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Paradise The in-flight magazine of Air NiuginI volume 5, 2014

Blue-water dreaming The best beaches in PNG and the South Pacific

Volcano adventure

CHRISTMAS CHEER

CITY GUIDE

A trek to the top of Rabaul’s Mt Tavurvur

How the festive season is celebrated in PNG

Everything you need to know about Singapore

PLUS: PNG culture, food, movies, books, fashion and gadgets


in paradise

contentS AIRLINE NEWS

THE LATEST FROM AIR NIUGINI

A message from Air Niugini’s chairman  LinkPNG takes off



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DEPARTURE LOUNGE NEWS, BRIEFINGS, LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

Dive site discovered  Ask The Pilot  Voyage to the bottom of the sea  Hayman Island’s rebirth  I Can’t Live Without ... 

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TRAVELLER OUR COUNTRY, OUR REGION, OUR WORLD

Fishy tales from Lake Murray



Island day tripper  City guide: Singapore  Vertical limits in Thailand  Fiji’s grand hotel makes comeback  Three of a kind: dive getaways  Time Traveller 

Cover photo: White sand and turquoise water at New Ireland. Photo kirlandphotos.com. Courtesy of PNG Tourism Promotion Authority.

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Going to the brink:

A volcano adventure

Top 10 beaches in PNG and the South Pacific 



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48

November – December 2014

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contentS

LIVING LIFESTYLE, CULTURE, SPORT, ENTERTAINMENT

PNG’s football triumph Cage fighter makes good  A very PNG Christmas  Thriving theatre in Port Moresby



Food: Two Hong Kong classics Gadgets and travel accessories  Top 10 travel apps  Book previews  Movie previews 

74 76 78 87 92 98 101 104 106

Festival time 

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STRICTLY BUSINESS PEOPLE, COMPANIES, INDUSTRIES

The good brew  Port Moresby business summit  Moves to privatisation  The power of palm oil  Home-grown event company  Global fuel company’s PNG plans 

108 110 112 114 116 118

BRAIN GYM QUIZ PUZZLES, CROSSWORD

Crosswords and puzzles



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ARRIVALS LOUNGE PNG VISITOR GUIDE

Fashion: Kaftans in vogue  8 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

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Out and about in PNG 

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AIR NIUGINI PASSENGER INFORMATION 

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Paradise

Paradise is the complimentary in-flight magazine of Air Niugini, Papua New Guinea’s international airline. Business Advantage International publishes it six times a year. BUSINESS ADVANTAGE INTERNATIONAL

EDITORIAL

PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Andrew Wilkins

EDITOR Robert Upe

COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR Robert Hamilton-Jones

STAFF WRITERS Kevin McQuillan, Ben Creagh

ADVERTISING ACCOUNT MANAGER Anthony Leydin +61 (0)415 586 027 al@businessadvantageinternational.com

CONTRIBUTORS Janice Breen Burns, Greg Clarke, Tim Coronel, Justin Friend, David Granville, Belinda Jackson, Brian Johnston, Sally Hammond, Angie Kelly, Nina Karnikowski, Lucie Morris-Marr, Ian Neubauer, Doreen Philip, Jeff Turnbull, Kiara Worth

Business Advantage International Pty Ltd Level 23, HWT Tower 40 City Road, Southgate VIC 3006, Australia Tel +61 3 9674 7129 Fax +61 3 9674 0400 www.businessadvantageinternational.com

CORRESPONDENCE TO THE AIRLINE The Chief Executive Officer Air Niugini PO Box 7186, Boroko, NCD, Papua New Guinea Tel +675 327 3458 Fax +675 327 3550

10 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

EDITORIAL CONSULTANT Eva Arni, Air Niugini DESIGN Michael Whitehead, Alicia Freile Editorial inquiries Tel +61 3 9674 7129 Email paradise@businessadvantageinternational.com

Printed in Australia. Both printer and paper manufacturer for this publication are accredited to ISO14001, the internationally recognised standard for environmental management. This publication is printed using vegetable inks and the stock is elemental chlorine free and manufactured using sustainable forestry practices. Some of the articles in this publication are edited versions of those first published on the online PNG business magazine, businessadvantagepng.com. Unsolicited manuscripts, artwork, transparencies and photographs are submitted at the sender’s risk. While all care will be taken, neither the publishers nor the airline will accept responsibility for accidental loss or damage. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Statements, opinions and points of view expressed by the writers are their own and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher, editor, or the airline. Information contained in this publication may be correct only at the time it was originally obtained by the writers and may be subject to change at any time and without notice. © Copyright. 2014. All rights reserved.


Welcome aboard

A

s this issue of Paradise, the final for 2014, heads to the printer, Air Niugini has reached a milestone with the launch of LinkPNG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air Niugini. The formation of LinkPNG is part of the ownership restructure of Air Niugini, after 41 years serving the nation, and will be the benchmark of the Government’s plan to re-invigorate state-owned enterprises through partnership and equity agreements with the private sector. When details of the restructure of the ownership of Air Niugini are confirmed, there will be guarantees, supported by legislation, that the airline will remain wholly PNG owned and managed. The process to invite private-sector shareholding will take place when the necessary legislation is passed by the national Parliament. The restructure, in terms of capital and capacity, will reduce the airline’s reliance on the national Government – and that means taxpayers of PNG – for direct capital injection and loan guarantees. Air Niugini’s strategic plan for 2015 echoes the objectives of the Government’s ownership restructure of state equity and confirms the Government and Air Niugini are working together to move the airline to new heights, to meet the challenges of the changing aviation and transport environments, and to an even better service for its passengers and commercial customers.

LinkPNG will also service domestic routes on a community service obligation (CSO) basis, ensuring that not only are remote and lessprofitable services maintained, but progressively expanded to meet the growing transportation needs of the nation. The most important aspect of LinkPNG is that it will guarantee regular, reliable, safe and affordable services to the more remote parts of the country where patronage is less than the main domestic routes, but just as important for the travelling public. Air Niugini is committed to meeting the demands of the strong and vibrant economy of Papua New Guinea and firmly believes the restructure and the formation of LinkPNG will help us achieve that goal.

CONFIDENCE The restructure that has started, is an historic occasion in the evolution of Air Niugini. Both the board, and management, are confident that the major changes we are embarking on will also enjoy the support of our loyal customers – and attract new passengers to Air Niugini and LinkPNG. To all our passengers, we thank you for your continued patronage. As 2014 draws to a close, we look forward to seeing and welcoming you on board over the holiday season and in the year ahead. To keep up with all the airline’s news and to make online bookings, please see airniugini.com.pg.

LINKPNG The LinkPNG subsidiary company will involve all of the airline’s Dash 8 Classic fleet operations – and it will take the provision of air services to remote and distant parts of the nation to a new level. LinkPNG will operate on a low-cost carrier model, as occurs in many other countries, especially where services must be provided to distant and remote areas.

12 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

Sir Frederick Reiher, KCMG, KBE Chairman


airline news



The latest from Air Niugini

Moving into a new era … Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) chairman Paul Nerau congratulates LinkPNG CEO, Captain Daniel Wanma, at a ceremony at Lae’s Nadzab Airport. They are flanked by Air Niugini chairman Sir Frederick Reiher (left) and the airline’s CEO Simon Foo (rear right).

New low-cost carrier takes off

T

he first flight of LinkPNG, the newly formed subsidiary of Air Niugini, took off from Lae for Hoskins at midday on Saturday, November 1. Invited guests and airline staff gathered at Nadzab Airport to witness the historic occasion. The ribbon-cutting ceremony happened to coincide with Air Niugini’s 41st birthday. LinkPNG will operate as a low-cost carrier, principally serving provincial areas, and will involve all of Air Niugini’s Dash 8 fleet.

The subsidiary has been created as Air Niugini moves to a new ownership structure that will invite a 50 per cent private-sector shareholding, with the Government retaining the other 50 per cent. In the cockpit of the first LinkPNG flight were young Papua New Guinean pilots Captain Lloyd Timano and First Officer Lloyd Loi. The flight took off after Air Niugini chairman Sir Frederick Reiher received LinkPNG’s air operating certificate from the Transport Secretary, Roy Mumu, its air safety license

Air Niugini subsidiary, LinkPNG, is up and flying. LinkPNG is promising to deliver an affordable, safe and reliable domestic service with its fleet of Dash 8 aircraft. from the Department of Transport’s first assistant secretary, William Vate, and its Investment Promotion Authority certificate from deputy chairman, Phil Franklin. “Without these, and the efforts of your respective authorities, we would not have been able to have this ceremony today to coincide with the 41st birthday of the parent company, Air Niugini,” said Sir Frederick. “What is particularly pleasing to note is the efficient processing of Link PNG’s application in record time, quite unprecedented in November – December 2014

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airline news



recent history. You are the magi from the east, bearing great gifts.” Sir Frederick gave kudos to Air Niugini management, and especially the foundation chief executive officer of LinkPNG, Captain Daniel Wanma, for getting the new company up and running in “record time”. The night before, at a cocktail reception at Lae International Hotel, he described LinkPNG as “a low-cost carrier model, providing an affordable and safe service to the people of Papua New Guinea”. “The carrier will also serve PNG routes on a community service obligation, ensuring that not only are remote and less-profitable services maintained, but that they also progressively expand to meet the growing transportation needs of the nation and its people,” Sir Frederick said. “The formation of LinkPNG is a milestone in the life of Air Niugini, and in the aviation and communications history of our nation,” he said.

“The formation of LinkPNG is a milestone in the life of Air Niugini, and in the aviation and communications history of our nation.”

“LinkPNG will draw its initial staff from Air Niugini, who will be seconded on agreed terms between the two companies until such time as the new carrier confirms its management team and employees on its own terms and conditions. “Those employees on secondment will retain all their current conditions and entitlements until the expiry of their contracts or when they choose to be permanent employees of LinkPNG. “Air Niugini will provide LinkPNG with technical, engineering, and other

14 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

The latest from Air Niugini

Flight ready ... LinkPNG CEO, Captain Daniel Wanma, and the young all-PNG crew (from left) of First Officer Lloyd Loi, cabin attendant Delina Delabu, Captain Lloyd Timano, cabin attendant McFarlane Edward, and Air Niugini executive manager of flight operations, Captain Samiu Taufa.

LinkPNG CEO, Captain Daniel Wanma, is no newcomer to the aviation industry, having flown for many years throughout Papua New Guinea and around the world. “I started in the aviation industry as a pilot,” he said. “I’ve been in management for the past 11 years with Air Niugini. I have about 38 years of experience, all up, as an operator and now in executive management.” He said LinkPNG would continue the current provincial services provided by Air Niugini, but in the long term plans to grow. “Our objective is to look at second airports in each province, out in the districts,” he said. “For example in Sandaun (West Sepik) province, we’re looking at Telefomin as a potential starter; we’re also looking at Hayfield in East Sepik, and there are a few more airports including Kiriwina (Milne Bay).” Captain Wanma said LinkPNG was starting off with seven aircraft, 145 staff, of which 105 are pilots and cabin crew, and an administrative staff of about 40. In a message to the people of PNG, he said: “As always, we are a state-owned enterprise (SOE) and we look forward to your continued patronage as we go forward into an exciting future for our country …”

Welcome aboard … Captain Daniel Wanma hands out welcome packs to passengers on the inaugural flight and is ready for takeoff (below).


airline news



The latest from Air Niugini

VIP lineup ... some of the invited guests who saw off LinkPNG’s inaugural flight from Lae to Hoskins (above); cause for celebration as a local singsing group entertains guests at the Lae launch (top right); a traditional soaking for the inaugural LinkPNG flight (bottom right).

professional and administrative support including HR, financial, and IT and reservations systems. “Furthermore, Air Niugini will allocate initial direct funding support of PGK20 million by way of an interest-free loan for as long as LinkPNG requires the facility. “It is our hope, and expectation, that the national and provincial governments will also support this new airline so it can truly link up our country within a short period of time.” Air Niugini CEO, Simon Foo, said the formation of LinkPNG was the culmination decades of hard work by the national carrier. “Air Niugini was formed 41 years ago,” he said. “At that time there were a lot of doubters about Air Niugini but as has been proven now, after 41 years, we have a very good, successful record.

16 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

“Now is the time to see how we can serve Papua New Guinea better. “It’s the desire of the board and the Government of Papua New Guinea that we go into lesser-accessible areas, and we see LinkPNG as the vehicle to do that.” Asked what would be the difference between Air Niugini and LinkPNG, he said: “LinkPNG is going to operate to the current schedule immediately, but in the medium to long term, we will be assessing areas that we don’t currently service. Places like Losuia, Aitape, Kiriwina …” Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) chairman, Paul Nerau, who was a member of the Air Niugini board from 1985 to 1994, described LinkPNG as a “milestone” for the country. He said the launch showed Air Niugini’s commitment to bringing better air services to the people of this country. “Every time there’s an increase in SOEs (state-owned

enterprises), I get excited, because I know it adds to the dividends for the country. “This particular service will extend to the rest of Papua New Guinea that is not being serviced currently.” He said this was part of Air Niugini’s community service obligation to the country. “To give that service, we need to make money somewhere, to provide a service,” he said. “This is very important for us as SOEs. “Bringing in private investments is the next chapter for Air Niugini through divestment of shareholding in Air Niugini, and inviting our own Papua New Guineans to invest. “This decision to do the restructure sets the blueprint for other SOEs to also look at – breaking down what I call the ‘sleeping giants’ of SOEs, so that we can see where we can improve, where we can sell off, so that we increase the business of SOEs. “I ask all Papua New Guineans to support the new air service, because without your support, we will continue to make losses. “With your support, we will grow.” n


Departure Lounge News, briefings, local knowledge

PICTURE: SUNGSOON CHOI

New dive site ‘discovered’

D

ivers from the MV FeBrina, the dive boat of the Walindi Plantation Resort at Kimbe Bay, have stumbled on a new dive site (pictured). The boat was forced to shelter from bad weather in July and with limited options the crew and guests decided to do some exploratory dives nearby, leading to the discovery.

The site has been named Malupa, which means “fresh or good feeling” in the Bakovi language of Talasea, West New Britain. Walindi’s general manager, Cheyne Benjamin, has grown up diving on Kimbe Bay’s reefs and he thinks Malupa is special. “When I first dived on the new site I was blown away, I am used to diving some of the

most pristine, beautiful coral reefs in the world and Malupa just took it to another level; this has to be my new favourite dive site.” Malupa is a lush and vibrant reef with everything from tiny creatures to gigantic sea fans the size of a car. n

ask THE pilot CAPTAIN SAMIU TAUFA, EXECUTIVE MANAGER, FLIGHT OPERATIONS AIR NIUGINI On which routes does Air Niugini use its flagship B767 aircraft?

Q:

460 knots, about 850kmh. If a plane is delayed, is it Q: possible for pilots to increase speed to make up time? How is the speed of a B767 measured and how does that relate to ground speed?

Q:

It’s regularly used on the The speed is measured in A: Singapore, Hong Kong and A: knots, with one knot equal Brisbane sectors. It is also used to about 1.85kmh. The typical on the Sydney and Manila routes when required.

cruising speed of the B767 at altitude would be around

20 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

It is possible, but just as there A: are speed limits on the road there are also speed limits in flight

How fast is the B767 going Q: when it takes off and when it lands? Take-off and landing speeds A: depend on aircraft weight and ambient conditions at the field. A general range for take-off would be 145–65 knots (270–305kmh) and landing 120–150 knots (220–280kmh).

control zones. How much time is actually made up depends on a range of factors, such as the sector distance and the weather. If you have questions for the pilot, email paradise@businessadvantageinternational.com.


departure lounge



NEWS, BRIEFINGS, LOCAL KNOWLEDGE with Robert Upe

Voyage to the bottom of the sea

I

t looks like something out of James Bond and reserved for secret agents on a clandestine mission, but this is a submarine adventure available to anyone prepared to pay the money. Singapore-based lifestyle travel consultant John Sutherland is offering four-day charters for up to six people for about PGK329,000 to see historic sunken wartime wrecks in the Pacific, including Truk Lagoon in Micronesia. You don’t need any special skills to ride in the Californian-made submarine that can dive to about 100 metres. Sutherland says it is the first time such trips have been offered to the public, but they will only be available for a limited time from October. Participants will be able to accompany marine biologists and documentary filmmakers in the submarine to see the wrecks and a variety of sea life. n See johnbsutherland.com.

