How Much Does it Cost to Live in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea?

I often get emails from people who are considering moving to Papua New Guinea, asking what it’s like living in Port Moresby. After “is it dangerous to live in Port Moresby?” the second most-asked question is about the cost of living in Papua New Guinea. Here, I’ve focused on Port Moresby as it’s the largest city in Papua New Guinea and it’s where I lived for four years.

Port Moresby is actually an expensive city. The cost of living in Port Moresby often surprises people. I guess because it’s considered a developing country people expect the prices here to be similar to those in countries like Thailand or Indonesia. Not so.

Here, I’ve laid out some of the costs of food, housing, eating out and other areas so you have an idea of how much to budget if you’re moving to PNG.

Everything here is in Papua New Guinea Kina (K), the local currency. To convert to your currency, check the current exchange rate.

If you want to save this guide to the cost of living in Papua New Guinea, simply click “Save” on any of the images below to save this article to Pinterest.

Food costs in Port Moresby

One of the most common items that’s going to make up a chunk of the cost of living in Papua New Guinea is of course food. A quick scout around of some common items gives an idea of what groceries cost:

  • Loaf of bread (Boroko Food World brand, 680g loaf): K5.95
  • Fresh milk (2 litres of fresh Pauls milk): K19.95
  • Fresh local milk (1 litre): K5
  • Long life milk: K4.80 for one litre carton
  • Carton of 10 jumbo eggs: K12.50
  • Yoghurt (low-fat Vaalia yoghurt, 900g): K27.65
  • Toilet paper (Kleenex Cottonelle six-pack): K26.40
  • Sugar (Ramu brand, one kilo): K5.40
  • Flour (plain, Flame brand, one kilo): K9.90
  • Bananas (local): K7.95 per kilo
  • Apples (pack of 8 imported): K15
  • Mushrooms (button): K69.95 per kilo (Swiss brown mushrooms are around K95 a kilo)
  • Strawberries (punnet): K27.50
  • Ice cream (Streets Blue Ribbon vanilla): K29.60
  • Chicken breast fillets: K45 per kilo
  • Porterhouse steak: K46.90 per kilo

These prices are from Boroko Food World as of June 6, 2018. Thanks to my friend Jess for updating these prices for me!

A lot of fruits and vegetables are imported which really puts the prices up. There are so many wonderful fresh fruit and vegetable growers around Papua New Guinea, particularly in the Highlands, but the lack of infrastructure means it’s difficult for those growers to get their produce to Port Moresby. I’ve been to markets in Goroka and Kokopo and the prices were 1/10th of the prices for imported fruit and vegetables in Port Moresby. I always used to fill a bag with sweet potatoes, delicious pineapples and huge avocados to bring back on the plane whenever I visited Goroka or Mt Hagen!

Often you can pick up bags of locally grown pineapples, bananas and mangoes out the front of Boroko Food World. These are grown in Sogeri, just out of Port Moresby. I once bought a bag of the most delicious pineapples out the front of the Duffy clothing; a bag of five pineapples cost K20. You’ll always see people selling fresh mud crabs on the street too, but I don’t know how to cook these (I’m too scared to cook them alive!) so I never bought them.

So, what about other items?

Housing costs in Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea has a complicated customary land title system, which means the price of land is high, as outlined in this article. Prices fluctuate, but you can see on Hausples the average cost to rent or buy.

Mobile phone costs in Port Moresby

Digicel is the major telecommunications provider in PNG. I grabbed a brochure on the plans that Digicel offers, and here’s just one example, the Plus plan:

Monthly fee: K30
Bundled minutes: 140
Bundled SMS: 40
Effective rate per minute: 46 toea

I think the cost of mobile phone calls aren’t too bad. I had an iPhone and made calls and accessed data and probably spent around K150 per month – which was more than I spent in Australia, but not as expensive as I thought it would be.

Cost of going to the cinema

The Paradise Cinema in Port Moresby shows many of the latest films as soon as they come out in Australia – sometimes even sooner.

Premium: Adult K40, Child K30
Standard: Adult K35, Child K25

3D movies are slightly more, and there are deals on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Eating out in Port Moresby

The number of restaurants in Port Moresby has increased significantly, meaning more choice. However, eating out remains expensive, much more so than other countries.

