Top Things to Do in Port Moresby

Table of contents:

Top Things to Do in Port Moresby

Ready to learn more about Top Things to Do in Port Moresby?

What makes a city truly captivating? Could it be the deep historical roots and the breathtaking natural wonders that envelope it? Or maybe it’s the unique experiences and the lively vibes that pulse through its streets. In the case of Port Moresby, the vibrant capital of Papua New Guinea, the array of activities and sights is vast.

Explore the country’s rich history and artistic expressions at the National Museum & Art Gallery, or explore the varied species and scenic beauty at the Port Moresby Nature Park. These are just starting points. Let’s dive deeper into the best activities Port Moresby has to offer.

Exploring Port Moresby opens up a treasure trove of experiences. The city isn’t just the political heart of Papua New Guinea; it’s a cultural and natural hub. The National Museum & Art Gallery, for instance, isn’t merely a space filled with artifacts; it’s a gateway to understanding the diverse cultures and traditions that have shaped the nation. Similarly, the Port Moresby Nature Park does more than showcase the country’s flora and fauna; it offers a rare glimpse into the ecological diversity that characterizes the region.

But the city’s appeal doesn’t end there. Engaging in the local community events and visiting the bustling markets provide insights into the daily lives of the city’s inhabitants, offering a deeper connection to the place. Each activity in Port Moresby, from the historical to the natural adventures, is a thread in the vibrant tapestry that defines the city.

So, why not embark on this journey through Port Moresby? Discover the stories, landscapes, and experiences that make this city not just a destination but a journey worth taking.

National Museum & Art Gallery

The National Museum & Art Gallery in Port Moresby offers an engaging exploration of Papua New Guinea’s vibrant cultural legacy. Upon entering, visitors are immediately immersed in a realm of timeless traditions and diverse cultures. This museum is renowned for its extensive collection of artifacts that showcase the nation’s rich archaeological and anthropological history.

A visit to the National Museum & Art Gallery is akin to a journey through history. Guests can admire the detailed trading canoes from Milne Bay, essential to the livelihood of coastal communities. Equally captivating are the Malangan masks from New Ireland, which embody the essence of ancestral spirits and sacred ceremonies with their eerie beauty.

The museum also presents spirit houses, pivotal in Papua New Guinean culture. These structures, revered as homes for ancestral spirits, play a crucial role in hosting significant ceremonies and discussions.

Exploring the National Museum & Art Gallery is crucial for anyone keen on uncovering Port Moresby and the rich cultural tapestry of Papua New Guinea. With no entry fee on weekdays and a nominal charge on weekends, it welcomes all who wish to delve into the nation’s intriguing history and cultural diversity.

On Sundays, the museum transforms with a market where visitors can explore and purchase local handicrafts and artwork, directly supporting Papua New Guinea’s skilled artisans.

Dive into the wonders of the National Museum & Art Gallery to uncover the stories that have woven the fabric of Papua New Guinea’s dynamic culture.

Port Moresby Nature Park

After exploring the cultural wonders of Port Moresby at the National Museum & Art Gallery, I decided to delve into the natural beauty of the city by visiting Port Moresby Nature Park. The moment I stepped into the park, the serene rainforest environment completely enveloped me, offering a peaceful setting for discovery.

The park is a haven for a wide variety of wildlife, showcasing the rich biodiversity of Papua New Guinea. I was fascinated by the different bird species I encountered, including vibrant parrots and the impressive cassowaries. Spotting tree kangaroos and various reptiles in their habitats was a highlight of my visit, illustrating the area’s unique natural beauty.

For an unparalleled view of the park, I took a ride on the Ferris wheel. The panoramic vistas of the rainforest were stunning, providing a unique perspective on its vast expanse.

To make the most of my visit, I came prepared with mosquito repellent, a necessary precaution in this region. This allowed me to fully enjoy exploring the park without the nuisance of mosquito bites.

After spending several hours at Port Moresby Nature Park, I left feeling refreshed and inspired by nature’s marvels. This park is a perfect getaway from the urban buzz of the city, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone visiting Port Moresby.

Ela Beach

Ela Beach, nestled in the heart of Port Moresby, is a must-visit destination for those looking to experience the splendid coastal scenery and enjoy peaceful walks along its scenic shores.

