Expat blog is now
Find out more

Lifestyle and living cost in PNG

I would like to know about the lifestyle and living cost in PNG.

Hmm...that's quite an open-ended question and one that's difficult to answer. I believe that the answer to both is "it depends".

The lifestyle that I enjoy here is relatively quiet, but I came from a small Texas town so it's not so different for me. I am a bit of a workaholic and enjoy those that I work with, so I do not feel that I suffer, socially. If I had to guess, my 20-something daughters would find it confining and boring, while my sons-in-law would probably find enough here to entertain them as there are enough of others in their age group and job categories to form some friendships.

The living costs as compared to my small Texas town are really high. Housing, food, and electronics are higher than I expected. However, the same could be said about my visits to Australia...much higher than I expected. On the other hand, with no movie theatres, shopping malls, large electronics stores, or music venues, I spend nothing on entertainment here and not much on "incidentals". So, overall, I spend less here than I do back home.

Probably not the answers you wanted, but I thought I would throw them out there anyway. Good luck with whatever you are trying to do with the info. :-)

Hi there Ms. Bea, can you enlighten me about paying taxes in PNG?  How much exactly is the tax an expat needs to pay from his monthly salary for instance?

Godbless you Ms. B!   :-)

Oh no. I'm afraid I'm not going to be any help at all on this one. The arrangement I have with my company is that they pay all of the PNG taxes for me...I don't have to deal with that. Of course, I have to pay US taxes myself.

Sorry I wasn't any help. Perhaps someone else will jump in with a reply.

No worries Ms. B.  Your company is cool for taking care of the taxes.  :-)

Thanks and have a great day.

Hi BeaAmaya,

We're looking at coming over to PNG at the end of the year.  We're coming from Houston, so just a friendly Texas hi to you.  :-)


Thanks for the friendly greeting, Amy! I hope you'll be sure and let me know when you guys arrive. I would love to hear a good ole' Texas drawl again! :-)

Hi BeaAmaya,

How are u ? Live in North-East US.

Is the Visa on arrival still exists in PNG ? if so what is the validity?

Can u elighten me .

Spring has started here.

Suresh V.

Hi Suresh,
Yes, Visa on Arrival is still widely used here and seems to be an effective, even preferred, method of getting in. There are a couple of things to consider, however. First, there are some countries prohibited from using the system. For example, we are bringing a Colombian national in this week and it has taken us nearly 6 weeks to arrange for the visa...VoA is not allowed for people from Colombia. Second, if there is anything at all wrong with the process or your paperwork--from not enough blank pages in your passport to the banking system at the airport being down--you will not be allowed past the gate. I used VoA EVERY time I came into the country during the first several months here (now I have a work visa) with no problem at all.
Good luck!

Hi everyone,

I got an offer from PNG. What should be a reasonable salary to sustain a reasonable lifestyle? Reasonable lifestyle for me is eating all foods that I want, can buy a car because I am not use to public transport, can save atleast AUD1,500 per month after all basic expenses such as food, lodging, telephone, clothing,etc., can visit new fancy places every weekend. Your inputs would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Hi Aze PNG,

Welcome on Expat-blog! :)

I hope other members will be able to advise you.

If you have more questions, i suggest you to start a new discussion on the Papua New Guinea forum.

Thank you and good luck.

Hi there again.  I'm concerned about health and safety in PNG.  I heard that we are to be escorted as soon as we arrive in the airport and before we leave the plane, we are to put insect repellent. Is malaria in PNG really that rampant?  And are there places in PNG that are considered like 'danger zone'? 

Thanks for the info.
God bless

Hi Beamaya,
Thanks for the information. Now I am in PNG working with BCJV for PNG LNG PROJECT.

Uday More

Hi there , if anyone can help it would be much appreciated-  my husband is considering taking a position in Port Morsby that would mean moving myself , my 5yr old daughter and twin 3yr old boys over. Alot of the information i've gleaned so far seems to be dominated by the Rascols, lack of infrastructure and maleria. Can anyone advise me on the realities of raising a family in Port Morsby and their experiences.  Any information would be greatly appreciated.
A mum needing reassurance..

Welcome to Expat-blog spares! :)

Port Moresby is full of big city amenities compared to Lae (where I live) and we have many families here.  No, you won't get movie theaters or big shopping malls in POM, but you have a choice of international schools, decent shopping, good restaurants and many more safe places to go and hang out than Lae.  It's all what you make of it.  I go to POM for a treat!

Malaria is all about prevention.  You only need to be concerned at dawn and dusk, and just spray yourself down before going out.  I've yet to have it, but I spray myself whenever I go out during those times.  I've never had it, but the other American on campus with me here has several times.  If you think you have it, get tested quickly and take the drugs and you'll be fine.  It's not pleasant, but it's manageable.  Certainly not a reason not to come.  I'll tell you that some companies just make a big deal out of everything.  Anti-malaria drugs, Guard Dog only transport, no getting off compounds.  It's not the life I'd want to live and I wouldn't find that fun.  I drive around and do what I need to do to live in PNG. 

