Weather differs from region to region in PNG. Mostly its hot with high humidity all year round. Local climate zones vary due to the high mountain ranges in the centre of the country. The rainy season generally goes from December through to March; dry season is May through October. This does not mean that it is constantly raining as the Southern Coasts of the mainland & New Britain experience different weather patterns at that time of the year. The liveaboard operators offer great dive expeditions in a variety of locations at different times of the year throughout PNG. They chose their locations according to the best prevailing weather conditions at the time, so you can be assured of great diving any time.
Air temperatures along the coast are fairly constant and range between 28°C (84°F) and 32°C (92°F). Water temperatures are ranging between a low of 23°C (75°F) (July-August) and 27°C (82°F) (December/January). Temperatures in the highlands are ranging around 20°C (66°F), with relatively low humidity.
Madang: November - May: Showers with occ. thunderstorms
New Ireland: November - April: Rainy season in the North of the islands
New Britain: November - April: Rainy season in the North of the islands & May - October: Rainy season in the South
Milne Bay: Very unpredictable February to March. September to November are usually the best months for diving.
Sepik: July - November: Dry season. December - April: Wet season.
Highlands: November - April: Rainy season, but very comfortable. Usually on 3000 to 8000 ft temperatures are very moderate to cold at night.
Port Moresby: May - October: dry, windy and dusty. Port Moresby, the capital, is situated on a narrow dry belt. 20km further inland the climate is already much more humid again.
Visa & Passport requirements
A valid passport (at least 6 month valid upon arrival) is required for your trip to PNG.
Visa on Arrival
A free tourist visa will be issued to the following nationalities upon arrival at Port Moresby International Airport for a stay of less than 60 days:
United States & Canada
Most Western European countries
New from 11 July 2016, Australian passport holders travelling as tourists to PNG with a return/onward ticket can obtain a free visa on arrival for a max. stay of 30 days at Alotau, Mount Hagen, Port Moresby and Rabaul airports. The 30-day visa cannot be extended. Visitors are required to hold proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay and must hold a passport valid for more than 6 months on arrival.
- If your nationality does not appear above, check with your nearest PNG or Australian Embassy.
- For longer stays, you will have to apply for a visa at the nearest PNG Embassy prior to departing your home country.
- If you travel via Australia to PNG and plan to spend some time in Australia, an Australian Tourist Visa (ETA) is required. This can be issued in most countries electronically and must be issued before you leave your country of residence.
- The PNG tourist visa on arrival is free of charge.
Arrival procedures Port Moresby
All checked baggage needs to be collected in Port Moresby on arrival. You will need to clear immigration and get your visitor's visa, if you haven't pre-arranged your visa already. Next, move to the immigration counter where you will have your passport stamped. You will then collect your baggage and proceed through the customs check desks.
IF YOU ARE TRANSITING TO A DOMESTIC FLIGHT, DO NOT EXIT THE ARRIVALS HALL:
If you have a connecting domestic flight, check in for your flight at the Domestic Transfer counter for Air Niugini located just past and to the left of customs, re-check your baggage here and collect your boarding pass. Then, exit the Arrivals hall into the International Terminal. Exit the Terminal onto the street and turn right. Follow the covered walkway to the Domestic Terminal (approx. 300m). Once you get to the domestic terminal, you can walk straight through to the waiting lounge. The Domestic departure lounge is very basic, and the PA system not very good, so you should always keep an eye on the departure gates and check with staff if you are unsure if your flight is boarding.
With all travels into tropical climate you should have an active immunisation against tetanus and a current polio protection.
Papua New Guinea is a malaria zone. Anti malarial precautions are highly recommended.
Malaria is transmitted by a certain type of mosquito. Avoidance of mosquito bites (e.g. by wearing long sleeved shirts and trousers at dusk and dawn) should be an important part of your risk minimisation strategy. Places with swampy grounds are more prone to harbour the disease than dry, urban areas.
Please check with a physician with experience in tropical diseases on the type of prophylactic you should use and ask: Is it compatible with diving? What are the known side effects?
There are a number of drugs on the market which reduce the risk of infection. Still, there is no known way to exclude this risk 100%. Some popular prophylactics are:
Doxycycline - sometimes in combination with Maloprin is widely prescribed by doctors in Australia.
Malarone - This drug is very effective and more expensive but so far we are not aware of any major side effects reported.
Lariam - was very popular in the 1990s. It should be avoided as it has been proven to cause severe side effects.
Medical facilities in PNG are poor by Australian standards. Port Moresby has a DAN approved hyperbaric chamber.