Here’s why Ela Beach deserves a spot on your Port Moresby itinerary:

  1. Port Moresby Sign: A highlight of Ela Beach is the renowned Port Moresby sign. This emblematic sign isn’t just a photo opportunity but a symbol of the city’s lively essence. Capturing a moment here is capturing a piece of Port Moresby’s spirit.
  2. Peaceful Atmosphere: Despite being unfit for swimming, Ela Beach offers a serene setting ideal for relaxing. It’s a perfect escape from city life where you can enjoy the soothing sounds of the waves and feel the gentle afternoon breeze. This beach provides a calm space to recharge.
  3. Cultural Gateway: Starting from Ela Beach, a visit to the nearby Koki Fish Market opens a window to local culture and commerce. This market is a treasure trove of fresh seafood, colorful fruits, and handcrafted artifacts, presenting a vivid glimpse into the heritage of Port Moresby.

Ela Beach isn’t just a beach; it’s an experience that combines natural beauty with cultural richness. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, Ela Beach offers a unique opportunity to bask in stunning coastal vistas and explore the local lifestyle. Don’t miss this idyllic location on your trip to Port Moresby.

Koki Fish Market

Situated close to the scenic Ela Beach, Koki Fish Market offers a deep dive into the authentic essence of Port Moresby. This lively market isn’t just a place to shop; it’s an experience, rich with the vibrant colors, sounds, and tastes of the local seafood and traditions.

Here, the air is filled with the fresh scent of the sea, and the sounds of vendors engaging with customers bring the market to life.

Strolling through Koki Fish Market, you’ll find wooden benches brimming with a variety of seafood, a testament to the rich marine biodiversity of Papua New Guinea’s surrounding waters. A standout experience for many visitors is the chance to buy a whole medium-sized yellowfin tuna, known for its delicious taste and affordable price tag of approximately 20-30 Kina ($6-8).

The market’s proximity to Ela Beach, as well as the Museum and Art Gallery, makes it an ideal spot to visit during a day of exploring Port Moresby’s cultural and historical sites. The market also offers a window into the daily routines of the locals, many of whom enjoy chewing betel nuts, a widespread cultural habit in Papua New Guinea.

Adjacent to the market is the stilt village of Koki, where many local fishermen reside. This village provides a unique glimpse into the fishermen’s lifestyle, adding depth to your market visit. If you wish to take photos, it’s respectful to ask for permission first, and having a local guide with you can significantly enrich your experience.

For anyone keen to immerse themselves in the dynamic atmosphere of a traditional fish market and discover the local flavors and customs of Port Moresby, Koki Fish Market is an unmissable destination. Its blend of cultural insights, fresh seafood, and lively interactions makes it a rich, comprehensive experience.

Vision City Mega Mall

Vision City Mega Mall stands as the premier destination for shopping and entertainment in Port Moresby. This bustling hub is home to an extensive selection of stores, catering to a wide array of preferences. Whether you’re in search of the latest fashion trends at boutique shops or seeking out renowned global brands, Vision City Mega Mall has it all.

This mall is more than just a place to shop; it’s a cultural epicenter where visitors can experience the vibrant heart of Port Moresby’s retail scene. With its diverse range of outlets, from high-end fashion to everyday essentials, the mall ensures that every visitor finds something to suit their taste and budget.

Moreover, Vision City Mega Mall isn’t only about shopping. It’s a venue where families and friends can come together to enjoy entertainment options, making it a vital part of the community. Its significance goes beyond being a mere shopping location; it’s a pivotal space for social gatherings and cultural exchanges.

In creating a seamless shopping experience, the mall emphasizes convenience and accessibility, making it easy for everyone to enjoy what it has to offer. Its importance as a retail and entertainment hub reflects its contribution to the local economy and its role in providing a safe, enjoyable environment for people to shop, dine, and relax.

Through thoughtful design and a carefully curated selection of stores and entertainment options, Vision City Mega Mall exemplifies the essence of modern shopping and leisure activities. It’s a testament to the vibrant lifestyle of Port Moresby, offering an enriching experience for both locals and visitors alike.

Popular Shopping Destination

Walking into the dynamic Vision City Mega Mall in Port Moresby, the first thing that strikes you is the energy and the variety of stores eager for exploration. It’s a place where you feel the thrill of discovery and shopping transforms into an exhilarating journey.

