Welcome to the City of Port Moresby, the Capital of Papua New Guinea!
Port Moresby is the Gateway City, the entrance to Papua New Guinea. It is because of this that the National Capital District Commission, the municipal government of Port Moresby, has taken solid steps especially over the last 10 years to make Port Moresby as welcoming as possible whilst helping the City find its place in the region.
The City has undergone exponential growth especially over the last five years from 2013, earning Port Moresby the title as the 'fastest growing city in the South Pacific region'. As the Governor of Port Moresby - or National Capital District as the City is formally known because of the variation in the law that governs our political structure - I am glad to say that much of these changes are from what we have pushed at the municipal government level in partnership with the National Government of Papua New Guinea and with the involvement of the community of Port Moresby.
Over the last five years, these efforts have been recognised and awarded by the regional and the international communities. We have been privileged to have been given the honour of hosting many great international events. In 2015, Port Moresby hosted the 15th Pacific Games at some of the finest sporting facilities a government can provide for any event of its calibre. The Games was a major success earning the City and the Country much praise, not just because of the sports infrastructure we constructed and managed but also because of the City's level of reception and hospitality it accorded to our visitors and athletes. This was followed up soon after when in 2016, we hosted the African Caribbean & Pacific Leaders Summit earlier in the year and the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup later that same year. Port Moresby beat all expectations and hosted two very successful events bringing together our residents in a spirit of unity, support and celebration. In 2017, Port Moresby again hosts another world sporting event - the rugby league world cup. We are expecting another great turnout and involvement of the people of Port Moresby. All these culminates in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Summit toward the end of 2018 which we are preparing earnestly for.
So Port Moresby is right now primed to receive visitors and tourists, short-stay residents, investors, businessman and women, either passing through to other parts of the country or staying here. Our roads are up to par. We have upgraded existing roads and constructed new ones, bringing the City to its boundaries. Traffic jams have eased considerably while new roads into undeveloped territory means these areas are now opened for investment and development. Apart from the current drop on the World Market only recently and its unfortunate trickle effect, Port Moresby businesses have been doing well, witnessed by a boom in property investment and the construction of new buildings and offices. Physical developments are not all; we have also been focusing on improving our human capital - investing in financial and social empowerment programs that engages our youths and women with their contributions to the long-term improvements of our city community in mind.
Our City Master Plan, I am proud to say, is among the latest; it is comprehensive and modern, and will take Port Moresby to new heights of expansion and growth. Our Corporate Vision at the National Capital District Commission is "to build Port Moresby into becoming the best Capital City in the South Pacific". I like seeing it this way - Making Port Moresby the 'Dubai' of the South Pacific. Already, we are making a good start. This new Port Moresby we are working on is a great Port Moresby! There is much energy surrounding its redevelopment, focus and drive. Although we would like to keep some part of our colonial heritage, we are also very keen on making our own mark in city planning, implementation and growth.
For the Tourist and the Visitor, our City is just as diverse in ethnicities, cultures and languages as is the country. We have excellent Accommodation here as well as places for dining and socialising you will enjoy. Our City hosts many Art & Craft markets that sell authentic Papua New Guinean artefacts that should take pride of place in any home or office.
As for our local cultures, the City is very much involved in celebrating the anniversary of our national Independence Day, held every 16th September. If you would like to see Papua New Guinean cultures, colours and witness our sense of nationalism, we have shows and performances in selected sites throughout the City. Our local people's government, the Motu Koitabu Council, also hosts the Hiri Moale Festival which the NCD Commission helps to fund. The Festival commemorates the institution of Hiri, an old trading practice by the Motu Koitabuans from which many of our heritage and history come from. This festival comes complete with sailing lagatois, reenactments of the Hiri, a beauty pageant and much dancing and singing and is usually held in November.
Our venues here, including hotels, offer some of the Region's finest. We are prepared to host sporting events, conferences, seminars, expositions, and most forms of meetings whether business or government. Our residents are prepared and ready, happy to be recognised by the World with its trust and confidence in us.
Whether you are a tourist here to sample our cultures, a businessman or woman here for discussions, a government official visiting for meetings, or someone just passing through our City, we welcome you to Port Moresby.
I most certainly hope you enjoy your stay with us and return home with fond memories of the National Capital of Papua New Guinea, and be our good ambassadors wherever you continue to go throughout the world.
Hon. Powes Parkop LLB, LLM, MP Governor - National Capital District
Children of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.
Port Moresby is indeed the 'melting pot' of Papua New Guinea where one is sure to find people from all over the country living here. With well over 860 known languages, Papua New Guinea has been found to host the world's most number of languages in any one country, making its Capital City, Port Moresby, as diverse in spoken languages as in cultural practice and ethnic diversity.
