Transport and infrastructure in Papua New Guinea

Our listing of the primary kinds of transport compares the infrastructure of Papua New Guinea with the average of all countries in Oceania. The traffic routes have noticeable defects in many places and are often not in a particularly good condition.

The waterways listed refer to inland traffic on rivers and canals. The number of ports includes those located on the total 5,152 km of coastline. In 2019, about 338,300 freight containers were transported.

Airports in Papua New Guinea

Back to overview: Papua New Guinea

Road traffic

The network of roads and highways has a total length of 9,349 km. For each of the country's 8.95 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 1.04 meters. This puts Papua New Guinea in 201st place in the global ranking. However, it is also important to note the country's population density, which is very low at around 19 inhabitants per km². Like this, disproportionately long distances generally have to be covered to reach the more remote parts of the country.

With an average of 1188 traffic fatalities per year (2012 - 2019), road traffic in Papua New Guinea is considered reasonably safe. This corresponds to around 4.3 accident fatalities per 14.4 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 5.9 in the European Union as a whole and 17.1 worldwide.

In Papua New Guinea, traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road, i.e. people drive in the right-hand lane and overtake on the left. Oncoming traffic comes toward you on the left side. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.


Papua New Guinea

 totalper 1 mio
per km²
Roadways9,300 km1,044.93 km20.20 m
Railroads0 km0.00 km0.00 m
Waterways11,000 km1,229.46 km23.77 m
Commercial harbors17719.780.000


 total per 1 mio
per km²
Roadways30,900 km2,504.49 km55.93 m
Railroads600 km48.39 km1.08 m
Waterways11,200 km908.39 km20.29 m
Commercial harbors5,397437.420.010

Data sources used

Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
CIA Factbook
OECD Statistics
Wikipedia (german)
Papua New Guinea: AirportsLargest airports and airlines in Papua New GuineaThe 26 biggest airports and 2 airlines in Papua New Guinea with further information and data
Papua New Guinea: ClimateClimate details in Papua New GuineaA climate analysis for Papua New Guinea incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, Water temperature, Rainfalls
Ranking: MegacitiesMega cities - the biggest cities all over the worldRanking of the biggest cities worldwide. On top: Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing