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Introduction

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.

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Sights and Activities

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.

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Getting There

By Plane

Alotau's airport is called Gurney, named after a WW2 fighter pilot. Air Niugini has daily flights from the nation's capital, Port Moresby. Airlines PNG has daily flights from Lae as well as Port Moresby and also connects Alotau twice-weekly with the Trobriand Islands and with Misima.

By Car

There is a road from Ulumani to Alotau which passes the local Gurney Airport.

By Boat

It may be possible to reach Alotau from Port Moresby or Lae by cargo freighter. There is no passenger-only shipping. Ask around at Port Moresby or Lae harbors, and be prepared for a long wait!

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Getting Around

By Foot

Alotau is not very large and the people are very friendly, so walking will give you a good chance to meet them.

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Eat

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.

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Sleep

  • Alotau International Hotel, ☎ +675 641 0300, fax: +675 641 0268, ✉ aih@datec.net.pg. 22 rooms with panoramic views of the Bay.
  • Driftwood Resort, ☎ +675 641 0098, ✉ info@driftwoodpng.com. Seven bungalows on the edge of the Bay a few minutes from Alotau. K300 per bungalow.
  • Bibiko Farm, Charles Abel Highway (8km from airport). Bungalow village accommodation. Live with the Mataios, a lovely family. Food included, many tours of Milne Bay Province available on request. 60 PGK.
  • Napatana Ecotourism Lodge. Five bungalows and some twin "Flashpacker" rooms, close to the bay.
  • Masurino Lodge. Run by a family descended from a 19th Century English missionary, the Lodge offers 24 Standard Rooms and 12 Executive Rooms, as well as some family units.
  • Ulumani - Treetops Rainforest lodge. Owned and operated by the traditional landowners of the area. Includes comfortable units and a dormitory for backpackers. In the heart of the rainforest on the Southern arm of Milne Bay, about one hour's drive from Alotau.
  • Doini Island Plantation resort (Just off the southeastern tip of the mainland, about one hour by boat from Alotau). 1100 hectares of coconut palms and rainforest, surrounded by white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, with a nine-hole golf course. Bungalows are right on the sea, and there is a shared guest house that provides inexpensive accommodation.

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Keep Connected

Internet

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.

Phone

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

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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Alotau Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Alotau

This is version 3. Last edited at 11:41 on May 29, 19 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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