I ate out at Airways Hotel, in KCs Deli, a lot when I lived in Port Moresby. Some examples of meals and prices at the Deli and Vue Restaurant:

  • Sicilian flatbread pizza (delicious, by the way!) – K45
  • Mud crab lasagne – K39
  • Salmon and tiger prawns – K85
  • Pan seared pork loin – K90
  • Beef burger – K59
  • Chicken nachos – K46
  • Chicken Caesar salad – K32

At the Yacht Club, grilled fish and chips go for K39.

These are just a few examples. If you’re considering moving to PNG, I’m always happy to help out with any questions you may have.

Do you live in Port Moresby? Feel free to share the latest cost of living in Papua New Guinea in the comments below!

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89 thoughts on “How Much Does it Cost to Live in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea?”

    • Hi Manoj, I think the costs in the article will help you to estimate the cost of living… think about how many people you are (just you or your family too?), how much food you need each week etc and I think you’ll be able to guess at how much you’ll need each month. Thanks!

      Reply
  1. For the Expats who are moving into PNG, Lae is the most criminal infested city, your security is of Paramount, take extra care.

    In terms of Garden Produce, Ive said this a million times, Mt Hagen is the heartland of a wide range of fresh garden produce from vegetables to fruits no where seen in the country, and the cheapest ever- a K200 purchase from the market can keep you going for a month and half-I love that place.

    Cheers,

    J

    Reply
  2. Dear Rebecca,
    Would like to thank you for the support you are providing for people like me who are thinking of moving to this wonderful country, yet uncertain as very little is known and a big part of it for the wrong reasons. Really appreciate for the responses you have been providing and trying to help in the best possible way.

    I currently don’t have any questions, but wanted to share this note.

    Cheers,
    Sudeep

    Reply
      • hello,

        would 3500 kina per month would be sufficient to live in madang in papua new guinea. i have been offered a job there, would it be good or bad.

        bhavesh

        Reply
        • K3500 is more than enough for you to live in Madang compared to Port Moresby- and this is so if housing is provided for you by the employer.

          Cheers,

          J

          Reply
      • Hey Rebecca,
        I was wondering if you could help me to ascertain, how much salary should I ask my potential employer, whose making me an offer. I wish to have a decent lifestyle and also wish to send 3000 AUD to parents per month.
        I really look forward to hearing from you.
        Thank you in advance

        Reply
      • Hey i got offer from PIH and i am not sure about indian food ..i want to make food at house provided by company..i will get 3500 kina per month..but i dont know the the cost of indan food …and please tell me about how much saving i can …?

        Reply
      • Hey i got offer from PIH and i am not sure about indian food ..i want to make food at house provided by company..i will get 3500 kina per month..but i dont know the the cost of indan food …and please tell me about how much saving i can …?

        Reply
  3. Dear Rebecca!

    I am from Pakistan and have just retired two months back from My National Carrier Airline as a Safety Manager. To remain committed with my profession and remain in the normal life routine, I started doing the job search and my close friends started helping me in that, I came across a vacant position for “Manager – Aircraft Operations Investigation”

    I have applied for that and things are in progress. In this application phase it just clicked in my mind, to know more about PNG.

    In this search Your Blog came across me. and I found it very fruitful and wanted to appreciate you for doing this great job – BRAVO RABECCA –

    My feelings after doing the net search are mixed, PNG seems to be land from a dimension, out of this world, it gives inspiration to come to this land of queer dimension an explore its beauty, on the other hand a unique fear motivates to keep you away.

    I still be needing your guidance, and like to request more information so as to explore the opportunities that I can have, and the best in/for PNG, and earn a good & memorable experience.

    Till next time

    Pls stay blessed & keep smiling

    Best regards

    Muhammed Nadeemullah

    Reply
    • Dear Rebecca!

      Your input is requested about the job I mentioned “Manager – Aircraft Operations Investigation”

      Your inputs can help me confidently step on it

      Best Regards

      Muhammed Nadeemullah

      Reply
    • Hi Muhammed, thanks so much for the lovely comments! I’m glad I could help a bit. What sort of information are you after to help you with your decision? Just as a general comment, I’d first do a check to see if you’d have support there (I think it’s always nice to know that there are fellow countrymen in other places in the world, as a great support network). I loved living there, but it’s really a decision that’s up to each individual.

      Reply
  4. Dear Rebecca,

    I am Malik from Pakistan. Hope you are well. Can you kindly share some details on the education. How expensive or cheap is it for children being age for 6 and 3. also the fees of day cares in LAE.

