Driving around Port Moresby, you wouldn’t guess how much there is to do and how swiftly the city has started to clean up its act.
For years, the capital of Papua New Guinea has not been high on the traveller’s radar.
Crime, drug cartels and more than a tangle of razor wire are only a handful of reasons that people have kept their distance. But the city and its surrounds are having a new lease of life and moving ahead - FAST.
Port Moresby Nature Park for example is a destination that is well worth visiting. Boasting zoological and botanical parks and gardens, it’s a great place to relax and unwind. With a beautiful cafe and lush lawns to laze on, this park is also educating the locals on how to preserve their wonderful nature and wildlife.
One of the major conservation issues in PNG is the amount of unique feathers that are needed for the elaborate traditional head dresses worn at cultural festivals. One of the many initiatives being undertaken by the park is how to preserve the feathers locals already have for generations to come instead of needing to continue hunting every season.
If you are interested in spending a day at a safe local beach (yes, they do exist), visit the Taurama Barracks which offers access to the water. The Barracks are about a 10 minute drive along Taurama Road and for those into sailing, it’s a beautiful open bay with shallow waters and a great breeze.
There are also some wonderful activities to be found in the Sogeri Hills. Just a few kilometres from the airport lies Port Moresby Adventure Park - home to great waterslides, a lake, fishing and fauna.
Take a moment to pause at the Bomana Cemetery which is the final resting place for more than 3800 soldiers from WWII.
An hour out of the city lies the Variata National Park which offers six walking tracks that range from 40mins to three hour treks. Here you can witness amazing bird life including the magnificent Bird of Paradise and kingfishers.
Following the main road past the National Park, you will pass the Sogeri Monument which is well worth viewing. The monument tells the tales of the battles along the Kokoda Track and is a lovely peaceful spot to stop for a break.
Just beyond the Monument, you will come across the Koitaki Club, a tranquil establishment where you can enjoy refreshments, a swim in the pool, horse riding, camping and trekking.
Southeast of Port Moresby is Loloata Island, a small island resort that offers world class diving and a chance to soak up the sunshine and rejuvenate. While you’re there, head down to the March Girls Resort (a further 15min drive) and ask a local to take you out to the 1.5km reef that runs parallel to the beach for some of the world’s best snorkelling.
In town itself, Port Moresby is modernising at an impressive rate. New five star hotels are being built left, right and centre providing travellers a level of luxury and comfort that previously wasn't on offer. A new world class convention centre has also recently opened.
The PNG government introduced an initiative for all the razor wire to be removed and fined anyone who didn’t pull theirs down. This alone has completely transformed the city and the atmosphere for anyone arriving for the first time.
The waterfront now offers a variety of alfresco dining options with the buildings cleaned up and a beautiful art deco vibe proudly beams down on you as you explore safely.
Published under license from Well Travelled