Prior to colonisation, Port Moresby was a trading port for the Motuan people who sustained their existence by sailing to villages in boats to trade ceramics for food and canoe logs.
Driving around Port Moresby, you would never guess that this region is so full of so many day time activities and how quickly the city has started to clean up its act. Understandably, for years, it has been a city that has not been high on the travellers radar.
Crime, drug cartels and more than a tangle of razor wire are only a handful of reasons that people have kept their distance. But the city has new life being breathed into it and its catching up to the rest of the modern world – FAST.
Port Moresby Nature Park is a destination that is well worth visiting. Boasting zoological and botanical parks and gardens, its a great place to relax and unwind. With a beautiful cafe and lush lawns to laze on, this park is also educating the locals on how to preserve their wonderful nature and wildlife. One of the largest issues here in PNG is the amount of unique feathers that are needed for cultural festivals for their elaborate headdresses. One of the many initiatives being undertaken by the park is how to preserve the feathers locals already have for generations to come, instead of needing to hunt regularly.
If you are interested in spending a day at a safe local beach (yes, they do exist), visit the Taurama Barracks, which offers access to the water. Taurama Barracks is about a 10min drive along Taurama Road and for those into wind-sailing, this is a beautiful open bay with shallow waters and a great breeze.
There are also some wonderful activities to be found in the Sogeri Hills, just a few kilometres from the airport lies Port Moresby Adventure Park – home to large waterslides, a lake, fishing and fauna. Take a moment to pause at the Bomana Cemetery, which is the final resting place for over 3000 soldiers from WWII.
An hour out of the city lies the Variata National Park which offers six walking tracks that range from 40mins to three hour treks. Here you can witness amazing bird life including the Bird of Paradise and kingfishers. Following the main road past the National Park, you will pass the Sogeri Monument which is well worth viewing. This monument tells the tales of the battles along the Kokoda Track and is a lovely peaceful spot to stop for a break.
Just beyond the Sogeri Monument, you will come across the Koitaki Club, a tranquil establishment where you can enjoy refreshments, a swim in the pool, a horse ride, camping and trekking.
Southeast of Port Moresby lies Loloata Island, a small island resort that offers world class diving and a chance to soak up the sunshine and rejuvenate. While here, also head down to March Girls Resort (a further 15min drive) and ask a local to take you out to the 1.5km reef that runs parallel to the beach for some of the worlds best snorkelling.
In town itself, Port Moresby is really coming into the modern world. New five star hotels are being built left, right and centre providing travellers a level of luxury and comfort that previously wasn’t on offer and a brand new world class convention centre has recently opened.
The government introduced an initiative for all the razor wire to be removed, and fined those who did not pull theirs down. This alone has completely transformed the city and the mentality of those who arrive here.
The waterfront now offers a variety of alfresco dining options with the buildings cleaned up and a beautiful art deco vibe proudly beams down on you as you explore safely. There is still plenty of construction going on as Port Moresby continues to improve. Below is what the waterfront area is expected to look like on completion – bet you never saw that coming!
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.