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Capital of Papua New Guinea’s Milne Bay Province, Alotau is steeped in history, rich in culture and blessed with natural beauty.
The gateway to some of the most remote island communities remaining in the world today, this is a place that is enriched with age-old culture and traditions. The area claims its fame in the history books where the Battle of Milne Bay took place in 1942 and an Australian digger was awarded a Victora Cross for bravery - Put these two elements together and add a beautiful harbour, relaxed atmosphere and friendly locals, and you are left with a pretty amazing destination – a place whose visitors can quickly and easily find something they love, no matter what their tastes.
74,644 (2010 census)
48 languages including English
This is by far the best way to get a snapshot of the varied cultures of Milne Bay. Shuttle services to the festival site are available for purchase at the Shore Tours desk.
Being a small town, Alotau is a great place to explore. Take a stroll from the port in to town to admire the beautiful harbour, meet the locals at the markets and pay a visit to the Australian War Memorial at the site of the Battle of Milne Bay.
Your ship will berth in Alotau which is a short walk from the town marketplace.
There are limited local taxis – it is advisable to agree on a price in Kina before commencing your journey. If you’re feeling energetic the town centre is a 25 minute walk from the port. Volunteer Youth Ambassadors will also be available for further assistance.
There are a few local restaurants and resorts where you can sample local fare - seafood and yams are the specialty. Quarantine authorities do not generally allow food such as fruit and vegetables, dairy and meat products or sandwiches to be taken off the ship, however commercially packaged confectionery, chips and bottled drinking water are allowed subject to inspection.
Milne Bay is famed for its ornate wood carvings which are available at the market stalls and from roaming local vendors. There is also a fresh food market in the centre of town open daily. Often you can also find here locally made woven baskets and bags.
Any souvenirs that are made of plant material or animal products must be declared to quarantine authorities on arrival in Australia or New Zealand. Plant material such as certain seeds and animal products including feathers may be restricted or need to be treated at the owners’ expense on arrival in Australia or New Zealand.
Alotau maintains a year-round tropical climate with temperatures ranging from 25 to 30 degrees during the day.
Credit cards and charge cards may be accepted in the resorts and large shops. Local markets prefer Kina and only accept cash. There are ATMs located in the main town area and a currency exchange service will be available at the port.
There are no public telephones available in Alotau. Mobile coverage may be available as long as global roaming is selected prior to leaving home. Internet access is available throughout the town at various hotspots. To log on, you can purchase a voucher from various hotels and resorts in and around the town.
To make you day ashore as enjoyable as possible, be sure to wear comfortable flat soled closed shoes, lightweight long sleeves clothing and a hat. Women are advised to dress conservatively and to wear shorts or skirts to at least knee length. You are also advised to bring sunscreen, insect repellent and bottled water.
There are a range of tours available for you to really get the most out of your time in Alotau. Tours can be booked onboard at the Shore Tours desk and are subject to availability. Passengers are required to meet at a specific location for each Shore Tour departure. Please refer to your tour ticket for the correct time and place.
During your time ashore we ask that you dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully.
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