Security and health

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provides advice for business travellers and tourists going to Papua New Guinea. This is regularly updated, and should be checked before planning travel.

It is strongly recommended that Australian travellers take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, before their departure. They should confirm that their insurance covers them for the whole time they will be away and check what circumstances and activities are / are not included in their policy.

It is also recommended that Australian travellers consult Smartraveller to provide greater protection in case of an emergency.


It is advisable to observe the following:

  • Do not walk around by yourself at night.
  • Avoid any display of wealth.
  • Lock your car doors and ensure all windows are closed.
  • Do not leave briefcases and valuables unattended.
  • If you have a car accident (even if the accident involves an animal or is minor in nature), proceed to the nearest police station or the Australian High Commission. Do not stop or remain at the accident site.
  • If you get a flat tyre, it is suggested that you proceed slowly to the nearest service station to get assistance. Do not stop to repair it on the side of the road. If your vehicle cannot be driven anywhere, call for assistance.


Water quality in PNG is within World Health Organization standards in most towns and bottled water is also available. However, in rural areas, it is advisable to boil water at all times.

Certifications of vaccination against yellow fever or cholera are required from travellers over one year of age coming from or through infected areas.

Malaria is a serious health risk in PNG and visitors should consult their medical adviser for suitable anti-malarial medications. It is recommended that you use insect repellent and wear light, long sleeved clothes and trousers at night, especially at outdoor functions.

The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in PNG is high. Exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to the risk of infection. Other sexually transmitted diseases are prevalent in all urban centres.

Tuberculosis is re-emerging as a major health issue in PNG.  Most of the reported cases have been in Port Moresby, as well as in the Western and Gulf Provinces.