Aerial view of a coastal area with a marina, various ships at anchor, and urban development near the shoreline.

Port Moresby

As you journey through the pages of Port Moresby’s story, you’ll uncover a tapestry woven with the threads of tradition and modernity, creating a city full of contrasts and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From its intriguing historical background to its vibrant local festivals and bustling nightlife, Port Moresby offers a glimpse into a world that is both familiar and exotic. Explore further to uncover the secrets that this captivating city holds, revealing a side that is often overlooked but worth exploring.

Historical Background

Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, boasts a rich historical background shaped by the Motu-Koitabu people and colonial influences. Before colonization, the Motu-Koitabu people inhabited the area, with their presence deeply ingrained in the city’s roots. Over time, British authorities established a protectorate over Papua in 1883, paving the way for Port Moresby to eventually become the capital of Papua New Guinea after gaining independence in 1975.

During World War II, Port Moresby played a pivotal role as both an Allied base and a prime target for Japanese forces. The city witnessed intense military activities, with General Douglas MacArthur choosing it as the location for his headquarters. This period left a lasting imprint on Port Moresby’s development and historical narrative.

Post-independence, the city experienced rapid growth, particularly between 1980 and 1990, as urbanization and modernization efforts took hold. Port Moresby’s evolution into a well-planned urban center with contemporary amenities can be traced back to the aftermath of World War II, where reconstruction efforts reshaped the cityscape. Today, remnants of its wartime significance can still be seen, underscoring the enduring impact of that tumultuous period on Port Moresby’s identity.

Unique Charm

Embracing a fusion of urban vibrancy and natural serenity, Port Moresby’s unique charm captivates visitors with its eclectic mix of modern amenities and cultural richness. As the capital of Papua New Guinea, this city offers a one-of-a-kind experience, blending urban sophistication with the stunning backdrop of sandy islands and national parks. The cultural atmosphere is vibrant, with small cafes, bars, and a lively art scene that showcase the city’s dynamic spirit.

Port Moresby’s charm lies in its harmonious coexistence of village and urban life on Papua New Guinea’s south coast. The city’s diverse dining options, such as the ones overlooking Fairfax Harbour at Harbour Side, add to its allure, providing a picturesque setting for visitors to enjoy a meal while taking in the breathtaking views.

Exploring Port Moresby reveals unique cultural experiences, such as visiting Parliament House and meandering through the weekend markets. These activities offer insights into the local way of life and traditions, enriching the overall experience of the city.

In Port Moresby, you will find a place where urban sophistication meets natural beauty, creating a captivating environment that is sure to leave a lasting impression. Immerse yourself in the city’s unique charm and discover the magic that makes it a truly special destination.

Best Time To Visit

For the optimal experience in Port Moresby, consider scheduling your visit during the dry season from June to November. As the capital and largest city of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby offers a myriad of attractions that are best enjoyed when the weather is more pleasant and rain is less likely.

During the dry season, temperatures in Port Moresby range from 24°C to 30°C, providing comfortable conditions for exploring the city and its various attractions. This period is ideal for engaging in outdoor activities such as hiking, visiting parks, and enjoying the beautiful beaches around Port Moresby. Additionally, tourist activities and cultural events are more accessible and enjoyable during the dry season, thanks to the favorable weather conditions.

Must-See Attractions

Discover the vibrant essence of Port Moresby through its must-see attractions that showcase the city’s unique blend of nature, culture, and culinary delights. Start your exploration at the Port Moresby Nature Park, where you can encounter the stunning ragianna bird-of-paradise and a variety of other unique wildlife species. Don’t miss the opportunity to snap a memorable selfie at the striking entrance of the National Parliament House, a symbol of the city’s governance and history.

Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the vibrant weekend markets in the National Capital District. Engage with talented artists and artisans, and take home authentic souvenirs that reflect the traditional craftsmanship of Papua New Guinea. For a deeper dive into the country’s heritage, head to the National Museum and Art Gallery in Port Moresby. Explore fascinating exhibits that highlight the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

To satisfy your taste buds, indulge in waterfront dining experiences at the Harbour Side restaurants overlooking the picturesque Fairfax Harbour. Enjoy delicious local cuisine while taking in stunning views of the harbor. These must-see attractions in Port Moresby promise a fulfilling and enriching experience that will leave you with lasting memories of this vibrant city.

