Port Moresby is the capital of Papua New Guinea. 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.
Best Time to Visit
May to October is best season to visit Papua New Guinea. Slightly busier season, with bigger crowds at big-name festivals and higher accommodation prices Generally cooler, drier weather, but rainier in Milne Bay Best time to hike the Kokoda Track.
Top Places to Visit Port Moresby
1. Parliament Haus
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.
2. 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.
3. Varirata National Park
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.
4. National Museum
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.
5. Ela Beach
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.
6. Village of Koki
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.