Introduction

Squeezed between the dusty hills and the deep blue sea, gritty Port Moresby is not most travellers' idea of an enchanting capital. A spread-out collection of neighbourhoods – from modern office buildings in Town and Waigani and a glitzy marina full of yachts, to squatter shantytowns with no electricity or running water that cling to the hillsides and scruffy marketplaces where barefoot higglers from nearby villages sell their modest wares, the city illustrates the stark divide between PNG's haves and have-nots.

Expensive, dangerous (or so many expats will tell you), not easily walkable…it's easy to see why many visitors are tempted to spend as little time here as possible. But as Moresby's charms reveal themselves – a superb museum, a beautiful green space in the corner of the city, friendly locals, a gourmet meal after weeks in the provinces – the city may well grow on you.

Highlights

  • Discovering cultural treasures tucked away inside the terrific National Museum & Art Gallery.
  • Loading up on one-of-a-kind indigenous art brought from all across PNG to the colourful monthly Ela Beach Craft Market.
  • Dining out at Korean, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Indian and fine-dining restaurants, like Rapala, in PNG's culinary hot spot.
  • Marvelling over trees shrill with fruit bats and an explosion of orchids at the Port Moresby Nature Park.
  • Checking out the towering mosaic facade of Parliament Haus, done in Sepik haus tambaran (spirit house) style.
  • Catching a boat out to Loloata Island for some excellent snorkelling, diving and waterfront relaxing.
  • Driving out to solemn Bomana War Cemetery and contemplating the tragic losses wrought by WWII.

When to Go

Year-round Hot year-round; average highs between 28°C and 32°C.

Dec–May Wet season with hotter, rainier days.

Jun–Nov Dry season, with slightly lower temperatures.