    And what on your opinion is a good average salary to get in LAE asim am in negotiation currently and would to know what is a good per ko the number before I settle.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Malik, thanks for stopping by. I don’t have children so don’t have any idea about education or day care costs, particularly in Lae as I never lived there. It’s probably best to see if there is a Facebook group or another group that may be able to help with such information. And hard for me to comment on a good average salary without knowing what kind of work you’ll be doing. I think perhaps some of the other comments on this post may be helpful in terms of deciding what salary is suitable. Good luck!

      Reply
      • Hi just read your post.. Education in Law should be a bit cheaper than here in Port Moresby.
        Food in Lae is fantastic. Most of the fruits and vegetables are organic. ThRyan are either ground in the Province or transported over from the Highlands.
        It’s much hotter in Lae, and most of the time it rains.

        Reply
  5. Dear Ms. Rebecca,

    Thanks for providing extremely detailed information about PNG .
    Your emails are really really helped many people.
    I wish to inform you that I have been offered a job at port in one of the leading hotels there and have been offered a salary of USd 1800 per month tax free including food and accommodation.
    On single occupancy.what is your openion on this kind of salary .Can I save at least $ 1500 per month .Also My wife is a school teacher and currently working in India.i need your help to understand what is the job prospects for a teaching profession there for Indians and what kind of salary for teachers .As I will be staying in company accommodation will it be safe for her to stay as single female .

    Gautam

    Reply
    • Thanks Gautam, glad it has been helpful! If you receive food and accommodation then I would think that salary is quite sufficient, and you should be able to save money as well. Regarding your wife, I’m sorry but I really don’t have a lot of information about teachers… she should probably try to contact the international schools in Port Moresby, as I think she would have better luck there. Or consider doing some volunteer work while you’re there. Will she be living with you in the company accommodation?

      Reply
  6. Hi i am Manoj from India..
    I am offered a job in port moresby on 6000 kina
    But i search the cost of leaving and internet cost is too much high.
    Employer provide the accomdation..
    Pls share me is this package is gud

    Reply
    • Hi Dzung, have a look through some of the other comments – Port Moresby has a bad reputation but I never had any issues when I lived there. The main thing is to always be vigilant and know where you’re going.

      Reply
  7. Hi Rebecca,

    I have been reading your blog and its really helpful, thanks! Just a few questions for you, do you know the cost of the Yacht Club in Port Moresby? My husband and I are possibly looking at coming to Papua New Guinea but just trying to work out the cost of living etc first. Also, do most expats live in one confined area or spread around and is it compound apartment living? Your help is greatly appreciated 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Rebecca! I’m not sure about the cost of the YC, but it’s around 2-3,000 Kina per year… sorry I can’t be more specific, other than it’s not cheap 🙂 Cost of living is fairly high – your accommodation will be the most expensive so if you can get your company to pay for that it will make a huge difference. Other than that, food is expensive, but you’ll balance it out by not spending a lot of money on clothes and activities while you’re in PNG. We found ourselves saving money, while still eating well and keeping busy. Most expats live all around, there are lots of “compounds” (more like gated communities) or houses. There are lots of options, just costly. Email me if you need any more info or contacts for anything, and good luck!

      Reply
      • Great, thanks for your reply! If my husband gets the contract its really, really good and housing and a vehicle and lots of other extras are included. Basically the only thing we’d have to pay for is food and anything else such as the yacht club. Appreciate your help, its sounds like we’d be able to live comfortably then and save money which would be great 🙂

        Reply
  8. Dear Madam ! Iam a physiotherapist from India & I was offered a job by pacific international hospital in Pom.They have offered me 4,000 kina/month with Accommodation & for food i need to spend.Is it a safe place to live & work? & is it enough to meet expenses? Please let me know madam.

    Reply
  9. Dear Madam ! Iam a physiotherapist from India & I was offered a job to work in pacific international hospital (POM).They offered me 4000 kina/month with accomodation for food I have to spend is it enough to live there & is it safe ? Please let me know.

    Reply
    • Mr Sagar, I think if you look back through many of the comments in this post you’ll find the answers to your questions about both money and safety.

