Quick Facts About PNG
- Most visitors require a visa for PNG. It’s a simple e-visa but you must apply before you enter the country.
- PNG is known as the land of the unexpected.
- Personal safety can be a concern in Port Moresby, so we recommend using a driver to get around.
- PNG has more than 600 islands and it is home to 10 million people yet the definition of the people can be tricky due to many different groups.
- There are more than 800 languages spoken, the most common one is pidgin English.
- The currency of Papua New Guinea is Kina. 1 USD equals about 3.54 Kina (at the time of writing in Dec 2022)
Now let’s talk about the best things to do in Port Moresby
National Museum & Art Gallery
It houses PNGs’ archeological and anthropological collection and it is a great introduction to PNGs’ rich culture and diversity. And honestly, it is excellent.
We loved the museum, some of our favourite ones were the trading canoes from Milne bay, cool Malangan masks from New Ireland and even spirit houses.
You can easily allow two hours here and the more you explore the museum, the more want to see the other parts of the country.
The fantastic festivals that PNG is known for are at the top of our bucket list, but the National Museum is one of the best things to do in Port Moresby.
Note: Free admission on weekdays; K10 on weekends for nonresidents.
We were also lucky at the time we visited the Museum, as there was a Sunday market on just outside. We’re told that this only happens once per month and it’s a great opportunity to buy some local handicrafts, art and taste some food too.
We purchased a wooden mask here that had been carved by locals from Sepik River, over 750km away.
Port Moresby Nature Park
A short drive from the centre, the Nature Park allows you to learn more about the diversity and biodiversity of Papua New Guinea without getting on the plane to other parts.
We spent most of our morning here as there was so much to see. There are multiple species of birds of paradise, tree kangaroos, parrots, reptiles, cassowaries and so much more. Oh, and there are many fruitbats in the trees. The rainforest creates a gorgeous setting and it’s very enjoyable to walk around.
There is a cafe and souvenir shop on the end, but you can choose to refuel anytime. The entire park reminded us of smaller wildlife parks in Australia.
Entrance Fee: 20 PGK (US $5.70)
It’s not really suited for swimming although you might see some local kids splashing around on a hot day, the nice promenade along it makes it a nice place to catch the cool late afternoon breeze.
You will also find the huge Port Moresby sign here – a perfect backdrop for that photo.
There is an excellent place to stay for a few days at the Grand Papua Hotel.
Koki Fish Market
We love exploring local markets, it’s the best way to see the local produce and often we get to interact with locals. The Koki Market near Ela Beach is one of the best things to do in Port Moresby to see fresh fish sold on wooden benches as local vendors chew betel nuts.
A whole medium sized yellowfin tuna sells here for around 20-30 Kina ($6-8)
You might need a local to accompany you here and always ask for permission when taking photos. You’ll also see the nearby picturesque stilt village of Koki where many of the local fishermen live.
Vision City Mega Mall
For the real vibes of the city, we recommend popping into Vision City Mega Mall. It’s one of the best things to do in Port Moresby on the weekend.
National Parliament House
The parliament house is also called Haus and it has been built in the style of the house of spirits (tambaran). The building blends in some traditional elements with modern and you can also come in for a tour of the building.
But if you can’t, you can at least snap a photo from the outside,
Varirata National Park
If you wish to do some hiking while visiting Port Moresby, head out to the Varirata National Park. You can choose a trial ranging from 1 to 3 hours and if you are lucky spot the kingfishers and Raggiana birds of paradise in the wild.
We recommend this Birding & Cultural Tour of Port Moresby and Mt Hagen.
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Bomana War Cemetry
Bomana War Cemetery is the resting place of 4000 unknown PNG and Australian WWII soldiers.
The Kokoda Track marks the course of one of the most important battles for Australians in the Second World War. Between 21 July and 16 November 1942, the Australian Army stopped the furthermost southward advance by Japanese forces in Papua New Guinea and then pushed the enemy back across the mountains.
Many Australians come to Papua New Guinea to hike this track. You can reach the start of the track by driving to Ower’s Corner.
Where to stay in Port Moresby
The range of accommodation options in Port Moresby isn’t too long.
It’s also worth noting that accommodation in this city is costly. Some recommended suggestions for budget, mid-range, and luxury options can be viewed here on Booking.com.
Some popular options to stay in Port Moresby are:
Luxury Hotel: Crowne Plaza Residences
Mid Range Hotel: Holiday Inn & Suites
Budget Option: Hohola Apartments
Travel Tips for the Pacific
Interested in travelling in the Pacific Islands? You may enjoy reading more about travelling to the Solomon Islands and read our accommodation guide for Solomon Islands for some great options on where to stay.
Don’t miss our post on 10 Awesome Things to Do in Palau, and our list of the Best Things To Do in Tuvalu has you covered if you decide to visit this tiny nation, also one of the least visited countries in the world.
Perhaps our guide on How to Travel to Tonga On a Budget or this Vanuatu Travel Guide has the information you’re searching for if you’re planning to visit these countries. Our food guide on What to Eat in Vanuatu – 5 Amazing Foods You Need To Try has some great tips.
We recommend you visit Samoa too, the heart of Polynesia! In fact, Samoa was our final country visited from our entire world trip.
If you’re keen to visit all of the Pacific nations, check out our Ultimate Guide – How to Visit Every Country in the Pacific.