Let’s delve into three aspects that make Vision City Mega Mall a standout shopping haven in Port Moresby:

  1. Cultural Immersion: The mall isn’t just about shopping; it’s a gateway to the vibrant culture of Papua New Guinea. The stores here are treasure troves of traditional art, crafts, and attire, offering a glimpse into the country’s rich heritage. By picking up a handcrafted artifact or a unique souvenir, shoppers can take a piece of this culture home with them.
  2. Exploratory Day Tours: Shopping is just one part of the experience. The mall’s proximity to significant landmarks like the War Cemetery and the Parliament House makes it easy to mix retail therapy with cultural exploration. These tours provide insights into the historical and political landscape of the area, enriching your visit beyond the confines of the mall.
  3. A Diverse Shopping Experience: Diversity is key at Vision City Mega Mall. With an impressive mix of international brands and local boutiques, the mall caters to a wide range of preferences and needs. Whether you’re in the market for the latest fashion trends, cutting-edge electronics, or stylish home decor, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye. This variety ensures that every visit can offer something new and exciting, from the latest gadget to a unique piece of traditional clothing.

Vision City Mega Mall elevates the concept of shopping to something far more significant than mere transactions. It’s a place where freedom and joy permeate the air, making every visit an adventure in itself.

Variety of Entertainment Options

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and enjoy a shopping spree at Vision City Mega Mall, where a wide array of entertainment choices awaits you.

This expansive shopping center isn’t just a place for retail and dining; it’s a hub for fun and leisure activities too. A highlight within the mall is the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery. Here, visitors can explore the deep-rooted history and cultural heritage of Papua New Guinea, with exhibits showcasing World War II artifacts and traditional art forms.

For movie enthusiasts, the mall features a cutting-edge cinema, offering the latest hits for a thrilling viewing experience. Whether you’re a history buff, art lover, or a movie-goer, Vision City Mega Mall caters to all interests.

Make sure to include it in your must-visit entertainment spots in Port Moresby, ensuring a memorable experience.

National Parliament House

When I visited the National Parliament House in Port Moresby, its architecture immediately caught my eye. This iconic building perfectly marries traditional Papua New Guinean designs with contemporary architectural elements, showcasing a fascinating blend that stands out.

It’s not just a building; it represents the historical and cultural journey of Papua New Guinea. The National Parliament House isn’t only significant for its role in the country’s governance but also as a beacon of national heritage.

Visitors have the opportunity to explore this through guided tours, which offer insights into the country’s governance and cultural background. This initiative helps deepen the understanding of Papua New Guinea’s political and cultural landscape, making it a must-visit for those eager to learn more about this unique country.

Architecture of Parliament

Located just a short drive, 6 kilometers away from the bustling center of Port Moresby, the National Parliament House is a captivating sight, masterfully combining traditional and contemporary architectural elements. This remarkable building mirrors the rich cultural heritage of Papua New Guinea, offering a window into the nation’s soul.

Upon nearing the National Parliament House, its distinctive design immediately grabs attention. The architecture draws inspiration from the tambaran or spirit house, a pivotal element in local culture revered for its spiritual significance. This design choice not only pays homage to the traditions but also embeds a deep cultural narrative into the structure of the building.

The exterior of the building, adorned in warm colors, features elaborate carvings and motifs that are traditional to the region. These details aren’t just aesthetically pleasing; they’re a tribute to the skill and creativity of local craftsmen, showcasing their ability to weave cultural stories into tangible forms.

Stepping inside, the National Parliament House continues to impress with its interior that’s richly decorated with primitive masks, each telling a story of the country’s ancestral heritage. The grand hall becomes a vibrant stage for performances that include singing, dancing, and ancient rituals, offering an immersive experience into the traditions that have shaped Papua New Guinea.

A visit to the National Parliament House is essential for those eager to delve into the unique architectural styles of Port Moresby and experience the depth of the region’s indigenous culture firsthand. For a well-rounded exploration, the nearby National Museum and Capital Botanical Garden are also worth visiting, each adding layers to the understanding of this diverse and vibrant country.

Historical Significance

The National Parliament House in Port Moresby isn’t just an eye-catching piece of architecture but also serves as a crucial piece in understanding Papua New Guinea’s history. This impressive structure merges traditional designs with modern aesthetics, drawing inspiration from the tambaran or spirit houses, central to the local culture.

When you visit the National Parliament House, you’re diving into the heart of the nation’s heritage and customs. To gain even more insight, the National Museum is just around the corner, offering a deep dive into Papua New Guinea’s rich and varied background.

Moreover, if your visit coincides with the Hiri Moale Festival, you’re in for a treat. This colorful event celebrates the Motuan people’s historic sea expeditions, a critical aspect of the area’s history.

For anyone keen on history or eager to experience Port Moresby’s cultural depth, the National Parliament House is an essential stop.

