Jacksons International Airport, also known as Port Moresby Airport, is the largest and busiest airport in Papua New Guinea. It is situated five miles (eight kilometres) outside Port Moresby, replacing the original Port Moresby airport, in what is now the suburb of Waigani, whose airstrip remained until the 1990s although at present, the site has been built over. The airport is the main hub for Air Niugini, the national airline of Papua New Guinea, and the main hub for Airlines PNG. It is elevated at 124 feet / 38 metres above mean sea level and can be found on the map at these coordinates: 09°26′36″S; 147°13′12″E. Currently, it has one asphalt runway directed 14/32, with a length of 9,022 feet / 2,750 metres.
The airport has two terminals: the Domestic Terminal, which houses Air Niugini and Airlines PNG; and the International Terminal, which services all airlines, including the international routes of both Air Niugini and Airlines PNG. The two terminals are connected by a covered walkway. Aside from the two airlines, the airport is also served by Sunstate Airlines-operated QantasLink, Virgin Australia, and on April 2015, Philippine Airlines will resume operations at Port Moresby Airport as well.
What to see & do
Port Moresby is the capital and largest city of Papua New Guinea. It is located on the shores of the Gulf of Papua. Its population, which is approximately 300,000 and growing, also consists of indigenous people known as Mota-Koitabu. The city is spread out, with the original colonial settlement located by the sea and remains as the port area, as well as the main business and banking district; while on the hills are upmarket residences. Some of the places you can visit in Port Moresby include Port Moresby Nature Park (formerly The National Botanical Gardens) near the University of Papua New Guinea, which includes excellent examples of Papua New Guinea wildlife such as birds of paradise, cassowaries, tree kangaroos, multiple wallaby species, and many other native bird species living in these plush, tropical, and well-kept gardens – a great diversion from the noise of the city. There’s also Port Moresby Golf Club, but be on the lookout for possible crocodiles that live in the water holes of the golf course. By the Ela Murray International School is the Ela Beach Craft Market, held every last Saturday of the month, bringing in local artefacts from all over the country. Lovely carvings, handwoven baskets, and other craft materials that can be purchased as souvenirs can be found here. Hiri Moale Festival takes place on the weekend of Papua New Guinea's Independence Day in mid-September, and features a race of up to 100 traditional Lakatoi canoes as its highlight.
How to get around within Port Moresby
There are a number of ways to navigate around Port Moresby, especially since most of the tourist attractions are widely spread out, so getting around these parts should be easy. There are PMVs, rental cars, and taxis. PMVs (Public Motor Vehicles) are mini-buses that locals use, since these service all parts of the city. It’s a cheap option, although overloading is common. The route number and destination are printed on the PMVs, but it won’t hurt to ask locals as well as they will be more than happy to help you. Car rentals are available nearby Jacksons International Airport, but driving around is not the most recommended way to get around. It can get rather unsafe, as some locals throw rocks at cars for amusement, or cases where some people stand in the middle of the street and demand money from car drivers. Also, outside of the city, roads become muddy trails that only a 4x4 with an experienced driver can navigate. A 4x4, however, is the best way to see the sights near Moresby including Crystal Rapids near Sogeri or the start of the Kokoda. Taxis (some 'teksis' too) are plentiful around Port Moresby and calling one from your hotel will bring one right away.
How to get there
The gateway to Papua New Guinea is via Port Moresby; Jacksons International Airport by air, and its port for most of the boat traffic. Air Niugini, the national airline, flies to and from both domestic and international destinations including Australian cities in codeshare with Qantas, as well as Fiji, Solomon Islands, Singapore, Bali, Japan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines; while Virgin Australia flies to and from Brisbane on behalf of Airlines PNG.
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