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Please be advised that the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Travel Advice is now available at Ireland.ie/travel. Travel Advice on this webpage is no longer being updated. To ensure you receive the latest Travel Advice for Papua New Guinea, please see Ireland.ie.

Papua New Guinea

If you’re travelling to Papua New Guinea, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Natural Disasters and Climate
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact



Security Status

High Degree of Caution

Latest Travel Alert

On 26 July 2023, the Government declared a three-month daily curfew for the province of Enga between 9pm and 6am. Other travel restrictions, including restriction of movement or checkpoints, may occur at short notice. Follow the advice of local authorities. The Highlands provinces and the cities of Lae and Port Moresby are particularly affected.

General Travel Advice

Irish citizens require a visa to enter Papua New Guinea. Entry clearance can be arranged on-line through the Papua New Guinea Immigration & Citizenship Authority (PNGICA). Entry requirements can change so check the latest information with the PNGICA before travelling. The visa on arrival service is currently suspended.

A valid passport is required for travel to Papua New Guinea. Irish passports should have a minimum validity of 6 months from the date of your departure from Papua New Guinea. Passport cards cannot be used.

Visitors to Papua New Guinea are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media.

Citizens can also follow the Embassy on social media (Twitter @irlembaustralia and Facebook @IrishEmbassyAustralia) to ensure access to relevant updates and alerts.

Emergency Assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

You can contact the emergency services in Papua New Guinea by dialling:

  • Police: 000
  • Fire brigade: 110
  • Ambulance: 111

Our tips for Safe Travels:

As there is no Irish Embassy in Papua New Guinea, we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Canberra, Australia.

Safety and Security

Safety and Security


Avoid protests and other large public gatherings in Port Moresby and other major towns as they can turn violent. Always keep yourself informed of what is going on around you by monitoring local media for information about potential conflicts or the security or political situation of specific areas and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser.

Highland Provinces

Inter-tribal disturbances can happen without warning in the Highland Provinces, in particular the Southern Highlands and Enga Provinces. Be extremely careful, as law enforcement in these areas is weak.

Bougainville Province

Bougainville Province (including Bougainville Island) has recently emerged from a period of separatist conflict. Do not enter the mountainous area in central Bougainville around the old Panguna mine as it is a ‘No Go Zone’. Foreigners who have entered the Zone without authorisation from the Papua New Guinean government have been questioned by the authorities and had their passports confiscated on departure from the Zone.


Unexploded ordnance and landmines are present in many islands, including Bougainville and East New Britain.

Avoid walking or hiking off marked roads and trails.


Crime is common in Papua New Guinea, especially personal crime. It tends to be opportunistic and can happen anywhere and at any time. However, it is especially prevalent in areas such as Lae, Mt Hagen and other parts of the Highland provinces and the capital city Port Moresby is particularly dangerous. We advise you to be extremely careful and take sensible precautions:

Do not carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place

Do not carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home

Avoid walking after dark in Port Moresby and other urban areas. If you have to travel at night, do so by car. There have been serious attacks and robberies along the Kokoda Track.

Rape, kidnapping, and sexual assault are problems across the country. There is particular risk where law enforcement is weak, such as in the Northern and Southern Highlands, and the Enga Provinces.

Violence and use of 'bush knives' (machetes) and guns often accompany assault and robberies. Car-jacking, assaults, bag-snatching and other robberies, including in shops and restaurants, are common.

If you are arrested or detained, you are entitled to request that the local police notify the Embassy of your detention. 

Criminals tend to target areas and establishments often frequented by foreigners, including hotels, restaurants and bars, places of worship and tourist areas.

Criminals may use roadblocks outside of towns to stop and loot vehicles and attack you. Keep doors and windows locked, including when travelling by vehicle, consider using private security and avoid travel by taxi or public transport, especially if you're a woman.

Lost or stolen passports

Always keep your travel documents secure at all times. If your passport is lost or stolen, getting a replacement can take some time, given the distance between Papua New Guinea and the nearest Irish Embassy in Canberra. Getting a replacement passport will be easier if you can provide a copy of the lost or stolen one, so keep photocopies of your passport.

Reporting a crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Papua New Guinea, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Canberra, in Australia if you need help.


If you are planning to drive in Papua New Guinea, you should be extremely careful. Driving is on the left. Roads are generally poor, particularly outside towns and cities and standards of driving are erratic. If you want to drive, bring your full Irish driver’s licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance. Ensure that rental aquatic equipment is safe and in good condition.

Car jacking

Car jacking is a risk of travelling in Papua New Guinea. Always keep your car doors locked and windows closed, particularly if you are travelling at night or through urban areas.

Hiring a vehicle

If you are hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you are allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Public buses (PMVs)

We recommend that you avoid using public buses known locally as PMVs. There have been incidents of armed hold-ups of PMVs and of passengers being attacked and robbed of their personal belongings. Many PMVs are considered to be un-roadworthy.