PNG coffee in a capsule The quality of Papua New Guinea’s coffee is world-renowned but up until this year it has not been manufactured locally in Nespressocompatible capsules. A partnership between local company, Cool Stuf, and Eastern Highlands-based coffee producer, Colbran Coffeelands, has established PNG Coffee Capsules, now the coffee of choice at Air Niugini’s executive lounges at Jacksons Airport in Port Moresby. For Cool Stuf’s Kevin Teh, introducing locally manufactured capsules to Papua New Guineans is about promoting the country’s high-quality coffee. With the capsules also expected to be launched at Lae Airport later this year, Teh says that the partnership with Air Niugini is a major boost for the local coffee industry and shows the airline’s commitment to developing PNG as a destination for tourism. “That was a win–win situation for Air Niugini and for us, to have locally manufactured coffee capsules at the executive lounges. We now have nine baristas working on several shifts between the domestic and international lounges, serving our high-quality coffee.” Traditionally, coffee suppliers throughout PNG have offered their product as whole roasted beans or as ground coffee. – BEN CREAGH

PNG’s best writers rewarded

T

he winners of Papua New Guinea’s only national literature awards – The Crocodile Prize – were announced in Port Moresby in September. They include 82-year-old former governor general Sir Paulias Matane, who received an award for lifetime contribution to PNG literature. The Australian High Commission is the sponsor of the awards, which attracted 600 entries from 130 writers in 21 provinces. “The stories that are passed down from one generation to another help preserve PNG’s rich history and culture and continue to be of great value today,” Australian high commissioner Deborah Stokes, says.

A 500-page Crocodile Prize Anthology 2014 is available from amazon.com. The Crocodile Prize is named after the first novel written by a Papua New Guinean, The Crocodile, by Sir Vincent Eri, published in 1970. The full list of winners: Iriani Wanma (Buk bilong Pikinini award for children’s writing); Diddie Kinamun (Jackson, Kina Securities award for poetry); Kela Kapkora (Sil Bolkin, PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum award for essays and journalism); Leonard Roka Fong (Ok Tedi Mining award for book of the year); Arnold Mundua (Cleland family award for heritage writing); Agnes Maineke (People’s award for short stories); Sir Paulias Matane (Ok Tedi Mining award for lifetime contribution to PNG literature). n November – December 2014

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Island reborn H

ayman Island on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is back in full swing after a PGK177 million (A$80 million) facelift. Owned by Malaysia’s Mulpha group and under the stewardship of One&Only Resorts, it has a new pool wing, restaurants and upsized accommodation. The room count has gone from 210 to 160 to create greater space. Pictured is one of the island’s luxurious beach suites. If you want your own rejuvenation, the One&Only spa has a 90-minute Ocean Dreaming massage, also pictured, delivered while you float in the turquoise sea, surrounded by tropical fish. Or try a new Bastien Gonzalez mani-pedi. Who’s Gonzalez, you may ask? He is a big fish in the world of foot treatments, an internationally famous podiatrist who has tinkered with the toes of the stars. Air Niugini has regular flights to Cairns and Brisbane, from where you can arrange easy connections to the island. n See hayman.oneandonlyresorts.com.

22 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

NEWS, BRIEFINGS, LOCAL KNOWLEDGE


departure lounge



NEWS, BRIEFINGS, LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

Sydney’s chic new hotel

Q&A Lee Abbamonte

L

ee Abbamonte is the youngest American to travel to every country in the world. He achieved the feat four years ago when he was 32, but he is still travelling …

Q: How many countries have you been to? I have been to all 193 sovereign nations, meaning UN member states. If you add on the Vatican, Kosovo and Taiwan then it’s 196. I’ve also been to 312 of the 324 countries and unique destinations listed by the Travelers Century Club. Q: When are you aiming to finish that list? A: I aim to finish the TCC list as soon as possible but am in no real rush as I am concentrating more on my businesses than on remote travel these days. Q: What is your travel bug all about? A: It is about seeing and experiencing the best and worst of what the world has to offer. I want to see and experience everything and I want to learn first hand about each place to have an informed opinion based on my experiences – not what others say. Q: Why did you start it? A: I didn’t actually start with a goal of going to every country, it just evolved over time and really ramped up after I found out there was a record to be the youngest to visit every country. That was a big motivating factor and it turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made. Q: Where did you go in Papua New Guinea? A: I was in Port Moresby and the Bismarck Archipelago, and hope to visit again really soon for another longer visit. Q: What were your highlights in the Pacific region? A: I have many highlights in the region but I love Palau, Fiji, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Australia, New Zealand and some remote islands like Wallis and Futuna, Kiribati and the Solomons. n

24 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

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ravellers to Sydney have a new and unique hotel choice with the opening of the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay in early November. The hotel, with 140 guest rooms and suites and 13 kilometres from the airport, where Air Niugini flies on Mondays and Saturdays, revives a bygone era with the restoration of the iconic Ritz. Original features include Italian white marble bathrooms and European fashioned balconies, complemented with stunning views over Double Bay village, the tranquil bay and the internal French provincialstyled courtyard. The hotel, with a rooftop infinity swimming pool, is the only five-star property outside the CBD. n See intercontinental.com/doublebay.

NUMBER CRUNCH That’s the predicted GDP growth for Papua New Guinea in 2015, according to the ANZ’s AsiaPacific chief economist Glenn Maguire. “PNG’s economy is expected to grow between 20 and 22 per cent next year, probably the fastest growth any emerging economy has recorded over the past 30 to 40 years,’’ he said in September at the Papua New Guinea Advantage Investment and Infrastructure Summit in Port Moresby. The extraordinarily high GDP figure is a result of anticipated income next year from PNG’s exports of liquefied natural gas.

20%


departure lounge



‘i cant live without ... my 1975 car’

NEWS, BRIEFINGS, LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

Mosquitoes top of the world

T

he PNG Mosquitoes national football team has won the AFL’s International Series, played at the MCG in Melbourne earlier this year. Despite injury concerns and trailing by three points at three-quarter time, the Mosquitoes defeated the more-fancied Ireland after coach David Lake told his players to “shut their eyes and dare to dream”. There were 25 teams from 18 nations in the series, including China, Fiji, India, New Zealand, Great Britain and the US. n See page 74 for the full report and more photos.

Bob Bates, of Trans Niugini Tours, is a veteran of almost 50 years in PNG tourism. He has occupied the same office in Mt Hagen since opening in 1976. The company’s network now extends beyond the initial modest 4WD safaris, aircraft charters, wilderness lodges and river cruises. What can’t you do without? “If there is one thing I will not be separated from, it’s my 1975 V8 Range Rover.” Why do you have such an attachment to the car? “Car youngpela olsem papa bilong em (The car is young, just like the owner).” What are its idiosyncrasies? “It’s still a good car but when it gets upset it spits the dummy and the back window pops open. We have to get out, walk around and shut the window. A bit like having a tantie (tantrum).” Where did you get it? “I bought it new from a car dealership in Lae. I’ve lost count of the kilometres driven in the trusty 4WD. It’s been around the clock a couple of times, so it might have done half a million klicks or so.” Where do you drive it? “All around town and the vast jungle network of tracks that would be an exaggeration to call roads. It’s made several ascents of Mount Wilhelm and was a feature of the 1982 Camel Trophy event when it first surveyed the gruelling 1000-kilometre course from Madang to Mt Hagen, then backed up as a competition vehicle.” – RODERICK EIME

26 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine


November – December 2014

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traveller our country, our region, our world

Going to the brink Nina Karnikowski is left breathless at the top of Mt Tavurvur.

PICTURE: Christopher Hamilton

I peer over the edge of the crater and into the mouth of Tavurvur. I’m struggling to breathe due to the ash and sulphur fumes. I only stay for about two minutes, but goodness, are those two minutes worth it.

28 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine


traveller



OUR COUNTRY

BISMAR

K SEA

Rabaul

Duke of York Island

Mt Tavurvur

NEW IRELAND Blanche Bay

NEW BRITAIN png

0 Km 50

O

ur boat draws up to the shore and we step off onto the black earth, thick with volcanic ash. Tavurvur volcano, that volatile beast that lords over Matupit Harbour and nearby Rabaul, rises ahead of us. The Rababa hot springs, just a few hundred metres from its base, steam and bubble away, and the scent of sulphur hangs in the air. Moss-coloured mountains surround the volcano and ash wafts from its cone. It’s breathtaking. “Hello! Hello!” Our small group has been so transfixed we’ve failed to notice some children gathering around us. They’re laughing and

November – December 2014

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traveller Going to the brink

our country

Hard boiled … children cook megapode eggs for lunch in the hot springs; (previous page) Mt Tavurvur erupts on August 23. The author visited before the eruption.

smiling and wanting to know our names and ages. An older girl, clad in a red T-shirt, steps forward and presents us with three huge eggs, about two-and-a-half times the size of regular chicken eggs. She motions for us to follow her over to the hot springs. Carefully, she places the eggs in the water one by one and tells us to wait. A few minutes later, lunch is served: fresh megapode eggs, almost all delectable yolk, for PGK2 each. The megapode (New Guinea scrub fowl) relies on heat produced by the volcano to incubate its eggs at a constant temperature of 33 degrees, burying them up to 1.8 metres deep in the warm ash and soil around the volcano’s base. These kids, in turn, rely on the eggs as a source of income. Our bellies filled, we farewell our new friends and jump back into our little boat. We don’t have far to go: just a few hundred metres across water and we’re at the feet of Tavurvur, the country’s most active volcano that last erupted on August 23 but has since

30 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

settled down again. Now that we’re this close, it actually looks smaller than it did before. I imagine it will only take me 15 minutes to climb. No need for water or sunscreen, pfft! Alas, half an hour after I start trudging through the crumbly ash, slipping and sliding and doing my darndest not to think about how silly I have been to not bring water, sunscreen or wear silk pants while climbing an active volcano. I know I am wrong. I also know, however, that I must continue or risk regretting




traveller Going to the brink not doing this for the rest of my life. Word has it the view from the top is spectacular. By the time I reach the top, I’m 99 per cent parched. My shoulders are neon with sunburn and I’m struggling to breathe because the ash and sulphur fumes are filling my lungs. But I push on and do what I came here to do. I peer over the edge of the crater and into the mouth of Tavurvur. I see that Tavurvur is angry. It’s not red, seething lava as one might imagine, but a black, smouldering pit. It’s belching smoke and that sound I assumed was the ocean on the other side of the volcano is actually a ripping and a roaring from deep inside its belly. I only stay for about two minutes, but goodness, are those two minutes worth it. They are not only worth it for the views of the bay and of the lush jungle licking the volcanic peaks, but also because in conquering Tavurvur, I feel like I’ve conquered a small part of the fear that lies inside me.

PICTURES: Kentaro Hosoda

Island luxury … Kokopo Beach Bungalows, where decks provide views across Blanche Bay to simmering volcanoes.

32 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

our country




PICTURE: Kentaro Hosoda

traveller Going to the brink

our country

Just when we think the day can’t possibly get any better, it does, with a pod of dolphins two metres from our boat. One of them leaps out of the water and does a double flip.

KNOW NEED TO HERE

us – some of the best snorkelling in the world is said to be had here and we don’t want to miss out. Just a few metres off shore we bob over a flat coral bed. As the bubbles clear we spot magnetic blue starfish spreading themselves over rocks, schools of tropical fish in the most startling colours darting here and there, and chunks of coral that look like huge heads of lettuce, with the sunlight spraying down over it all. We manage to tear ourselves away from the underwater wilderness only when our fingers start to pucker, flopping down on the sand to soak up some sunshine and munch our picnic lunch. Just when we think the day can’t possibly get any better, it does. Our skipper ushers

GT ND STAYIN Kokopo Beach TOURING A s are available through are three types of ur to er K600. Th e uding The volcano t for about PG from PGK555 a night, incl e or es R w lo iv g dr tin Bunga e ar ut st in t a 35-m ed rooms, air-condition kfast. The resort is abou ea continental br ee kbb.com.pg. 
S inea.travel. from Rabaul. papuanewgu ee S N IO T A RM MORE INFO

Back in the boat, hydrated and covered in sunscreen, we whiz across the ocean on our way to Duke of York Island. It’s a bumpy ride once we hit the open seas and it takes about an hour to get there. We draw up to a blindingly white slash of sand fringed with palm trees, and hastily change into our swimmers. The warm, azure waters are practically begging us to take a dip. Luckily we’ve brought snorkels with

34 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

us back onto the boat and putters past more islands. Our boat circles in Blanche Bay for a little while; local fishermen in dugout canoes wave to us as we drift by, seemingly aimlessly. We begin to wonder what we’re doing here when all of a sudden there is a pod of dolphins just two metres from our boat. One of them leaps out of the water and does a double flip, its sleet-coloured body glistening in the late-afternoon sunshine. The cheeky dolphins then disappear into the watery depths, only to resurface a few minutes later, right at the front of our boat, putting on another show. We can hardly believe our eyes; we never imagined this sort of experience could exist outside of a theme park.  ir Niugini flies from A Port Moresby to Rabaul daily. See airniugini.com.pg.


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FISHY TALES of monsters and big black bass

PICTURE: ANDREW NAIRE

David Granville journeys to Lake Murray, a place of legends and a new eco-friendly fishing lodge.

P

apua New Guinea’s tackle-busting black bass have a world-wide reputation as one of the toughest fish to catch, so when the chance ccomes up to cast for them at Lake Murray in the Western Province, there is no holding me back. A new fishing lodge has opened at the lake that, until now, has only been fished by locals who have been hauling in the huge black bass, as well as barramundi and saratoga. There are few places around the world these days that haven’t been accessed by hordes of recreational anglers, but this is the exception. We are among the first, if not the first. To learn more about Lake Murray, I did some research and to my surprise find there is far

40 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

The tug-of-war has me on my knees as I try to stay in the boat and maintain some control over the fish.

more information about the lake’s “monster” than its fish populations. In 1999, there were reports of a dinosaur-like animal the size of a tip-truck wading in the shallows. This reptile was described as similar to the extinct Tyrannosaurus Rex. Despite my scepticism, it does ensure my camera is always at the ready. Lake Murray is PNG’s largest lake and has a surface area of around 650 square kilometres. In the wet season, though, this massive waterway swells to over 2000 square kilometres. There are several large rivers flowing into it, including the Kiam, June and Boi. To get there, we fly Air Niugini from Brisbane to Port Moresby, then take a domestic flight to Mt Hagen.


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OUR COUNTRY

PNG

NEW BRITAIN Mt Hagen

Lake Murray

Port Moresby

0 Km 250

AUSTRALIA

0

NEED TO KNOW

Km 500

STAYING THERE Lake Murray fishing lodge is available throu gh Trans Niugini Tours, which also provides air transfers from Mt Hagen. The eco-friendly lodge has 12 bungalows and a large main lodge with dining room, lounge, bar and wrap -around verandah. Room from about PGK1450 a night . MORE INFORMATION See pngtours.com .

Catch of the day … Phillip Clement (left) and the author David Granville with two black bass landed at Lake Murray.

Trans Niugini Tours, which owns Lake Murray Lodge, also owns Rondon Ridge on the hills above Mt Hagen. We overnight there before taking a one-hour scenic flight to the lake. It’s only when you are flying over it that you can appreciate its scale. We are the first guests to check into the new fishing lodge, which has 12 ensuite bungalows, all with their own balcony overlooking the water. They are constructed with local timbers and fit well into the bush landscape. The lodge has three custom-built five-metre open boats. The Western Province is home to more than 50 per cent of PNG’s bird population, so it is expected the boats will be popular with birdwatchers, as well as anglers.

We unpack our bags and begin preparing our tackle for battle with lutjanus goldiei – the legendary Papuan black bass. This fish is considered one of the toughest because of its power and weight, as well as a preference for a snaggy environment. Our outfits comprise mainly hefty bait-casting rods with loads of bottom-end power, but still enough tip to aid with casting, and matching reels with maximum drag pressures of around 10 kilograms. We load these with 24–37-kilogram braid and 37–60-kilogram leaders. Indeed, if the big one climbs on we want to be prepared. About 5000 people live around the lake in scattered villages. When you fish an area, it is expected that you take a local on board to show

that you aren’t plundering their waters. The local knowledge also helps. We navigate our way through a maze of weed beds and channels that look unlikely for black bass, but within 15 seconds of starting to troll my colleague, Phillip Clement, has a strike. The fight is hard and fast and we manage to muscle the 87-centimetre and 15-kilogram black bass on to the boat. It feels like a dream. A photo shoot follows before we release the fish to fight another day. We leave that spot and move to the next, where a drain is pumping water into an open bay that has some decent snags on the edges. This looks a little more like traditional bass water, and soon we have hooked another before the line breaks next to the boat.

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PICTURE: DAVID GRANVILLE

traveller Fishy tales

A wave and a smile …. locals on the shore of Lake Murray which is populated by about 5000 people in scattered villages.

There is no room for error in this closecombat fishing and locked-up drags combined with no- stretch line and leaders can end in tears. As Clement is re-rigging, I am swapping rods like a mad man trying to find a lure they want to eat. I have been throwing plastics and smaller minnows on my lighter outfits to no avail, so I pick the big gun – a Smith snakehead rod matched to a Daiwa Lexa 300 reel loaded with 37-kilogram braid and 60-kilogram leader. The lure is a silver/blue/orange colour Salmo Perch that works on the first cast. I am on and although it is only a little tacker, around five

42 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

kilograms, it is great to catch my first Lake Murray black bass. As I quickly learn, even the small ones hit like freight trains. We keep moving and the next spot is another grassy drain barely wide enough for the boat. We pull up on a bend, where we are instructed by the locals to cast. I can’t even see the snag but apparently there is a small submerged tree in there. Interestingly, it takes a few casts to get our first bite at this spot but when that happens it seems to fire up the other fish up. I get two around the seven-kilogram mark in quick succession and Clement and I both miss a couple more bites before I get monstered.

