Papua New Guinea Currency Exchange Guide

ATTENTION - 
Cruisers departing Brisbane for PNG on 23 April, 2024

Our Aspley store has a substantial supply of Kina in smaller denominations, perfect for your upcoming cruise.

Jo and her team will be present at the cruise terminal before your departure. You have the option to pre-order your Kina, ensuring it will be ready for collection on the day. Alternatively, you can visit the Aspley store, which is open seven days a week, prior to your cruise.

Aspley Hypermarket – Shop 15 59 Albany Creek Road, Aspley QLD 4034

Phone: 07 3263 3088

Email: aspley@crowncurrency.com.au

Kina is also available at most of our stores. To check the stock and denominations available, please call ahead.

Find your nearest store by clicking here.

PNG Currency Exchange Guide

Papua New Guinea is a stunningly beautiful and culturally fascinating tourist destination. A tropical paradise, it has amazing mountain peaks, lush rainforests and stunning beaches that attract visitors from all corners of the world. Whether you are looking for an extreme adventure or simply want to relax in a tranquil setting, Papua New Guinea is sure to captivate any traveller.

 

General Papua New Guinea Currency Information

What is the currency of Papua New Guinea?

The official currency of Papua New Guinea is the Papua New Guinean kina (PGK).

What do Papua New Guinean notes & coins look like?

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The banknotes of Papua New Guinea are adorned with beautiful and intricate decorations on the front showcasing the national crest as well as designs from various provinces. The backside of the notes features traditional tools and symbols representing the various tribes and cultures of Papua New Guinean people, such as the famous bird of paradise.

To ensure that PNG currency is protected against counterfeiting, security features such as a slightly raised printing of bank logos, numerals, and a security thread within the stardust method depicting offset printing with multi-coloured patterns on the parliament building, among others, have been incorporated into the design of our notes. In addition to these features, advanced protective measures such as a see-through clear window printed with the Bank of PNG logo and numerals are in micro lettering and embossed figures for unparalleled protection.

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As for Papua New Guinea kina coins, the 1t and 2t coins are made of bronze and feature the official crest of PNG on their obverse with a birdwing butterfly and a butterfly cod on their respective reverses. The 5t, 10t, 20t and 50t coins are also made of cupro-nickel and silver in colour. They feature the official crest of PNG on their obverse, while their reverses depict a turtle, cuscus, cassowary and the South Pacific Festival of Arts Logo, respectively. The One kina coins are also made of cupro-nickel in silver colour bearing the official crest on its obverse with a freshwater crocodile and a saltwater crocodile appearing together at its reverse along with a hole at its centre.

Economy

Papua New Guinea’s economy has seen the implementation of pro-market policies that have strengthened economic freedom in recent years. The country’s weak rule of law and infrastructural impediments have been identified as the primary challenges to its further development.

However, the economy is expected to show positive growth in 2022 with extractive sector activity, higher commodity prices, and government measures to boost economic activity leading the charge. While structural challenges remain, Papua New Guinea’s move towards reform presents hope that a steady path forward can be achieved through continued efforts.

Brief currency history

The Kina and Toea of Papua New Guinea have an interesting history; they derived from the traditional monies used in the country, including tabu shells, pig tusks and other forms of currency. These all functioned as a means to purchase goods and services, as a way to standardize exchanges, and even as a method of wealth storage.

The name Kina specifically was selected to refer to the coveted pearl shells that were widely used for trading throughout coastal and highland regions in PNG. It is found in both Pidgin and Kuanua languages, reflecting its integral place in the country’s culture before being adopted as its national currency.

During the colonial era, Papua New Guinean currency varied, as German Marks and Pfennings, Japanese Yen, Australian Pounds, Shillings and Pence, and Australian dollars circulated.

However, on April 19th 1975, this region issued its own notes and coins with the major unit called Kina and its cent equivalent known as Toea to replace the previous currency. This initial issue included four denominations of Kina in banknotes: 2K, 5K, 10K, and one coin denominated as 1K.

In that first year of operation, the kina was accepted alongside the Australian Dollar prior to PNG gaining complete monetary independence on the 1st of January 1976. Consequently, the Australian Dollar was ultimately withdrawn from circulation as its legal tender status no longer applied following self-governance.

By 1977 an additional 20K denomination was introduced in banknote form, and a 50K denomination emerged by 1990. Moreover, Toea was released with five denominations of 1t, 2t, 5t, 10t and 20t, respectively.

Since then, the kina has remained a reliable and widely adopted means of currency for day-to-day transactions in Papua New Guinea.

Taking Travel Money to Papua New Guinea

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What currency should I take to Papua New Guinea?

If you’re travelling to Papua New Guinea, you’ll need to exchange your Australian dollars (AUD) for Papua New Guinean kinas (PGK) before you leave. Convert AUD to PGK here.

Is it better to convert currency in Australia or Papua New Guinea?

When travelling from Australia to Papua New Guinea, it is definitely better to convert your Australian dollars into Papua New Guinean kinas in Australia rather than once you get there. This gives you peace of mind before your journey, allowing you to start your holiday stress-free. It also tends to be more cost-effective as financial institutions and vendors may offer lower exchange rates prior to departing for the country.

How much money can I take to Papua New Guinea?

Whether you’re travelling to Papua New Guinea for tourism or business, you can bring as much currency into the country as you like. However, any amount over K20,000 (around AUD $8,500) must be declared at customs upon entry.

Where to convert currency in Australia?