In spite of this, historical and scientific research has suggested that, when broken down to a common denominator, Papua New Guineans come from two distinct genealogical backgrounds - Austronesian and non-Austronesian. The Austronesians have ancestry linking them to the Polynesians of the outer Pacific Islands, whose migration is said to have happened some 30,000 years ago from Asia. These people are defined by finer complexion, fairer skin tone, and wavy hair. These people can be found mostly in the southern part of the country and along some coastal islands. The non-Austronesians come from an ancestry that links them to an even earlier migration, originally from Africa and across Asia, that happened some 50,000 years ago. These are the people with darker skin colour, heavier complexion and tightly curled hair. They mostly populate the hinterlands of the country. Over millennia, these two groups developed their own cultural identity and languages which today numbers at over 860.
Today, Port Moresby boasts all these various attributes, heritage and history and is as rich in culture as the country itself.
Official Languages Spoken: English, Pidgin and Motu
Religion: Christianity is prevalent. Traditional beliefs are exercised fairly with Christian beliefs.
Temperature: Min 22 ⁰C - Max 40 ⁰C
Seasons: PNG has only two weather seasons in a calendar year. Dry season between May and October. Wet season in the month of December and continues in March.
Currency Notes (Kina) : K100, K50, K20, K10, K5, K2
Coinage (Toea): K1, 50t, 20t, 10t and 5t all in silver.
Tax: 10% inclusive in all goods and services Tax (Value added Tax) Applied to all transactions in Shopping, Hotels, and Clubs. In most cases GST included in in the advertised price
Tipping: It is not an obligation for you to tip in PNG. Conversely it is appreciated in the Tourism and Hospitality sectors, but if you wish to give a tip, you seek advice or check with the Manager or Operator on how best the tip can be equally shared.
Driving: All vehicles in PNG are right hand drive and we drive on the left side of the road. International Licenses are accepted for up to a month. Always check with the Department of Transport (t. 3277 7370) for more information.
Trading Hours: Standard commercial trading hours are between Monday to Friday from 8am - 5pm and Retailers are open on Saturday from 8am –12pm. Government office service hours are usually between 9am and 3pm, Monday to Friday.
Electricity: Electricity can be unreliable and you are likely to experience some outages whenever in PNG. In all major hotels, Restaurant and clubs. The power supply is 240Volts 50Htz. Pin type 1 / \
Banking & Currency: The unit of currency in Papua New Guinea is the Kina which is divided into 100 toeas. Most international currencies and travellers cheques are accepted at banks like the Bank South Pacific, Westpac Bank, ANZ Bank, May Bank and they can be found in all the major centre's including Port Moresby. Banking hours are Monday to Thursday from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Only on Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm. All banks close for business on Saturdays and Sundays except for ATMs. Major credit cards are also accepted at most of the hotels, restaurants and Travel Agents within Port Moresby. A branch of Bank South Pacific is open for business at the Jackson’s Airport for currency exchange on arrival and departure times of all international flights.
Hospital & Health Care: Climate or weather changes is always a big concern everywhere throughout the world so better services are necessary for medical / treatments required. You can always contact a medical centre. Hospitals are located at different areas of Port Moresby and operate 7days, 24 hrs a week. The Port Moresby General Hospital and the Private Hospital are both located on the Taurama Rd, while the Pacific International Hospital and the St. Mary’s Medical Centre are on the Sir. Hubert Murray Highway; and there are others you can contact by using the PNG telephone directory. Private Medical Practitioners are also within the city where you can go for urgent medication / treatment.
Schools & Education: Education is compulsory in the country and Port Moresby on its own has the highest number of schools in PNG from elementary schools to Universities. There are only two(2) International High Schools. The Port Moresby International High School and the Port Moresby Grammar School and of-course there are four International Primary Schools here in the nation’s capital. Community schools are dominant here in Port Moresby with 32, eight(8) secondary schools, six(6) vocational centres, three(3) technical colleges, two(2) national high school, two(2) universities and one(1) college of distance education.
Religion: Christianity dominates 95% religions in Papua New Guinea and Port Moresby itself caters the whole lot of religions. (LMS), the London Missionaries Society was first established in Port Moresby on May 18, 1889 which still exists under the new name; the United Churches of Papua New Guinea. It is widely spread throughout the Southern region, from the Western Province through the Central Province to the Milne Bay Province and some parts of the New Guinea Islands. Others like the Catholics, the Anglicans, the Lutherans, the Seventh Day Adventists and the Pentecostal churches are also the mainline churches in Port Moresby and throughout the country.