Medical kit suggestions:
- Insect repellent
- Anti-seasick medicine
- Sun tan lotion
- Band aids (some large ones)
- Sunburn Cream
- Ear Drops- alcohol / vinegar base. Daily use will prevent outer ear infections.
- Antibiotic ointment for coral cuts. See your physician.
The currency of Papua New Guinea is the Kina.
Incidental charges can be paid by Visa, Mastercard or cash local currency with most dive resorts and liveaboards. Operators in more remote locations may only accept cash. Some permit fees may only be paid in cash. For credit card payments, service charges will apply.
All departure taxes from PNG are included in your international flight ticket.
Photography & electricity
Photography is the most popular underwater objective of divers on our trips. You will be diving in some of the most photogenic waters of the world. Experienced photographers will find reefs, fish life and visibility absolutely excellent for stills, video and film. Bring all supplies such as batteries, memory cards, etc. with you as such supplies are usually not available, or very expensive.
Electrical Power is on 220-240V. Some operators offer 110V. Electrical plugs are to the Australian three pin Standard.
Certification requirements & dive gear hire
All scuba divers must be formally certified. There are two good reasons for this: First our trips offer such excellent diving that the time involved in learning basics is wasted. The first several hours of Scuba Diving really demand all of your attention to become familiar with the skills and the equipment being used. Second: Many of the dive sites and conditions in PNG are of an advanced nature.
Please remember to bring your certification card with you. All divers must be certified in order to dive. You will be requested to present your certification card before being allowed to dive.
Dive operations in PNG offer the possibility to hire dive equipment at extra cost. Please email us for advice. Tanks, weights and air fills are included in your pre-purchased dive packages.
All dive operators promoted by Diversion Dive Travel adhere to very high standards for safety and equipment. However, due its remote location, dive operators in PNG insist that all divers have current Diver Evacuation & Accident cover. For a nominal yearly membership fee, the DIVERS ALERT NETWORK (DAN) provides year-round diver evacuation and accident cover. For more details on membership and insurance options, please contact your regional DAN office according to your area of residence:
In view of the heavy cancellation penalties applied to cancelled travel arrangements, Diversion Dive Travel strongly suggest you consider taking out suitable travel insurance at the time of booking. Travel insurance policies are designed to cover losses such as cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances, sudden illness or serious injury whilst abroad, and lost, stolen or damaged baggage and personal items.
Bring casual, light and comfortable clothes. The evenings can get relatively cool with a sea breeze so something warm for the evening is recommended. Bring some very light clothing which offers sun protection for trips ashore to some of the villages. If you plan to stay overnight in Port Moresby dress is relaxed and casual, with a shirt with collar, long pants and shoes (not runners) for men and the women dress equally tasteful. It will get you admission to just about everywhere. Bring:
Slacks or other informal dress
Long sleeved shirt
Sweatshirt or jacket or windbreaker
Walking shoes or sandals
This is a very personal decision, tips are your ways of expressing satisfaction. On boats it is customary to give the tip to the Skipper and ask it be distributed amongst the crew. In resorts you leave the tip with the manager as they usually run Christmas Clubs and other community collections.
Food & beverages
On liveaboards, an honour bar service provides soft drinks, still water, juices, beer, and a selection of wines. Spirits are usually not available on boats due to the high cost of such items in PNG. But passengers are welcome to bring their own duty free spirits. All charges are in US $ aboard the vessel for your convenience and credit cards are also accepted. Resorts do work a room charge system.
If you have any special dietary needs, please let us know, and we will forward this information to the operator. Many food items such as meats and fresh vegetables are difficult to obtain in those remote regions. Meals provided are international cuisine with a lot of local flavours.
PNG is a fascinating country. Like any other place in the world it has its downsides as well. The bigger cities sometimes catch the headlines for violent crimes and the travel advisories of some countries do warn to take extra caution if you travel to PNG. Crime does exist and occasionally even travellers have fallen victim. However, PNG is not the dangerous place that it is sometimes painted to be. All that is needed is a bit of common sense and respect for local advice. We say this because we have been sending hundreds of travellers to PNG who have all had a safe and enjoyable experience. As a rule of thumb, you are very safe in your resorts, on your dive boats, in hotels and with your tour guide. Use normal caution around airports and in bigger cities, avoid being out at night alone, especially in bigger towns. No problems in resorts or villages.
Links to more information
The following information is supplied by the foreign affairs section of the relevant country or the tourism authority of the destination. Please check the links for up to date information on visa and safety requirements, embassy and consular contacts, general information: