Why go to Kiriwina (Papua New Guinea)?
A unique cultural experience exploring an untouched part of Papua New Guinea
Language barrier; the poverty can be confronting
An eye-opening port offering an authentic experience without the commercialisation found on other islands
Kiriwina (Papua New Guinea) Cruise Port Facilities?
The tender drops off cruise passengers on the beach, which is where most will spend the day. Facilities are basic; however, a medic tent will be set up by the cruise line not far from the beach.
Good to Know?
The locals are extremely friendly and keen to sell their handicrafts. Some might interpret this as pushy, but a polite 'no thank you' will suffice if you do not wish to purchase anything. It's also a good idea to bring insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants and to see your doctor before travelling for any vaccinations or anti-malaria tablets. Bring your own drinking water and take any rubbish back with you on the ship to dispose of responsibly. Reef shoes are also recommended as stonefish can be found here at certain times of the year.
Be mindful to ask permission before taking photographs as this is also an opportunity for locals to make money. You will be expected to pay five kina or similar to take photos of local wildlife (such as parrots and cuscus) that are owned by locals.
Villages are very basic with no running water or electricity, but you will see traditional huts and the yam houses -- which contain the island's most prized commodity. Yams are harvested and stored in the intricately carved and decorated yam houses to be eaten at special occasions. If you have the opportunity to watch traditional dancing or a local cricket game, don't hesitate; this will definitely be a highlight of a day spent on Kiriwina Island.
On Foot: The best way to explore is by foot, but locals do have vans and mini buses to take you on tours if you plan on venturing out further than the beach. Be mindful that these vehicles are not up to western standards. Canoes are also available, and locals will take you out for a scenic trip or for some swimming/snorkelling at a negotiated fee.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
Kina is the currency accepted on Kiriwina. Some locals will accept Australian dollars, but not coins. There are no ATMs or credit card facilities.