USEFUL CONTACTS (FOR EMERGENCIES)
Banks and Foreign Exchange:
Hospitals & Medical Centres
Security & Safety
To make your trip to Port Moresby as enjoyable as possible, it is advisable to arrange your travel into Port Moresby prior to your arrival at Jackson's International Airport. For those travelling into the City via the sea, either by cruise liners or other shipping means, we hope your tour operator will already have made pre-arrangements.
City hotels are always happy to assist you with your movements within the City. Be sure to also arrange for a local guide to take you around if you wish to see sights or do some shopping.
Over the last 10 years, the National Capital District Commission has directed its attention onto the upgrade of existing city roads and the construction of new ones, making driving convenient and efficient in Port Moresby. This has included more than 10 new roads plus a flyover connecting the International Airport and the central government area of Waigani, making ground transport easy and fast for those transiting between the airport and their accommodation of choice.
Transport for the long-time Papua New Guinean resident in Port Moresby are the Public Motor Vehicle (PMV) buses that run various routes throughout the City. The Taxi Service in Port Moresby is generally good and certain taxis are recommended for the Tourist and the Visitor. However, mostly for those visiting Port Moresby, hotel couches are available and are organised for the transportation of the guest. For the majority of expatriates living in Port Moresby, vehicle ownership and driving is usually the way to go. A great deal of Papua New Guineans, especially those in the formal working sector and those who own their own businesses, also own and operate their own vehicular transport. Car hires are also available from many car hire companies.
For the tourist-proper visiting Port Moresby, tour operators are recommended for the coordination of your tour.
Here, we list some of the services that are available for your use:
It is recommended to travel around Port Moresby on an organized tour, as tour operators offer a variety of programs for all kinds of interests and budgets. For those not attached to a group and would prepare individualised tours, a Tour Operator would be willing to also accommodate your needs.
|1||Koiari Treks & Tours||
Ph: (675) 3251887 | Fax: (675) 3251887 | Email: email@example.com
|2||PNG Japan (PNG) Limited||Gateway Hotel||
Ph: (675) 3231321, 3278128 | Fax: (675) 3232103 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|3||Niugini Holidays||Holiday Inn||
Ph: (675) 3235247, 3211520 | Fax: (675) 3235246 | Email: email@example.com
Taisi TAOLE, Michelle OALA
|4||Tropic Tours||Badili, Hubert Murray H/Way||
Ph: (675) 3213688 | Fax: (675) 3213828 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kokoda Carriers Tracking Limited
|6||Paradise Adventure Tours||
Ph: 340 89 30, 775 11 824 | Email: email@example.com
For those familiar enough to drive on their own or have someone drive for them and would prefare their own vehicles, many choices of vehicle types are available from Car Hire companies ranging from sedans to utility trucks.
Jackson’s Parade, 7 Mile
Ph: (675) 3249400 | Fax: (675) 3253767 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Boroko Motors, Cameron Road, Gordons.
Ph: (675) 3236244 | Fax: (675) 3231390 | Email: email@example.com
Jackson’s Parade, 7 Mile
Ph: H/Office (675) 3026888 | Terminal (675) 3026864 (International) | (675) 3026869 (Domestic)
Fax: (675) 3256985 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|4||THRIFTY Car Rental||
Lamana Hotel, Waigani Drive
Ph: (675) 3232111 | Fax: (675) 3232444 | Email: email@example.com
Port Moresby has some of Papua New Guinea’s best places to spend your nights when you are visiting the country. Accommodation range from hotels to guesthouses. Rooms are available from Standard to Executive, Deluxe and Premier suites with good and satisfactory services provided at affordable prices. Here, we review some of our best hotels for your convenience.
Location: Port Moresby’s newest hotel opened in July and is in central Waigani, right in the political heart of the city. It’s perfectly placed for anyone coming to town for government or business meetings, conferences, seminars and conventions. Expect a full house when the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit rolls around in 2018.
The Place: The five-star 19-storey hotel has a resort-style design and is one of the biggest hotels in the Southern Hemisphere. There are 429 rooms that include 95 apartments (33 are two bedrooms and 62 are one bedroom), 110 executive rooms, 88 deluxe rooms, 88 standard rooms, and 13 suites (plus the Presidential Suite on the top floor). There are five eateries and a convenience store. Of the eateries, two are cafes, two restaurants, and one is alfresco by the swimming pool. On the 19th floor, the Executive Lounge is attached to the Silver Leaf Restaurant, which is open for dinners only. Both the lounge and restaurant have excellent views to Boroko, Gerehu and the Owen Stanley Range.