This big fish is pulling line with ease from a lock-up drag and the tug-of-war has me on my knees as I try to stay in the boat and maintain some control over the fish. Eventually the hooks pull, so I will never know how big it is, but it is one of those fights that is etched in my memory. We later discover that the main baitfish in this area is the Papuan herring, which looks a lot like Australian bony bream, so no real surprise that they like the Salmo, which is a dead ringer for a bony bream. We troll another likely looking bend and I get hit so hard that I hear my back crack as the fish strikes.


traveller Fishy tales



I miss the fish but it is an insane bite. That spot is now named Back Crack Corner. I finish the day with six bass while Clement scores fish of the day with his 87-centimetre catch. I am buzzing and it is great that the reality has equalled the hype surrounding these fish. Sitting on the deck of the lodge with a cold beer and to watch the setting sun caps off an

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awesome day and I feel honoured to be one of the first recreational anglers here. We follow up with more fishing over the next few days, including my first PNG barra that hits the mat at 90 centimetres. The bass is king here, but a quality barra like this is not a bad catch either. I have no doubt this place is going to become world renowned for its amazing black bass

PICTURE: DAVID GRANVILLE

Another monster catch … Lake Murray lodge manager Andrew Narie; longboats (above) are a common form of transport on the lake.

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fishing. We never do see that Lake Murray monster but the monster bass are enough to get me back.

 ir Niugini has daily A flights from Port Moresby to Mt Hagen. See airniugini.com.pg.


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Island day tripper Doreen Philip journeys to an uninhabited island where she has freshly caught fish cooked over a beach fire.

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The sea is the colour of lime and the only sounds to be heard are waves breaking against distant rocks and the chirping of birds feeding on ripe pandanus nuts. I’m on the white sand on the beach at Muwa Island, part of the Trobriand Island group in Milne Bay Province. We’ve arrived by boat from Butia Lodge at Losuia on Kiriwina Island, 25 kilometres and 30 minutes away. It is like paradise here at Muwa Island. The trees, tallis nut and kwila among them, come right down to the shore and there’s not a footprint in the sand. Our group spends the day fishing and picnicking, arranged by Edric Kelai, a custodian of the uninhabited island and the former manager at Butia Lodge, which arranges the day trips here.


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The lodge has seven bungalows in a delightful setting of neatly kept lawn and flower gardens. Lonely Planet’s travel guide to Papua New Guinea and the Solomons raves about the food at Butia, including traditional vegetables such as yams and “mouthwatering mud crabs”. But we’re also in for a feast here at Muwa Island. Locals have accompanied us on the boat ride to Muwa Island and have brought kulau (young coconut) for lunch. Since there is no fresh water here, we rely on the coconut, along with extra supplies from the lodge. Some of us board the boat to go trolling. The wind is blowing hard and the sea is becoming choppy, making it a bit uncomfortable, but soon there is a bite on the line. Kelai pulls in the line hard and fast, bringing in a big trevally, causing us to do “high fives” all around.

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In no time, we have several fish and they’re put on a fire that the locals have started for us on the beach, next to the pandanus. After being cleaned, the fish are placed on sticks PNG and young coconut stem to cook. Crackling sounds come from the fire as the oil of the fish drips into the hot coals. It is delicious and as I’m licking my fingers clean I want more.

Butia Lodge has bungalows for PGK250 a night. The cost includes meals and the trip to Muwa Island. A boat from Alotau to the lodge is about PGK100. Phone +675 641 0900.

NEW BRITAIN

Trobriand Island group

Kiriwina Is Port Moresby

Alotau 0 Km 250

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Blue-water dreaming

Seeking the perfect cocktail of sun, sand and sea, Belinda Jackson chooses 10 beautiful beaches in the South Pacific.

White Beach, Boracay, PHILIPPINES

Naru Island, Western Province, SOLOMON ISLANDS

There’s good reason White Beach, on Boracay Island, might appear as TripAdvisor readers’ 19th best beach in the world. While other beaches are blissfully uninhabited, here you can pull up a beanbag on the sand and watch the sun set with an expertly blended mojito in hand. Listen to local musicians strumming, enjoy fine dining with white tablecloths or just walk the four-kilometre beach. The warm waters of the Sula Sea offer fine snorkelling, windsurfing, sailing and simply frolicking. Peak season for tourists is March to June, and the best (and priciest) address on the island is the Shangri-La Hotel. See shangri-la.com/boracay, itsmorefuninthephilippines.com.

There are 992 islands making up the Solomon Islands, but turn your course to the Western Province’s capital, Gizo, for deserted, toothpaste-white sandy shores. Kasolo Island (aka Plum Pudding Island or Kennedy Island) is renowned as the spot where John F. Kennedy was shipwrecked during World War 2 before he became president of the US. But it’s Naru Island that wins for its perfect sandbar that stretches a long finger into the warm oceans. Feeling romantic? A beach chapel stands by if you feel like popping The Question. Use Fatboys Bar Restaurant Resort as a base, 10 minutes’ by boat from Gizo Province. See solomonislandsfatboys.com.au, visitsolomons.com.sb.

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Kabakon Island, Duke of York Islands, PNG Meet the locals – which may include a friendly dugong or two – on a visit to the Duke of York Islands, part of the Bismarck Archipelago in East New Britian Province. The islands are off the beaten track in a peaceful corner of the world, yet easily reached by banana boat from Kokopo Town. Peaceful Kabakon Island has all the accountrements of a great beach: white sand, aquamarine water, swaying palms and spectacular snorkelling straight off the shore. Stay at Maira Home Stay, in the traditional village on Doy Island, or Wara Pis Guesthouse on Ururuan Island. See villagehuts.com.

Natadola Beach, Coral Coast, FIJI Fiji’s Yasawa Islands hit the collective consciousness when Brooke Shields frisked along the beaches of Nanuya Lailai in Blue Lagoon in 1980, and the islands have long featured in the world’s top 10. So it’s a tough call to name just one. There’s no hardship to get to one of the most admired: Natadola Beach on the Coral Coast is right out the front of the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa, 45 minutes from the international airport on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu. Expect five-star views of turquoise waters to match the five-star service back on land. See fiji.intercontinental.com, fiji.travel.

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Champagne and Lonnoc beaches, Espiritu Santo, VANUATU

Conflict Islands, Milne Bay Province, PNG

Chances are, if you’re on a cruise ship in Vanuatu, you’ll visit Champagne Beach. The world-famous strip of sand, on the north-east of the island of Espiritu Santo, ticks all the boxes, with turquoise water and a fringe of deep, lush jungle. Feeling selfish? Hotfoot it around the corner to nearby Lonnoc Beach and you won’t have to share with your fellow cruisers. You could give the ship the flick and check in at Lonnoc Beach Bungalows and spend your days turtle spotting, swimming in clear, freshwater lakes or kayaking. See lonnocbeachbungalows.com, vanuatu.travel.

A necklace of 21 islands fringes a tranquil lagoon due east of Port Morseby: welcome to the Conflict Islands. The tiny collection of islands is said to be home to a third of the world’s species of marine fish. There’s a small eco-resort on the main island, Panasesa, but otherwise, you’re more likely to spot manta rays and killer whales than you are other humans. The atoll is rated one of the world’s top dive locations, and the pristine wilderness extends to the serene beaches. The islands are reached by boat transfer from Alotau, the capital of Milne Bay Province. See conflictislands.com.

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Whitehaven Beach, Queensland, AUSTRALIA

Gili Islands, Lombok, INDONESIA

This is a heavyweight in the world’s most beautiful beach competitions. TripAdvisor users named it the South Pacific’s top beach and fifth-best in the world. The science says it has the purest silica sand on the planet: your eyes will tell you the white sands, swirled by the aqua waters of the Great Barrier Reef, are nature at its most beautiful. Sail past it, helicopter over it, sleep on it. Beloved by lovers and photographers, the beach is on the uninhabited Whitsunday Island, off the coast of Airlie Beach. For the best views, make for Tongue Point lookout at low tide. If camping on the beach, bring your own tent and water. See whitsundaycamping.com.au, tourismwhitsundays.com.au.

Take a speedboat from Indonesia’s best-loved tourist island, Bali, next-door to Lombok, and its sleepy Gili Islands. It goes like this: Gili Trawangan for the party, Gili Air for the kids and for the best beaches and laid-back vibe, head to Gili Meno. On land, spot chi-chi thatch huts, and enjoy fresh juices, hammocks and plenty of yoga. In the water, spot loggerhead and green sea turtles, many newly released from the island’s turtle sanctuary. Gili Meno is home to the new Karma Beach resort, hang out of the beautiful people. Expect skilful DJs and plentiful spa therapists: desert-island deprivation this is not. See karmabeach.com.

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traveller Blue-water dreaming

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Restorf Island, Kimbe Bay, West New Britain, PNG

Mouli Beach, Ouvea Island, Loyalty Islands Province, NEW CALEDONIA

About 16 kilometres off New Britain Island, Restorf Island basks in the warm waters of the Bismarck Sea. What sets it apart from the rest, with its sparkling white sand and jungle backdrop, is that snorkellers can skim colourful corals while divers eyeball barracuda, clownfish, sharks and tuna in the impressive Kimbe Bay reef and caves, which house more than half the world’s coral species. Restorf Bay is 30 minutes by boat from the major town of Kimbe, which is a 65-minute Air Niugini flight from Port Moresby. For a base in town, try Liamo Reef Resort, which is linked to Baia Wilderness Lodge, a fishing lodge in Open Bay. See liamoreefresort.com.

Sometimes, size matters. Mouli beach – also known as Hwakaiö – is the west side of Ouvea and the Mouli islands. There’s 25 kilometres of talcum-soft, white sand that leads into the Coral Sea. A string of tiny islands tapering out from the main island, the Pléiades, curve a protective arm around the beach, so it’s only fitting that Ouvea goes by the nickname “the island closest to paradise”. The country is home to a marine reserve bigger than Alaska and also the world’s largest coastal lagoon, so expect a wild array of sea characters, from turtles to sharks and dugongs. Fly or ferry in from Noumea, and go five-star or book a gite. See iles-loyaute.com, haveitall.com.au.

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City guide:

SINGAPORE

PICTURES: SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD

Brian Johnston tucks into freshly cooked hawker noodles, has cocktails at a rooftop bar and shops for old maps and collectables.

An evening glow … downtown Singapore by night; (from left, opposite page) a bustling hawker centre; Katong Antique House; the Singapore Flyer.

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S

ingapore might be one of Asia’s smallest, most sedate and contemporary of cities, but it provides plenty of surprises. Beyond its central business district, shopping malls and futuristic-looking buildings, visitors can explore back streets and neighbourhoods that reveal colour and tradition, thanks to an exotic blend of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures. Further from the city, nature reserves, sprawling parks and beaches demonstrate the more tranquil, green side to this compact island nation, which squeezes in more attractions than many cities twice its size.


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GETTING AROUND

CULTURE VULTURE

Transport is cheap, easy and safe on Mass Rapid Transit (smrt.com. sg), the extensive subway that covers the airport, city centre and many outlying parts of the island. Get yourself a stored-value EZ Link card (ezlink.com.sg) or a Singapore Tourism Pass (thesingaporetouristpass.com.sg) for unlimited rides over one, two or three days.

The Chinese Garden (1 Chinese Garden Road; jtc.gov.sg) in the island’s west provides an excellent green escape. It features imperial-style architecture, flower-filled courtyards, koi ponds and a teahouse, as well as a superb penjing (bonsai) collection. The Peranakan ethnic blend of Chinese and Malay culture is on display at Katong Antique House (208 East Coast Road). The delightful museum is full of antiques, family memorabilia and elaborate wedding costumes. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (288 South Bridge Road; btrtm.org.sg), surging with monks and devout visitors, is a spectacularly kitschy temple centred on a gold and ruby-covered stupa. Its museum describes Buddhist culture.

SIGHTS Painted guardians with scimitars glare as you step into Hock Keng Temple (158 Telok Ayer Street; thianhockkeng.com.sg), where candles and incense burners throw shadowy light onto sculptures. Locals leave offerings to the Gambling Brothers in the hope they’ll influence lucky lottery numbers. Chinatown Heritage Centre (48 Pagoda Street; singaporechinatown. com.sg) traces Chinatown’s early occupants through lives of opium addiction, gambling, secret societies and odd festivals: a fascinating glimpse into straight-laced Singapore’s disreputable past. Top-notch multi-media exhibits at the Singapore National Museum (43 Stamford Road; nationalmuseum.sg) create a very accessible history for the whole family, from the city’s colonial past to its emergence as a futuristic Asian city.

SINGAPORE SPECIAL Nothing reflects Singapore’s multicultural heritage better than its food, and nowhere provides more dining variety than the hawker centres. Wander the stalls, order freshly cooked dishes for a few dollars, and squat at a rickety street table for a tastebud treat. You’ll find the best hawker centres on Bugis Street, Maxwell Market Road, Clarke Quay and Smith Street in Chinatown, widely referred to as Food Street. The hawker centre next to the Botanic Gardens on Cluny Road specialises in Malay food and fruit juices.

CHILD’S PLAY Outstanding Singapore Zoo (zoo.com.sg) is noted for innovative offerings such as the Jungle Breakfast with orang-utans and Night Safari. Its Rainforest Kidzworld combines a petting zoo and adventure playground. Singapore Flyer (singaporeflyer.com) is the world’s largest observation wheel. Turn slowly over Marina Bay for views over the glittering city all the way to Indonesia and Malaysia. At Wild Wild Wet (wildwildwet.com), younger kids can float down the Lazy River and enjoy the wave pool; teenagers can challenge themselves on the duelling body slides and Torpedo.

RETAIL THERAPY There’s no shortage of shopping malls in Singapore, but Tanglin Shopping Centre (19 Tanglin Road; tanglinsc.com) is the most enjoyable, crammed with shops selling art, antiques, collectables, jade, old maps, carpets and curios. Basharahil Bros. (101 Arab Street) is the place for batik fabrics of all sorts and colours; sumptuous silk batik can be found at the back of the store, November – December 2014

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traveller City guide: Singapore

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Singapore scenes … storekeeper in the Malay quarter of Kampong Glam; a taste of India.

which stands on Arab Street, known for its many other textile shops. For something different, Yue Hwa (70 Eu Tong Sen Street; yuehwa.com. sg) tailors gorgeous embroidered cheongsams, those form-clinging Chinese dresses that recall 1930’s Shanghai.

SPORTING LIFE Burn off the calories by taking to a rental bicycle, tandems or in-line skates from SDK Recreation in East Coast Park (nparks.gov.sg), which provides pleasant scenery and cooling sea breezes. For a different sort of challenge, try water-skiing and wakeboarding with Ski 360° (ski360degree.com), also in East Coast Park, where an overhead cable will propel you across the lake. The city’s best spectator sport is the Singapore Grand Prix motor race (singaporegp.sg), part of the FAI Formula One world championship circuit. The annual night-time street circuit is held in Marina Bay.

ESCAPE You could practically swim to Sentosa Island (sentosa.com.sg), the city’s favourite weekend getaway – though cable car is the accepted way to travel. Adventure rides, nature walks, golf courses and beaches combine with luxury resorts, spas and restaurants. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (nparks.gov.sg) provides one of Singapore’s last stands of million-year-old rainforest, inhabited by colourful butterflies, lizards and monkeys. Good walking trails link various viewing platforms. During the winter, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (sbwr.org.sg) sees the arrival of flocks of migrating birds from as far afield as Siberia, making these mangrove swamps a top spot for bird-watching enthusiasts.

PILLOW TALK The quirky, family run Perak Hotel (12 Perak Street; peraklodge.net) is a budget charmer occupying converted shophouses. Though basic, it’s

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clean, tidy and very friendly. Shopaholics should settle into the compact, minimalist Hotel Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen (170 Bencoolen Street; ibis.com), well situated between Little India and Orchard Road. Chinatown acquired a glamorous, contemporary edge with the recent opening of the city’s latest luxury offering, the designer-chic Sofitel So Singapore (35 Robinson Road; sofitel.com).

EATS Spicy, rich vegetarian southern Indian cuisine at friendly Annalakshmi (Central Square, 20 Havelock Road; annalakshmi.com.sg) is prepared by volunteer staff. Diners are asked for a donation; there are no fixed prices. You’ll find divine dumplings at the renowned Taiwanese chain Din Tai Fung (Paragon Mall, 290 Orchard Road; dintaifung.com.sg); try soup-filled xiao long bao, which explode with flavour in your mouth. Min Jiang at One North (5 Rochester Park; goodwoodparkhotel. com) inhabits a stylish colonial-era bungalow with a great garden deck for outdoor dining. Its fine Chinese dishes include delectable wood-fired Peking duck




traveller City guide: Singapore

WATERING HOLES You’ll think you’re on a Mediterranean island at Cafe del Mar (40 Siloso Beach Walk; cafedelmar.com.sg), which sits on the sands, hosts beach parties and features a tapas menu to accompany its cocktails. For an open-air setting and lovely evening views over Marina Bay, it’s hard to beat Lantern Rooftop Bar (Fullerton Hotel, 80 Collyer Quay; fullertonbayhotel.com), a great spot for cocktails and delectable truffle fries.