Safe Neighborhoods

Exploring Port Moresby’s safe neighborhoods unveils a tapestry of residential areas and community hubs known for their security measures and quality of living. Whether you seek a peaceful residential haven or a vibrant community setting, these neighborhoods provide a range of options to suit your preferences:

  • Boroko: This neighborhood stands out as one of the safest in Port Moresby, offering a blend of residential tranquility and convenient access to various commercial establishments.
  • Taurama: Known for its low crime rates, Taurama boasts the Taurama Aquatic Centre, where you can engage in recreational activities while enjoying a secure environment.
  • Gerehu: With ongoing safety enhancements and active community policing initiatives, Gerehu is steadily becoming a more secure area within the city, ideal for those prioritizing safety.
  • Rainbow Estate: As a gated community, Rainbow Estate excels in providing top-notch security features and controlled access, ensuring a safe and serene living space in Port Moresby.
  • Waigani and Gordons: These areas are popular choices for their high safety standards and well-maintained residential neighborhoods, offering a secure and comfortable living experience.

Each of these neighborhoods offers a unique blend of security, community engagement, and quality living spaces, catering to diverse preferences and ensuring a sense of safety and peace for residents and visitors alike.


Amidst Port Moresby’s diverse accommodation options, selecting a suitable hotel is crucial for a comfortable and secure stay in the city. While hotels in Port Moresby can be expensive, there are various options to consider. High-end choices include Airways Hotel, Crowne Plaza, and Grand Papua Hotel, known for their luxury and top-notch services. For visitors looking for quality accommodation at a more moderate price, Gateway Hotel and Holiday Inn are excellent choices to explore.

When deciding where to stay in Port Moresby, it’s essential to take into account the varying quality of hotels available. Researching the options and booking based on your personal preferences can help ensure a pleasant stay. Additionally, given the security concerns in Port Moresby due to high crime rates, it is even more critical to choose accommodations wisely. Opting for recommended hotels can provide added peace of mind, as they often offer enhanced security measures and convenient services to make your stay as comfortable as possible.


Navigating Port Moresby’s vibrant streets and diverse attractions is made convenient through a range of transportation options available to residents and visitors alike.

  • Jacksons International Airport: As Papua New Guinea’s main international airport, Jacksons International Airport (POM) serves as a vital hub connecting Port Moresby to various destinations in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Public Motor Vehicles (PMVs): Public Motor Vehicles are a common mode of city transport in Port Moresby, offering an affordable and accessible means of getting around the city.
  • Motorized Transport: To reach attractions in and around Port Moresby, motorized transport such as car rentals, taxis, and hotel transport services are readily available, ensuring convenient travel options.
  • All-Weather Roads: Port Moresby boasts a well-developed transportation network with all-weather roads that facilitate smooth travel within the city and to nearby areas, making it easier to explore the region.
  • Laloki River: The Laloki River plays a crucial role in supplying water to the city of Port Moresby. Moreover, it hosts a hydroelectric plant that supports the city’s infrastructure and amenities, showcasing the city’s reliance on this natural resource for its functioning.

Incorporating these transportation options into your itinerary will enhance your experience in Port Moresby, allowing you to explore the city with ease and efficiency.


Embark on captivating tours in Port Moresby to discover the city’s vibrant culture and natural wonders. Start your journey by visiting the Papua New Guinea National Museum, where guided tours offer a glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage. Explore traditional artifacts and contemporary artworks that showcase the diversity of Papua New Guinea’s history.

For a more immersive experience with nature, head to the Port Moresby Nature Park. Here, you can encounter unique wildlife like the ragianna bird-of-paradise and learn about conservation efforts in the region. Don’t miss the chance to engage with local artists at the city’s weekend markets, where you can appreciate their craftsmanship and purchase one-of-a-kind souvenirs to remember your trip.

