PNG Costs

Thanks Jane for the prompt last night at the Yachty.  I have always meant to dedicate a page to “the cost of living in Port Moresby” and I will continue to update this page over time.  Jane suggested I take a grocery invoice and pop that in as well – so that will happen in detail on another page. 

Here goes:

K100 = about NZD$60
3 bed accommodation (town area) anywhere from K3000 to K7000+ per week
1 KW power = about 53toea http://www.pngpower.com.pg however because of the type of accomodation we have we get charged 82toea
Mobile phone rates = cheap see: http://www.digicelpng.com  Pos paid – K99 will get you 220 free minutes local as well as zone 1 countries (eg: Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, USA) – a good deal… 
Internet: Digicel Mobile: 4GB = K450 (this is one of the cheapest internet options).  You can buy a 3G mobile router (with 4port LAN) for K199 or a dongle for K99
Milk: 1 litre UHT (NZ Brand) K5
Cheese: NZ Edam 250gm K8 – K15
Beef: Scotch Fillet (local) K40 per kilo
Pizza: K55 for a big one K65 for a huge one
Satelite TV: K100 for 58 channels http://www.hitron.com.pg
Fuel: K3.50 per litre (approx – mine is included)
Beer at the Yacht Club: Expensive K11 Cheap K6 – Happy Hour = woohoo handles are 2 for 1
Wine: Jacinta paid K30 per glass once, didn’t check the price – ouch!  A bottle of Yellowtail Bubbly costs K52, a glass K16
Meal out: K60 – K80 per person for a nice main at a Hotel.
Meal at Ela Beach Hotel: costs us about K200
Meal at Asia Aroma’s: costs us about K150
Meal at Angs: costs us about K90
Vehicle: 2004/5 Honda CRV – about K50,000 to K60,000 for a good one
Schooling: see http://www.elamurray.com for 2012 fees.  3 kids cost around K100,000 per annum
Yacht Club Membership: see http://www.rpyc.com.pg 1st year is expensive, after that a bit cheaper.  Gym membership is K600 per year
Clothing: Kids clothing – cheap but poor quality, adults clothing – expensive, still poor quality. Shoes – get comfy ones in NZ.  You can get 2nd hand designer clothes
Two new stores in Vision City and Duffy’s all do much better clothing
Electronics: an iPod touch costs over K1000 for the 8GB one!!  a UPS costs K400
Games: Xbox games in some shops are K400
DVD’s: Latest DVD’s are K25 from the dodgy DVD shop
Coffee: Imported – REALLY EXPENSIVE… Local – better than anything you have had and cheap

73 thoughts on “PNG Costs

  1. Not sure if I already asked you this question Aaron – what is the quality of petrol/diesel there? What’s recommended to buy – petrol or diesel car or doesn’t it matter? Thank you ! Your list is great too! Jose

    • Hi Jose, we’ve had both petrol and diesel cars here. Diesel is cheaper with better economy and has better torque for the hills around the town area. Not sure about reliability, but one thing I would never buy here – is a sedan. You do need a 4×4 🙂 the Honda CR-V’s are very popular, but having driven one for 8 months – pretty thirsty on petrol. We now have a diesel Sante Fe which is pretty awesome.

      • Hi Aaron,
        We have just settled in PoM. I like your blog, gives a lot of info+entertaining 🙂
        Yesterday I went to Vision City to Digicel to get internet but they only offered the post paid pay-as-you-go option. Could you help how can I get the 4GB/450K option? Thanks Laci

  2. Hi Aaron,
    We’ve been following your blog for a while and we love it. We just got settled in PoM. Yesterday I went to Digicel in Vision City to get internet, but all we were offered is a prepaid pay-as-you-go bases 3G net. How can I get the above mentioned 4GB for 450K?

    Thanks, Laci&Andi

  3. Pingback: Broad summart of the last two weeks | AJ is in PNG

  4. Hi Aaron

    Just wondered if LPG cylinders are readily available in POM, and whether you could indicate the cost of filling one (9kg standard LPG cylinder)? Great blog – thanks!

    • Hi Carrie,

      Yes – 9kg LPG is available – it is a swap a bottle service, the first payment is higher than refills, ranges from about K200+ for the initial bottle and then half that for refills. But that is from the most expensive places – other places are really cheap, but in dodgy spots,

      thanks
      Aaron

  5. Hi Aaron,

    Enjoyed your blog. I am from South Africa and moving to Madang in about 2 months time. Do you have any info about that part of the country, i.e. cost of living , what type of clothes to bring with or any other info will be helpful.