In the Rooms: All rooms have flat-screen TVs with 32 channels and movies on demand, mini-bars, as well as coffee and tea-making facilities. Depending on room or apartment configuration, you’ll also find high-end room furnishings from Europe - king beds, big leather lounges, coffee tables, desk space, huge bathrooms (for suites), as well as fully-equipped kitchen (for apartments) with everything from induction cooktop, dishwasher, convection oven, microwave, fridge, washer and drier. The apartments come in one and two bedrooms and are ideal for long stay shared accommodation for a family or a corporation.
Food & Drinks: The Rainforest Cafe (6am to 6pm) serves cakes, pastries, toasted sandwiches, coffee, tea and milkshakes. The Monsoon Lounge (10am to midnight) includes a tapas-style menu. There’s comfortable leather-lounge seating and large tables. A good place to relax with a drink. The Green House Cafe (6am to 10pm) aims to serve quality basic hotel fare, including burgers, salads sandwiches and grilled meals such as chicken breast. Buffet and a la carte available. The Pool Deck (10am to 10pm) is for in-house guests only. Think barbecues, fish and chips and burgers. Ideal for a drink outside. The premium Silver Leaf Restaurant (6pm till late): Fine-dining at its best. On top of the menu list, Restaurant serves premium dry-aged beef char grilled. Enjoy fine dining and premium restaurant ambience while taking in the sumptuous Waigani view from the 19th Floor. Opening in October. Owen’s Market (7am to 10pm) is the convenience store. Prices are about the same as around town and there’s a good offering of smallgoods.
Who Stays Here: Business travellers, with plans to expand to leisure market (a day spa is still to be built).
How Big: 429 keys. Cost: Standard rooms from PGK640 and weekend specials from PGK499 Highlights: Attached to Vision City Shopping Mall for safe passage to shopping, cinemas and more restaurants. Biggest conference/function room in the Southern Hemisphere, built with state-of-the-art multi-media equipment. Nearby: Parliament House, high commissions, National Gallery of Arts & Museum, golf course.
Ela Beach Hotel & Apartments: Ela Beach Esplanade, Downtown Port Moresby | Ph: +675 321 2100 | Fax +675 321 2434 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | website: coralseahotels.com.pg
Airways Hotel & Apartments: 7 Mile | Ph: (675) 3245200, 3257033 | Fax: (675) 3250759 | Email: email@example.com
Laguna Hotel: Waigani Drive, Waigani | Ph: (675) 323 9333 | Fax: (675) 325 1891 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kokoda Trail Hotel: Sogeri | Ph: (675) 323 6724 | Fax: (675) 323 7804 | Email: email@example.com
Lamana Hotel: Waigani Drive, Waigani | Ph: (675) 323 2333 | Fax: (675) 323 2444 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sogeri Lodge: Sogeri | Ph: (675) 325 1887/ 325 5540 | Fax: (675) 325 1887 | Email:email@example.com
Holiday Inn: Waigani Drive | Ph:(675) 3032000 | Fax: (675) 3250837 / 3093500 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Comfort Inn: Ph: (675) 3230624 / 3255091 | Fax:(675) 3259565 | Email: email@example.com
Sports Inn: Ph:(675) 325 7186/325 8858 | Fax: (675) 325 9944 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wellness Lodge: Ph: (675) 323 8606/ 323 5920 | Fax: (675) 323 3682 | Email: email@example.com
R & G Lodge: Ph: (675) 325 9273 | Fax: (675) 325 8587 | Email: R&Glodge@gmail.com
Aku Lodge: Ph:(6 75) 323 2645 | Fax:(675) 323 2755 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Loloata Island Resort: Ph: (675) 325 8509 | Fax: (675) 325 7933 | Email: email@example.com
Raintree Lodge: Ph: (675) 323 8888 | Fax:(675) 323 888 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lahara Lodge: Ph: (675) 325 4239 | Fax:(675) 323 1270 | Email: email@example.com
Gale Lodge: Ph: (675) 325 6405/ 3254605 | Fax: (675) 325 4706/ 323 8354 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Crown Plaza Hotel: Hunter/Douglas Sts, Downtown Port Moresby | 675 309 3000 | Email: email@example.com | Website: crownplaza.com
Raintree Lodge: Ilimo Avenue, Boroko | 675 323 8888 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: raintreelodgepng.com
Dream Inn & Apartments: Waigani Drive, Waigani | 675 325 3600 | Email: email@example.com
Ponderosa Hotel: Nuana Road, Henao Drive, Gordon | 675 323 4888 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Weigh Inn Hotel: Poreporena Freeway, Konedobu | 675 321 777 | Email: email@example.com
Grand Papua Hotel, Downtown Port Moresby. Photo Credit: Grand Papua Hotel
With the change in the investment climate in Port Moresby and the country, the Nation’s Capital has seen an unusual expansion in its Restaurant/Dining Industry over the last five years. New restaurants have opened as part of newly-constructed hotels and as stand-alone in shopping complexes or part of existing clubs, with several opening in prime locations such as the Waterfront, overlooking the Fairfax Harbour. This has has added to the dining experience in Port Moresby, leading to many residents and visitors - including Papua New Guinean families - taking the opportunity to dine out.