To satisfy your taste buds, indulge in the culinary delights offered at Harbour Side restaurants along the boardwalk. Enjoy a scenic dining experience while sampling delicious local cuisine and fresh seafood. As you explore the city on these tours, marvel at architectural landmarks like the striking entrance of Parliament House, which adds to the charm of Port Moresby’s skyline. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and natural beauty that the city has to offer on these engaging tours.

Outdoor Activities

Experience a variety of outdoor activities in Port Moresby, ranging from scuba diving in the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Papua to hiking along scenic trails at Atama Beach. Whether you are seeking underwater adventures or land-based exploration, Port Moresby has something for everyone.

  • Scuba Diving: Dive into the Gulf of Papua and discover a vibrant underwater world teeming with colorful marine life. The clear waters and diverse ecosystems make it a paradise for diving enthusiasts.
  • Swimming: Relax and enjoy a refreshing swim at Taurama Aquatic Centre. This popular spot is perfect for those looking to cool off and unwind amidst beautiful surroundings.
  • Hiking: Lace up your hiking boots and explore the picturesque trails at Atama Beach. Trek through lush landscapes, soak in panoramic views of the coastline, and breathe in the fresh ocean air.
  • Wildlife Watching: Immerse yourself in nature at Moitaka Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can observe indigenous wildlife in their natural habitat. Keep an eye out for exotic birds and unique flora as you traverse the sanctuary.
  • Marine Exploration: Delve into Port Moresby’s diverse marine life by snorkeling in its pristine waters. Discover a world beneath the surface filled with fascinating aquatic creatures and vibrant coral reefs.

Food, Wine & Nightlife

Indulge in a culinary adventure through the vibrant food, wine, and nightlife scene of Port Moresby. The city offers a diverse range of dining options that cater to all tastes, from traditional local cuisine to international dishes and fresh seafood. You can immerse yourself in the rich flavors of Papua New Guinea by trying traditional dishes like mumu, a delicious earth oven-cooked meal of meat and vegetables, or saksak, a sweet sago pudding that is a local favorite.

When the sun sets, Port Moresby comes alive with its bustling nightlife scene. Explore the city’s bars, clubs, and lounges that offer a mix of music, drinks, and entertainment for both locals and visitors. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing evening with a glass of wine or a lively night out dancing, there is something for everyone in this dynamic city.

In addition to traditional dishes, visitors can also savor fresh tropical fruits, coconut-based delicacies, and a variety of seafood options. The dining scene in Port Moresby reflects the diverse cultural influences present in Papua New Guinea, providing a unique culinary experience that you won’t find anywhere else. So, don’t miss the opportunity to taste the flavors of this vibrant city during your stay.

Street Markets

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Port Moresby by exploring its bustling street markets, where local crafts, fresh produce, and traditional artifacts create a colorful tapestry of daily life in the city.

  • Diverse Offerings: Port Moresby’s street markets offer a diverse range of products, from intricately woven baskets and handmade jewelry to exotic fruits and vegetables.
  • Cultural Insight: Visiting markets like Boroko Market and Gordons Market provides a unique opportunity to witness the daily life and cultural traditions of the city’s residents.
  • Engaging Experience: Bargaining is a common practice at these markets, allowing you to interact with friendly locals, hone your negotiation skills, and potentially snag a good deal.
  • Local Economy Support: Shopping at these street markets not only enriches your travel experience but also contributes directly to the local economy, supporting small businesses and artisans.
  • Unique Souvenirs: Take home more than just memories from Port Moresby by purchasing one-of-a-kind souvenirs that showcase the rich artistic heritage of Papua New Guinea.

Exploring the street markets of Port Moresby is a dynamic way to connect with the heart of the city, learn about its people, and acquire special treasures that will remind you of your cultural immersion for years to come.