      Reply
  10. Hi Rebecca,

    My husband & I are moving over next month. Still haven’t sorted out accommodation but are looking at apartments in Town. Where would the local shopping centre be? Is the area safe enough to go for a morning walk or do you recommend using a gym? Has the internet improved any since your last posts about it? And do you feel safe driving to do your shopping/outings by yourself? Do you live in a compound situation? I would really appreciate some updates on what it is like in 2015. Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • So sorry for the delay getting back to you! I just noticed this comment. If you’re in Town the best shopping centre is Waterfront. I think some areas are okay to go walking – quite a few people walk around Airvos Avenue (close to Town) but of course make sure you go with someone. Or you could walk around the Yacht Club (there’s also a gym there). Internet is still expensive and not great, sorry!! If there has been improvement it’s been only slight. I feel fine going out by myself – I don’t drive but a lot of my female friends do and they have no issues. Just of course need to think about what time of day it is and where you’re going. Let me know if you have any more questions!

      Reply
  11. Hi Rebecca,

    I got an employment opportunity in PNG and the offering is PGK5000/Month. Would it be enough to manage? The offering is after the tax.

    Let me know your thoughts please.

    Thanks,
    Kev

    Reply
  12. Hi Rebecca,

    i’m moving in port moresby. how much PGK required to buy monthly grocery for 2 persons.

    Is it good to come there with 5000PGK salary?
    How much Income Tax is there?

    Accommodation is free of cost.

    Reply
  13. Hi. Rebecca…
    My husband is offered a job in Madang…how safe is d place…n wanna knw d cost of living.. Accommodation is givn buy company..tel me abt the transport pls…n internet i read its vry costly… What abt hospitals.. As v hve 2yr old lil one… 1000usd is enough for a month or it wil b less…
    Thank u…
    Awaiting for ur reply.

    Reply
    • I’m not sure about Madang – I haven’t been there yet. But it looks beautiful and I imagine it would be a whole lot cheaper than Port Moresby. I guess you could very easily buy lots of fruit and vegetables from local markets which would be quite cheap.

      Reply
    • Hi.. Kuku I have been living in madang my whole life and now an currently living in pom. All I can say about madang is that life is much reasonable then moresby. Madang is much safer then Moresby and living is much reasonable then Moresby.

      Reply
  14. Hi, I might be sent by my office to Port Moresby for 6 months from November to April. Although I’m not yet aware of the arrangement re: transportation, I was wondering if you take the PMVs for example to take you to the groceries or do you own a car as I have read that riding the PMV is kind of dangerous. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Jam, I don’t take PMVs as we have a vehicle. I can’t really say sorry, but they don’t have a particularly good reputation… have you found out more about your transport situation?

      Reply
  15. thank very much rebbecca im also coming to western province are there roads that link from port moresby to daru and is canniballism still rife tahnks, mtero

    Reply
    • You might want to do some more research before you come here… No, there is no road. Cannibalism? Are you seriously asking that question?

      Reply
  16. Hi Rebecca,

    I’m from Phillipines and might move this September In Boroko Port Moresby?
    I am offered to work there with a 1,000 USD per month, free of accomodation and food. Do you think it’s enough? how’s the place from that area? is that safe?

    are you now still there in Port Moresby?

    Reply
    • Yes, I am still here. If you have accommodation and food covered then I think the salary offered will be fine. Boroko is a major suburb in Port Moresby; depending on where you are staying it’s generally safe. Enjoy your time here!

      Reply
  17. Hello Rebecca, first of all congrats for the blog – it contains lots of helpful information for newbies in PNG. I have a job offer for Lae in Morobe. To start in September. I am European. Never been to PNG but am familiar and lived in South East Asia for 3 years. Going on my own, and read some dreadful information how it can be a toll being a single expat girl in PNG. I am curious to know whether you could advise on what to do, where to live, sports and pastimes available in Lae, or recommend other useful blogs where I could find specific information about Lae.

    Reply
    • Hi Emma, thanks for stopping by! Lae is a small place and you’ll soon make friends. It can be tough being a single female here but you sound pretty adventurous so I’m sure you’ll be fine! People here are incredibly welcoming and friendly and it won’t take them long to show you the ropes. Have you moved yet??

      I haven’t been to Lae sorry so I can’t offer much advice! But do let me know if you’re in Port Moresby any time soon.

      Reply
  18. Hello Rebecca – you need to conquer your fear of cooking mud crabs, they are incredibly sweet and delicious! And I’m afraid you do have to cook them alive, like lobster (never eat any shellfish that has been dead for any period of time). On the plus side, you can just bung them in the pot all trussed up as they’ve being sold by the side of the road, so they won’t rattle around distressingly the way lobsters do. Add coconut cream and fresh ginger or chili. Yum yum. Plus, you are supporting the livelihoods of local people instead of some foreign-owned supermarket, and not paying POM supermarket prices.