This trend in Restaurant growth is not ending as yet. As Port Moresby continues to expand to meet its development master-plan as set by the National Capital District Commission, new restaurants will be added to the Port Moresby landscape, especially in the Downtown area along Ela Beach and the Paga Hill area along some of the City's most scenic locations.
For now, the Visitor to Port Moresby will not be disappointed to find something to suit their palate or a suitable setting to meet and relax with friends or family.
Port Moresby restaurants specialise in Chinese, Korean, Thai, Japanese, Indian, Italian and Western cuisine or for the Visitor who would like to sample something local, we even have a restaurant that specialises in Papua New Guinean food – all organic and fresh from the gardens, the sea and the jungles in and around Port Moresby.
We encourage you to step out from your area of residence and sample some of these restaurants.
Call to make your booking. Special orders can be made for special occasions.
|NO.||NAME||CUISINE||LOCATION & ADDRESS||CONTACT DETAILS||OPENING HOURS|
Pom Country Club, Waigani
Ph: (675) 3251868 / 3217990 | Fax: (675) 3250937 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gateway Hotel, 7 Mile
Ph: (675) 3278184 | Fax: (675) 3254585 | Email: email@example.com
Opens daily. Breakfast from 6.30 to 10am. Lunch from 11 to 2pm. And Dinner from 6 to 10pm.
|3||Asia Aromas Restaurant||Chinese/ Asian||
Stop & Shop Plaza, Downtown Port Moresby
Ph: (675) 3214780 | Fax: (675) 3201974
Opens daily for lunch and dinner only. Lunch 10am to 2pm. Dinner 6pm to 10pm.
Airways Hotel, Jackson’s Parade, 7 Mile
Ph: (675) 3245341 | Fax: (675) 3250789 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opens daily. Breakfast 6am to 10am. Lunch 12pm to 3pm. Dinner 6pm to 9pm.
Anderson’s Foodland, First Floor, Harbour City, Konedobu
Ph: (675) 3210255 | Fax: (675) 3210244 | Email:
Haus Tomakala, Sir John Guise Drive, Waigani
Ph: (675) 3251656 , 3257173 | Fax: (675) 3257059, 3257023 : Email:
Opens Mondays to Fridays for Lunch 12pm to 2pm and Dinner 6pm to 10pm. Saturdays are for Special Functions and Group Bookings only. Sundays for Yum Cha 9am to 3pm.
|7||Magi Seafood Restaurant||
Industrial Area, Gordons
Ph: (675) 3233918 | Fax: (675) 3233918 | Email:
Opens daily. Lunch from 11am - 2pm. Dinner 6pm - 10pm.
Ph/Fax: 3112901 | Mob: 72095918
Crowne Plaza, Hunter Street, Downtown Port Moresby
Ph: (675) 3093000 | Fax: (675) 3093333 | Email: email@example.com
Opens daily. Breakfast from 6.30 to 10am. Lunch 11.30am to 2.30pm. Dinner: 5:30pm – 10:30pm
Cnr.H/Murray Highway & Matunga Place, 5 Mile
Ph: (675) 3252231, 3252078 | Fax: (675) 3251929 | Email:
Opens daily. Lunch: 11.00am - 2.30pm. Dinner: 6.00pm - 10.00pm
|11||The Cellar Restaurant||Continental, Asian, Indian||
Shady Rest Hotel, Taurama Road, 3 Mile
Ph: (675) 3230000 | Fax: (675) 3230060 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opens daily. Breakfast: 6:30am – 10:00am. Lunch: 11:00am – 2:00pm. Dinner: 5:30pm – 10:00pm
|12||The Grand Palace Restaurant||Chinese/Asian||
First Floor, RH Hyper Mart, Lot:1 Sec: 479 Kennedy Rd, Gordons
Ph: (675) 3112826, 3028540 | Fax: (675) 3112827 | Email:
Mediterranean, Western & Indian
|Lamana Hotel,Waigani||+ 675 23 2333||Opens daily.|
|Dynasty Restaurant||Seafood, Chinese & Thai||Vision city ,Waigani||+ 675 302 8538||Opens daily.|
|The Brassarie||Western||Ela Beach Hotel, Ela Beach||+ 675 308 5520||Opens daily.|
|The Wild Orchid||International|
The Gold Club, Lamana Hotel.