Local Festivals

Festivals in Port Moresby offer a captivating glimpse into the vibrant cultural tapestry of Papua New Guinea. One of the most significant events is the Hiri Moale Festival, which honors the ancient trading voyages of the Motu people. This festival, held in September, showcases traditional canoe races and mesmerizing cultural performances that attract both locals and curious tourists eager to immerse themselves in Papua New Guinean heritage.

During the Hiri Moale Festival, the streets come alive with vibrant displays of traditional costumes, energetic dances, and intricate artisanal crafts. It’s a time when the historical importance of the Hiri trade voyages and the rich cultural heritage of the Motu-Koitabu people are celebrated with great pride. Witnessing the traditional canoe races, where skilled paddlers navigate the waters with precision and speed, is a thrilling experience that highlights the seafaring prowess of the Motu community.

Attending the Hiri Moale Festival is a unique opportunity to delve into the customs and traditions that have been passed down through generations in Papua New Guinea. The festival provides a platform for locals to share their stories and traditions with the world, creating a bridge between the past and the present. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, soak in the cultural richness, and appreciate the beauty of the Hiri Moale Festival in Port Moresby.


As daylight fades in Port Moresby, the city transforms into a vibrant hub of nightlife, offering a diverse array of bars, nightclubs, and entertainment venues for both locals and visitors to enjoy. The nightlife scene in Port Moresby is an eclectic mix of experiences that cater to different preferences and tastes. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Variety of Venues: From laid-back bars to energetic nightclubs, Port Moresby has it all. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing evening with a drink in hand or a lively dance floor to let loose, you’ll find a venue to suit your mood.
  • Key Areas: The nightlife in Port Moresby is centered around areas like Ela Beach, Waigani, and Boroko. Each area has its own unique atmosphere, offering a range of options for a night out on the town.
  • Popular Hotspots: Some of the must-visit spots include The Cosmopolitan, The Gold Club, and Duffy’s Bar. These venues are known for their lively ambiance, great music, and vibrant crowds.
  • Entertainment Galore: Live music performances, DJ sets, and cultural shows are common features of the nightlife in Port Moresby. Immerse yourself in the dynamic and diverse entertainment offerings the city has to offer.
  • Safety First: While enjoying the nightlife in Port Moresby, remember to prioritize safety. Stick to well-known areas, use reputable transportation, and stay aware of your surroundings to ensure a fun and worry-free night out.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, presents a significant financial challenge for residents due to the city’s high expenses linked to imported goods and limited housing availability. Accommodation costs, encompassing rent and property prices, stand out as one of the significant contributors to the elevated cost of living in Port Moresby. Being the capital and economic hub of the country, the city reflects its status through the substantial expenses associated with finding a place to live.

Grocery prices in Port Moresby can also strain the budget, primarily due to the reliance on imported food items and the logistical hurdles related to transportation and distribution. Additionally, utilities like electricity, water, and internet services add to the overall cost of living, further impacting residents’ wallets. The necessity of transportation in the city further burdens residents, with fuel prices and vehicle maintenance costs contributing to the already high expenses.

In essence, the cost of living in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, is notably higher compared to other cities, making financial planning and budgeting crucial for residents to manage their expenses effectively in this vibrant yet financially demanding urban center.


Navigating the intricate financial landscape of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, requires a strategic approach to ensure sustainable living amidst the city’s high cost of living. The city’s history as a pivotal location during World War II and its subsequent development as the capital of Papua New Guinea have shaped its current urban fabric. Here are some key takeaways to conclude your exploration of Port Moresby:

  • Historical Significance: Port Moresby’s role as an Allied base during World War II underscores its strategic importance in the region’s history.
  • Geographical Charm: Situated on the eastern shore of Port Moresby Harbour in the Gulf of Papua, the city offers stunning views and unique maritime experiences.
  • Cultural Fusion: As the capital of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby blends modern amenities with traditional village life, creating a vibrant cultural tapestry.
  • Environmental Diversity: The city’s tropical savanna climate, influenced by its coastal location, provides a lush backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Future Prospects: With ongoing development initiatives and a growing economy, Port Moresby presents opportunities for both residents and investors to engage in its evolving landscape.

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