SINGAPORE

llion POPULATION: 5.3 mi a dollar; 1 dollar = 1.9 kin re po ga Sin : CURRENCY 18 S$ e ntr ce y RPORT: Cit TA XI FARE FROM AI ALLING CODE: 65 DI L INTERNATIONA se are official Malay, Tamil and Chine LANGUAGE: English, ly understood. de languages. English is wi g; 220 volts AC. d, square UK-style plu ge on -pr ree Th : POWER

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Yes it’s touristy, but it’s hard to resist settling in for a Singapore Sling at the colonial-style Long Bar (Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road; raffles.com), as ceiling fans whirl and the ghosts of writers past linger.

TUCK IN It’s hard to pick Singapore’s signature dish: Malay rendang curries or spicy laksa, Indian tandoor chicken, Chinese chicken rice and Hokkien fried noodles all qualify. However, the city’s most famous nibble may well be chilli crab, a messy, fingerlicking dish available from the humblest hawker centre to the fine-dining establishments. Try chilli crab (pictured) at East Coast Seafood Centre (1206 East Coast Parkway), a row of eight seafood restaurants in the open air that gaze over the ocean.


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Vertical limits PICTURE: HOT ROCKS CLIMBING SCHOOL

Greg Clarke tests himself on a cliff over the Andaman Sea in Thailand.

A

man is climbing without ropes up a near-vertical wall of limestone in south-west Thailand. Though we’ve met only a few hours ago I can feel his fear. His fall is inevitable. On the wall below him I take shelter in a small cave. I see him up close when he tumbles, his mouth open as wide as his eyes. His scream follows him. Fortunately, falling from an island has its advantages, and my fellow climber creates a harmless explosion of white water before disappearing into the soft and clear Andaman Sea. Cliff jumping, or deep-water soloing, involves climbing as high as you

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can up a near perpendicular island wall then leaping, or falling, depending on your climbing skills, into suitably deep water. The man I have watched fall is Swiss tourist Roger Bebie. I follow him (fall) into the water soon after. “I have been skydiving and bungee jumping but this is the craziest thing I have ever done,” Bebie tells me when we’re both still searching for our nerves.


Hard rock … sheer cliffs in Thailand make for tough going, but at least the deep water provides a soft landing; Railay Beach (opposite page).



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PICTURES: GREG CLARKE

traveller Vertical limits

“If you go [tandem] skydiving you get pushed out of the plane,” Bebie says. “With bungee jumping you can go without thinking. With cliff jumping you are in control [mostly] and you decide when to jump. This plays with your mind, it’s awesome.” Off the Railay Peninsula, near the town of Krabi, there is perhaps a dozen islands. Some are mere rocks barely above the high-water level while a few fulfil the tropical idyll and have a wedge of jungle and a sliver of white sand. Others take conical forms and rise spectacularly from the Andaman. The waters at the base of some of these islands are up to 10-metres deep. Rock climbers and cliff jumpers make good use of the sheer walls and accompanying deep water. A group of us, five people in all, has sailed on a 12-metre yacht from a Railay Beach to a clutch of islands as part of a locally run tour. An Australian, who wants to be known only as Mick, is one of two guides for the day. He’s an experienced rock climber who for now calls Railay home and is helping out his Thai friends who run the tour. After a 40-minute cruise from Railay, Mick transfers us to the base of the island’s wall in a motorised rubber dinghy. Both Bebie and I have limited climbing experience, and from

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By a tree growing from the sand I fall asleep but not before trying to imagine what it must be like to climb up to a height of 25 metres.

the yacht’s tender Mick initially calls out helpful suggestions on where to place our feet and hands while climbing. Rope ladders are rigged to the cliff to help cliff jumpers more easily exit the water, but when you tire, even these become testing. Lunch is served on nearby Chicken Island. Klemens and Deborah Mairer, a perfectly fit Austrian couple, dive overboard from the yacht, snorkel 100 metres to the beach and report on schools of fish and a snake. Mick tells us barracuda are splashing about.

We have fried rice on a part of the beach near to another posse of lunching cliff jumpers. I ask Kung, the second of our guides, if there is time for sleep. “Okay, have a nap, I make bed for you,” he laughs. By a tree growing from the sand I fall asleep, but not before trying to imagine what it must be like to climb up to a height of 25 metres. On Poda Island experienced climbers can leap from the wall into the sea from such heights. We can’t visit the Poda cliffs on this day due to a southwesterly wind and lumpy sea. For those not into heights there are also challenging traverses on Koh Kom. The Austrians and Vance, an American, repeatedly tackle one and before mastering it fall often from the cliff into the water from a height of about two metres. After lunch I attempt to follow Bebie to his great height but almost every centimetre I creep up messes more with my mind: even though l feel an urgent need for a rope despite the fact I can’t come to harm. I get to about seven metres, can’t hold on to the next chink in the rock, and jump before I fall. My heart is still racing when I come up from the water and I go for a swim to try and calm down before I scramble back into the dinghy for the return to Railay.


traveller Vertical limits



OUR region

Railay is part of mainland Thailand NEED TO KNOW but has an island countenance. Its Guided climbing trips with Hot Rocks cost 1000 baht protector, a steep (about PGK75). Climbing shoes, lunch, coffe e, fruit, water and snorkelling gear are included in the price limestone range . The trip begins from East Railay at 10am and returns of what looks around 5pm. from a distance See railayadventure.com. like intense jungle, has warded off the road builders. There are no cars. Visitors come in long-tail boats Air Niugini flies from Port Moresby to from Krabi Town (about a 30-minute trip) and the Singapore fives times a week. town of Ao Nang (15 minutes by boat). From Singapore there are daily All of Railay’s developments seem to be below connections to Bangkok, and then the tops of the coconut trees. Here, the very best onward flights to Krabi. breakfast places are built of bamboo and palm See airniugini.com.pg. fronds. The mats and cushions that serve as seating command waterfront positions and are as appealing as designer furniture.

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OUR REGION

Colonial splendour, island charm

Shining light …the Grand Pacific Hotel’s glory days have been recaptured in a restoration that took two years.

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olonial elegance has returned to Suva with the re-opening of the iconic Grand Pacific Hotel where well-heeled guests are flocking to play and stay at the tropical pile for the first time in 22 years. Originally built in 1914, the GPH – as it was known in its heyday – played host to the likes of US President John F Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth 2 and legendary aviator Charles Kingsford-Smith, who famously landed the Southern Cross in the adjacent Albert Park before checking in on June 5, 1928. Now, after more than two decades lying in disrepair, the grand dame’s seaside glory days have been recaptured thanks to an expensive, two-year restoration. It has been jointly re-developed by PNG’s Nastund and Lamana Development Limited with Fiji’s National Provident Fund. In a clever marriage of tradition and modern must-haves, the hotel offers vintage concepts such as a butler pressing service and shoe shines alongside Wi-Fi, a 24-hour cocktail bar and a hi-tech fitness centre. Built by the Union Steamship Company in 1914 to service its trans-Pacific passengers, many original design features identical to those found on a vintage ocean liner have been recreated. Along with exposed steel girders and saltwater bathrooms, its 4.5-metre wide verandah – reminiscent of a ship’s promenade deck – circles the all-white building.

68 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

Suva’s Grand Pacific Hotel recaptures its former glory as the Fijian capital’s most fashionable place to be seen, reports Angie Kelly.

NEED TO STAYING

KNOW

THERE

om rd rooms fr e Royal has standa K2625. Th ning, cific Hotel PG Pa to nd up ra s G room The ast di Royal Club ivate breakf PGK634 and me with exclusive pr tler service. co bu s d rages an Club room napes, beve af ternoon ca j. N otel.com.f ORMATIO ndpacifich MORE INF79) 322 2000, see gra Phone +(6

Guests take their gin and tonics amid wicker furniture, ornate ceiling fans, plantation shutters and rich timber floors. With sprawling lawns and ocean views, the reborn landmark exudes classic tropical charm. Ten royal suites inside the original shell have been restored, so named to mark two visits by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1953 and 1975. Emerging from her first-floor room onto the verandah, the Queen famously addressed her subjects gathered in Albert Park on both occasions. Today, you can recreate your own royal moment in that same room for the princely sum of PGK 2165 per night. New wings accommodating 113 modern rooms and conference facilities have been added on to the original building. Four restaurants, two ballrooms, a day spa and a spectacular pool club complete the transformation. For warm, romantic outdoor dining, the hotel’s Na Toba pool bar has few rivals on this south-east coast of Viti Levu. Its bay

view, live music and pool-light dining make for a sensory treat, while fine dining at Prince Albert Terrace satisfies more formal tastes with French executive chef Geroges Ringeisen providing the menu. Nearby attractions include the newly opened and charming Governor’s Gourmet Coffee House (46–50 Knolly Street, Suva), which multi-tasks as a museum paying tribute to South Pacific explorers, a fashion boutique, a furniture emporium and a delightful lunch and dinner venue specialising in Pacific-rim cuisine. The Suva Lawn Tennis Club, the Fiji Gold Club and the Suva waterfront walk are all on the doorstep, with the hotel’s tour desk on hand to arrange sightseeing further afield. n  ir Niugini flies from A Port Moresby to Nadi three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. See airniugini.com.pg.


traveller



our region BY LUCIE MORRIS-MARR

Three of a kind … dive getaways

TUFI RESORT, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU RESORT, FIJI

This relaxing, resort is perched on a clifftop terrace overlooking Tufi Harbour, 129 kilometres east of Kokoda.

This five-star tropical getaway is based around its dive centre, opened by French environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau.

WHAT LIES BENEATH? Spanish mackerel, barracuda, white-tip and black-tip reef sharks, hammerheads and the rare white hammerheads inhabit the area, while turtles, manta rays and eagle rays are also common.

WHAT LIES BENEATH? Miles of reefs, with endless drop-offs and multi-coloured soft corals.

ENTRY The popular House Reef is only three minutes’ walk from the resort, while the nearest openwater reef is 15 minutes by boat. TASTE Feast on local seafood, vegetables and tropical fruits in the resort dining room, or enjoy a barbecue grill on the Fjord Terrace with chilled wine or beer. STAY The deluxe bungalows have polished timber floors and the walls are lined with traditional woven material. OVERHEARD “Without doubt one of the most beautiful locations in the South Pacific – a true step into paradise.” TripAdvisor review WEBSITE tufidive.com

70 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

ENTRY Straight off the jetty for beginner-style shallow dives – or purpose-built dive vessels going to dive sites just 10 minutes away. TASTE Fijian cuisine, South Pacific and Asian-inspired delicacies at the resort’s Dining on the Pier. STAY In one of the ocean-front or garden traditional bures, which offer pretty views and a splitlevel deck. OVERHEARD “Stunning diving in a luxury setting,” TripAdvisor review. WEBSITE fijiresort.com

TRUK LAGOON, MICRONESIA This top-rated dive destination is part of the larger Caroline Islands group, consisting of 11 major islands and 100 smaller islands. WHAT LIES BENEATH? Divers can easily skim across decks of virtually intact World War 2 Japanese sunken ships and also see turtles, sharks and manta rays. ENTRY A mix of shore dives or catch a boat to reach the best shipwrecks and reefs. TASTE Mix in with expats and fellow visitors at the Hard Wreck Cafe and Bar at the Truk Stop Hotel. STAY Either at one of the two main hotels, Truk Stop Hotel or Truk Blue Lagoon Resort. Or book a cabin on board Odyssey (pictured), a spacious air-conditioned, live-aboard dive vessel. OVERHEARD “It is very remote and perfect for those who love to dive a piece of history and enjoy a laid back, beautiful atmosphere,” TripAdvisor review. WEBSITE bluelagoondiveresort.com, trukodyssey.com, trukstophotel.com 


traveller



time traveller Rabaul Airport, 1960s Rabaul’s airport started as an airstrip built by the Royal Australian Air Force during World War 2. It was known as Lakunai Airfield. The Japanese forces took control of it during the Battle of Rabaul in 1942 before Allied bombing “neutralised” it in 1944. After the war it was turned over to civilian use, but it was destroyed in the 1994 volcanic eruption of Mount Tavurvur. Susan McGrade, from the Rabaul Historical Society, says the airport looked pretty much like it did in this 1960’s photo when the volcano dumped a metre of ash on it. “I was born in Rabaul and have many fond memories of this airport,’’ she says. As children we would depart Rabaul in pretty frocks and ribbons in our hair. My mother had us dressed up like princesses. “However, the journey was arduous and by the time we reached Brisbane (via Lae and Townsville) our socks had fallen to our ankles and our pigtails were all over the shop. Our mother would be aghast at the orange juice or Coca Cola which would end up down the front of our dresses.’’ If you have a photo that may be suitable for Time Traveller, email paradise@businessadvantageinternational.com.

72 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

TIME TRAVELLER


Living lifestyle, culture, sport, entertainment

Mosquitoes in a

thriller Jeff Turnbull reports on PNG’s win in the AFL’s International Series.

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sport

Top of the world … the PNG Mosquitoes celebrate their three-point win in the International Series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

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he Australian Football League just got another big kick along in Papua New Guinea with the country’s national team, the PNG Mosquitoes, winning the 18-team International Series in a nailbiting game in Melbourne, Australia. The Mosquitoes had to overcome Ireland in a tough grand final encounter at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in August. The code is growing at a great rate in PNG, with 50,000 participants involved in playing the game or taking part in Niukick, the PNG version of the AFL’s Auskick program The Mosquitoes’ narrow three-point win over Ireland – 6.9 (45) to 6.6 (42) – was well received, with the players touring Port Moresby on the back of trucks when they returned with their medals and the winner’s

trophy. And they pulled off the victory without two of their semi-final heroes – injured captain John James Lavai and Amua Pirika. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill rightly branded them as “world champions” as they reversed their loss to Ireland in the 2011 grand final. Brisbane-based Ben Drewe, the AFL development officer for the Pacific Region, said it gave him great satisfaction to see players who have come through the development program triumph on the international stage. “There was a stir around Port Moresby when they won,“ Drewe says. “They love a winner in Papua New Guinea – it doesn’t matter what sport – if they are doing well then they are very proud.”

There is a 10-team senior competition in Port Moresby, with each club fielding a reserves team as well as an under-18 side. And six of those clubs have a women’s team. Outside the capital there are also healthy competitions running in Lae, Kopoco and elsewhere. It all augurs well for PNG to throw up another player of AFL standard to rank alongside three-time Brisbane Lions premiership player Mal Michael, the former St Kilda veteran and now Essendon player James Gwilt and former Richmond rookie Gideon Simon, who played with the Mosquitoes in the International Series. n

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sport

Lethal weapon U

ltimate cage fighter Adrian Pang laughs when I suggest he should register his fists as lethal weapons, along with his elbows, knees and legs. The PNG-born Pang says that is just Hollywood hype. But from humble beginnings where he grew up in a home made of sheets of tin metal in Kokopo, Pang has climbed the tough ladder of cage fighting to be among the best in the world. After almost 14 years in the sport, Pang’s big payday has arrived with him being signed this year by OneFC, the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in Asia. As Paradise was going to press, his first fight for the new organisation was scheduled in Beijing under the PNG and Australian flags. Pang, 36, says cage fighting is the ultimate test in which combatants in disciplines such as boxing, karate, kung fu and ju jitsu go up against one another. “It’s the ultimate proving ground to see what actually works,” says Pang. “In combat sport it’s more about who is the smarter athlete. It’s not just about being tough – if you are not intelligent you are not going to get very far in the sport.” Pang says he learnt that lesson early on his career – his first fight in fact – when he was all over his opponent and had him on the canvas. “Next thing I know he has wrapped his legs around my neck in what is called a triangle choke,” says Pang. “I had no idea what it was but the next minute I’m about to pass out.” He had to tap out and so lose his first fight. “I owe that kid a lot because I learned so much that day. It led me on the path to learning ju jitsu, boxing and wrestling because

76 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

any martial art on its own would not be good enough.” In 40 fights since, Pang has never tapped out again. Pang’s hero is his father James, a former windsurfing champion in PNG, who put through school a number of local kids in Kopoco and now employs them in his betting shop. “He has done so much for the local community and I want to give something back too,” Pang says. Pang visits his father at least four times a year and takes the trouble to give kids in the area a workout in the gym for free while he is there. Back in Brisbane, at his Integrated MMA (mixed martial arts) gym he can charge hundreds of dollars an hour for a personal session. As a child, he grew up exploring the caves around his home and discovering relics

PNG-born cage fighter Adrian Pang has been signed up in the big league, where they pull no punches, reports Jeff Turnbull. Fighting man … Adrian Pang with the Asia Pacific lightweight belt he won in the Legend Fighting Championship; and at work in the ring (opposite page).


