Port Moresby greets visitors to Papua New Guinea with interesting cultural displays, impressive buildings, charming gardens and a sophisticated infrastructure. Upon first look, the city may seem intimidating, but it will soon feel like home thanks to its friendly people, welcoming restaurants and village-like neighborhoods.
The capital’s most impressive building is undoubtedly the Parliament Haus, opened by Prince Charles himself in 1984. Built in the “haus tambaran” style, the stunning building features mosaics that echo local motifs, a cavernous lobby whose doors are shaped like traditional lizard-skin-covered drums and numerous glass display cases filled with colorful butterflies, stick insects and beetles. Visitors can walk through the chamber and observe parliament during sessions, but photography is forbidden.
In the shadows of the University of Papua New Guinea sits the lush, calm and beautiful National Botanic Gardens. This must-see attraction includes a boardwalk that winds under the jungle canopy, garden after garden of exotic and native plant species and one of the world’s most incredible collections of orchids. Many varieties of wildlife also call the gardens home, including birds of paradise, cassowaries, tree kangaroos, parrots, hornbills and a giant python.
Varirata National Park is another natural haven. Located just outside the city, the 1000-hectare park reaches elevations of more than 800 meters and is criss-crossed with six excellent walking trails ranging in difficulty from beginner to expert. The views and the bird-watching opportunities are very rewarding, and visitors are welcome to camp out underneath the stars at night.
Although most of the exhibits are covered with a fine layer of dust, the National Museum still provides a good overview of the culture, history and people of Papua New Guinea. Highlights of the collection include outrigger canoes covered in delicate cowrie shells, totems, masks, shields and an exhibit outlining the construction of traditional homes. There are also many snakes, birds and lizards that thrive within the lush courtyard.
The sands of Ela Beach are popular for beachfront walks and sunbathing, but swimming is not recommended because of the thick seaweed, shallow waters and abundance of sea urchins. The destination is still a wonderful place to go to watch the sunset, and there are a number of restaurants and cafes that line the coast nearby.
At the eastern end of the beach is the village of Koki, home to one of the country’s oldest and most interesting markets. Fresh fish and produce arrive each day, and the place is a wonderful spot to observe traditional commerce and take in the local culture.
Just outside the northern boundaries of the city lies the traditional Motu village of Hanuabada. Go with a local guide to see the thatched houses that sit over the sea on stilts.
The town of Sogeri is 46 Km outside the capital, and it makes a great day-trip. History buffs will appreciate the Bomana War Cemetery, where thousands of Australian and local soldiers from the Second World War are buried. The serene yet sobering cemetery is just a few kilometers away from the Laloki River gorge. There are a number of incredible viewing points around the power station and the Rouna Falls, which stand over 600 meters above sea level.
Port Moresby Geographical Location
Port Moresby is located in the southeast of Papua New Guinea on the coast of the Gulf of Papua. It is its largest city and has a population of approximately 308,000.
Port Moresby Language
There are three official languages of Papua New Guinea: Tok Pisin, English, Hiri Motu. Tok Pisin is the most widely spoken in addition to 860 indigenous languages.
Port Moresby Predominant Religion
- 27% Roman Catholic
- 69.5% Protestant
- 3.5% Indigenous Beliefs
Papua New Guinea provides freedom of religion and many Christian practitioners uphold indigenous beliefs additionally.
Port Moresby Currency
The Kina is the official currency of Papua New Guinea.
Port Moresby Climate
Port Moresby is hot year-round with June through September being marginally cooler. These are also the months in which it rains the least, January through March experiences the heaviest rainfall.
Port Moresby Main Attractions
- The Botanical Gardens
- Moitaka wildlife Sanctuary
- Crocodile Farm
Other Attraction in Port Moresby
- Touaguba Hill
- The Ela Beach Craft Market
- Port Moresby Golf Club
- Parliament House