Port Moresby offers some good clubs for those keen on reliving a nightlife while visiting the city. Many social clubs are part of the hotel premises and located within the safety of their compounds. Many of these clubs also offer good music either from a pre-selected repertoire or a repertoire played live by music bands.
|NO.||NAME||LOCATION||TYPE||ACCESS||ON OFFER||OPENING HOURS||CONTACT|
|1||The Gold Club||Lamana Hotel, Waigani Drive||
|Public||Music, Dance, Gaming||
Ph: (675) 3232333 Fax: (675) 3232444 Email: email@example.com
|2||Cosmopolitan||Vision City Megal Mall, Sir John Guise Drive||Public||Music, Dance, Gaming||Music, Dance, Gaming|
|11||Moresby Arts Theatre||Theatre||Public||Live theatre performances||Per Schedule|
Papua New Guinea is renowned for its dazzling array of cultures and traditions, and visitors to Port Moresby will be spoiled for choice in the number of landmarks, festivals and events that serve to celebrate and showcase such a vast panorama of multicultural diversity.
Being the microcosm of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby abounds in both the traditional and contemporary arts and cultures of Papua New Guinea. As urban-dwelling Papua New Guineans take in their stride modernisation, they also maintain their respective traditional cultures which come to the fore at the City's various events and ceremonies.
Events and shows such as the celebration of the country's Independence Anniversary on 16th September provides the opportunity for the people to showcase their cultures through performance art, fine art, sculptures and carvings and various art forms.
A celebration of Provincial Days, held to commemorate the political autonomy of each of the provinces, is also held and a display of cultures from within the province is also shown. These are held in various parts of the City. Notices on times and locations are given weeks prior.
The Motu Koitabu Assembly, the local-level government of the local people, also hosts a festival every year in commemoration of the institution of Hiri, the old trading practice by their ancestors with the people of the Gulf of Papua. This show is quite popular among the visitors to Port Moresby, many of whom seek to join the festival by taking a trip on the Lagatoi, the vessel that is built for the show.
Visits can also be organised to selected local Motuan villages to observe the traditional cultures of the people.
For a stationary perennial cultural experience, the National Museum and Art Gallery at Waigani is always available for that ultimate cultural experience.
NATIONAL MUSEUM & ART GALLERY
Next to the National Parliament in Waigani, stands the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery. Constructed in 1975 and opened to the public in 1977, the NMAG holds more than 30,000 anthropological collections, well over 25,000 archaeological pieces, some 18,000 natural science collections, 20,000 war relics and more than 7000 contemporary art collections. (The other premises of the NMAG – the Modern History Museum – is located at Gordon while the JK McCarthy Museum is in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province.)
The earliest collection dates to the 1800’s, contributed by Sir William MacGregor, the Administrator of Papua at that time, whose vision to establish a museum eventually led to starting one.
The NMAG consists of five display galleries – the Masterpiece Gallery, the Independence Gallery, the Sir Allan Mann Gallery (for temporary exhibits), Life and Land (natural history and prehistory) Gallery and the Sir Michael Somare (new acquisitions) Gallery. A central courtyard holds a small zoo of live animals and birds. There is also a theatrette, an amphitheatre, amenities area, a souvenir shop, four large storage rooms, conservation laboratory, photographic laboratory, carpentry workshop, graphic rooms and editing equipment rooms.
The NMAG has become another icon of Port Moresby just like the National Parliament near it, and for tourists and visitors to Port Moresby, it is worth a visit.The museum is open to the public from Monday to Friday (8.30am to 3.30pm) and Sunday (1.00pm to 3.00pm). The museum is closed to the public on Saturdays, except for organised visits.
INDEPENDENCE DAY ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
For the Visitor who is in Port Moresby in September, the City comes alive with displays of traditional cultures that include dancing and singing accompanied by a strong sense of patriotism in celebration of the country's Independence Day, on 16th September. Shops usually lead this event to the Day by adorning their shops with traditionally-themed decorations including having their front-of-house staff dressed in Papua New Guinean finery. Come Independence Day, traditional cultural groups put on shows at the City's major stadiums, schools, and universities.
Many of the schools and universities organise their own celebrations which complement well the main events happening in the City. These are hosted by the National Capital District Commission and the National Government of PNG. The National Government usually hosts a more formal event that begins on the Day with a Flag-Raising ceremony on Independence Hill in Waigani and a Flag-Lowering ceremony at one of the two stadia with formal parades by the country's disciplinary forces.