    Thanks

    • Hi Philip, one of my staff is from Madang and in fact was over there a few weeks ago. His name is Douglas, and I’m sure he will be able to answer some of your questions, although he does live in a village outside of Madang so expat life may be a little foreign.

      I will ask him to get in touch,

      Cheers
      Aaron

      • Hi Aaron,

        My husband is being considered for a postion in PNG. He has a few locations to choose from including Gordons, Goroka, Kokopo and Madang. Having lived in Madang as a child, this is my preference.

        I was hoping you might be able to tell me which of the above position is best for small children (we have 2 young boys 6&8).

        Also does you friend Douglas know if the Madang International School is an expat school?

        Any advice is appreciated.

        thanks

        Kim

      • Hi Kim, sorry – I only saw your post the other day. If you want to live the tranquil lifestyle then Kokopo is the place for you, your kids will get spoilt and you will live in almost paradise. Gordons, if you wish to live in Moresby (none of my staff recommend living in Gordons area). Goroka can be a little bit hit/miss – some people love it, some hate it. Madang has been going south a bit lately, it certainly won’t be the place you remember, and Douglas has said don’t do it. Everyone thinks either Kokopo or Goroka 🙂

        cheers
        Aaron

      • in reply to Kimberley’s enquiry, i am living in madang for 4 years and hv school going kids. madang international school is the worst thing that can happen to a kid in not only my opinion but in majority of expats’s opinion as well in madang……. thankfully there is an alternate, the kalibobo school http://www.thekaliboboschool.com which is a british curriculm school of high quality education. if you are already in madang, do give it a look at their open day on 1st june 2013 worth a visit!!!!

  6. Hi, I hear PNG is unsafe, I am being posted here for 3 years. I am newly married, is it safe to accept the job offer? I will be based in Port Moresby.

    • Hi Valentine, I live here in Moresby with my wife and 3 young children. Yes, PNG has a few issues, Yes, sometimes – if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time you can get yourself into trouble – but it’s not a bad place.

      Personally, I can’t believe someone would go through the trouble of trying to get a job here without researching PNG first. I’d suggest that you read through all my posts – and make up your own mind. As I have said on many occasions: What is OK for me, might not be for you.

      good luck
      Aaron

  7. Hi Aaron, I just started my research about POM, PNG and found your blog ! My husband is going to start his contract with UN in about 2 months. We have 11yrs & 14yrs children to send schools in POM. Would you recommend a good expat high school for our 14yrs old son? I think we try The Ela Murray for our 11yrs. Would you also advise me on types of cars to bring in from Japan? Thanks in advance !

    • Hi Izumi, a lot of expats send high school aged children to boarding school in Australia. Not because the schooling is bad here (it isn’t) but because the need for good social interaction can be somewhat limiting here in Port Moresby. POMIS is the one school I would recommend locally for your 14 yo (I am pretty sure your younger child could go there too). Their website is: http://www.pmis.iea.ac.pg

      You will get stung by import duty for 2nd hand vehicles at about 110%, so be prepared for a customs invoice on landing your vehicle. Most cars around are small/medium 4×4’s with some big landcruisers etc. There are service agents here for Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Mazda.

      thanks Aaron

  8. Hi Aaron,

    End of this year, we are going to live in Port Moresby. Van you tell me what the airco, internet and chauffeur / housemaid, will cost me?

    I’d like reading your blog, it’s very clear for me.

    Regards, Marianne (from Holland)

    • Hi Marianne – sorry I have been busy at work – then on holiday.

      Aircon – power is expensive, we are now paying USD0.55 (1 kina) a KW/hr. We don’t use aircon
      Haus Meri – will cost anywhere from K25 – K50 per day.
      Driver – not sure but maybe about the same as a Haus Meri

      thanks
      Aaron

  9. Hi Aaron,
    I am really appreciating the info and input you have on your blog. I am hoping to become an expat by christmas.
    thanks
    Josh

  10. Hi Dave,

    Pretty vague request mate. If you want to purchase Vanilla Beans for importation into NZ then I’d suggest that you contact the High Comm in Wellington who will be able to put you on to the right people to do business with. Otherwise, I can research it for you, find the people etc – but want a good cut since I’ll be doing the hard yards 🙂

    cheers
    Aaron

  11. Hi Aaron,

    I am Amosa from Samoa and live with my Family in Timor Leste. My partner is Canadian and my daughter Gloria. My partner is a teacher and she just accepted a job in Lae at the International school of Lae. My question is the cost of living in Lae and what you think about Lae. We will be in Lae on late January next year. I am looking forward to have the best taro I am a former police officer and I am working in Timor Leste one of Australia Security company as Operation Manager. I will be looking for a job when we arrived there just want your advise.