Taxis are available in some major centres, but they can be badly maintained, and you should check about their reliability with your hotel or guesthouse. If you use a taxi, make sure that you agree a fare before getting into the vehicle, even if there’s a meter.

Kokoda Track

If you intend to walk a trail or track in Papua New Guinea, particularly on the Kokoda Track, we strongly advise you to travel with guides from a reputable tour company and pay the relevant fees before you set out. You can get details through the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority or the Kokoda Track Authority. Although community leaders have assured tourists of their safety and well-being while walking the Kokoda Track, there have been serious attacks and robberies at both ends of the Track and you should be cautious.


Flying in Papua New Guinea carries an increased level of risk due to the poor condition of airfields, remote locations, difficult terrain, extreme weather and poor maintenance of aircraft.

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.


The government of Papua New Guinea does not recognise dual-national citizenship once a person is over 18 years of age. If you are travelling there as a Papua New Guinea citizen, your Irish citizenship will not be recognised. This means we may be hindered in giving you consular assistance should you need it.

Local customs

Standards of dress and behaviour in Papua New Guinea are quite conservative so even though the climate is hot, dress conservatively when in public. Adultery is also an offence and those convicted may be liable for compensation payments. Public displays of affection may cause offence so we advise discretion and caution at all times.


Homosexual acts are unlawful - and punishment if convicted can include imprisonment.

Forbidden products

The sale and possession of pornographic material is a criminal offence in Papua New Guinea. As a general rule, you are prohibited from entering Papua New Guinea with drugs, weapons, firearms, censored films, and obscene literature.

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms. 


Always get permission before taking photographs of people or important cultural or spiritual sites.

Natural Disasters and Climate

Natural disasters and climate


Papua New Guinea is in an active seismic zone and earthquakes and volcanic eruptions happen regularly, particularly around Rabaul, Bougainville, West New Britain and the Manam Islands. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.


Depending on the severity and conditions of the seismic activity in the region, there may be a threat of tsunamis. If you are travelling to coastal areas, be alert for tsunami warnings that may be issued by the authorities.

Wet season

During the wet season in Papua New Guinea (November to May) weather can damage infrastructure (roads, airstrips), cause flooding and landslides and contribute to the spread of infectious disease. Take care if you are travelling during this time; talk to your tour guides or follow the local media to see whether your travel may be affected.


Papua New Guinea has a number of active and extinct volcanoes.

  • Mount Ulawun Volcano, on the island of New Britain, erupted three times in 2019 causing airport closures. A brief eruption occurred on 2 June 2022.
  • Mount Bagana in Bougainville erupted on 13 August 2019.
  • Manam Island volcano, one of Papua New Guinea’s most active, erupted on 25 August 2018 forcing thousands to flee to the mainland. Further low level activity has occurred since then, most recently in April 2022.
  • Kadovar Island volcano erupted in January 2018, leading to an evacuation of the island. If you’re planning travel in affected areas, check with your travel provider or airline before travelling.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

Irish citizens require a visa to enter Papua New Guinea. Entry clearance can be arranged on-line through the Papua New Guinea Immigration & Citizenship Authority (PNGICA). Entry requirements can change so check the latest information with the PNGICA before travelling. The visa on arrival service is currently suspended.

Irish passports should have a minimum validity of 6 months from the date of your departure from Papua New Guinea.

It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.


Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see what vaccinations you need for Papua New Guinea. Be aware that if you have a compromised immune system you may be at greater risk of falling ill or contracting disease while travelling in this country.


HIV and AIDs are increasingly common in Papua New Guinea, so we strongly encourage victims of violence, particularly victims of sexual assault, to seek immediate medical assistance.


Cholera is endemic in Papua New Guinea so you need to take precautions; only drink ‘safe’ chlorinated or boiled water and avoid ice-cubes or uncooked food. Maintain high personal hygiene standards such as washing your hands frequently.

Mosquito-borne diseases

Mosquito-borne diseases are present in Papua New Guinea and you should get up-to-date medical advice about immunisations and prophylaxis before travelling. When you arrive, avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by using bed nets and repellents, and wearing closed shoes, long sleeves and trousers.

Other diseases

Food and water-borne diseases are also common, as is tuberculosis. Swimming in Papua New Guinea may expose you to water-borne parasites, particularly if you are swimming in rivers. Stings from marine animals are also a risk and can be fatal.


Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

If you require emergency assistance from the Embassy, please contact us on +61 2 62140000
If you call outside normal working hours, you will be given instructions to call another number to speak to a Duty Officer.

You may also wish to contact the Duty Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000

Embassy of Ireland
20 Arkana Street
ACT 2600

Tel: +61 2 6214 0000
Fax: +61 2 6273 3741

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