Port Moresby is an extremely expensive city, as is the rest of PNG, and prices for even basic items can be sky high. This is because there is no local industry to speak of, and virtually everything you might want to buy or consume will have been imported—much of it from Australia or New Zealand, sometimes farther afield. This applies to food and drink just as much as it does to larger manufactured items, so budget accordingly. Luxury goods are astronomical.

Currency and Exchange

The national currency of is Papua New Guinea is kina, which is made up of 100 toea. Bills are brightly colored and come in 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 kina denominations. Coins come in 5, 10, 20, and 50 toea, and 1 kina, denominations. At this writing the exchange rate was 2.06 kina to $1. For larger purchases, such as hotel rooms, prices are often quoted in Australian dollars, which are widely accepted.


A sales tax (VAT) of 10% is added to food and drink in Papua New Guinea. It is not always incorporated into the price quoted on the menu and may be added later. Note that this is not a service charge, but tipping is not expected anyway. The VAT is also applied to hotel rooms, but this is invariably included in the price quoted.


Papua New Guinea has no tipping culture, and tips are neither required nor expected. Of course, it will be appreciated if you feel the need to reward particularly good service in a restaurant, but in such cases give the money directly to the wait staff; otherwise the restaurant owner may keep it.

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