    Regards
    Amosa

  12. Hello! Your post is indeed a great help for anyone who wished to work and live in PNG. I’m a Filipino Teacher who’s currently applying for a teaching position in Port Moresby. I just can’t find pictures of flats for teachers there , as well as the blogs / testimonies of expats teachers. Can you recommend some informative links? Thanks.

  13. Hi! My husband & I live in Pom and we’re looking for a more convinient and affordable gym to become members of for fitness sake. Cheers! Hyacinth

  14. Hi Aaron,

    I am being offered a position in LAE. Have you got any information for the same? Appreciate the good work you have been doing.

    Cheers
    Shobhit

  15. Hi Aaron,

    I just found your blog today. This cost of living page is super helpful. I’ll be moving to PNG soon, but in Maprik, not PoM. Nevertheless, this has been helpful with my prepping and packing. Have you ever been around Maprik? Or have any advice about PNG in general for me? Thanks!

  16. Hi, Aron
    i will move soon to KOKOPO new east britain , do you have any idea if i find Indian spices there , and vegetarian food ? i m comming as a volunteer so whats the cost of living there ?

    • Cost of living would be relatively low if you use the markets and have accommodation paid for, lived frugally etc. Not sure on Indian spices – you could try contacting the Hotels in the area (Gazelle International) and asking them if they are able to obtain locally.

  17. Hi Aaron

    Firstly, thanks for all the very useful information you share – my husband and I are moving to POM next month as I will be volunteering for 12 months.

    You’ve mentioned the price of the Yacht Club gym membership at 600k – do you also need to pay the exorbitant Club membership to access the gym membership? Are there other cheaper alternatives you could suggest (I’m struggling with the membership + gym membership prices)

    Also, the post-pay digicel plan of 99K for 220 minutes – is that a plan that you still access? My husband will be continuing his Australian employment from POM so keen to understand costs etc.

    Thanks

    • Hi Hannah, K600 is just for the gym membership! You would have to be a member first, which is posted on their website http://www.rpyc.com.pg

      There are not many gyms around, some compounds have them, and the Holiday Inn has one where you just pay membership fee to. Best to email them. The Aviat is a cheaper solution to the Yachty, but very substandard gym – the Yachty has the best in town.

      A have a military style home gym that slings from an anchor point or door, and uses body weight as resistance, folds up into a little bag :). Jacinta has a membership at RPYC and does a lot of Pilates etc down there.

      Cheers
      Aaron

    • And yes, Post Paid accounts are still available – prices haven’t changed too much… You will need to engage with a corporate account manager, so when you arrive I can hook you up as they aren’t standing there waving a “talk to me” flag 🙂

      • Haha, thanks Aaron. My husband will be working ‘from home’ so there is some legitimacy to us needing a ‘corporate account manager’.

        I will be bringing a theraband and a series of exercises from my pilates instructor, but I’m recovering from surgery a year ago and need to keep up other exercises. If we do join Yacht Club here’s hoping the exchange rates are kind to us that day (i’m a volunteer so not on the PNG Expat pay packet 😉 )

        If you’re able to email your contact details I’d greatly appreciate it. We arrive mid-June

        Thanks

    • Firstly – Aaron your blog rocks. Thanks for doing so much to help people prepare for the move to PNG! Hannah I’ve got a sneaky tip for you – if you become a member of the Yacht Club, you can access the classes at the gym for 30 kina a session. You don’t need to join the gym. I just paid for a gym membership thinking the classes were included in the price – they aren’t! Gym members pay 20 kina a class.

      🙂 Mary

    • Check out Tru Warrior Png on facebook or email them on truwarriorpng@gmail.com they are run by a bunch of young local boys who offer really good training at affordable rates. The facility is pretty much a big warehouse with some weights and pullup bars but the biys also use a lot d.i.y equipment such as tractor tyres and sledgehammers. Trust me it will leave you crawling in a good way. Great bunch of blokes that run it.

