Port Moresby is the capital of Papua New Guinea and it is quite a remarkable place. On one hand, the crime took over the streets and safety issues are part of everyday life for both, locals and tourists. At the same time, there is plenty to explore from the adventurous traveller`s point of view.

Although the ambitious engineering project (the photograph above) on how to improve the capital city`s waterfront is still far from the reality the downtown offers decent sightseeing and pretty safe environment. The infrastructure is not too bad either; roads and telecommunications are reasonable and there is plenty of good hotels around the town.

Port Moresby downtown

THINGS TO DO IN PORT MORESBY

  • Nature Lovers will surely appreciate the capital`s outstanding Botanical Gardens and their nature park. A large network of scenic walkways through the dense canopy which gives the visitors the chance to see the rarest plants in the world is quite a spectacle.
  • The Moitaka Wildlife Farm is a snake and crocodile farm with a great display of the native Papuan fauna, offering frequent croc feeding shows.
  • Crystal Rapids on the Laloki River are well-worth of stopping by at on a hot day. The cool water flow provides nice refreshment in the tropics of Port Moresby, followed by a picnic by the river.
  • Relax on the laid-back Ela Beach and enjoy breakfast or lunch at one of the beach restaurants. If you happen to be in Port Moresby in the month of September you must definitely visit the famous Moale Festival (see TOP PAPUAN FESTIVALS)
  • See the historical sights of Port Moresby in Waigani suburbs. For instance, the Parliament House is Port Moresby`s icon. The Bomana War Cemetery and the National Museum along with the Art Gallery are also very interesting sites to explore. Remember to have a stroll around the City Harbour to feel its particular atmosphere. Also, there are several lookouts from the surrounding hills great for photography.
  • The coastal outskirts of Port Moresby reflect the original native way of life of Motu people with the traditional houses built on stilts over the water. Hanuabada Village is well-recommended.

Traditional Motu village, Port Moresby

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WHAT TO DO AROUND PORT MORESBY

LOLOATA ISLAND is one of the best spots around the capital for beach bums. It is renowned for being a habitat to the rare Tree Kangaroo. It has got a gorgeous resort and it is a pleasant spot to spend a few days. Canoeing, diving, fishing or just sunbathing on one of the gorgeous beaches of the island will not leave one disappointed.

KOKODA TRAIL is another point of interest around Port Moresby. This nearly 100 km long trail leads through the bloody battlefields, following the traces of the II World War. It is a very popular route full of history that takes 6-10 days to complete and can be easily arranged as an organised expedition. Be advised that even though the trek is moderate, the climate can have a big impact on one`s body. Spending 10 days in extreme humidity, frequent torrential rainfall and intensely cold nights, plus the high risk of malaria in this area require proper preparation for this trip.

BLACK CAT TRACK, also known as the Skindawai Track, is the second most popular for international trekkers. 62 kilometres of the treacherous journey can be completed in 4 days. Filled with cassowaries, boars, reptiles and leeches, the jungles of Papua New Guinea are suitable only for the fit and experienced ones. NOTE there were reports on bandit attacks along the trail in the past few years, where a couple of people were killed. Hence a good guide, planning and a certain deal of courage are required.

Hanging Bridge, Kokoda Track

NOTE

Port Moresby is one of the most dangerous cities in the world and going out after dark without a local company is not recommended.

It is always advisable to inquire about the safety situation in Papua New Guinea or in any location you intend to visit due to criminal gangs and tribal conflicts.

Malaria pills and vaccination against the Yellow Fever is strongly recommended and some countries such as Australia even request all visitors get immunised prior to the entry to PNG.

Loloata Island

STAY SAFE

Before touring the outskirts of Port Moresby always ask for some advice at your hotel or guesthouse since some of them are still no-go areas for strangers.

Wherever you go in Port Moresby dress down to avoid unnecessary situations.

The nightlife in Port Moresby is relatively limited due to the high risk of violence in the city. Therefore it is not advised to take leisure walks after dark, especially outside of the town.

Book a hotel that offers an airport pick-up & drop-off service  – it is recommended to get avoid scam and unnecessary hassle at the airport.

Arrange a tour or a private guide to show you around the town.

Moale Festival

Moale Festival

WHEN TO TRAVEL

Generally, the most pleasant time of the year to visit Port Moresby is during the dry months which are between May and October and most festivals take place within this period and there are the best conditions for scuba diving, bird watching and trekking.


HOW TO GET THERE

There are two Australian airlines that fly into Port Moresby – Virgin Australia and Qantas.

You can get affordable flights but there will be two or three stopovers: London-Singapore-Brisbane-Papua New Guinea.

For all international flights go to www.skyscanner.com or www.momondo.com

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Eva Bodova

Eva Bodova

Saturday 14 July 2018

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