    Reply
  19. Hi, Rebecca. I am from Indonesia. I’ll move to Port Moresby.
    Do you think It’s enough to spend 2000 Kina for daily life in a month? In case, I don’t have to pay apartment rent and meals in working day. I can use transport facilities from office.

    According to numbeo.com, disposable salary is 700 K-1000 K. Well, I need another reference…

    Reply
    • Yes, it is. But we have a water filter that we use – which takes water direct from the tap and cleans out any bacteria (including giardia). It’s a great thing to have!

      Reply
  20. Hi Rebecca,
    I will be moving from Brisbane to Port Moresby on a three year contract. I am type 2 Diabetic very well managed with just tablets. How is the medical system there and are there plenty of expat doctors?
    Regards

    Reply
    • The medical system is not great, but there are clinics that you can visit – it’s also very close to Australia if a medevac is required. Will your company provide health cover?

      Reply
    • As with any country, there are dangers that you need to be aware of but I’ve never felt unsafe. When will you be moving?

      Reply
  21. Hi Rebecca! I am from India and I have got a job offer as CEO with the Pacific International Hospital, Port Moresby. My wife is also being offered a job over there as a doctor. I have a 15 year old daughter studying in standard 9th. How safe and secured is the place to move in? How should we be negotiating our salary package there considering the high cost of living? Will be obliged if you could guide us. Thanks

    Reply
    • I can’t really provide any advice on negotiating your salary, but I find it to be very safe, if you are careful and conscious of what’s around you.

      Reply
  22. I have been posted to High Commission of India and expected to join in mid January 2014. How is general law and order situation. My both the childrens are school going and will try to put them in Ella Murray in class VI & I. After doing posting in Paris and Chittagong(Bangladesh) not sure how the experience will be

    Reply
    • Hi Pradeep, I have never had any issues here regarding security. Yes, you always need to be careful and be aware of where you’re going, but I think you will find that you will have nothing to worry about. Will be very different to Paris though! 🙂

      Reply
    • Dear Pradeep,

      I am getting a offer in retail for 30k kina Pa with accommodation in Madang. i feel its low package compare to this ype of costing. Wht you feel abt this offer Rebecca.

      Regards,
      Sumit

      Reply
      • I can’t really comment about the package, but I’m sure life in Madang is cheaper than it is in Port Moresby. Accommodation is your biggest expense, so if that’s already paid for that’s a big help.

        Reply
  23. How expensive is the internet? I will be moving to Port Moresby in about a month. I am bringing my wife and 10 year old daughter and frankly am a bit nervous

    Reply
    • Quite expensive! And not super reliable… You can get dongles at Digicel and through Telikom. I have broadband and it’s ridiculous – $800 for 5GB.

      Reply
  24. Hey Rebecca,
    Great Blog! I was wondering if you could give an idea of the types of fresh produce available at local markets and what the costings of local produce is. I know supermarkets are expensive, but unsure of what to expect of local fruit, vegetables and seafoods.
    I’m moving to Port Moresby in November 🙂
    Cheers,
    Monique

    Reply
    • Welcome almost! Markets are definitely better and cheaper but you probably won’t get the same range of fruit and vegetables. I haven’t shopped at the markets much, except for in the Highlands where it is very cheap and the quality is excellent. Seafood is great – you can buy mudcrabs from the side of the road.

      Send me an email via the website – happy to catch up when you arrive! What will you be doing in PNG?

      Reply
  25. hey I am soon to come to portmoresby from perth australia and I have my daugther starting school which schools have a good reputation.

    Reply
  26. I would definitely include the ridiculously high cost of internet (among the highest rates in the world) to your list. I know several people who moved here completely unaware of this cost. Not a happy surprise!

    Reply
  27. Hi there, when I was up in Lae in ’04 & ’05 there used to be a proper dairy run by the Swiss mission. Not sure if they ship milk to Moresby or not, but it was a lot cheaper than anything imported.

    Reply
  28. Beer is the universal currency Rebecca. You might want to add the current cost of a pint of SP to your list. Besides, it’s terrific so should be promoted. Thanks for the synopsis, this will help many. Keep travellin’.

    Reply

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