Namatanai is the second largest town in New Ireland province and is connected to the provincial capital of Kavieng by the Boluminski Highway. In 2005, Namantanai was estimated to have a population of 1300. During the days of German rule of New Guinea, Namatanai was an important station.
Although Namatanai has an airport it does not presently receive scheduled services. The main way to reach the town is by road from Kavieng. Minivan type PMVs go regularly for 45 kina (2014). Emanuel at the Rejoice company is a friendly and honest driver. Truck type PMVs might be cheaper.
Namatanai is the gateway to New Britain if you are traveling by sea. Banana boats run regularly between Kokopo on New Britain and the west coast of New Ireland, close to Namatanai, for 70 kina + 2 kima (2014) for the truck between the west coast and Namatanai. Solwara Meri seems to be the more organized company to do this run (first departure from Namatanai at 6 am, arrive in Kokopo 3-4 hours layer). The other company is called Firefly. If you arrive in Namatanai and are going to Kokopo with the first boat the next morning, you can stay for free in a room with all other passengers (bring a mat).
For a more complex option of getting to Namatanai, there are scheduled flights to the gold mine island of Lihir, from where you can find a boat to take you to Namatanai.
There is a supermarket in town.
This being a transit point between the Lihir mine and New Britain, there are some workers, outsiders etc. drinking around. You shouldn't join them! Normally it is a quiet and safe place though.