  18. Hi Aaron
    How are you doing? I posted, or i tried to post, something in your website but I am not sure if it worked so I will try it again. First of all, thanks for your blog, it is great to be able to read real things about Port Moresby.
    My husband has been offered a job there and we are most likely going at the end of the year. We are trying to figure out a few things and I was wondering if you could suggest things that we should take with us (we will send a container) because there are either difficult or very expensive to get there.
    Thanks and maybe see you around soon

    • Hi Nat,

      Please send me an email if you like – highflyingkiwi AT gmail DOT com – let me know where you are coming from etc. There are so many things we wished we had brought with us, a boat or jetski, trampoline for the kids etc etc. You can buy the “normal” stuff here, but thinks like a simple car battery charger cost over K1000 when you can buy for $50 back home. You do have to consider that you might do things here that you wouldn’t at home, but also you are limited in your housing, so might not be able to fit a 14ft trampoline in the back yard 🙂

  19. Hey Aaron
    first of all great blog, very good introduction and useful tips for POM.
    So Im looking at moving up there soon from Townsville with my company. I would love to be able to bring up my small trailered boat to POM. Do you know of expats coming up with their boats?
    Also, what are the general living costs for a normal couple (mobile phone, home internet, groceries, electricity, etc)… I known living costs depend on a lot of factors, but want to get a general idea 🙂 Cheers

    • Hi Tico, bringing a boat to POM is most likely cheaper than buying one here 🙂 There are LOTS of expats with boats, however you do really only have a 6 month season if it is little.

      “Normal” living costs, well – it’s really on how you want to live. We are by no means normal, 3 kids means lots of extra costs. I think the main costs are food and electricity, closely followed by internet (only because its so expensive you will quickly not use it as much).
      Meat here is cheap, and good! other groceries can be up to 2 to 3 times more expensive. A mobile phone is relatively OK with costs, but we tend to not call – mainly text (which is average price). Fuel is more expensive than Aussie, so your boat will cost a bit more than what you are used too – and bring lots of spares – those little things like o-rings, fuses etc that you just wander down to the shop to get – yeah, can’t just wander down to the shop 😉

      If you enjoy a beer – it’s cheap. If you enjoy a scotch, it’s expensive 🙂

      Ultimately though, your company will most likely put you in housing, so not paying rent somewhat offsets the higher cost of living.

      Aaron

  20. Hi Aaron,
    I found your blogs really helpful! I’m Indonesian and will be moving to Tabubil next July. Have you got any information about living in Tabubil? Been trying to find blogs like yours but couldn’t find for Tabubil.

    I do appreciate your postings and help!

    Cheers,
    Tantri

  21. Hi
    Looking at an expat role in PNG and this blog is great. I’m a kiwi living in Melbourne at the moment. The issue is that I have three young children with autism spectrum disorder (7, 4 and 3). The eldest two currently go to an autism specific school and are govt funded as disabled students. How are the schools there for disabled students and is there any occupational therapy or speech pathology available in Port Moresby?
    Thanks

  22. Hi Aaron,

    I’ve read lots of your posts and I really have to thank you for the time you take to answer us.
    I’m moving with my boyfriend from Dublin to Port Moresby in March.
    I’m gonna be working in an office with commercial law, and I have no idea of the type of clothing that I should bring with me for my every day at the office.
    I read many websites suggesting to not dress very foreign or flashing money.

    So my questions are,

    1- What people wear at the offices? would then be more casual like jeans or me as a solicitor would have to wear very formal clothing?

    1- Are there many shops to buy clothes and would be at an average cost? I think I read somewhere that there it is an H&M in Port Moresby.

    Thank you 🙂

    • Hi ya,

      Dress formally 🙂 I very rarely will wear a suit, but a tie is not uncommon. Friday is normally a bit more casual, although jeans don’t often get worn. A lot of companies have uniforms, so that helps set the expectation.

      There aren’t many clothing stores here selling new clothes, but there are HEAPS of secondhand clothing stores. And if you can get over the “I’m wearing someone else’s used shirt” you’ll be surprised what you might find digging through the racks. With the exception of underwear, most of our day to day clothes (especially the kids) come out of secondhand. Although I prefer Merino wool pants… Cotton and Wool both work well in this climate 🙂

      Vision City has both RH Hypermart (with clothes etc) and Jacks (a Fijian store), with the likes of Duffy’s having a small selection.

      You can also bring in your own cloth and have tailored outfits here. 🙂

      You will not find a great selection of shoes, but they are there to be found if you really need them 🙂

      cheers
      Aaron

      • H&M in Moresby! I wonder who started that rumour!

        Tarsila, Aaron’s on the money (as always) but I thought a female perspective might help. If you’re in a commercial law office, suit dresses or skirts with blouses work well. Something that isn’t too tight/low cut is good (not only for cultural appropriateness, but also for the climate). A few cardigans in case your air con is cold would be a good plan! I read somewhere that you shouldn’t show your arms, but in Moresby that’s not the case at all, although I still wouldn’t wear spaghetti straps. I wore a lot of cotton 3/4 suit pants with cotton blouses at the UN and that was fine.
        I was warned against bringing leather shoes with me (because the humidity makes them go mouldy), but I brought two pairs with me and one stayed in the air conditioned office and remained fine, but the pair at home did get spots of mould. Strappy heels might be useful.