Living



left behind by the fleeing Japanese in World War 2. “They didn’t pack up when they left – they left everything behind,” Pang says. “My dad used to get around in a Japanese Jeep.” His mother, Christine McKay, lives in Brisbane and is a successful local real estate agent on the north side of the city. When he eventually throws in the towel, Pang, with his wife Melina and two young children Xian, 5, and Maiya, 3, will settle in

In combat sport it’s more about who is the smarter athlete. It’s not just about being tough.

sport

PNG where he will set up another gym. “They call me a pioneer in the sport now,” Pang says. “I’ve been doing it in the days before Facebook and before social media – when MMA was a grassroots sport and now it’s the fastest growing sport on the planet.’’ Pang also had a stint as a strike coach in an Ultimate Fighting Championship reality TV series that pitched Australian and Canadian fighters against each other as they lived and trained together, with the winner getting a UFC contract. He also runs a successful joinery business in Brisbane where he uses a lot of PNG timber in his specialty kitchens and vanities. He is especially proud of a library he built out of rosewood. It’s amazing how he can juggle his work, his fighting and his family commitments with two torrid training sessions a day, six days a week. “I get home about 9pm every night,” he says. He is now looking forward to climbing into

the cage with OneFC after signing a two-year contract. “I get decent money but it’s taken me 10 years to start earning it,” Pang says. “I would have paid to do it when I first started – I just loved the sport so much. “Now finally I do get money and OneFC will be a very good purse.” n

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celebration

ARTWORK: JOHN SUINE

Living

Christmas in PNG is a time when people travel home and gather together for celebrations with the extended family.

78 Paradise – Air Niugini’s in-flight magazine

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elebrations on a large scale can be considered a specialty of Papua New Guinea. Masses of people dressed in their finest decorative bilas, dancing as if they are a single giant human life form, accompanied with primordial chants and rhythmic drumming are all signs of a people who know how to party. And any party around the world needs to be accompanied by a good feed. Christmas in PNG is a time when people travel home and gather together for celebrations with the extended family.

These shared feasts are, of course, not unique to Christmas, but are almost always part of celebrating or commemorating a very significant social event. And one could indeed stress that given that Christmas has been adopted with communal feasts indicates that this Christian celebration has not only been embraced but elevated to a high level of social importance. It could be argued that no group knows how to feast like those of the rugged Highlands region. Feasts in the Highlands can last for days and involve the ritual slaughter of pigs. While the


Living



celebration

A very PNG Christmas Justin Friend reflects on the importance of Christmas in Papua New Guinea and recalls an embarrassing festive-season moment when he was a village guest. importance and value of pigs throughout the different social groups of PNG has a common theme, the people of the Highlands take this to another level. The single most valuable item in their society is a pig. This value has increased with time and still today pigs are traded in times of significant events and only killed for feasts that hold social importance. The fact that Christmas feasts in the Highlands will usually include freshly cooked pork stands to reinforce the importance that Christmas plays today in PNG. I have been fortunate to witness and experience Christmas celebrations in a variety of social groups in PNG. It was during one of my earliest visits to a traditional village, when I was still quite naive and ignorant of PNG social customs, that an event occurred that stands out most in my Christmas memories. I was invited to spend Christmas and New Year in a small village to the east of Port Moresby, a village on the shores of Hood Lagoon. I was travelling with two other dim dims, a pidgin term for white-skin visitors that is not quite as derogatory as it may sound, as well as with our local village guides.

We loaded up the car with our contributions for the impending Christmas feast and set off along the Magi Highway. The highway could only take us so far before we transferred to banana boats for the final leg into Hood Lagoon.

I have been fortunate enough to witness and experience Christmas celebrations in a variety of social groups in PNG.

While our destination was officially a village known as Alukune, what to an outside village visitor like myself appears to be a single sprawling community, is in fact three different distinct villages; Alukune, Keapara and Karawa. These villages sit together clustered on a small sandy isthmus with the ocean on one side and the lagoon on the other. The land bridge

connecting to the mainland has a virtually impenetrable mangrove jungle, hence boats provide the only access. The village houses were colourfully decorated in anticipation of the coming of Christmas. Without the availability of shiny decorative baubles and strings of glistening tinsel, pretty much anything colourful becomes an instant decoration. Certainly the most prolific decoration were flags and other items associated with the Australian National Rugby League. In fact, at the time of my visit I failed to realise that the abundance of colourful rugby league supporter’s paraphernalia adorning each and every house was in fact Christmas decoration. It wasn’t until a visit a few weeks later when I inquired as to why the rugby league decorations were no longer on display that I was met by slightly bemused responses about how Christmas was over so the decorations had been taken down. After being shown to our village accommodation, a traditional home made of bush materials raised on poles above the ground, we settled in for sleep on Christmas Eve. While far from flimsy, it was noticeable that the raised house did sway when one moved about

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Living A very PNG Christmas and entire extended families of several adults and multiple children usually occupied each home. Whilst something that I am now accustomed to, the lack of privacy and personal space was very apparent and somehow led to a conversation with our male village hosts of how one would perform one’s marital duties in such an environment, especially an environment that starts swaying with any sort of human movement applied to it. With wide grins all around, our male hosts explained that the pigs were kept secured under the raised houses, and often the pigs would scratch themselves on the home’s upright support poles, setting the house swaying and that this was the unwritten signal to ensure the marital obligations are met without drawing significant attention. The religiosity of Christmas, of course, cannot be overlooked, and while in many societies this importance has taken on a lesser role, in PNG it still comes to the fore. Early the next morning, the entire village gathered for Christmas prayers, which was

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celebration

This became the first of many times I would embarrass myself with cultural faux pas in PNG and live up to the almost expected behaviour of being a dim dim.

additional to the church services that were also scheduled throughout the day. With the houses predominately surrounding a centre village square, we were able to sit on the extended raised platform of our host’s home and participate in the prayer meeting.

Unfortunately this became the first of many times I would embarrass myself with cultural faux pas in PNG and live up to the almost expected behaviour of being a dim dim. As every family in the village bowed their head in prayer, and as the community leaders, chiefs and religious ministers stood in the centre of the square sermonising the spiritual importance of Christmas, a large black pig casually strolled under the house and started scratching himself on one of the poles, setting the house swaying back and forth. My mind, and no doubt the minds of my fellow dim dim visitors, immediately reverted to the conversation the night before. My fellow travellers and I made immediate eye contact. Our slight grins to each other became awkward smirks as we imagined every man in the village suddenly abandoning prayer to grab his partner and head inside the now swaying house. My awkward smirk uncontrollably turned to childish giggling, and as I looked at my fellow visitors, they too began to giggle.




Living A very PNG Christmas

celebration

CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR AT THE HOTELS Airways Hotel, Port Moresby The Vue Restaurant will host a seafood lunch buffet, including a live band, a visit from Santa and gifts for children. On Christmas night and New Year’s Eve, Vue will hold a dinner buffet, including local beers, house wines and champagne. For a fine-dining experience, Bacchus restaurant is hosting four-course set-menu dinners on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. The Deli KC restaurant will have a traditional Italian four-course set menu on Christmas Day, with complimentary champagne. Phone: +675 324 5200 Crossroads Transit Hotel, Lae Significant upgrades have been completed at the hotel, including the development of an international-styled restaurant. Guests who take advantage of festive-season packages will also have the opportunity to enjoy the restaurant’s new teppanyaki menu, which now complements its existing western and Asian cuisine. The restaurant is hosting dinner parties on Christmas and New Year’s Eve with music and other entertainment. Phone: +675 475 1124

In the groove … the author, Justin Friend, in the rhythm of village life.

Within seconds, during the most solemn and pious part of the Christmas celebration, we three visitors had become something similar to a group of primary school children laughing at a fart joke. Of course it was not our intention to be disrespectful and how we collectively managed to lose control of ourselves over such a matter would probably require a postgraduate study by a team of psychologists, but unfortunately it did happen . Of course no male villager suddenly grabbed his wife and departed the prayer circle; in fact every man, woman and child looked on at we three dim dims with polite yet obvious disapproval. Despite a lot of smooth talking, apologies and eating humble pie there was no going back from our embarrassing performance. We were still made welcome and our hosts were ever so gracious, but it was suggested that during the upcoming New Year celebrations it may be better if we separated ourselves from the community and spent our celebrations on the beach, just beyond the village boundaries. If you find yourself in PNG far from your own family this Christmas, embrace your surroundings and join a local family or village celebration because you’ll find you will be welcomed with open arms, even if you make a complete fool of yourself as I did.

Justin Friend has been in PNG for at least several months every year since the early 1990s. He was married in a traditional Highlands wedding ceremony, has been adopted into a Milne Bay family, inducted into a secret male society in East New Britain, and inaugurated as chief of a Sepik village.

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Grand Papua Hotel, Port Moresby Grand Papua Hotel is planning a week-long celebration in the lead up to Christmas Day. From December 17–24, the Grand Brasserie is offering an extensive array of Christmas fare, including roast turkey, Christmas pudding and all of the traditional trimmings. On Christmas Day, the Grand Brasserie will have a buffet, including a glass of bubbly on arrival. On New Year’s Eve visitors can celebrate at the Grand Brasserie with champagne and happy hour drinks at the Grand Bar until late. Party goers will then be invited to bring in 2015 by watching a fireworks display from the 15th floor with champagne, wine and cheese. Phone: +675 304 0000 Laguna Hotel, Port Moresby Laguna will be celebrating Christmas by the poolside with a sit-down dinner and the New Year in its ballroom with a live band. Phone: +675 323 9333 Lamana Hotel, Port Moresby The hotel is offering Air Niugini loyalty cardholders a special accommodation deal this festive season. Visitors of Lamana Hotel are also invited to join in the festivities at the Lamana Gold Club, where a Christmas party will be held on December 13. The event will include carols by candlelight, a visit from Santa, and an outdoor-party featuring local DJs. On Christmas Day, Lamana’s Palazzo restaurant is hosting a special lunch. The annual White Party on New Year’s Eve will also be at the Lamana Gold Club. There will be costume prizes, as well as guest performers and DJs leading up to the countdown and a fireworks display at midnight. Phone: +675 323 2333 – Ben Creagh


Living



fashion

For beach or ballroom, Janice Breen Burns says the versatile kaftan is never out of vogue in the Pacific.

cool Kaftan

Kaftans are now available in thousands of colours, fabrics, sizes and prints; they keep you cool while looking your best.

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t is the perfect fashion garment; a simple voluminous fabric sheath that packs flat, wears lightly and gracefully, is cool like a breeze and offers a dramatic, moving canvas for designers’ creativity. The kaftan – a staple of Mesopotamian dress thousands of years ago – has wafted in and out of fashion so often in the past century that it has earned “classic” style status. This means the kaftan is “trend transcendent”; whether or not it’s identified as a key look in any season, it can never technically be “out” of fashion.

“Versatility is the key to its success and historical endurance,” explains Tara Levitt, director of Starblu, a global kaftan brand she founded in Hong Kong 10 years ago. “Kaftans are now available in thousands of colours, fabrics, sizes and prints; they keep you cool while looking your best, provide great sun cover and are the perfect solution to go from the beach or pool to restaurant or bar.” In fact, you can also add “banquet or ballroom” to that range of the potential uses of kaftans. On the drawing boards of intuitive designers, kaftans can adapt – a kinked waistline here,


Living



fashion

Going with the flow … kaftans by Robert Kennedy (far left), Lepou (second left), Camilla (main) and Starblu (below).

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a tapered hemline there, here a ruche, there a splice – to accentuate their natural potential for womanly glamour, girly prettiness, or simple, fashionable chic. Pure silks including airy chiffon, for example, can be coaxed to lift and flutter, or sway out dramatically behind a woman as she walks. Soft ties and strategic darts can be engineered to flatter womanly curves, but gently and comfortably,

kaftans – in cottons, linen, silks, any fabric at all – is literally limitless. Many designers who specialise in kaftans also become renowned for exploiting the creative potential of so much fabric in a single garment. Fiji’s Robert Kennedy recently released Sasusalu, his marvellous collection inspired by the heavy mother-of-pearl shell jewellery of local tribes. Samoan-born Sydney designer Fai Lepou Peni describes her current intensely coloured collection as “inspired by the rainbow … truly loud and bright.” And world-famous Australian kaftan designer, Camilla Franks, describes finding inspiration for her extraordinary “in the name of the tribe” collection in the wildest regions of Vietnam. “The recurring story was connectedness,” she recalls of her time with the Flower H’mong, Nung, Giary, Red Dao and Lahu people of remote Vietnam. “In these communities, each rich, intricate design of identity is as unique as the wearer.” Miss Franks’ use of black and white in this collection is an elegant shock in a kaleidoscope of kaftans traditionally dominated by vivid colour or sugary white, proof there are as many different kaftans in the world as there are women. without gripping. Kaftans’ necklines invariably beg some embellishment and designers oblige with elements from subtle embroideries to glinting paillettes and crystals, and even wide, ostentatious rivers of sparkling, facetted gemstones. For simpler applications, pure cotton kaftans in summery prints can be cut short and chic, or maxi length for beach bohemians. And, the stylish potential for white

NEED TO K NOW

ROBE https://w w w.fa RT KENNEDY: ce Kennedy-Desig book.com/pages/Rober tn-Fiji/11941908 4788566 CAMILLA: camilla.com.a u ST starblu.com/la ARBLU: dies-beachwea r/kaf tans LEPOU: lepou1.com facebook.com . /Lep lepou1@tpg.co ou1 m.au

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THEATRE

The show goes on

PICTURES: KIARA WORTH

Kiara Worth lifts the curtain on the Moresby Arts Theatre.

Art and drama … local artist John Danger exhibiting at MAT; and scenes from the theatre – including music, makeup and local actor Fabian Hera on stage.

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his year, the Moresby Arts Theatre (MAT) is celebrating its 100-year anniversary. Since its humble beginnings in a hall on Douglas Street in 1914, MAT has grown and developed into a central hub for artists from across the country. Built by the Arts Council of Port Moresby in 1974, it is now located at the Moresby Arts Centre in Waigani. The theatre seats 150 and hosts a gallery space, cafe and lush grounds, making it the perfect place to celebrate the rich artistic culture of Papua New Guinea. Since 1974, MAT has staged more than 200 locally produced shows, from Shakespeare and musicals, to comedies and drama, educational theatre, traditional sing-sings,

dances and choral groups, video screenings, poetry and rap sessions. The theatre was also one of the main venues for the Melanesian Arts Festival in July, hosting a variety of shows from artists across the South Pacific. MAT is also focused on training and hosts a variety of activities to encourage the development of young performers in Port Moresby. In September, MAT hosted the Human Rights Film Festival and in October the GiniGoada youth training workshop, which offered, courses on creativity, positive lifestyles and communication skills. MAT also hosts a monthly craft market to provide local artists a venue to sell and display their creations. November – December 2014

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THEATRE

The stage is set … artwork on display at MAT and wired for sound.

NEED TO KNOW

MAT hosts a variet y of sho the year. For more inf ws and events throughout ormation contact 32 5-3503, email moresbyartthe atr see facebook.com /pa e@gmail.com, ges/Moresby-Ar tsTheatre/18016407030 2. Brown Sugar Cafe is open daily on weekdays from 10am to 2pm. See facebook.com /pa ges/Brown-SugarCafe/420170261460 509. The local craft marke t is held on the secon d Saturday of every mo nth.

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Run by a volunteer group of PNG nationals and expatriates, MAT is constantly encouraging new local artists to participate

and showcase their art, as well as to comment on the society around them. n


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food

From flying geese to frying pans – Hong Kong’s dining is never dull. Sally Hammond reports from the kitchens of old-style Yung Kee and modern Penthouse, where a Michelin-star chef is at the helm.

Two Hong Kong O

Hot spots … Yung Kee (this page); Harlan Goldstein and Penthouse (opposite page).

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n windy days in waterfront Hong Kong, those workers blowing on their hands and following their noses, could not have guessed what the future held. Right then the irresistible smell of roast goose led them straight to Mr Kam Shui Fai’s shoebox stall a block or so from the Hong Kong–Macau ferry terminal. That was in 1942. There was no menu. He offered only one dish. But it was so unctuously delicious, so crispy skinned, so comforting in its fatty richness, that they – and as it turned out, the following generations – came back again and again, day after day. Yung Kee (yungkee.com. hk/), known throughout Hong Kong as simply the “roast-goose restaurant”, survived the Japanese occupation in World War 2 and the demolition of the original food stand by a Japanese air raid, and has continued to grow over the past 70 years from that simple

hawker stall to one of the city's largest and most respected restaurants. Yet, even now, it is still possible to see cooks at work in the glass-fronted streetside kitchen, and it is common for visitors from mainland China to order portions of perhaps the world's best roast goose to take back home with them. Nicknamed fei teen siu oh, or Flying Roast Goose, that has to be the ultimate Chinese takeaway. On a recent visit to Hong Kong we dined there. The address is different now, Wellington Street in Central, and there are several floors, ornately decorated ceramic friezes on the walls, uniformed staff, even elevators. It’s a classic poor-boy-makes-good story and, as we walk into the marble foyer, we wager the feng shui is fine here, as this place has been ranked amongst the top restaurants in Hong Kong for decades, and is heaped with awards and medals every year. Yet, the restaurant seems proud of its roots. Hanging in a window there is still the food-stall sight of deeply tanned roast geese, gently drizzling juices into plates below. The signature roast goose, of course, is always on offer, and set menus are to be shared. But we are torn between hotpot and birds nest, pigeon, seafood, abalone and a host of other luxury items those original workers could not have dreamed of. The best advice when dining here is to leave any diet plans on the footpath.