As far as raskols, just be aware of your surroundings, and be smart.  This is the case for any city, but particularly in PNG.  I find mixing both with expatriates and with Papua New Guineans to be the secret to staying safe.  Also learning just a bit of Tok Pigin helps to find local people to watch after you!  I also feed the security guards! :)

You can follow my crazy Lae blog at  It's all pretty tongue in cheek, so have a sense of humor! I love it here in PNG!  Although you have to be able to get out sometimes to keep your sanity!  SP helps, too! :)

I think Wendy is right on target with her comments. Port Moresby has a lot of amenities that can't be found elsewhere in the country, and although I don't have small children, I believe there is quite a support group for families of expats working in PNG. I do love living in POM.

She's also right about the malaria. If you choose to go over the top (like some of the expat companies require) you won't hurt a thing. For me, it's just easier, cheaper, and less bothersome not to be so uptight about it and just pay close attention to where I go, what I do, and how I feel.

I have a lot more freedom than some of my friends here because I have a car and can drive myself where I need to go. I can't imagine what it is like for them, having to call a company driver every time they want to go to the market or out to eat.

I've only been here a year and a half, but have never felt uncomfortable in my surroundings. Of course, I have never been the nervous type. I am an older woman and go most places on my own, and have never had any trouble. I walk the streets in town, mix with the national population as much as possible (I find these interactions DELIGHTFUL!), and just try to stay on an even keel in my dealings in-country.

PNG is not for everyone, but some of us absolutely love it here. I wish you the best of luck in making your decision, then making it work for you!


Hi there,

I am much interested on all your advices and info's it enlightened my mind. I'm confused weather I accept or not the job offer to me. May I know about SVS is it ok accepting job in super value store? Any info's about that store...

Your answer is highly appreciated.

Thank you so much.

hey guys,

I wonder what are the salaries for BIG 4 (Audit Managers for Deloitte, PWC, KPMG, EnY) in PNG..?

what would be my net salary if I have gross USD 80k?

what benefits i should negotiate with my employer?


Hi blueand whitemoon and welcome to Expat Blog!

I invite you to start a new thread in PNG forum.;)

Thank you,

Cost of living in PNG has gone up in recent times.  However it is possible to live fairly cheaply if you buy fresh foods and cook for yourself.  Hotels and eating out is expensive.  Accommodation is very expensive in Port Moresby.

Dear all. May I know about SVS is it ok accepting job in super value store? Any info's about that store...Your answer is highly appreciated.

blueand whitemoon wrote:

hey guys,

I wonder what are the salaries for BIG 4 (Audit Managers for Deloitte, PWC, KPMG, EnY) in PNG..?

what would be my net salary if I have gross USD 80k?

what benefits i should negotiate with my employer?


Tax would be 30 to 40 %

rama2383 wrote:

Dear all. May I know about SVS is it ok accepting job in super value store? Any info's about that store...Your answer is highly appreciated.

Depends on what the offer is. 

Is the salary before or after tax 
Will you get accommodation and food as part of the offer
Is the accommodation safe and secure with guards 
Transport to and from work
Is medical insurance cover included
Do you get annual flights home paid for 

For cost of living check out this website  PNG is a very expensive place to live

Hey guys, good day. Just want to know if the job offered to me as manager with annual compensation I listed  below is good or not. Location is Port moresby, what else do I need to ask them before accepting the job offered? Thanks in advance!

Basic salary before tax                50thousand Kina
Performance bonus  before tax  15 thou Kina
Shared accomodation                  60 thou Kina
Annual leave w airfare                    4 thou Kina
Company car                                 25 thou Kina
Medical                                           2.5 thou Kina

Last edited by junkalmark (26 January 2014 08:25:43)


Read my previous post and answer the questions written there.
Security is the most important question you need to ask.
Tax is 30% to 40%
I do not understand K60,000 for accommodation. Is that the amount offered to you or is that the total for all the people sharing the accommodation. Does this amount cover the rent, water, power, phone, food etc.
Medical seems low.

hi everyone,
how's life there at POM these days and what's the kinda weather now????
i'm coming over there may be  by August....

Hi Wagarland

Can you allow me access to your blog website? I will be moving to Lae on a residential expat contract in October.


Questions and answers about Papua New Guinea

Expatriate health insurance in Papua New Guinea

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Papua New Guinea

Moving to Papua New Guinea

Find tips from professionals about moving to Papua New Guinea

Travel insurance in Papua New Guinea

Enjoy a stress-free travel across Papua New Guinea

Flights to Papua New Guinea

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Papua New Guinea

International Money Transfer

Currency Exchange and Money Transfer Specialists