Parks & Gardens
Port Moresby has well over 30 pieces of land designated as ‘reserves’ with their custodianship delegated to the National Capital District Commission as the municipal authority. Unfortunately, the Commission has over the recent years been in court dealing with so-called ownership titles of a good number of these reserves which have fallen into the hands of private and some corporate citizens.
Reserves already developed to parks are as follows:
Port Moresby Nature Park: Bordering North Waigani and Gerehu and situated on a lush area between the University of Papua New Guinea and Port Moresby National High School is Port Moresby Nature Park (PMNP). The Park is the National Capital’s premier recreational site dedicated to showcasing Papua New Guinean flora and fauna as well as providing the venue for events and educational visits. PMNP was once known as the National Capital Botanical Gardens managed directly by the National Capital District Commission, and before that, part of the science facility belonging to and managed by the University of PNG. In 2011, the Park went into operation as an incorporated charitable trust entity which now runs as a company. A board comprising four members from NCDC and two from the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce & Industry oversee the administration of the company while the NCDC still provides annual supporting grants to PMNP as financial assistance. PMNP boasts many different species of native animals and plants. It also provides facilities for hire for events, hosts educational visits for schools, as well as participates in the promotion of conservation awareness and cultural preservation in events such as World Environment Day, Lukim PNG Nau Expo and Pasin Tumbuna Day. PMNP has become a leading site attraction for tourists and visitors to National Capital District with 120,000 visitors/tourists visiting the park per annum.
Port Moresby Adventure Park: This park is located at 14 Mile, 15-minute drive out of Port Moresby on a spacious location at the entrance of Pacific Adventist University on land generously leased by Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church. The Park is a joint-project by NCDC, SDA Church, and manager PNG Gardener. Port Moresby Adventure Park (PMAP) is a hybrid theme park that captures a bit of the two themes of fun and nature. It hosts a huge picnic area with three small lakes and picnic booths, animal and bird sanctuaries, an expansive orchid garden, and café. PMAP has become very popular among the residents of Port Moresby who seek out the place especially during weekends and holidays for picnic and recreational outings. The park is also available for hire for events and runs programs for children during school holidays. Fun facilities include two waterslides, a ferries wheel and boating rentals. The western part of the park is still being developed to include more facilities.
Jack Pidik Park: The JPP is located at 5 Mile and has come to be the main location for the implementation of NCDC’s program for urban safety sensitizing and ‘night space reclamation’ as pushed by NCD Governor Powes Parkop. Since 2013, under this program, NCDC has hosted many evening activities to encourage Port Moresby residents out of their homes. Christmas shows, some of them running over the whole month of December have been held there. Open air screening of football and rugby matches as well as movie shows are also hosted here. Day shows include Independence Celebrations, church activities, concerts, international day observations and many others are held at the park as well. In a way, JPP has become the inadvertent ‘town hall’. Unfortunately for JPP and the people of Port Moresby, this park’s ownership is being contested in court. NCDC is fighting a legal battle with one Asian retail company who claims it has ownership rights over this piece of reserve. The case is still pending.
Remembrance Park: RP is located on Healy Parade, a relatively-new road around Koki Point. As demonstrated by its name, Remembrance Park pays tribute to those who have lost their lives fighting in World War 2 on PNG soil – Papua New Guineans, Australians, New Zealanders and Americans. As such, a monument to these brave men stands tall depicting a wartime scene which has come to be the focal point for commemorative events and activities. RP is always the location for Remembrance Day commemoration and other such activities where disciplinary forces host parades and wartime veterans are given their places of honour.
Apex and Lahara parks: Apex and Lahara parks are both located in Boroko, not too far from each other. Apex hosts a large field that is used by sporting clubs for training while Lahara, created from a triangular piece of land at the point of two meeting streets, is used mostly by tribal groups for discussions and talks. NCDC has provided for these parks by planting shady trees, park benches and children’s play area.
Coronation & Customs parks: These two parks are located in Downtown Port Moresby, right in the middle of the CBD. Coronation Park is on the piece of land between the Catholic church and the Port Moresby Police Station while Customs Park is directly in front of the Port Moresby Post Office. NCDC is still working at improving these two parks. Customs Park carries on from the Australian Colonial Administration times when town landscaper HW Champion turned this space into a beautiful garden that was known to give Port Moresby one of its few flowery sites.
Constitution Park: CP is located opposite the PNG National Museum & Art Gallery along the road past Parliament gate. Part of the land over the small creek has been turned into a Cultural Village that hosts culturally-themed events and activities. CP is quite popular among lunch-goers, most of them government workers located in Waigani.
Ela Beach Sea Park: This park, both as a beach and park, will be completed toward the end of 2018 and is expected to be the biggest and best public parks in Port Moresby and quite probably the whole of PNG. Work has begun in February 2017 and when completed, it will host a clean well-kept beach, a 2000-capacity amphitheatre, a saltwater swimming pool, sports courts, arts & craft market area, restaurants and cafes, and ample car parking space along a four-lane upgraded road. This new beach/park will be of international standard and will easily become an icon of Port Moresby.
National Capital District Commission also plants and manages the gardens of Port Moresby on public reserves and areas. Landscape, beautification and city cleaning have been outsourced since 2007 to landscape company, PNG Gardener. A small Parks & Gardens Division of NCDC still plants trees along city roads and implements a reforestation program on Port Moresby hillsides to prevent soil erosion. Since 2003, over 32 hectares of hillside lands have been replanted with some 35,000 Neem and Glyricidae trees while up to 25,000 ornamental trees planted along city roads for aesthetics, pedestrian shade and the securing of reserve land. NCDC Parks & Gardens has also installed children’s play stations in many of the parks and occupies itself with making sure public reserves and fields are tidy and clean.
Mr. Tongia Kia, Manager - Parks & Gardens
Tel: +675 3240566, +675 324 0565