Papua New Guinea Pet Moves: What We’ve Learned

sophiePet Transport to Papua New Guinea

The following post was written by one of our Pet Relocation Coordinators. Find out what she, and our whole team, learned about pet moves to Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea is an island off the Northern coast of Australia. It is culturally diverse, and over 850 languages are spoken here. With most residents making less than $1.25 US per day, it’s hardly a place I thought I would be sending any expats and their pets, but this is exactly what happened!

Sophie the Dachshund

Sophie, a Dachshund from Dallas, needed to be reunited with her mom in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. First we thought about going through Hawaii or Japan (as there are no direct flights from the US mainland).  After some routing trials, I decided that going through Australia was the only safe option for little Sophie.

Sure, we could have gone through Japan for fewer costs, but the airline in question could not guarantee where Sophie would be kept during the 12-hour layover. If you’re anything like Sophie’s mom (or me!) this is unacceptable. We pride ourselves on knowing where your pet is every step of the way, and the uncertainty involved in this possibility simply wasn’t an option…  So Australia it was!

Routing Through Australia

Australia happens to be one of the most challenging countries to import animals into, and if we were going to transit through Australia, we were going to have to meet the majority of the rules. Luckily Sophie’s mom had already planned ahead and kept Sophie up to date on vaccinations, and she even had her blood drawn for the mandatory rabies antibody test so we were ahead of the game. A canine influenza vaccine would complete the process for import into Australia.


Papua New Guinea was a different story. We needed an import permit and a Hendra test upon arrival in Australia. Hendra is a disease not worried about elsewhere in the world, but is apparently prevalent in one small area in Australia. Therefore, any animal touching down in Australia would need to be tested for Hendra.

This is a lengthy process, so I had to arrange for Sophie to stay in quarantine upon arrival in Australia for two weeks while we got the test done and the results back. This process would take a week except for the following: animals have to arrive into Australia from the US on a Thursday or a Friday, the Hendra test is only carried out on Tuesdays and Fridays, and the results arrive on Tuesdays.

So, Sophie arrived into Sydney on a Friday and had her blood tested on Tuesday. The results arrived the following Tuesday, but of course the only flights from Sydney to Papua New Guinea are on Mondays and Saturdays. But, Papua New Guinea requires animals to arrive on a Monday or Tuesday, so we couldn’t take the Saturday flight. Are you confused yet? Imagine how I felt!

Almost There!

So Sophie arrived that Friday, had her blood drawn on Tuesday, got the results back the following Tuesday, and couldn’t leave Australia until the following Monday. Luckily, Australia's quarantine facilities are top notch and were very communicative throughout the process, and Sophie’s mom was very understanding.

Did I mention calling Papua New Guinea or receiving a call is effective about 4% of the time, and they are exact opposites from us in terms of time? So phone call efforts were futile.  All communication had to be done by email.

Finally Home

Sophie finally arrive in Port Moresby safely, cleared customs, and was taken to quarantine for two days. After quarantine was complete, my agent was able to deliver Sophie to her new home (Papua New Guinea doesn’t really have street addresses, so this also proved difficult). In all, Sophie was treated kindly, traveled safely, and is probably excited to not see an airplane for a while. After all, she was on four different planes to get to her mom.

A few things to keep in mind if you’re moving your pets to Papua New Guinea:

  • Get help. You WON’T be able to do this on your own!

  • Bear in mind the time differences and communication challenges.

  • Save money before you go! Papua New Guinea—because of the routing—is probably the most expensive place in the world I’ve moved a pet so far.

  • Be patient: this process can take three weeks, just for the travel alone, not even including the preparation.

  •  Be flexible: some areas of the world are quite simple and streamlined, and others are not. I received several emails from the Chief Veterinary Officer of Papua New Guinea from a Gmail account. Some things are going to change when you least expect it so know that as the professionals, we’ll handle it!


Looking for assistance with your pet's move to Papua New Guinea or elsewhere? Contact PetRelocation to discuss your safe pet transport options. 


PetRelocation Team





Add a Comment

By Joy on September 10, 2018 at 6:56 pm

My husband, son and I are considering relocating to PNG for a 3-year stint, starting in January 2019. We are considering bringing our miniature fox terrier over with us - are you able to help with relocation from New Zealand to PNG or recommend an NZ based Pet Relocation business. Thanks

By Maegan at PetRelocation on September 12, 2018 at 2:20 pm

Hi Joy! We can definitely help! If you fill out our Arrange A Move form and consultant will reach out to you with more information. Hope this helps!

By Rose Niemand on August 6, 2018 at 8:25 am

Good day,My husband and I are possibly moving to PNG in a few months (it's a big maybe), and we have 2 cats and 3 dogs (1 Jack Russel, 1 Ridgeback and 1 Great Dane) that we would prefer to take with us. Would you be able to advise on how to handle this potential move from Cape Town to PNG?With thanks,Rose

By Maegan at PetRelocation on August 6, 2018 at 3:09 pm

Hi Rose! Since South Africa is not considered "rabies controlled" it is likely your pets will need to transit through a "rabies controlled" country like the US prior to entry into Papua New Guinea. Due to PNG import restrictions, your pets will need to be physically present in the US for 6 months prior to shipment, and been titer tested there 6 months prior to shipping. If we can assist when the time comes, please fill out our Arrange A Move form here. Thanks!

By Steven Morodu on June 7, 2018 at 1:55 am

We are assisting a client to relocation a 5 year mix bread dog and a 5 kg black cat from Kazahkstan to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. What are the challenges logistically and process involved to relocate these pets safely to Port Moresby to be with their owners.Regards,Steven Morodu

By Maegan at PetRelocation on June 8, 2018 at 9:52 am

Hi Steven! There are a lot of difficulties regarding this relocation. Some of the most difficult challenges will be routing & vet requirements. Since Kazahkstan is not considered "rabies controlled" is likely these pets will need to transit through a "rabies controlled" country like the US prior to entry into Papua New Guinea. If you are interested in hiring a service like ours to assist, please fill out our Arrange A Move Form here. Thanks!

By Nina on April 28, 2018 at 8:22 am

Hi there, are you able to assist with pet relocation out of PNG to Australia?

By Christina at PetRelocation on April 30, 2018 at 4:21 pm

Hi Nina,

Yes, we can move dogs and cats to Australia (unfortunately other pets aren't permitted at this time). If you can provide some additional details about your move by filling out this form, a relocation consultant will contact you as soon as possible!

By Suzy Johnson on May 25, 2017 at 9:14 pm

We live on the Gold Coast in Australia. What would be the cost to transport and relocate our 2 dogs (German Shepherd & Border Collie) from Brisbane to Lae, PNG? Regards Suzy

By on May 26, 2017 at 8:49 am

Hi Suzy, thanks for reaching out! Because every pet move is different and this route is especially unique, we'll need to ask you a few more questions about your move before offering an accurate estimate. Please give us a call at 1-877-PET-MOVE or fill out our online consultation form here to connect with one of our Specialists: We look forward to hearing from you!

By Peter Carr on April 2, 2017 at 7:01 am

Hi, Have you guys ever moved pet Parrots to PNG ?From Aust, I have two pet Eclectus parrots that MUST come with us.I know Eclectus are native to PNG so it might not be as hard.Thanks. Peter Carr

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