Crown Currency Exchange provides an efficient, cost-effective and convenient way to convert currency. With 50 stores located across Australia and over 20 years of experience in the foreign exchange business, we offer a secure option for those needing to exchange currency. All transactions are subject to a competitive exchange rate with no hidden commissions or costs, making it ideal for those shopping around for the best deal.

Is tipping customary in Papua New Guinea? How much is expected?

Papua New Guinea is an incredibly diverse and captivating country. Being such a unique and traditional culture, it’s important to be mindful of cultural norms and customs when travelling in Papua New Guinea. One of these customs is tipping etiquette. Let’s take a look at how much you should tip in different scenarios while visiting this beautiful nation.

Restaurants: While some sources say that tipping isn’t customary in restaurants, we recommend rounding up the bill by 5-10 %.

Hotel Bellhop: It’s customary to leave AUD $2-3 per transfer for the bellhop who assists you at your hotel or guest house. This gesture shows your appreciation for their help and hard work throughout your stay 

Hotel Cleaning: Similarly, it’s nice to show your appreciation by leaving AUD $2-3 per night for any hotel cleaning staff who have kept your room tidy during your stay in Papua New Guinea.  

Taxi Drivers: When taking a taxi around town, it’s common courtesy to round up the fare unless there is a fixed fee already set out by the driver beforehand. This small gesture lets them know that you appreciate their services and are willing to pay them fairly for their time and effort 

Tour Guides: When hiring a tour guide for an adventure around Papua New Guinea, it’s polite to round up the bill by about 5-10 % as an expression of gratitude towards your tour guide for all of their hard work throughout your travels with them.  

Can you bargain in Papua New Guinea?

Shopping in Papua New Guinea can be an enjoyable experience, especially in the colourful craft markets. It is generally not expected to bargain with store clerks; however, negotiation and haggling are still possible. Many seasoned shoppers come with an open mind, willing to ask for a “second price” if they are looking for a better deal. While it may not be necessary to do this in all stores, it is definitely worth your while to inquire as you never know what kind of discounts you may obtain.

What is ATM access like in Papua New Guinea?

ATMs are available in most large towns of Papua New Guinea and accept many major international cards. It’s recommended to withdraw cash at the airport before venturing into more remote areas with limited access to banking services. Please be aware that ATMs charge a fee of around 3% on withdrawals. Therefore, it’s highly advised to carry sufficient cash when travelling outside Port Moresby, the nation’s capital.

What should you budget per day?

Budget

If you’re travelling on a tight budget and don’t mind foregoing some luxuries, then you should budget around 210-230 PGK (AUD $88-97) per day. You can still do plenty of sightseeing and experience the local culture while keeping costs down by shopping at local markets, using public transportation when possible, eating home-cooked meals, and avoiding hotel accommodations, as they are quite expensive in Papua New Guinea

Moderate

If you’re looking for more comfort but without going overboard on the budget, then aim for an average daily budget of 760-780 PGK (AUD $320-328). With this amount of money, you can stay in mid-range accommodations such as hotels or guesthouses. You can also splurge on meals at nicer restaurants and treat yourself to some of the activities offered at popular tourist sites 

Luxury

For those who prefer to enjoy the finer things in life while travelling, then a luxury vacation will require 1,200 PGK (AUD $503) or more per day. This type of travel often includes higher-end accommodations such as resorts or 5-star hotels as well as exclusive experiences like private tours and gourmet dining experiences. Skydiving, kayaking and other recreational activities can also be included in this type of budget.

Currency details

Currency:

Papua New Guinean kina

Currency code:

PGK

Currency symbol:

¥K

Central bank:

Bank of Papua New Guinea

Nickname:

None

Currency sub-unit:

Toea = 1/100 of a Kina

Bank notes:

1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 kina

Coins:

5, 10, 20, 50 toea. 1 kina

Must-dos while you are in Papua New Guinea

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1. Sample the local cuisine 

You can’t come to Papua New Guinea without sampling some local cuisine. Traditional dishes include lovo (underground oven food), kokoda (raw fish marinated in lemon juice, coconut milk and onions), fish heads soup and saksak (a type of pudding made from grated coconut). Whether you try one or all four, they will be sure to tantalise your taste buds.

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2. Learn a few words of Tok Pisin

Papua New Guinean ‘Tok Pisin’ is spoken by over 4 million people in the country and many more throughout Melanesia. Learning some phrases will help you navigate your way around the country and make your trip even more enjoyable. Some key words include “Yu stap gut? Yu olsem wanem?” which means “How are you?”; “Mi stap gut” which means “Reply to ‘How are you?’”; “Wanam nem bilong yu?” which means “What’s your name?”.

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3. Swim with dugongs and dolphins in Milne Bay

Milne Bay is home to an abundance of sea life, including dugongs, dolphins, whales, sharks, manta rays and sea snakes. You can book various boat tours that take you out into the bay so you can swim with these majestic creatures. This will be a truly unforgettable experience that you won’t want to miss.

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4. Canoe down the Sepik River 

The Sepik River is one of the largest rivers in Papua New Guinea, and it runs through rainforest-covered mountains before emptying into its namesake bay. A canoe trip along this river will give you an insight into traditional village life as well as stunning scenery along its banks. Keep your eyes peeled for crocodiles too!  

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5. Get up close and personal with native wildlife in Kumul Lodge's Hides

Kumul Lodge is nestled deep within unspoiled rainforests near Mount Hagen in western Papua New Guinea. Here you can get up close and personal with native wildlife such as wallabies, birds-of-paradise, cuscus possums, tree kangaroos and even cassowaries from their hides located throughout the lodge grounds – perfect for photographers looking to snap some amazing shots!

Other helpful guides & resources on travel in Papua New Guinea

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