Guided Tours Available

If you’re eager to dive into the rich heritage and history of Papua New Guinea, a visit to the National Parliament House in Port Moresby is a must. Here’s why this experience is a cornerstone of any travel plan:

  1. Discover Architectural Excellence: The National Parliament House stands as a testament to the fusion of traditional and contemporary design principles. Inspired by the ‘haus tambaran,’ or spirit house, its architecture captures the essence of Papua New Guinea’s cultural identity. By joining a guided tour, you’ll gain insights into the symbolism embedded in its design and appreciate its aesthetic appeal both inside and out.
  2. Engage with Indigenous Traditions: More than just an iconic landmark, the National Parliament House serves as a vibrant center for cultural expression. Here, you’re invited to experience the heart and soul of Papua New Guinea through its indigenous practices. From the harmonic melodies of traditional songs to the dynamic storytelling of dances, and the mystery of age-old masks and rituals, these cultural exhibitions offer a window into the nation’s soul.
  3. Venture Beyond to Cultural Gems: Your journey doesn’t end at the National Parliament House. The capital’s Botanical Garden and the National Museum lie nearby, ready to enrich your understanding of Papua New Guinea’s diverse ecosystems and historical narratives. These sites complement your visit to the Parliament House, rounding out a comprehensive exploration of the country’s heritage.

Opting for a guided tour at the National Parliament House not only deepens your appreciation for Papua New Guinea’s architectural and cultural wonders but also connects you to the broader narrative of its history and traditions. It’s an immersive experience that promises to highlight your stay in Port Moresby.

Varirata National Park

Located a mere 20.3 kilometers from the heart of Port Moresby, Varirata National Park stands as an inviting retreat for those passionate about the natural world, offering breathtaking views and a rich array of wildlife. This park is home to a variety of hiking trails suited for all levels of experience, ranging from leisurely walks to more challenging treks lasting up to three hours.

These paths provide a fantastic opportunity to encounter Papua New Guinea’s distinctive bird species, including kingfishers and the striking Raggiana bird of paradise.

Varirata National Park serves as an ideal spot for both birdwatching and exploring local culture. Visitors can take part in a Birding & Cultural Tour of Port Moresby and Mt Hagen, which offers a deep dive into the region’s traditional practices alongside birdwatching adventures. History enthusiasts will find Owers Corner intriguing, as it marks the beginning of the Kokoda Track, a path of profound historical significance for Australians from World War II.

The park is a sanctuary that not only showcases spectacular scenery but also allows for an immersive experience in Papua New Guinea’s diverse ecosystems. With its vibrant orchids and unique wildlife, Varirata National Park epitomizes the essence of a nature lover’s paradise.

Therefore, anyone visiting Port Moresby should seize the opportunity to explore the natural beauty and rich biodiversity that Varirata National Park has to offer.

Bomana War Cemetery

Nestled a short journey from the heart of Port Moresby, Bomana War Cemetery stands as a profound tribute to the complex history of World War II in Papua New Guinea. As I entered the grounds, the air of solemnity was palpable, touching deeply on the essence of remembrance.

Here’s what truly captured my attention during my visit:

Firstly, the cemetery is a sea of white headstones, each marking the final resting place of soldiers who fell during the conflict. These headstones, meticulously arranged and inscribed with names and dates, create a striking visual. They’re not just markers; they’re storytellers, recounting the ultimate sacrifice of these valiant souls.

Interestingly, the cemetery doesn’t only honor Allied soldiers but also includes graves of Japanese soldiers. This inclusion is a poignant reminder that the ravages of war spare no side, fostering a space for reflection and perhaps, healing. It’s a testament to the cemetery’s role in promoting peace and reconciliation, acknowledging the shared humanity amidst the adversities of war.

Moreover, Bomana War Cemetery is more than a burial ground; it’s a sanctuary of remembrance. It invites visitors to pay homage and delve into the impacts World War II left on Papua New Guinea. The experience is a powerful nudge towards appreciating our freedoms and recognizing the valor of those who fought for them.

Although the ambiance may be somber, a visit to Bomana War Cemetery is undeniably enriching. It’s a reminder of the past that shapes our present. Following a visit, exploring Port Moresby’s other treasures, like the National Museum or enjoying a rejuvenating mud mask at a local spa, can offer a lighter counterpoint to the day.

In essence, Bomana War Cemetery isn’t just a place; it’s a poignant chapter in the story of Papua New Guinea, offering lessons in history, humanity, and hope.

Did you like reading about the Top Things to Do in Port Moresby?
Share blog post:

Read the complete travel guide of Port Moresby

Related articles about Port Moresby