Must-know FAQs for tourists visiting the province.
There are two (2) pharmacies in Alotau Town. City Pharmacy is located in the main town CBD area whereas Chemcare Pharmacy is located one street over. Both pharmacies open from about 8:30 AM to 5 PM on weekdays and half-day on Saturdays. Chemcare Pharmacy also opens on Sundays.
Donations for schools can be dropped off at the Milne Bay Tourism Bureau with instructions or suggestions on how and where they would like the donations distributed.
If you are in rural areas and would like to donate items, we recommend you give the donation directly to the local leader, councillor, Pastor, or Person in Charge of the place you would like to donate to. For example, donations for schools can be handed over to the School Principal.
This will give recipients the opportunity to acknowledge or thank you directly, which in Milne Bay culture is important.
There are six (6) war memorials in and around Alotau Town and one (1) located on Samarai Island.
- John French Memorial is located beside the road at Toudikwa suburb (Alotau Town) just over the Goilanai Bridge.
- The main WW2 memorial is located beside the seawall near Alotau International Hotel, Alotau Town.
- The town memorial is located in Alotau town center.
- Cameron High school is the site for another memorial which was the site for the heaviest fight during the Battle of Milne Bay.
- Turnbull Memorial is located along the road leading up to Gurney Airport, about 10 minutes’ drive from Alotau Town.
- Gurney Airport, the location for the airstrip during the Battle of Milne Bay, also has a memorial.
- One memorial site is on Samarai Island.
There is only one museum in Milne Bay Province. The Massim Museum is located near the Alotau International Port in Alotau Town on the same premises as the Milne Bay Provincial Government’s Service Delivery Centre (SDC).
We do not encourage tipping but it is entirely up to the tourist or visitor. Most people would accept an "appreciation" either in cash or kind.
On days that cruise ships call into Alotau Town, traditional arts and crafts can be found beside the main town war memorial site. However, the Massim Museum, Alotau International Hotel, the local Alotau Market, Liklik Store, and Barbara’s Art & Craft Shop carry locally-made arts and crafts for those who want to purchase necklaces, baskets, earrings, mats, etc. Out in the islands, the communities are always willing to sell carvings and other items to tourists. For cruise tourists, there will always be advice at the port as to where the sellers are located.
The nearest lookout in Alotau Town is up at Top Town suburb. It is called the Dalai Heights Lookout and is located along Dalai Street and boasts a beautiful view of the whole town, the bay, and beyond.
It takes approximately 20 minutes for you to walk from the International Cruise Terminal to Alotau Town CBD, a distance of 2 kilometres. Please bring a hat and sunscreen.
ATMs are only located in Alotau Town outside the two banks that operate in the province: Bank South Pacific (BSP) and Westpac. ATMs are outside in front of the banks. Westpac’s ATMs are open 24 hours while BSP’s ATMs close at midnight. Posters on the wall will let you know which cards can be accepted by these ATMs and both premises have security personnel.
Yes, Alotau town taxis accept payment in Australian and American dollars. Please know the prevailing rates but be prepared to pay in whole dollar denominations, as banks in PNG will not convert coins, only notes.
Foreign currency can be exchanged at the two banks located in town: Bank South Pacific (BSP) and Westpac. These banks accept mostly Australian and American Dollars so most businesses in town will accept these currencies. However, if you intend on traveling into the rural areas it is advisable that you change your money into PNG kina (PGK) to avoid inconvenience.
Only good quality notes (must not be torn nor damaged) are accepted. Coins will not be accepted nor exchanged.
Port Moresby International Airport (Jacksons Airport) has a money exchange booth in the arrival and boarding lounges and POST PNG in Alotau Town sets up a money exchange booth at the Alotau Cruise Port Terminal each time a cruise ship calls in. Another independent money exchange company also operates on the cruise ships arriving in Alotau Town.
We encourage visitors to pay for services using notes, as local banks and shops will not accept nor exchange coins. If at all possible, please pay for services or make donations using PNG kina (PGK) in the rural areas as people there do not have easy access to money exchange services.
Bank locations are indicated on the Alotau Town map which can be downloaded in the Publications section of this website.