Essential Port Moresby: a guide

What are the best places to stay in Papua New Guinea’s capital city? Kevin McQuillan provides a guide to some of the best things to see and do in the PNG capital.

Port Moresby Source: BAI

PORT MORESBY NATURE PARK

The park showcases Papua New Guinea’s native flora, fauna and animals at the only tract of rainforest near the capital city. Thousands of tropical plant species – including palms, gingers and heliconias—are found within the grounds, along with more than 11,000 orchids and native trees. More than two kilometres of walkways thread under and through the jungle canopy. Wildlife displays include tree kangaroos, hornbills, fruit bats and birds of paradise.

www.facebook.com/PortMoresbyNaturePark

SANCTUARY HOTEL

Perhaps the best place to see and touch PNG’s national symbol, the bird of paradise, is at the Sanctuary Hotel Resort and Spa, about 10 minutes from Jacksons Airport. Its aviary is close to the hotel entrance. Feeding times are at 8am and 4pm.

A hotel shuttle service runs to and from the city centre.

www.thesanctuaryhotelresortandspa.com

ELA BEACH

Ela Beach is Port Moresby’s main beach and the site of the popular market. It received a PGK55 million facelift in time for APEC, including a family beach area, a sports beach area with basketball and volleyball courts, boat ramps, picnic tables, and kid’s play area. Built into one of the beach precincts is a natural pool for swimming during low tides.

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BOROKO HANDICRAFTS MARKETS AND BOROKO MARKET

Located near the city centre, Port Moresby’s main handicrafts market is a good place to go with a group to buy bilums, a selection of Sepik carvings, stone axes, kina-shell breastplates, or shell jewellery.

Owers’ corner at the entrance to the Kokoda trail

OWERS’ CORNER

An hour and a half drive away from Port Moresby is Owers’ Corner, where the road becomes the footpath that connects to the start of the Kokoda Trail. A replica of a 25-pound guns used during World War 2 is on display. Owers’ Corner is an ideal place to look out over the trail and have a picnic.

SUNSET LODGE

About an hour’s drive from the centre of town is Sunset Lodge, which overlooks the beautiful Papa sandy beach. The lodge and beach area are an excellent escape for a quiet afternoon and a drink, swim or walk.

www.facebook.com/pg/SunsetVillageResort

SHADY REST HOTEL

The hotel is about five minutes from the city centre and features authentic Indian food, as well as European, Malaysian and other southeast Asian dishes. Chefs are from India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and PNG.

www.shadyrest.com.pg

Royal Papua Yacht club

ROYAL PAPUA YACHT CLUB

There’s nothing quite like the view of Fairfax Harbour and the marina from the Royal Papua Yacht Club. The home of sailing in PNG, with an imposing clubhouse located on the beachfront of Port Moresby Harbour, the club traces its history back to colonial days.

www.rpyc.com.pg

GUIDED TOURS OF MOTUAN VILLAGE, HANUABADA

You need an invitation or a guide to visit Hanuabada, one of only two remaining stilt villages in Port Moresby, the other being Koki at the eastern end of Ela Beach. Ask at your hotel for a guide.

NATIONAL MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY

The National Museum and Art Gallery is an excellent way to learn about PNG’s rich indigenous culture. It houses artefacts from all the provinces and has just been re-opened after a major

www.museumpng.gov.pg

This is an abridged version of a story that first appeared in the November/December issue of Paradise, the inflight magazine of Air Niugini.

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