can also go fishing in the lake if you don’t want to wet yourselves since their lakes are also abundant in fishes.
  4. Take photos of nature around you

    It is seldom that you see spectacular sights when you’re high up on a mountain. Savor the moment as you take several photos that will serve as your remembrance for visiting Mount Wilhelm. Moreover, there are animals as well that you may spot.
  5. Breathe in and relax to the beautiful scenery

    What is the best way to counter stress? Observing the picturesque scenery displayed right before you. When you’re on top of the mountain, you get to see both the sea, city, and the mountains at the same time. Moreover, you can also relax your eyes as green is said to help calm the eyes.

Madang

Come and visit Madang, one of the cleanest coastal regions within the country of Papua New Guinea. If you’re into history, then you can dive and explore World War II planes and shipwrecks underneath the water. You may also visit as well the many land attractions and villages to explore. With so many islands off the coast of Madang, you can spot all the wildlife in their natural habitat.

Driving Directions:

  1. From LAE head east towards Highlands highway.
  2. Turn left on highlands highway.
  3. Slight right into ramu highway.
  4. At the roundabout, continue straight to Baidal rd.
  5. Turn left to Madang.

Things to Do

There are a lot of things you can do in Madang, aside of course from Island Hopping. Here is a quick list:

  1. Scuba Diving in Madang

    You can find WWII remnants here. Some tourist bloggers said that they found a WWII bomber plane with the machine gun still attached to it. They dove into the Henry Lieth shipwreck and the B-25 bomber plane wreck. If you want to see how nature took over and how many ocean species consider them their homes now.
  2. Go to Madang

    Visitors and Cultural BureauExplore the beautiful museum in Madang as you can enjoy some historical artifacts as well as some fascinating exhibits. It is a nice place to visit however, you can’t take photos with you.
  3. Proceed to the Balek Wildlife sanctuary

    Visit the sulfur creek at the wildlife sanctuary in Balek. You can see various of fishes, eels, and turtles. Get ready also to smell the sulfur that was from the creek and large limestone formation that you can see in the wildlife center.
  4. Visit the Coastwatchers Memorial Lighthouse

    In remembrance of the soldiers who greatly contributed as spies or allies during the World War II. This is a working lighthouse erected in dedication to the Americans and Australians that fought well against the Japanese back.
Kokoda Photo

Kokoda Track

Going on a vacation does not mean, you have to sacrifice your ever-active lifestyle and exercise. By visiting the Kokoda Track, you can revisit history with its background. It is one of the most popular travel destinations that foreigners would choose.

Today, trekkers come here to reflect on the four pillars of Kokoda, which is mate-ship, endurance, sacrifice, and courage. This single file trail that runs through the Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea. Its total trail distance is 96 km. You can break this up in 8 days which makes it more manageable.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Port Moresby, drive to Ower’s Corner for 53 km.
  2. Then from Ower’s corner, walk to the Kokoda Track for 96 km.

Things to Do

Once in a lifetime adventure and activities are what await you as you opt to explore Kokoda track. Read more to know them.

  1. Trail the track

    Explore the spectacular tracks in Papua New Guinea. Immerse yourself with one of the longest trails in Papua New Guinea. You need to be careful since there are steps that are quite dangerous, but trailing this track would bring a lifetime experience for you to make!
  2. Know about the history while trekking

    Not just enjoying the trail and the people, you can also learn a lot about the history of this wonderful track, since it also plays a role during World War II. Fill your minds with history while having fun trekking.
  3. Enjoy the spectacular scenery

    You can enjoy the green scenery and take pictures while you’re at it. You might also meet some animals in the wildlife closely. Enjoy the creeks in near the trail and smell the fresh air while trekking!
  4. Don’t lurk elsewhere

    With the Kokoda track being a single file trail, it is highly advised to only observe a single file. Lurking elsewhere just to quench one’s curiosity is not welcome in this destination. You must have the endurance to observe the four pillars of Kokoda if you really want to finish the track.
  5. Be emotionally and physically prepared

    The Kokoda track is not your usual hiking trail. Only the determined can get through this trail without complaints. However, if you are emotionally stressed, the possibility of getting left behind or being unable to enjoy the scenery before you.

Rainforest Habitat

The Rainforest Habitat is a sanctuary of endangered species of animals. The place replicates the look of the Papua New Guinea Jungle. Tourists visit the site during late May or early June, as there is a low chance of rain. Rainforest Habitat is a famous site for visitors as it showcases more than 15,000 plants, 30 species of birds, and other unique varieties of animals. It is also known to be a small-sized yet rich rainforest in Papua New Guinea.

Driving Directions:

  1. From LaeNadzab Airport, turn right onto Highlands Hwy.
  2. Turn left onto Boundary Rd.
  3. Make a right onto Huon Rd.
  4. Turn left onto Bumbu Rd.
  5. Continue straight onto Milford Haven Rd.
  6. Turn left onto Independence Dr (The destination will be on the right).

Things to Do

The Rainforest Habitat features the replicated canopy of the jungle filled with wild animals and plants. The site has a lot to offer to its foreign visitors:

  1. Free sightseeing of birds

    The spot offers a free sight-seeing of cockatoos, eagles, crowned pigeons, sickle bills, hornbills, and cassowaries. You can enjoy this activity with your loved ones once you get there. There are many exotic birds that may fly now and then to the area. Thus, this may require your close attention and patience, since birds do get easily startled.
  2. Wildlife encounter

    As you go on with your walk in this destination, you will encounter different species of lizards, frogs, flying foxes, and tree kangaroos. Experience the wildlife as you venture within an actual rainforest.
  3. Listen to the natural sounds

    They say that nature sounds often bring music therapy onto the souls of people who feel incredibly stressed. By visiting this top destination, guaranteed you get distracted as finally, you will be inside this rainforest; where everywhere you go, the sound of nature will always play for you.
  4. Check the exotic plants within the forest

    Aside from animals, exotic plants can also be found within these rainforests. Observe the different kinds of plants within this destination. However, you must also be careful due to how rainforests can also be the breeding grounds of snakes, due to their cool environment.
  5. Observe proper behavior

    Although you want to quench your curiosity with the many things that this rainforest has to offer, you must still observe proper behavior. Any disturbance within the rainforest may make you an easy target to incoming predator animals. Moreover, animals often flee from their current home if they sense that a human being is disturbing it.

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