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food

As we walk into the marble foyer, we wager the feng shui is fine here, as this place has been ranked amongst the top restaurants in Hong Kong for decades.

classics From the oldest to one of the newest, the recently opened Penthouse (penthousedining.com) by Harlan in Soundwill Plaza II, Midtown in Causeway Bay, is Michelin-star chef Harlan Goldstein’s latest venture, showcasing contemporary European fare. Chef Goldstein, a well-respected Hong Kong personality, having lived here for 25 years, has been called “chef to the rich and famous” and certainly his diner-fans will be thrilled by this latest addition to his restaurant empire. He won his first Michelin star in 2012 with his restaurant Gold, known for having one of the most prestigious wine lists in this city. Strip House, a New York retro-style steakhouse, earned him another. Just for good measure, this indefatigable chef has recently opened Sushi To by Harlan Goldstein, also located in Soundwill Plaza II, on the 29th floor. Sushi To fills in Goldstein’s culinary map with an innovative modern Japanese menu, which combines traditional cuisine with dynamic flavours and a modern twist, under the expert direction of chef Maeda Norihisa. “I don’t have an MBA,” he says, “but I’m streetsmart and employ good people.” As befitting its name, Penthouse, with towering floor-to-ceiling windows, soars above Causeway Bay with stunning panoramic views over Victoria Harbour from the 30th floor.

 ir Niugini flies from Port Moresby A to Hong Kong on Saturdays and Wednesdays. See airniugini.com.pg.

With relaxed, understated elegance, the ambience of Penthouse is the ideal backdrop for Goldstein’s choice of dishes. This is the chic, rustic food – steaks, handcrafted pastas – that you would eat in a New York penthouse, glass in hand, with a glittering cityscape and harbour spread below you. A huge grill imported from Spain is constantly in use for the 60day wet-aged US Brandt beef cuts. Pair these with something from the 130 or so wines, sourced worldwide, or with one of Goldstein’s signature cocktails, created to complement his favourite dishes, and life is good. Yet, in all this edgy urban grandeur, there’s a hint too of chef Goldstein’s down-to-earth persona. High above the corridor is a unique chandelier. Look closer, and you’ll see it is crafted from frying pans. Well, why not? November – December 2014

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Living Two Hong Kong classics

food

CHOPPED TUNA TARTARE, TUNA SAUCE & SLOW-COOKED EGG Tuna tartare: 200g finely chopped fresh tuna 20g chopped red onion 40g diced cucumber 12ml lemon juice 12ml extra virgin olive oil 16ml ponzu dressing Mix all ingredients together and set aside. Tuna sauce: 50g cooked tuna 10ml extra virgin olive oil 10g salted anchovy 15ml white wine Blend all sauce ingredients until smooth.

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To serve: 4 slow-cooked eggs, cooked in water bath at 63 degrees celsius for 60 minutes 4 sun-dried tomatoes 4 smoked anchovies pea shoots Put tuna sauce in the middle of plate, set a ring on the top of tuna sauce then fill in the tuna tartare until full, put an egg on top of tuna tartare, and finally add the semidried tomatoes and pea shoots, with the smoked anchovy on top for decoration. Serves 4. Recipe from the Penthouse.


Living



shows

Festival time Kiara Worth witnesses some of the most colourful dance and costumes in PNG.

A swirl of colour and skirt … the Hiri Moale celebration (this page) and the colourful Goroka Show (opposite page).

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he festival season has been in full swing, providing a flurry of feathers, traditional costumes, and sing-sings. With shows taking place across the country, one of the biggest is the Goroka Show that draws hundreds of locals and international tourists. Located in the misty mountains of the Eastern Highlands, more than 100 tribes gathered for this threeday event to perform music and dances, and to display their extraordinary dress. From the intimidating glares of the Huli wigmen, to the strangely alluring snake dance, and the bright faces of the women from Enga, Goroka is often referred to as “the most colorful show on Earth.” Further south, on the shores of Ela Beach in Port Moresby, the two-day Hiri Moale Festival was also well attended, celebrating the ancient tradition of the great sea voyage and exchange between the Papuan and Gulf regions. Legend says that every year, Motu men would prepare their large, multi-hulled sailing canoes called lagatois and load them with handmade clay pots before setting sail westward to the distant lands of Gulf. While the men were away, the Motu women would stay in their huts and have their skin tattooed.


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shows

After many months, the women would look out across the waters and see the sails of the lagatoi returning, this time laden with supplies of sago. As the lagatoi neared the shore, the women would shout out “hedihoroha bogebada” and start celebrating to welcome the men home. The festival recreates this legend, and features traditional dances and dress, canoe races, the Hiri Queen contest and the arrival of the lagatoi, to the delight of thousands. The Morobe Agricultural Show in Lae also welcomed a good turn out. Featuring cultural and traditional sing-sings, the show presented the great agricultural and industrial variety of the area, with an abundance of fresh produce and livestock on display. n

PICTURES: KIARA WORTH

F or more details of festivals and other events, see papuanewguinea.travel/ events. Air Niugini has flights from Port Moresby to regional centres, see airniugini.com.pg.

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Gadgets BY NINA KARNIKOWSKI

Gadgets and travel accessories Grid-It organiser

Eliminate dreaded bag clutter with the cleverly designed Grid-It accessory organiser. The rubberised web of elastics inside the pouch holds chargers, cords, headphones, stationery and gadgets in place, ensuring they won’t end up in a befuddling tangle. There’s also a zipped pocket at the back to hold paperwork or, depending on the size, an iPad. Comes in small, medium and large, in black and grey. From PGK46, cocooninnovations.com

Otterbox waterproof phone case

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that technology and water don’t mix. Enter the Otterbox Preserver Series waterproof phone case: snap it onto your phone and you can drop it in the ocean (it’s waterproof at two metres for 30 minutes), cover it in snow, or drench it in a tropical downpour. Internal foam cushioning keeps your phone in place, which means it’s also safe from drops and bumps, and it’s available in a variety of colours. From PGK165, otterbox.com

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VinniBag inflatable travel bag

Whether you’re transporting a delicious bottle of shiraz, a special olive oil, or toiletry items, the VinniBag inflates by mouth then surrounds your product with air chambers that protect and insulate, minimising the risk of nasty surprises when you arrive at your destination. It stores flat, rolled or folded when not in use and eliminates the need to use that extra T-shirt to protect other items in your suitcase. PGK92, vinnibag.com

Fitibit activity band Sometimes when you’re on the road, you really need to be reminded not to be lazy. The Fitbit Flex activity and sleep band, a slick rubber band you wear on your wrist, helps. During the day the tiny LED screen flashes up the time, steps walked, distance travelled and calories burned; during the night it tracks your sleep quality and wakes you silently in the morning. It also wirelessly connects to your computer and some smartphones via Bluetooth, and comes in snazzy colours. PGK300, fitbit.com


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Gadgets

Samsonite digital scale

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as arriving at the airport to find your luggage is overweight and you have to pay an excess charge. Luckily, Samsonite’s digital luggage scale will help you avoid such situations. With an easy-to-see backlit LCD display, the battery-operated device is accurate, holds up to 45 kilograms and is much more convenient than hopping on the bathroom scales with your bags. PGK115, samsonite.com

UE Boom portable speaker

Perfection for music junkies on the go, this compact (18 centimetres tall, 6.5 centimetres wide), durable UE Boom portable Bluetooth speaker plays loud, crisp sound with great bass. It’s water- and stainresistant and has up to 15 hours of battery life, making it ideal for outdoor use, and has speakerphone capabilities with iOS and Android devices. Available in a wide variety of wacky prints and colours. PGK460, ultimateears.com

Contour video camera

This cool-looking miniature HD Contour+2 video camera mounts on to surfboards, armbands, helmets, bikes or headbands with adhesive squares and comes with waterproof housing, making it ideal for the rugged conditions sometimes experienced by adventurous travellers in PNG. It’s simple to use and captures crisp footage of things that would probably be too hard to capture with a standard video camera, and can be controlled via Bluetooth-enabled iOS or Android smartphones. PGK966, contour.com.

Leki trekking poles

If you’re venturing on to the Kakoda Trail or anywhere in the wilds, walking poles help you stay balanced and stable. Leki Carbon Titanium AS SL trekking poles are made from lightweight aluminium carbon, meaning they’re light and strong, with the added bonus of dense foam grips and secure wrist strap adjustments. They’re also compact, breaking down into 69-centimetre sections. PGK643, velovita.com.au November – December 2014

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Gadgets

Bose headphones

There are two non-negotiables when it comes to earbuds: great sound and great comfort. Bose FreeStyle in-ear headphones tick both boxes, with deep, clear sound and a fit that’s comfortable for hours. They’re crafted from a durable, lightweight plastic and are super stylish to boot, coming in two fun colours – ice blue and indigo – and with a zippered carry case to keep them protected. PGK320, bose.com

Hibermate eye mask

The Hibermate is the Rolls Royce of eye masks. There’s a dual strap to reduce slippage during sleep and a recessed area inside so you can open your eyes if need be. The piece de resistance, however, has to be the removable ear muffs made from medical-grade silicone with soundreducing “memory foam inserts”, which make it feel as though you’re in a dark, quiet cocoon no matter where you are. Choose between burgundy, navy, black or green. PGK138, hibermate.com

Joby tripod

Desperate to get that perfect shot but can’t quite manage to fit an entire tripod into your luggage? The Joby GorillaPod is probably for you. Its three legs bend and rotate, meaning you can use it as a conventional tripod but can also wrap it around a tree trunk, lamp-post or railing. It comes in different sizes depending on your camera and your needs, and is also great for use on uneven surfaces. From PGK35, joby.com

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Gadgets

10 must-have travel apps Whether it’s telling you about the history of the places you visit, pointing you in the direction of the best boutique hotels or helping you stay organised on the road, each of these musthave travel apps has earned its place on our list of the best. Click download and you just might find the perfect companion for your next overseas jaunt.

1 Trip Rider

4 Photosynth

Photosynth invites users to take panoramic shots of their surroundings and the sky, then stitches the images together to recreate an interactive version of the scene that you can navigate just by swiping your finger. The perfect way to get you right back in the moment when the post-trip blues hit. Free, iOS

With a stylish vintage design and ability to work offline, Trip Rider is a just that little bit better than most other travel notebook apps. It has a great array of trip-planning functions including packing, expense, itinerary and map sections, and lets you add travel companions so you can all access the trip details. Best of all, you can create a trip book with notes and photos that can easily be printed out and shared with friends once you’re home. PGK11.5, iOS, Android

5 CruiseFinder

2 FlightBoard

6 HearPlanet

An essential for the frequent flyer, this app mimics the flight boards of over 3000 airports and 1400 airlines around the world to tell you if your flight is on time or delayed, your arrival times, the type of aircraft you’re flying and which gate you depart from. The flight boards at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris were used as design inspiration, giving this app a beautiful, old-fashioned look. PGK11.5, iOS, Android, Windows Phone

3 JiWire Wi-Fi Finder

There’s nothing worse than arriving home from a trip to find a phone bill full of outrageous global roaming charges waiting for you. Thank goodness for Wi-Fi Finder, which uses your phone’s GPS system to help you locate free and paid Wi-Fi spots near you. It covers over 650,000 locations in 144 countries and filters by location type, so you can choose whether you’d prefer to tap away in a restaurant, cafe, hotel or bar. Free, iOS, Android

Tap in the amount of time you have, where you want to go, and when, and CruiseFinder will pull up the perfect cruise vacation for you, gathered from the schedules of 310 ships across 32 major cruise lines. Make your choice, then investigate detailed route maps, deck plans, prices, ratings and images of your chosen vessel, before booking directly from the app. Free, iOS, Android

Like having a tour guide tucked away in your pocket, HearPlanet is an exhaustive audio guidebook that gives you the low down on nearby landmarks, historic sites, museums, nature spots and more, covering nearly 250,000 points of interest around the world. Using it means you no longer have to spend big chunks of your precious travel time with your head bent over a screen, and that you’ll learn something everywhere you go. Includes an interactive map. PGK11.5, iOS, Android

7 Findery

Launched earlier this year by the cofounder of Flickr, Findery makes the places around you come alive by asking users to leave geo-tagged notes and reflections about great experiences, finds or historical facts using text, photos, video and sound on a virtual map for other users to discover. It gives you the deeper story about your surroundings, plus it’s pretty to look at. Free, iOS

8 Touchnote Postcards

Upload your favourite travel snap, type in a message and the recipient’s address and Touchnote will create a personalised postcard or greeting card to be sent to family and friends anywhere in the world for about PGK4 a pop. Much more thoughtful than sending a generic postcard, and it takes about two minutes instead of 10. Free, iOS, Android, Windows Phone

9 VoiceSnap

Let’s face it: those selfies and group shots taken at arms length never end up looking very good. Better to use VoiceSnap, which responds to the voice command “take a picture”, or remote triggering from another iOS device if you’re too far away, to ensure your travel snaps are stabilised and taken from a good angle. Includes various flash and timer settings. PGK3, iOS, Android

10 Smith Hotels

With a super slick design befitting the properties featured by boutique hotel experts Mr & Mrs Smith, this app covers more than 900 drool-worthy hotels in hundreds of destinations in the Asia Pacific, UK, Europe, and the Americas. Book directly from the app, or simply browse the image galleries and daydream. Free, iOS – NINA KARNIKOWSKI November – December 2014

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Book reviews BY GREG CLARKE AND TIM CORONEL

Indonesia Etc: Exploring the Improbable Nation (Granta) by Elizabeth Pisani Travelling from volcanoes and jungles to reefs and snowy peaks, Elizabeth Pisani sets out to capture the unconfected Indonesia. Pisani studied Chinese at Oxford and as a foreign correspondent worked for Reuters, the Economist and the Asia Times. Now an investigative reporter, her extensive Indonesian peregrinations include meeting the Sultan of Yogyakarta who keeps a posse of albino dwarfs in his court. The book opens with Pisani on the southeastern Indonesian island of Sumba. In a place “skillet hot and ashtray dusty” Pisani is invited to take tea with a recently deceased grandmother. According to Pisani, when the country’s founding fathers declared independence from Dutch colonists in 1945, the declaration read, in its entirety: “We, the people of Indonesia, hereby declare the independence of Indonesia. Matters relating to the transfer of power etc. will be executed carefully and as soon as possible.” And while Pisani writes that the Indonesians are still working on the “etc”, none of the country’s improbable qualities has deterred economists from believing that Indonesia is one of the world’s top five future-growth countries. – GC

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Savage Harvest (Text Publishing) by Carl Hoffman In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, youngest son of New York governor Nelson Rockefeller – who later became the vice president of the United States – disappeared at sea off the coast of Papua New Guinea during an expedition to the Asmat region to collect traditional art. When Rockefeller’s catamaran capsized, about 19 kilometres from then Dutch New Guinea’s south-west shores, he decided to leave his crewmates and swim to land. His colleagues never saw him again. Rockefeller, 23, was presumed lost at sea and officially declared drowned. But rumours persisted that Rockefeller had succeeded in reaching land and met a much more gruesome end. One theory was that Rockefeller’s disappearance was linked to an unrelated killing of Asmat men by Dutch colonials years earlier. National Geographic journalist Carl Hoffman’s investigates Rockefeller’s fate in Savage Harvest and the story of what happened to him reads like a thriller. Australian scientist, author and environmentalist Tim Flannery has described the book as “the most brilliantly told adventure to come out of New Guinea”. – GC

Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy (Text Publishing) by Sophie Cunningham Sophie Cunningham draws on original official documents and the extensive interviews with survivors as she looks back at the effect Cyclone Tracy had on Darwin 40 years ago. “Reading these notes, looking at the fragile, spidery handwriting, feels strangely intimate, as if one were witnessing, almost 40 years hence, the most private and vulnerable of moments,” Cunningham writes. We hear the contemporary voices of residents as well as those of local and federal administrators, police and military personnel; and Cunningham fills in the gaps with her own, more recent interviews. Building from initial chapters that chronicle the destruction, Warning moves on to examine the evacuation and rebuilding, and details how different these experiences were for women, for indigenous Australians and for the Greek and Chinese communities.  The “warning” of the title becomes clear in the last sections of the book, as Cunningham delves into the meteorology behind cyclones and links between climate change and the increasing intensity of disastrous weather events. – TC


Living



MOVIE REVIEWS By GREG CLARKE

Interstellar

Nightcrawler

The Penguins of Madagascar

This intergalactic adventure is woven around a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole – the name given to tunnels in space, which are short cuts to other galaxies – to voyage beyond the existing limitations of human space travel. Director Christopher Nolan’s cast is impressive: Oscar winners Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine and Ellen Burstyn are the headliners. Interstellar is based on genuine possibilities as there are reportedly scientific hypotheses – theoretical physics, anyone? – behind the movie’s premise and interstellar voyages could become a reality. Of his movie about a quest to find a new home for humanity Nolan has said: “Interstellar is about what it is to be human and what our place is in the universe.” And while this movie might yet broaden debate about humans colonising planets (“We will find a way, we always do,” says McConaughey whose astronaut character is charged with the agonising decision of leaving his children to find new habitable worlds) it might also promote ideas already circulating around (cyber)space that suggest Interstellar could have Nolan featuring at the next Academy Awards.

