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General Information About Papua New Guinea

Currency
The currency is the PNG Kina, with daily exchange rates listed in banks, newspapers and at Papua New Guinea accommodation properties. Papua New Guinea's currency is the Kina which is divided into 100 toea. K100, K50, K20, K10, K5 and K2 notes and a K1 coin are in circulation.

Money can be exchanged at Jackson's Airport.  Travellers’ cheques and international credit cards are accepted in major hotels and restaurants and some shops or can be cashed at banks throughout the country, which are open from 9.00am to 3.00pm Monday - Thursdays and 9.00 - 4.00pm on Fridays.

Value Added Tax (VAT)
All transactions within Papua New Guinea's hotels, restaurants and bars are subject to 10% tax which is included in published prices.

Credit Cards
Port Moresby hotels, restaurants, shops, rental car companies, Papua New Guinea tours and cruise operators and travel agents accept most major credit cards including Amex, Diners, Master Cards and Visa Cards.

Language

More than 800 distinct languages are spoken in Papua New Guinea. Melanesian Pidgin and Hiri Motu are the two most widely used, although English is the official language in education, businesses and government circles.

Geography
Looking at the Papua New Guinea map, we can see that it lies just south of the Equator and 160km to the north of Australia. With a total land mass of about 473.189sq.km, the country encompasses the eastern side of New Guinea Island - the second largest island in the world, plus some 600 other islands, atolls and coral reefs and more than 800 indigenous languages (tok ples), and is home to the largest area of intact rainforest outside of the amazon.

Vast tracts of the country are wild and undeveloped, with magnificent scenery that ranges from pristine coral atolls to volcanic mountains, dense tropical rainforest and large rivers. The mainland is divided by the Owen Stanley Range, a massive central spike with peaks towering over 4,000m. Great rivers begin their journey to the sea from these mountains, among them the mighty Sepik River, one of the world's longest waterways.

Beneath the mountain chain, fertile coastal plains, flooded delta regions and mangrove swamps exist alongside broad sandy beaches and sheltered bays. The rugged mountain terrain and deep cave systems offer wonderful adventure opportunities for walkers, cavers and climbers. There is canoeing, kayaking and fishing on the river and delta system. PNG also enjoys some of the world's best diving, around its warm coastal waters, with striking coral reefs around the mainland coast and the islands of the Bismarck Sea and the Milne Bay area.


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