Alotau is the capital of Milne Bay Province, in the southeast of Papua New Guinea. It is located on the northern shore of Milne Bay. The town is located within the area in which the invading Japanese army suffered their first land defeat in the Pacific War in 1942, before the Kokoda Track battle. A memorial park at the old battle site commemorates the event. Alotau became the provincial capital in 1969 after it was shifted from Samarai.
Alotau is the gateway to the Milne Bay Province which contains some of the most remote island communities in the world. Milne Bay is noted for its coral reef and scuba diving experiences.
There is a road from Ulumani to Alotau which passes the local Gurney Airport.
Alotau is not very large and the people are very friendly, so walking will give you a good chance to meet them.
The people of Alotau and Milne Bay province are major consumers of the betel nut, chewed in a mixture with lime. When expectorated, it leaves red marks all over the ground. Long-term consumption is said to cause mouth cancer, but the occasional chew will cause you no problem and may give you a slight high.
There is good fresh food most of the week, except Saturday afternoon and Sunday at the Alotau market in town toward the water. Great bananas, sweet potatoes, yams, greens, green beans and all sorts of seafood, including crabs.
Internet usage among the people is relatively low. You can find internet cafes in major cities, towns and other tourist centers. Wifi coverage is still very low, but is growing.
See also International Telephone Calls
Papua New Guinea's international country code is 675.
Digicel is by far the better telecom provider. A new prepaid sim card is easy to purchase and can be used in any unlocked phone. Calls cost from 0.60-1.00 kina and SMS from 0.25 kina. Topup is available anywhere where there is network and also online (credit card or PayPal). Mobile Internet costs 0.35 kina per MB but it's possible to buy hourly (30 MB for 1 kina), daily (60 MB for 2.5 kina), weekly (150 MB for 10 kina) or monthly (900 MB for 65 kina) packages. There are also promotions and packages for calls and sms.
Post PNG offers postal service in the country. It is only recommended to use for sending postcards, as it is not very reliable nor fast. To send packages overseas, use international courier companies like FedEx, DHL or UPS.
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