Nightcrawler is a crime-thriller written by Dan Gilroy, author of The Bourne Legacy. It is Gilroy’s directorial debut and stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed and Bill Paxton. Gyllenhaal, who won acclaim in Brokeback Mountain opposite Heath Ledger and as a boy was Billy Crystal’s son in City Slickers, plays Lou Bloom, a hack who after struggling to find a job loses himself to the world of freelance crime journalism in Los Angeles. Bloom hitches his future to crashes, fires, murders and the other nocturnal chaos of Los Angeles after happening upon a group of freelance camera crews who film blood and death without much regard for anything but their shot during nightcrawling shifts. In this world, where each wailing police siren equals a possible scoop and victims are converted into dollars and cents, Bloom is goaded on, or inspired by Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news, played by Rene Russo.

“Smile and wave boys, smile and wave …’’ is one of the memorable lines in the Madagascar movie franchise. It is delivered by the leader of a covey of covert penguins, the Skipper, after he and his mates, Kowalski, Rico and Private uncover some troubling news they don’t want to share with those around them. The penguins are arguably the scenestealers in all the Madagascar movies and their roles in them were spun into a TV show. Now, deservedly but not surprisingly, this troupe is headlining its own movie. The penguins join forces with a chic undercover organisation, The North Wind, led by the husky Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but then ... you know). Together, they must stop the villainous Dr Octavius Brine from destroying the world. John Malkovich is the voice of the doctor, an evil octopus and main antagonist. Benedict Cumberbatch gives his voice to Classified, the grey wolf leader and North Wind agent.

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The movies featured on this page will screen at Port Moresby’s Paradise Cinema. For screening dates and session times see paradisecinemapng.com.


strictly business from www.businessadvantagepng.com

The good brew

Ian Neubauer looks at how the PNG coffee bean is processed for its major markets in Australia and Europe.

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rown almost entirely without pesticides in small village gardens, Papua New Guinea coffee is cherished by aficionados around the world for its delicate fruity taste and smooth caramel aftertaste. Some 2.5 million Papua New Guineans rely on coffee cultivation and processing as their primary source of income in the Highlands of PNG, which provide ideal conditions for Arabica coffee trees. It earns about PGK954 million a year for the country, but has the potential to earn a lot more. The trees require relatively low maintenance during their five-year growth phase, though labour requirements peak from April to August, when cherry beans are harvested by hand and dried in the sun. The red beans, as they are called, are then transported to mills where they are dehusked, sorted and graded, often in the presence of growers, who are then paid according to the weight and quality of their crop. The next step is winnowing, a process whereby air current is used to separate abnormally heavy or light beans, followed by sieving, where beans are sorted for size, and a hand-sorting phase in which defective beans are removed by armies of women. “Quality control is our biggest challenge and unfortunately we are seeing depreciating

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standards in PNG,” says Joeri Kalwij, deputy country manager of Monpi Coffee Exports in Goroka. “We demand a certain quality and if we don’t get it, we reject it.” (A lack of investment in new coffee trees in PNG, many of which are more than 40 years old, is the cause of declining bean quality, according to a recent World Bank report). The green beans, as they are now called, are transported to warehouses for bagging, weighing and storage. Monpi’s state-ofthe-art warehouse features climate control, heavy duty moisture extraction fans and a computerised inventory system that records excruciatingly detailed data and tasting notes on every 69-kilogram sack of beans.

It (PNG) is a tropical paradise with one of the best climates in the world to grow coffee.

The next stage in the process is roasting and generally takes place in the country of consumption, as roasted coffee has a limited shelf life. However, some processors like Kongo Coffee in Simbu Province also roast a small amount of green beans for the domestic market: 50 tonnes per year, around one per cent of production, and packages it as ground coffee for distribution in supermarkets, restaurants and hotels around PNG. “We have just purchased a new Diedrich 50-kilogram roaster from the US,” says Kongo managing director Jerry Kapka. “It will increase our roasting capacity to 300 tonnes a year and allow us to explore the possibilities of exporting our ground coffee overseas.” There’s a second important reason the vast majority of green beans are roasted in their country of consumption: it allows local roasters to mix beans from different parts of the world and create blends that cater to local tastes. Or, in the case of single-origin coffee, it allows them to roast and package beans under their brand names. “For the past 20 years coffee from Papua New Guinea has been really consistent. The


strictly business



processors there do a great job,” says Gavin Folden, co-founder of Single Origin Roasters in Sydney. “From someone who has never been to New Guinea, all I know is that it’s an agricultural product grown by a pretty committed farming mob.” Enter the WR Carpenter Group, a Mt Hagen-based coffee processor that not only grows its own beans in the Western Highlands Province but distributes and markets green beans to roasters in Australia. “For more than 25 years we used to sell coffee to roasters in Australia through traders,” says Ajit Kalluvadi, general manager of Carpenter Products in Melbourne. “But in 2010 we took control of distribution and marketing so we could add more value and build recognition for our brand directly with

coffee

consumers. We have been very successful,” he says. But Kalluvadi acknowledges that a lot of work remains to be done to change consumer perception. “Most roasters in Australia are well aware of the quality of PNG coffee. But the end user (coffee drinkers), have heard all these bad stories about PNG and see it as a bit of a mystery. In terms of marketing, that’s a huge drawback. Much more effort has to be made to promote PNG and its products in a positive direction, to show them it’s a tropical paradise with one of the best climates in the world to grow coffee, and that by drinking PNG coffee, they are helping people have better livelihoods there.” While 22 per cent of PNG’s green beans are exported to Australia, nearly 40 per cent is exported to Europe. From there, the beans are transported to blending plants like the Supremo Blending Unit in Antwerp, where they’re mixed with green beans from other parts of the world. “We control the supply chain from one end to the other, starting at the milling stage, turning, sorting it, shipping it and blending it,” says Ramon Esteve, a director with Econ, which owns the Supremo plant, Monpi Coffee Exports in PNG, and processing operations in 21 other coffee-producing countries around the world. “PNG is a small producer and represents a very small part of our business, below 1 per cent. Importing it is extremely difficult with the roads being what they are and logistics are a real pain,” he says.

“But it’s considered a specialty coffee and in demand by roasters and we always try to satisfy our customers’ needs.” Adds Michael Wheeler, the PNG Coffee Industry Corporation’s London-based overseas representative: “PNG coffee plays an important part of many blends because it adds a fruity taste to coffee. For example, Brazilian coffee can have a very harsh or earthy taste, but beans from PNG will lighten the blend and make it more palatable for most people.” n

The stories in our ‘Strictly Business’ section were first published in PNG’s online business magazine, businessadvantagepng.com and are re-published by arrangement with Business Advantage International.

We are exploring the possibilities of exporting our ground coffee overseas … – Jerry Kapka, Kongo Coffee managing director

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Summit

Industry leaders gather in Port Moresby

Kevin McQuillan reports on the Papua New Guinea Advantage Investment and Infrastructre Summit, where CEOs were upbeat about the future of PNG.

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We are transforming Port Moresby into a modern metropolitan city – the Dubai of the Pacific.

Keynote speakers included some of PNG’s top business leaders, as well as respected analysts and advisers from Australia and Singapore. Peter Botten, the CEO of Oil Search, said there was enough gas capacity in PNG for at least three more LNG trains over the next five to seven years, which would require an investment of about another PGK54 billion.

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Above (from left) … Stella Saris (ANZ), Srivinas Sampath (Asian Development Bank), David McDougall (KPMG), Andrew Cartlege (GE Australia, NZ and PNG). Left … Lakshhi Venkatachalam (Asian Development Bank). Opposite page (clockwise from left) … David Thomos (Brics); the conference in session; Paul Nerau (IPBC); Peter Botten (Oil Search); a break in the lounge; Tom Roper (former state treasurer of Victoria). PICTURES: STEPHEN RAE

rivatisation and infrastructure were two of the key topics under discussion at the fourth annual Business Advantage Investment and Infrastructure Summit in Port Moresby. The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, who told the 300 delegates the time had come to reform the relationship between government and business, and the role of government in business, opened the summit in September. The first state-owned enterprise to be partially privatised is the national airline, Air Niugini, but others on the list include PNG Power, PNG Ports and the National Airports Corporation.


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Summit

Powes Parkop, the governor of the National Capital District, told delegates: “We [PNG] are the last frontier, and we are transforming Port Moresby into a modern metropolitan city – the Dubai of the Pacific, but more. A new municipal building, a new road network with tenders worth PGK500 million closing at the end of September. PGK1 billion is being spent preparing for the 2015 Pacific Games.” China analyst, David Thomas, the CEO of Think Global Consulting, said developing longterm relationships with Chinese companies will pay off many times over. “To do that, (we need to) make friends, build bridges through chambers of commerce and sister-city relationships, visit Chinese colleagues and invite them to PNG.” Paul Nerau, the chairman of the Independent Public Business Corporation, said: “The relocation of the port of Port Moresby to Motukea Island will be completed in time for the 2018 APEC meeting. It is a huge project, which will cost about PGK1.2 billion.” n

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PRIVATISATION

Bankers say restructuring will bring benefits State-owned enterprises face a shakeup through public-private partnerships, Kevin McQuillan reports.

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he Papua New Guinea government is embarking on a grand plan to reinvigorate state-owned enterprises through partial or full sales through public-private partnerships. First cab off the rank is Air Niugini, which is scheduled for part-privatisation in December (see story pages 13-16). The PNG parliament paved the way for the restructuring of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) when it unanimously passed the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Act in early September. Asian Development Bank (ADB) vice-president Lakshmi Venkatachalam described it as a “milestone… which would create a transparent and robust process for PPP development”. The bank concluded in its 2014 analysis of SOE performances across the Pacific: “They absorb scarce capital, suffer low productivity, and often provide high-cost and low-quality services.” The International Finance Corporation’s Carolyn Blacklock, says: “The Papua New Guineans aren’t even getting revenues from SOEs, that would be a real goal to have, so you think some of them should be sold off because they’re not best left in the hands of government.” She says however, the structuring of deals is critical. “There are plenty of examples throughout the world where poor structuring as well as uneven risk-sharing have led to stalled projects or projects whose economics have become unviable, necessitating restructuring.”

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Going private … the International Finance Corporation’s Carolyn Blacklock (with microphone) says some state-owned enterprises should be sold.

Blacklock points out not all SOEs are the same and each must be treated on its own merits. For example, she says, an SOE’s operation could be “leased out” for say, 10 or 15, 20, 25 years and at the end of that, the operating model reverts back to the state. “In that instance, you are transferring ownership for a period of time but not forever.” Blacklock says PNG Ports could take on a PPP-type model, while the National

Development Bank could take on some private ownership to help it expand. She also points out that the National Airports Corporation is moving towards a more corporatised model and suggests Telikom “should be ripe for private sector investment, possibly part-privatisation”. Joseph Tupiri, acting managing director of the National Airports Corporation, has also indicated that Port Moresby and Lae airports will be considered for some form of public– private partnership. n


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Palm oil

Green power … New Britain Palm Oil’s plantations (this page and opposite) in West New Britain.

Lighting up rural PNG with palm oil byproducts Kevin McQuillan reports on plans by New Britain Palm Oil to provide power for West New Britain.

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or the past four years, executives at New Britain Palm Oil have been dreaming of the day when they can make the provincial government an offer they can’t refuse: a public–private partnership to provide much of the electricity needs of the province. In 2010, the company started a project to build a biogas power plant at two of its five processing mills in West New Britain, at a cost of about US$8 million per project. “The combined output for both sites is 4.2 megawatts of power, just from methane

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gas,” says Harry Brock, general manager of New Britain Palm Oil-WNB. “If we built three more biogas projects on the remaining mills in West New Britain it would give us a total capacity of 10 megawatts from methane gas. A good part of this could be used for the Kimbe grid. “The current requirement for the Kimbe grid, which supplies only the provincial capital, is 4.5 megawatts, so there would be plenty of capacity to expand the grid to rural villages along the north coast of West New Britain.”

The World Bank says that only 10–12.4 per cent of PNG households have access to electricity. Of the 264,000 residents of WNB, just 26,000 live in Kimbe. “This highlights the strong need to extend the grid and give a larger percentage of the population the opportunity of having an efficient and cost-effective power supply at their door step. This would be a real game changer for communities in West New Britain,” Brock says. But biogas is not the only form of renewable


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Palm oil

power available to NBPOL and West New Britain Province. The company is looking at using another of its by-products, palm kernel expeller, as a power source for the province. “Currently we use this by-product as an animal feed for our own cattle operation and we export the product to Australia and New Zealand for their cattle operations. We produce approximately 30,000 tonnes of palm kernel expeller a year,” Brock says. He says NBPOL is planning to build a power station to use all of this expeller as a feedstock for a boiler to power steam turbines, giving another potential six megawatts of power. “This increases the power output to 16 megawatts – which is more than enough to supply both NBPOL with its power needs, and also cover the current Kimbe requirement. “There is also a further opportunity for New Britain Palm Oil to increase its down

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Palm oil

HOW IT WORKS The usual milling process produces a palm oil mill effluent, which is biodegradable and broken down in digestion ponds. This process produces methane, a very significant greenhouse gas, that until recently was released into the atmosphere. Recent developments in technology have meant that this methane gas can be harnessed and used for energy production.

streaming capabilities with a larger refinery that could supply a feedstock for a larger power station and also provide a feedstock for biofuel production. “By combining the NBPOL initiatives of using by-products for renewable power as well as the potential of large scale hydropower, West New Britain could easily move to being a green energy provider that would cater for all needs of the province,” he says. “The potential renewable power source in WNB could be more than 40 megawatts of power.” Preliminary discussions have been held with the provincial government about a public– private partnership for the project. “The concept would be based around a public–private partnership involving NBPOL (as a supplier of power), provincial government and PNG Power,” Brock says. “The idea is that a newly formed partnership would take full responsibility and ownership for the power needs of the province. It could also provide an opportunity for a private company to be formed involving local stakeholders. “One thing for sure is that New Britain Palm oil will steadily increase its ability to produce reliable and efficient power and there will certainly be excess power that could be put into the local grid for both the Kimbe town and rural electrification. “There is a great opportunity for West New Britain to be solely powered by green energy in future years.” n Palm kernel expeller … a byproduct of palm oil processing that has potential as a biofuel.

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petroleum

Puma to grow with PNG Ben Creagh reports on the plans of global fuel company Puma Energy.

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he Puma Energy Corporation has laid out plans that it believes will ensure the company plays an important role in the future of Papua New Guinea’s petroleum industry. Three months after acquiring InterOil Corporation’s downstream and refinery businesses, the company’s red and green has started to appear. The first Puma-branded service station, located near Jackson’s International Airport in Port Moresby, reopened recently and is the first of 42 stations the Singapore-based company plans to rebrand by the end of this year. Puma Energy PNG general manager, Peter Diezmann, says the company is anticipating growth in PNG and will identify opportunities as the country continues to

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realise its potential as a supplier of minerals and energy. “Puma Energy will play an important role in PNG’s growth as a major provider of reliable and competitive fuel and lubricant solutions across the country,” he says. “We intend to invest in the region by upgrading and expanding our current network of fuel terminals, depots, aviation facilities and retail sites, which will support the expected economic growth in PNG.” Puma Energy became the owner of the most extensive network of fuel terminals, aviation facilities and retail sites across PNG through the US$526 million deal with InterOil in July. More than 750 employees have joined the company as a result of the deal, which involved service stations at major centres throughout the country and the Napa Napa

Pumped up … Puma Energy’s first branded service station.

refinery outside Port Moresby, the first refinery built in PNG. Diezmann says that Puma Energy’s investment plans will focus on improving its refinery, fuel terminal, depot and retail operations. He says the company’s ethos has been to partner with the communities in which it operates, as it has in Africa, Central America, South East Asia and Australia. One community initiative Puma Energy is developing in PNG is a graduate program, which will take 15 local graduates from a variety of disciplines. n


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broadcasting

A marathon of sport on TV

Kevin McQuillan reports on the ambitious broadcast plans for next year’s Pacific Games.

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he 15th Pacific Games in Port Moresby next July will enter the digital age, with coverage across multi-media platforms, including high definition TV, 24-hour free-to-air TV, internet streaming and mobile phones. Two television companies will broadcast the Games within Papua New Guinea: EMTV, which will be the lead broadcaster, along with a new entrant to PNG, Click TV. Games CEO, Peter Stewart, says the television coverage will be “the best broadcast any Pacific Games has ever seen”.