        I left my diamond engagement and wedding rings in Australia because I was scared to have them stolen, but that’s really not the type of things raskols are after – no one would have use to buy such stolen goods.

        The second hand clothes shopping is AMAZING – you have to work hard to sift through the good and not so good. It’s all donations from Australia and New Zealand and I’ve returned to Australia with many brand name items that I still wear.

  23. Hi Aaron,

    Love the blog mate! It’s been super helpful as I have been considering my move. I am moving over within the month to work for the PNG branch of my NZ company. I’m a 23 year old single male, and I’m curious on the sort of clubs/groups I can join. I’m aware of obviously the diving, fishing, sailing, which I plan to take up to an extent. Was also curious about thing like surfing trips. Also watersports like wakeboarding, is that something that can be done in POM?
    And being a kiwi male, I am genetically already passionate about rugby. I’ve played Union, league and sevens, so not really fussed about the code, but is it normal for expats to join local leagues or is that asking for trouble? Are there any expat competitions/teams?

    • Hi Shaun,

      There are places around PNG that are surfing mecca’s 🙂 and yes, plenty of wakeboarding etc to be had around Moresby.

      As for the rugby, it’s not something that I would do. I coached a 9’s team up here, and we played a team that had an expat in it, every team just wanted to smash him, and not in a nice way – head high’s etc. The discipline can be a little lacking… However, there are lots of opportunities to Coach and get on the field with the boys in training, or play touch…

      hope the move goes well 🙂
      Aaron

  24. Helloo….kiwiexpat
    H R U..
    I got a job offer from Port Moresby…
    I go through the site and find out that cost of leaving is too much high as comparison to India.
    and having the problem of life safety even in the day.
    and I also find out that Mobile charges and Internet Charges is too High as Comparison from INDIA
    I am belonging from INDIA.
    Please tell me what should be salary for leaving a normal life there.
    Currently they offer me 6500 KINA
    Can u help me on these matters.

    Regards
    Manoj Anand

    • Hi Manoj,

      I can’t really comment on Salary offers as what is OK for me, may not be for you – my “normal” life may not be yours. I don’t know if you eat out, drink, like going to the movies etc. The Consumer Price Index is going up by about 1.5% every 6 months, so cost of living is always increasing.

      Sorry I can’t be much help – if you think the cost of living is too high, then it will always be an issue for you here.

      thanks

  25. Hi Aaron, I have enjoyed reading your blog. We are heading out to POM in Jan 2017. My wife is part of DFAT, but I am a kiwi. I’ll likely end up working at the ELA murray School. We also have 3 kids. I wonder if the cost of living stuff you did still roughly applies (done in 2012) i.e. has there any improvements to mobile providers, broadband etc or the companies listed above still the best ones to use? Really want to try to get into the local produce but not sure about the local markets. I must admit reading your last post about the carjacking made me really nervous, particularly as a father of 3 little kids. I’m still trying to figure out if you can leave the compound and simply walk around, shopping centres, markets etc. Too hard to get a feel for it until we get there. It seems that carjacking is just so prevalent and in your car is when you are most vulnerable. I heard things that you never drive with your windows down, windows must be tinted really dark and be vigilant in traffic lights, car parks and high congestion areas…sounds pretty full on. Anyway mate…congrats on the quality blog

  26. Hello,
    I am really delighted to find your blog with informations on PNG.
    I am Korean and I received a job offer in Port Moresby.
    The company is offering 1300 USD per month for housing.
    I googled it and found out that it is around 4000 in PNG currency.
    Would that be enough to get a housing there? Somewhere it is safe?
    It would be just me going to PNG so I do not really need a big house.
    Thank You 🙂

  27. Hi.

    Great posts, and thank you so much for taking the time to advise putative expats. I have a question on availability of US$. I will be moving to PNG in two months time. I would like to know how easily one would be able to keep their savings in US$? My salary is denominated in Kina, but I would like to keep savings in US$.

  28. I very much appreciate your work and support to xpats.
    I was offered a job to Goroka and I was wondering if any one has visited Goroka. Is it safe? Is there a xpats community (nationalities?) is there an international school? Cost of living? etc
    Thanks a lot
    P

    • Hi Pana, I don’t know anyone up in Goroka sorry – although there maybe people reading my blog from there. If you search for the PNG Expats facebook page, there might be someone on there with experience in Goroka, thanks

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