Where to stay?

There is a range of tourist accommodation in New Ireland's two main centers, Kavieng and Namatanai, and many village style guest houses along the road between the two. Rooms and bed styles include hotel, motel, guest houses, and backpacker.

KAVIENG

The quiet little town of Kavieng is the provincial capital. Located at the far north-western end of New Ireland, the long, thin main island from which the province takes its name, it is the gateway for scores of smaller islands and atolls, and the other big island, New Hanover. It is the hub of air, land, and sea traffic.

Kavieng offers many tourist and business traveller accommodation choices including hotel, motel guest house, and backpacker rooms and beds. Hotel and guest house dining is available along with haus kai food -- cheap but nourishing PNG-style food such as rice and stew, chicken and chips, and fast food such as hot dogs and pies. A haus kai favorite is hard boiled eggs. Thoughtful travelers carry their own salt (you need to keep your salt intake up in the tropics given the amount you perspire).

Recommended accommodation:

13-08-06 P8064249 KNL facade

Kavieng Niu Lodge --  Phone: +675 984 2420 or 7113 3533 -- offers quality motel style family and double rooms self-contained with en suite bathroom and toilet, and guest house or backpacker style rooms with shared facilities. All rooms are air conditioned. Niu Lodge offers full meals service with a fixed menu and special catering for groups, meetings, and conferences.

The Lodge also offers tour and hire vehicle choices from its own resources plus cooperation with complementary friendly competitors to ensure you get exactly the service you want.

13-08-04 P8044124 Blasting out 220

The Kavieng Club -- Tel: +675 984 2224 --offers motel style and guest house and backpacker style rooms rooms at its site in the heart of Kavieng town. All guests have access to shared kitchens and enjoy the club's bar, lounge, billiard and snooker room, and golf course. The Club's accommodation is old and is currently undergoing renovation and extension.

NAMATANAI

Namatanai is 264 km (164 miles) south-east of Kavieng along the East Coast Road, the Boluminski Highway, named for the 1900-1913 German Administrator of the province who caused the road to be built, originally with a koronas surface (crushed coral -- most of New Ireland is raised coral), but now bitumen surfaced for most of the distance.

It is one of the most picturesque drives you could imagine running for long stretches just meters from the beach.

Recommended accommodation:

Namatanai Lodge

Namatanai Lodge -- Phone: +675 7162 6409 -- is the leading accommodation in southern New Ireland. It offers traditional style freestanding bungalows or cabins, motel-style self-contained air conditioned rooms, and backpacker or dormitory fan-cooled rooms with shared bathroom facilities. The Lodge's Malah Restaurant offers full meals service with a fixed menu and catering for meetings and conferences.

Namatanai Lodge offers tour and hire vehicle choices from its own resources and cooperates with friendly competitors to ensure its guests get where they want to go and see what they want to see!

15-03-16 P1120994 SM GH external.220

Solwara Meri Guest House -- Phone: +675 7044 2254 -- is a natural for those traveling to and fro between New Ireland and Kokopo/Rabaul on the Solwara Meri boats but it is also a good choice for other travelers with a range of rooms from motel style self-contained doubles to backpacker single rooms at modest prices. You can buy your meals or self-cater; the kitchen is open to guests when the staff have completed their cooking.

VILLAGE EXPERIENCES

Village guest houses abound in New Ireland, particularly along the Boluminski Highway with its white beaches and many streams.

Recommended accommodation:

14-05-14 P1120163 Debbie's external

A top pick is Fissoa Village Guest House -- call Debbie +675 7251 7256 -- at Fissoa, about 80 kms south of Kavieng on the Boluminski Highway. Set in a lovely bush and river garden, it offers up to four rooms (three single and one double), your village style food cooked over a fire, a river of pure spring water for bathing, swimming, and mediating in, and a pit toilet.

LIHIR ISLAND

Lihir, north-east of Namatanai, is where the rich Newcrest gold mine is located. For most people, Lihir is simply the mine, but with its two smaller neighboring islands with their reefs and rich fishing waters, it is building up to be considered a destination in its own right. There are daily flights from Port Moresby and Kokopo and the island is readily approached by sea with a two hour banana boat ride from Namatanai.

Site and contents © Geoffrey Heard 2013 - bushtrackpng.com - tel: 7384 7177  /  7631 7539