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EMTV will televise up to 24 hours a day on free-to-air throughout PNG and stream on the Internet and mobile phones. “We are thrilled with the opportunity to bring to our countrywide viewers first-class games coverage, featuring daily highlights and analysis of Team PNG across all sporting disciplines,” says EMTV and Media Niugini CEO, Bhanu Sud. Click TV, launched in October by veteran Fijian-based broadcaster, Richard Broadbridge, will be providing coverage in PNG and across the Pacific in high definition for the first time on its Pacific Games Channel.

We will take PNG into the digital era and will ensure both an affordable and high-quality service to all.


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“This is a giant leap for Papua New Guinea,” says Broadbridge. “We will take PNG into the digital era and will ensure both an affordable and high-quality service to all. “Most TV screens sold in the Pacific now have HD, and this will force other Pacific broadcasters to follow suit.” A former news director of Fiji One, Broadbridge founded Mai TV in 2006. It is Fiji’s second commercial free-to-air TV network. In 2013, he set up PNG TV, part of the Click Pacific Ltd platform. It gained both free-to-air and Pay-TV licences for PNG and distributed the 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer earlier this year. “These two companies have demonstrated that there is a huge market and appetite for the Pacific Games in PNG. Between them, almost 50 hours of Pacific Games coverage will be available every day to viewers,” says Stewart. n

broadcasting

Eyes on the game … CEO Peter Stewart says it will be the best broadcast of the Pacific Games ever.

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ENTREPRENEURS

Lights, sound,

action …

Kevin McQuillan reports on the rise of event management company Blue7Team.

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nyone regularly attending business functions in Papua New Guinea will encounter Elwyn Agonia and Naari Banam, the co-founders of event management company Blue7Team. When the couple started in the business in 2004, there was only a handful of events such as concerts and charity fundraisers, organised by volunteer women’s groups and radio stations. Agonia’s media background started in video production at EMTV, fresh out of boarding school that he attended in Melbourne. Arriving

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back in PNG, he went into video production at a marketing agency and then Radio Kalang FM. This last stint landed him a role as part of Nau FMs pioneering team. “While I was at Nau-FM, I started the Total Event Company. It was uncharted waters and we were mostly doing client promotions with plans for special events.” In 2008, they took up an offer to start a new radio station being put together by some of the original shareholders of PNGFM. It took two years before FM-Central hit the airwaves but within 12 months, they were running a second station, FM-Morobe. But the bug to start their own business remained. “What pushed us over the edge was the premature birth of our daughter at 26 weeks,” Agonia says. “Two months in the special care nursery gives you a lot of time to think and for a fledging radio station this is not such a great thing. I did go back to the station for a little while but within a year had resigned to start our own thing.’ Agonia had also been moonlighting as a DJ with the only sound and lighting production company in Port Moresby, Flashes.  “We looked at our strengths and our passions – Elwyn’s being the knack for knowing how to pull a crowd, marketing foresight and logistics logic. Mine being leadership and sales and marketing,” says Banam. “We thought: we don’t have the money to buy the hundreds of thousands of kina needed to do sound and lighting production, so we will use what we have – ourselves.” Flashes had been a weekend hobby and the owners did not have the time to meet the demand. So, the couple took over, developing a full-service event production company. “We operate with a full-time team of 15 and long-term. We can easily have in our employ between four and 50 casuals at any one time,” Banam says. Blue7Team’s annual turnover is just under PGK2 million. Acquiring the best equipment is a test of the relationship. “Elwyn is very good at what he does and technicians like that want the best. So it is a constant battle between the both of us


Events man … Elwyn Agonia.

– while I preach cashflow, he preaches equipment. “But we are very close now to acquiring the pro-gear we’ve always needed and Elwyn deserves.” One of Banam’s biggest challenges is not having a mentor. “Having two people make all decisions on your own is a bloody lonely me-against-theworld situation,” she says. She says the elements to their success are having the best technical know-how in the

Yes, Papua New Guineans can learn and can do it on their own.

country, passion, a never-say-die attitude, and patience. “Having the patience to know that we can do it – resisting the temptation to have non-Papua New Guinean capital injection that would take ownership and our identity. Patience to ensure that we come out on the other end saying … ‘yes, Papua New Guineans can learn and can do it on their own’.” n

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Brain gym quiz, puzzles, crossword

DoubleTake Tackle either set of these clues – you can even mix and match them, because the solutions are the same for both sets

CRYPTIC CLUES Across 1. A padre is about to reveal heaven (8) 6. Some urbane bar (3) 7. Revise creed - mine is falling apart (8) 8. Every other tyre is okay (3) 10. Teams return pet duck (8) 13. Bearing Harris’ heart in cage (8) 16. Order a little coleslaw (3) 18. Sat back after producing great yachting carnivals (8) 19. Able to locate odd cranny (3) 20. Assembled by Edgar the Horrible (8)

Down 1. Steel pad used for statue stand (8) 2. Withdraw false decree (6) 3. Di has new set of eating habits (5) 4. Was licensed to show segment (5) 5. Gallery in the States? (4) 9. Put emphasis on upside-down desserts (8) 11. Sailor in amusement arcade (3) 12. Time of year Teresa goes dancing? (6) 14. Problem near a sports ground (5) 15. Arrive and make contact (5) 17. A route to somewhere else (4)

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Red Herrings

STRAIGHT CLUES Across 1. Gold Coast centre, Surfers … (8) 6. UN Secretary-General, ... Kimoon (3) 7. Dilapidated (8) 8. The affirmative (3) 10. Evasive foot movement (8) 13. Cinderella’s transformed pumpkin (8) 16. Regulation (3) 18. Boat race galas (8) 19. Food tin (3) 20. Accumulated (8)

Down 1. Idolise, put on a ... (8) 2. Fade from view (6) 3. Slimming regimes (5) 4. Carve (5) 5. English comic, Catherine ... (4) 9. Overwrought (8) 11. Coal by-product (3) 12. Christian festival (6) 14. Boxing venue (5) 15. Range of influence (5) 17. At once, straight ... (4)


brain gym



The Paradise Quiz

puzzles

Sudoku

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW THE REGION? 1. Name the three seas that surround Papua New Guinea. 2. What are the colours of Thailand’s flag? 3. How far is it from PNG to Cape York on the tip of northern Australia: 75, 105 or 150 kilometres? 4. What is Indonesia’s Mt Krakatoa known for? 5. Which country would you most likely be in if you were eating nasi lemak for breakfast? 6. Does the Equator pass through Singapore or Indonesia? 7. If you are buying MYR, what are you getting? 8. What are the three official languages of Fiji? 9. What happens at Padang Padang? 10. What is a krait? 11. The 505-kilometre Rio Grande de Cagayan is the longest river in which country? 12. When was the last wild tiger killed in Singapore: 1896, 1930, 1958? 13. How do you say “fragrant harbour” in Cantonese? 14. What is Singha? 15. Where was the Australian singer and songwriter Megan Washington born?

For solutions to the quiz and puzzles, see Page 126.

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solutions

Solutions

Red Herrings 005 © Lovatts Puzzles

Red Herrings

The Paradise Quiz

SOLUTION: Hungary, Albania, Namibia, RED HERRING, England, RED HERRING, Morocco, Tunisia, Austria, Senegal.

1. Solomon, Bismarck and Coral seas. 2. Red, white and blue. 3. 150 kilometres. 4. A cataclysmic volcanic eruption in 1883 that could be heard 4800 kilometres away; considered the loudest sound ever. 5. Malaysia; it is a rice dish cooked in coconut milk and flavoured with pandan leaf. 6. Indonesia. (Singapore is 137 kilometres north of the Equator.) 7. Malaysian ringgit (MYR) is the currency of Malaysia. 8. English, Fijian and Hindi. 9. It is the site of the annual Rip Curl Invitational surf event in Indonesia. 10. A snake found in Asia. 11. Philippines. 12. 1930. 13. Hong Kong. 14. A popular beer in Thailand. 15. Port Moresby.

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Arrivals Lounge Papua New Guinea visitor guide

Out and about

A quick guide to Papua New Guinea, from catching a taxi to making a phone call. Phone: International mobile phone roaming is possible in PNG but it is costly. A cheaper option is to buy a local SIM card and prepaid credit (including data packs for smartphones). It is much cheaper to make international calls from PNG than vice versa.

ELECTRICITY The current in PNG is 240V AC 50Hz, using Australian-style plugs.

GETTING AROUND As a general rule in PNG, you need to plan your travel carefully.

PICTURES: PNG TOURISM

Taxis: Recommended firms in Port Moresby are Ark (+675 323 0998/7122 5522), Red Dot (+675 311 3257) and Scarlet Taxis (+675 323 4266), although availability can vary and they do not operate late at night. Ark also operates in Lae.

CLIMATE With the exception of the Highlands, PNG has a warm tropical climate. The wet season in Port Moresby is from December to April.

COMMUNICATIONS Internet: Web access in Port Moresby has improved immensely

in recent years. Although it remains costly, all the Port Moresby hotels listed in this guide provide a fast-speed internet service. In other urban centres, you may still be relying on dial-up. For those staying longer, wireless internet, via a USB modem is available, although download speeds can vary.

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Car hire: Deal with one of the international names and ask them to provide a driver (around PGK400 per day). With the poor state of roads, especially in Lae, 4WDs/SUVs are recommended. Airport transfers: For arrival/ departure in Port Moresby, any of the hotels listed in this guide will provide a complimentary transfer. Domestic flights: Travelling within PNG often means taking an internal flight (for instance, you cannot drive between Port Moresby and Lae). Air Niugini offers passengers the chance to book (and check in) online but

make sure you print out a copy of your receipt to show at the checkin counter. Aircraft and helicopter charter services are available for travel to remote locations.

HEALTH Serious medical conditions typically require treatment outside the country. Travellers should ensure they have adequate health cover (the cost of medical evacuation alone can reach US$30,000. Visitors should also note that malaria is prevalent in PNG and there have been cases of measles and tuberculosis in some parts of the country.

MONEY PNG’s currency is the kina (PGK). ANZ and Bank of South Pacific (BSP) have branches at Port Moresby’s international airport. ATMs are located around Port Moresby, Lae and other urban centres.

SAFETY While the situation is not as bad as portrayed by some international media, you should always take precautions, especially at night.

TIME ZONE PNG has a single time zone, 10 hours ahead of UTC/GMT.

EATING, DRINKING, SOCIALISING IN PORT MORESBY Airways Hotel: Port Moresby’s ritziest hotel has several places to eat. If you’re after fine dining, Bacchus is the place to go. For


arrivals lounge

something more casual, go poolside where Deli KC’s serves antipasto, salads, sandwiches, milkshakes espresso and a limited Italian menu for dinner. The Poolside Bar should not be missed for its garlic prawns. The Vue Restaurant, which has a buffet each morning and evening, as well as an a la carte menu, has stunning views. This is also the place for traditional rectangular wood-fired Italian pizza. See airways.com.pg. Aviat Club: The club is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Home-style meals include stir-fries, toasted sandwiches, and salt-andpepper prawns. The burgers and the fish and chips are spectacular. This is a great spot to sit at lunchtime under the shady mango trees, or in the air-conditioned bar. See avita.com.pg.

Cafe on the Edge: There are good hamburgers here and breakfast options such as eggs benedict, avocado, and the best crispy bacon. The servings are generous. It is one of the few cafes in town open early, you can grab your first cuppa from 6.45am. Located under the residential buildings on the new Harbour City development, down behind the ANZ and BSP bank. See facebook.com/CafeOnTheEdge. Crowne Plaza Hotel: There are multiple eating options at Crowne. The in-house restaurant includes a buffet for breakfast (eggs cooked to order), as well as lunch and dinner. It’s one of the few restaurants in Port Moresby with gluten-free choices. The hotel also has fine dining at the Rapala restaurant where the steaks and garlic prawns are impressive. Old-

Visitor GUIDE

fashioned crepe suzette makes an appearance here, too, and is cooked at your table. Daikoku: The extensive Japanese menu has teppanyaki, donburi bowls and a large range of sushi. Tucked away above the SVS shopping centre in Harbour City, chefs will whip up your meal at your table. The teppanyaki menu includes several courses, so come with an empty stomach. See ourportmoresby.co/things-todo/archives/daikoku. Duffy Cafe, Gabaka Street: This has rapidly become popular among the expat community, with excellent coffee and homemade cafe-style food. See facebook.com/duffypng. Dynasty at Vision City: This may be the biggest restaurant in Port Moresby. Its size, its

chandeliers and its gold decor make it a favourite for balls, dinners and parties. The menu is huge, too, with pages of Asian dishes. Don’t miss yum cha on Sunday mornings. See ourportmoresby.co/things-todo/archives/dynasty. Fusion: This is one of the newer restaurants in the city and always seems to be doing great business. It’s Asian with a fusion of flavours from China, Thailand and Vietnam. Takeaway available. See facebook.com/ fusionbistropom. Grand Papuan Brasserie: The funky Grand Papua Hotel bar serves up cocktails and has a decent wine list, along with some tasty tapas-style bar food. Grab a seat in one of the huge, black leather chairs or head to the Brasserie,

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which has a nightly buffet. The a la carte menu is good and the steaks are delicious. See grandpapuahotel.com.pg. Lamana Hotel: The hotel’s restaurant has a daily soup and salad buffet lunch, with your choice of main and a drink. There is an Indian buffet night on Thursdays. See lamanahotel.com.pg. Royal Papua Yacht Club: Relaxed, spacious and open to non-members. Comfort food, draught beer and an open-plan bar area showing sport on large screens. If it’s too busy, try the Aviat Club in nearby Konedobu. See rpyc.com.pg. Seoul House: This restaurant specialises in Korean and Thai food, cooked on the hot plate right in front of you. Kimchi and other traditional Seoul House is tucked away in a garden oasis compound in Five Mile. Tel +675 325 2231. Tasty Bites: This is the newest restaurant in Port Moresby, serving Indian and tucked away in the town centre in Hunter Street near Crowne Plaza. You won’t get a table unless you book. Tel + 675 321 2222. Vision City: PNG’s first major shopping mall houses an increasing array of eateries. The cavernous Dynasty (Chinese) and the Ten (Japanese) are stand-outs. See ourportmoresby.co/things-todo/archives/dynasty.

HOTELS Airways Hotel PNG’s only top-tier hotel, Airways is located within a large, secure compound next to Jacksons International Airport. An inspiring setting, luxurious rooms and excellent service. See airways.com.pg.

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Visitor GUIDE


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Visitor GUIDE

Crowne Plaza Upmarket rooms and suites in the heart of the CBD. Decent gym, business centre, undercover parking, thriving café and Mediterranean restaurant. Tel +675 309 3329. Ela Beach Hotel and Apartments On the fringe of the CDB, this constantly expanding hotel/ apartment complex is part of the Coral Sea Hotels group. Its main eatery is popular at lunchtime. See coralseahotels.com.pg. Gateway Hotel Another member of Coral Sea Hotels, this time located next to the airport. A range of amenities include Port Moresby’s largest dedicated meeting space. See coralseahotels.com.pg.

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Visitor GUIDE

Holiday Inn Located in the Government district of Waigani. Large grounds with walking track, in a tropical garden setting. Outdoor restaurant dining and bar area, business centre and gym. Tel +675 303 2000. Laguna hotel The Laguna is the latest hotel to open in Port Moresby, providing high-end facilities. The 60-room property is a five-minute drive from the heart of Port Moresby and features a lagoon-style pool, free airport transfers, free WiFi and free buffet breakfast. Tel +675 323 9333. Lamana Hotel Also in Waigani, this modern hotel’s facilities include the popular Palazzo restaurant (steaks, pizzas and Indian cuisine), business centre, conference facilities and fashionable nightspot, the Gold Club. Tel +675 323 2333.

LAE Grand Papua Port Moresby’s newest large hotel opened in late 2011. The hotel features 156 suite rooms (short and long stay), an executive floor,

gym and conference facilities. The separate restaurant and bar areas are popular venues for business meetings in town. See grandpapuahotel.com.pg.

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In PNG’s industrial hub of Lae, the Lae International Hotel has a secure, central location, pleasant grounds, cable TV and several dining options. Tel +675 472 2000, see laeinterhotel.com.pg.

USEFUL PIDGIN PHRASES Good morning, monin Good afternoon, apinun Thankyou, tenkiu Yes, yes No, nogat Hospital, haus sik Food or to eat, Kai kai What is your name? Wanem nem bilong yu? I do not like it, mi no laikim The smaller Lae City Hotel has quickly established a good name since opening in 2013, but be sure to make a reservation well in advance, laecityhotel.com. Finally the Melanesian Hotel, part of the Coral Sea Hotels group, also provides business-standard hotels in several other urban centres.

HELPFUL WEBSITES Air Niugini, airniugini.com.pg PNG Tourism Promotion Authority, papunewguinea.travel Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry, pomcci.org.pg


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Paradise: the in-flight magazine of Air Niugini, Vol 5 2014  

The November/December 2014 issue (Vol 5, 2014) of 'Paradise' magazine, the in-flight magazine of Air Niugini, the national airline of Papua...

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