A mini Modern Flâneurs’ Guide to Port Moresby

Port Moresby Yacht Club

If you happen to have to stay in Port Moresby for whatever reason being business or leisure, here is a quick guide to the city.

Port Moresby is a dangerous city, the statistics and the regular incidents are there as a cruel reminder of this fact.

As a foreigner, you don’t walk the streets, don’t go to the local beaches.

It’s strange though because, when shopping in a supermarket or going to one of the few restaurants, you don’t feel threatened.

So pay attention, while you don’t feel a dangerous atmosphere as such, anything can happen anytime anywhere. So don’t wear fancy jewellery or accessories when you go out, even to a restaurant.

We recently heard about a very clever robbery in a restaurant. The bandits passed the security without any trouble. They perfectly blend in the diners crowd. They sat at a table, ate their meal and, when they were finished, they got up, took their guns out and took all the valuables of the guests. The good news is that no harm was done to anyone.

So have a low profile. Even carry an old phone you don’t mind abandoning.

But this is not a reason you don’t have to go out and visit some spots.

Even though the city is quite small and uninteresting and has got no charm whatsoever, three spots do however stand out and are really worth it.

First, pay a visit to its natural park (safe) where you can admire the local fauna such as the stunning Bird of Paradise (the bird on the national flag), casoars and marsupials. It will take you about 1 to 2 hours. It’s even a quiet place to grab a bite: they have a nice café inside. Some locals make BBQ inside on Sundays but the place is far from being crowded.

 

Port Moresby Nature Park Paradise birdPort Moresby Nature Park Casoar Port Moresby Nature Park Port Moresby Nature Park Port Moresby Nature Park Port Moresby Nature Park Port Moresby Nature Park

 

Then, on the last Saturday of each month, there’s the Ella Beach Market where you can buy local arts and crafts[1] . Just pay attention to the legislation of the country you will fly to after PNG. If you fly to Australia, wood, leather and shell items are totally forbidden and you will be forced to abandon them at the customs!

 

Port Moresby craft market Port Moresby craft market Port Moresby craft marketPort Moresby craft market

Guess what this is?

Finally and most importantly, the National Museum & Art Gallery with stunning pieces of artworks. Beware that the opening hours are just for information. I happen to go there when it was supposedly open but I never did. No one knows why (works going on?). Luckily, I had been there previously so I can tell you it’s really worth the try (pictures not allowed).

If you dare and you’re accompanied by a local, you can go vintage shopping to some local venues. I did it and you can find interesting stuff at unbeatable prices. I know someone who could be your guide… I really have to say that, again, no threatening atmosphere whatsoever inside those walls.

 

Port-Moresby-Vintage-Shopping

 

I also have to mention an attempt (quite successful) to level up the lunching/dining scene. Duffy’s (try the one on the harbour) makes you totally forget where you are. You could be in Australia, eating some French patisserie. Quite refreshing. Use and abuse at breakfast and lunch.

 

Port Moresby Duffys Harbour Port Moresby Duffys Harbour Port Moresby Duffys Harbour

 

The Edge is also quite nice, with a view on the Marina, at whatever time of the day and Mojo Social, but the latter only in the evening.

Port Moresby the edge

The Edge

Port Moresby Mojo Social

Mojo Social

 

As for the hotels, you’ve got to option, the Holiday Inn, the Airways, the Lamana… and the Grand Papua, depending on whether you want to stay downtown or in the Waigani/airport area.

Do you have some time to explore the country? Besides the Kokoda Track, quite demanding physically speaking, the country is worth visiting but you need to have your trip organized by a trust worthy organisation (don’t just go on your own!). Read my article about my Papuan adventures.


[1] There is a craft market every Saturday actually but not on Ella Beach. Just enquire at your hotel.


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