Port Moresby lies in the center of Papua New Guinea’s southern coastline. It is the capital of the country and has a population of around 300,000. It is named after its first European visitor, Captain John Moresby in 1873. The city lies on the shores of a magnificent harbour. It is protected on its seaward side by an outer reef and inside the harbour are many relics and shipwrecks that are a legacy of the second world war, when Port Moresby was a major naval base. Not far inland from Port Moresby is the southern end of the Kokoda Track at Owens Corner. The city itself has a modern CBD which runs down to the main wharf area on the harbour on the western side and down to coconut palm tree lined Ela beach on the eastern side. The hills surrounding the city center are residential and the House of Parliament can also be found here. Tours along the Kokoda track and around Port Moresby are also available.
Port Moresby is the main point of entry into Papua New Guinea and Jacksons Airport is located a little inland. The local airline is Air Niugini and it operates in conjunction with Qantas. It has services to Australia Asia and the Pacific Islands. Port Moresby has connecting flights to most of the other domestic towns throughout the country and is also the base for marine services and ferries that operate around the coastline. Internally, there are car rental companies and taxi services.
In Port Moresby you will find lots to see and do. The botanical gardens are beautiful and give you the opportunity to see birds of paradise and cassowaries as well as the garden exhibits.
Port Moresby has a nice golf course and playing early in the morning is recommended as it gets pretty hot during the day. Ela beach and its craft market are a great place to visit as is the Moitake Wildlife Sanctuary and Bomana War Cemetery. If you can get a little further inland, the Rouna Falls are quite spectacular, especially during the wet season. In mid September Port Moresby celebrates its Indepennce Day with the Hiri Moale festival. This festival revolves around a race between around 100 Lakatoi’s, or traditional canoes, departing from Ela Beach and there are other traditional performances including dance and native costumes. There are many restaurants serving everything from Asian, Japanese Australian and Mediterranean cuisine. There are a number of hotels in Port Moresby and prices are similar to those charged for accommodation in Australian cities. There are security issues in Port Moresby and it does have a reputation for being a dangerous city. Make sure you seek local advice from locals who you trust before venturing out.
Port Moresby is the gateway to Papua New Guinea and the unbelievable experiences that this country can offer.