There is never a shortage of a site of attraction in Port Moresby during this time and the Visitor and Tourist has various options and days to choose where and what to witness to sample the Papua New Guinean cultures.Dates & Time: 16th September and usually a week prior. All day event. Locations: Independence Hill, Sir John Guise Stadium, Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, University of PNG, Pacific Adventist University, Various sites in Port Moresby.
HIRI MOALE FESTIVAL
Probably the most famous cultural festival held in Port Moresby is the Hiri Moale Festival. A cornucopia of sights and sounds that easily rivals anything served up by the carioca carnivals in Rio, this week-long extravaganza features everything from elaborate floats to canoe racing contests, from historical re-enactments to traditional dancing competitions.
The highlight of the event, however, is the Hiri Hahenamo Quest, a curious blend of Western beauty pageant and Motuan tradition. Around twenty young women from the various Motu-Koitabu villages qualify every year to participate in the quest. The girls go through a series of judging based on their general knowledge, how well they present the intricate traditional tattoos inscribed on their skin, how well they swing their grass skirts, how well they name their costumes, and a modern mini-fashion parade. There is a principal winner, the Hiri Hahenamo (Queen), a runner-up, and Miss Hetura (Friendship) title.Dates & Time: The Hiri Moale Festival is being held on 14th November this year. Location: Ela Beach and the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium in Konedobu.
CRAFTS & ARTEFACTS
There is no shortage of places to purchase artefacts in Port Moresby. These markets trade genuine Papua New Guinean art and artefacts that range from paintings to carvings to jewellery.
Tabari Place in Boroko has an outdoor craft market that opens every day except Sundays. Many sellers and artisans also set up camp by several hotels to trade their wares, making it convenient for hotel guests to browse and buy. Several clubs and hotels also organise and host craft markets within their well-guarded premises. These are held at regular intervals.
Moresby Arts Theatre Craft Market: Every 2nd Saturday of each month on its tree-shaded grounds from 8am - 2pm. Moresby Arts Theatre is located in Waigani on the road to the Port Moresby Golf Course. MAT charges K2 entry fees for every adult customer and K12 for each stall-holder. MAT also has a cafe/bar that caters to customers and hosts movie shows for young people during the duration of the market. The MAT Craft Market is very successful and is usually patronised by the Port Moresby expatriate community who always visit to buy something for themselves or as gifts for giveaways.
THE NATIONAL PARLIAMENT OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA
The National Parliament of Papua New Guinea remains as the most well-known landmark of Port Moresby. It is a single chamber or a unicameral legislature that comprises 111 members of Parliament, 89 of them elected from Open Electorates and 22 governors from provincial electorates.
The building is located in the government area of Waigani next to Independence Hill between the Supreme and National Courts of PNG and the National Museum and Art Gallery. It holds the parliamentary chamber, a public gallery which is one of the biggest in the Commonwealth, offices of the Speaker as well as the Members of Parliament, the various parliamentary committees and their staff.
Papua New Guinea’s legislature was first created in 1964 as the House of Assembly, located in Downtown Port Moresby. In 1980, the National Parliament was constructed at a cost of K23.4million based on a design by Cecil Hogan, titled ‘A Modern Haus Man’ and depicts a complex of three buildings under a sharply steeped roof over the central hall that clearly evokes the Sepik Haus Tambaran (Spirit House) with a circular one depicting the Highlands design. For the façade, painted bark frontage of the Sepik spirit houses are mimicked and comprises an intricate colourful mosaic artwork based on the work of nationally-renowned artist, Mathias Kawage, cultural motifs, preamble to the National Constitution and a lintel of 19 carved faces (taken down since 2013). Artwork was carried out by students from the National School of Arts and Papua New Guinean carvers under the curatorship of lecturer Archie Brennan.
The National Parliament was opened on 8 August 1984 by His Royal Highness Prince Charles.
Today, the National Parliament remains as an iconic building of Papua New Guinea and Port Moresby is proud to host it. It is open to public visits every working day of the week and Parliamentary staff are more than happy to assist with guided tours for groups of visitors. Those wishing to join the audience during parliamentary sessions can also do so by joining the public gallery. The National Parliament of Papua New Guinea is a very popular site for tourists visiting Port Moresby.
Government House is the official residence of the Governors-General of Papua New Guinea, the representative of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2. It is located at Konebodu and has become the venue for many of the country’s official events. Investiture ceremonies, Government Swearing-In events and many other formalisations take place at Government House before the Governor-General and leading members of the PNG Government.
This is what the official Government House website says of the history of Government House: “Government House holds a very rich history that reaches as far back as the 1800’s when the British colonizers first arrived in this part of the country. Here in Konedobu, they established their headquarters, including Government House.
The site for Government House was chosen by Sir Peter Scratchely, Special Commissioner for the Protectorate of British New Guinea, who arrived in Port Moresby on 28th August 1885. Government House has occupied this site ever since. The first Government House was the result of house construction methods adopted in tropical Australia at the time. The materials for the first House were purchased by Sir Peter Scratchley, on his way up to Queensland coast from the firm of Rooney Brothers in Townsville. An employee of Rooney’s later came to Port Moresby to erect the building on this site. It was occupied in 1886.
In 1913, Sir Hubert Murray, K.C.M.G, who was acting administrator of the then Territory of Papua and later as Lieutenant General from 1909 to 1940, took the task of building a new House which superseded the original one. It was built within four months at a cost of 1,698 pounds. The design is that of a typical north Queensland station homestead, with a central living room, French door bedrooms opening into it and a wide veranda completely encircling the house. Sir Murray spent 37 years of his long reign here at Government House along with his wife Mrs. Murray and their children.
Many a dramatic and historical event took place here. Below the valley is where the original barracks of the Royal Papuan Constabulary had once stood and where the American Army had built offices when Government House had been General Douglas McArthur’s Headquarters. In front of the old House stood a flagpole where Lieutenant Governor Robinson shot himself after he was criticized for the way he handled the massacres of two missionaries, James Chalmers and Olive Thompkins. “
According to Port Moresby historian Ian Stuart, many distinguished guests have been entertained at Government House. This has included almost all the Governors-General of Australia since Federation and several Governors of Queensland during the time British New Guinea was connected to the former colony.
General Douglas MacArthur had made it his temporary headquarters during the Pacific campaigns of World War 2; the Duke of Edinburgh attended a reception in 1956; the Prince of Wales paid a brief visit in 1966; and Sir Robert Menzies, as Australian Prime Minister, was another guest.
The House is situated on a hilly outcrop overlooking the Fairfax Harbour and commands an excellent view. The gardens surrounding it was originally planned for by Administrator Sir Donald Cleland and Lady Cleland who personally got involved in supervising the construction of the terraces and planting of the lawns and trees.The office of the Governor-General allows visitors to Government House on special occasions. Tours can be arranged through this office.
BOMANA WAR CEMETERY
The Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery has come to symbolise in Port Moresby, on a regular basis, the sacrifices made during the Pacific campaigns of World War 2, especially on the Kokoda Track and during the Battle of the Coral Sea.
The War Memorial is about 19 kilometres north of Port Moresby at 9 Mile, approached from the main road by a short side road called Pilgrims Way.
It is here that 3,824 Commonwealth burials of the last World War are buried – 699 of them unidentified. The cemetery was established in 1942 and over the next several years, those temporarily buried elsewhere in New Guinea, or in other cemeteries around Port Moresby, were re-interred at Bomana.
Historical accounts abound of how the Japanese fought hard to invade Port Moresby to gain access to Australia. After the fall of Rabaul, the invading army landed in Lae and Salamaua and advanced on the sea with Port Moresby in sight but were intercepted and forced back by the Allied Forces in the Battle of the Coral Sea on 8 May. After the loss, Japan made another attempt, this time through what is now Oro Province and over the Owen Stanley Range. The attack was launched from Buna and Gona and had it not been for a small group of very brave Australian soldiers who held the fort and blocked the advance on Kokoda Track, Port Moresby would have been lost to the Japanese.
Bomana War Cemetery honours these men who had lost their lives in the sacrifice to their country. The memorial is a well-kept ground, always manicured, watered and green in the dry environments of Port Moresby – a perfect monument to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
It is well guarded and receives visitors on a daily basis.
HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
The House of Assembly of Papua and New Guinea was the legislature of the territory of Papua and New Guinea from 1964 to 1972 during the era of self-government. The building itself was previously hospital for the Australians and Europeans during the colonial administration, stationed at the foot of Touaguba Hill. A small museum was housed in the lower section of the building while the legislature took up the upper part of the building.
Before 1964, the Legislative Council of Papua and New Guinea sat from 1951 to 1964 under the Papua and New Guinea Act 1949. After independence in 1975, the legislature was renamed from the House of Assembly of Papua New Guinea to the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea after the National Parliament was built in Waigani.
The House of Assembly has seen several attempts at renovating it. The most successful have seen works undertaken through the National Museum and Art Gallery which have restored it to maintain its original façade. It now houses some government offices.