PORT MORESBY

New Guinea

Port Moresby also referred to as Moresby and Pom Town, is the capital and largest city of Papua New Guinea (PNG).It is located on the shores of the Gulf of Papua, on the south-eastern coast of the Papuan Peninsula of the island of New Guinea.

Info Port Moresby

introduction

Port Moresby also referred to as Moresby and Pom Town, is the capital and largest city of Papua New Guinea (PNG).

It is located on the shores of the Gulf of Papua, on the south-eastern coast of the Papuan Peninsula of the island of New Guinea.

The city emerged as a trade centre in the second half of the 19th century. During World War II it was a prime objective for conquest by the Imperial Japanese forces during 1942–43 as a staging point and air base to cut off Australia from Southeast Asia and the Americas.

he indigenous people of the area are the Motu-Koitabu. Moresby, as it is commonly known, got its name from Captain John Moresby who arrived in 1873 as the first European visitor.

The city is quite spread out. The original colonial settlement was by the sea and this is still the port area, as well as the main business and banking district. On the hills above are upmarket residences. Closer to the airport, separated from the original town by hills, is Waigani, a 1970s development built to house the Government offices of the newly Independent (September 16, 1975) country of Papua New Guinea. Nearby are the housing areas of Boroko and Gordons, which also contain most of the large stores.

info
POPULATION : City:  364,125 
FOUNDED :  1873
TIME ZONE : AEST (UTC+10)
LANGUAGE : Motu, Tok Pisin, English
RELIGION : Roman Catholic 27%, Evangelical Lutheran 19.5%, United Church 11.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 10%, Pentecostal 8.6%, Evangelical Alliance 5.2%. Other 18.4%
AREA : 240 km2 (90 sq mi)
ELEVATION : 35 m (115 ft)
COORDINATES : 9°30′49.1″S 147°13′7.7″E
SEX RATIO : Male: 51.02%  
 Female: 48.98%
ETHNIC : Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian
AREA CODE :
POSTAL CODE : 111
DIALING CODE : +675
WEBSITE : www.ncdc.gov.pg

Tourism

For a tourist, the attractions in Moresby can be spread out. There is little 'attraction' in the CBD and walking around will not get you very far. It is nice to walk along Ela Beach and around market areas but otherwise you will be reliant on motorised transport. There is the odd push-bike around the place - though finding one for hire may be a challenge.

Scuba Diving A number of reefs and wrecks are within close proximity to Port Moresby and diving can be arranged through day vessels or on nearby Loloata Island (which has its own dive shop). There are a variety of sites and depths for all experience levels.

Groceries
There are basically four stores to buy groceries if you are a foreigner in Port Moresby: Andersons Foodland, now called SVS Harbour City, Stop and Shop in Hohola, and Boroko Foodworld in Boroko and Gordons. Andersons is located right next to the Royal Papua Yacht club and usually suffices. Otherwise there is Foodworld which is larger and located over the hill in Boroko. An even larger and newer Boroko Foodworld is further east in Gordons. Just recently Port Moresby has opened its first shopping mall called Vision City in Waigani. There is a large hypermarket called RH selling anything from household furniture to baked beans. Their supply is abundant and the quality is good and prices are competitive. What one should bear in mind though is that everything imported might not always be there. Often if you see something you like you have to buy a lot of it because there is no telling when the next shipment is coming. This doesn't apply to basic foodstuffs but rather to things that might not be in high demand such as herring. RH has basically closed this gap.

THINGS TO SEE:

The Botanical Gardens. A must for the visitor. Has some amazing examples of PNG wildlife such as birds of paradise, a couple of casowaris, and several other native birds. If you are lucky you might catch a wedding while you are there as some locals like to conduct the ceremony in the gardens. On the same road is the National Orchid Garden which is also well worth a look - it is planned to encompass a zoological garden in the future.

Port Moresby Golf Club A nice golf course located right across from the government buildings. The prices are quite acceptable for visitors. Be careful, crocodiles inhabit the water holes of the golf course. The main building has a nice restaurant where one can have lunch and have a few SP beers (South Pacific beers) after a round of golf.

The Ela Beach Craft Market Run by the Ela Murray International School and held on the last Saturday of each month, this market brings together local artifacts from all over Papua New Guinea. An easy way to get some beautiful carvings, handwoven baskets, or any of a number of other things to bring home as souvenirs.

Papua New Guinea National Museum & Art Gallery, Independence Drive, Waigani (Next to the National Parliament House),  PNG's national museum has a relatively small, but very interesting, collection which includes traditional boats and cultural objects. Photography is not permitted inside the museum. 

Touaguba Hill Perhaps not so much to see, but this is where the ambassadorial residences are located and is also where many of the well-to-do expats and locals live. There is a nice view from the top of the hill overlooking the centre of the city and the ocean.

Moitaka Wildlife Sanctuary, Sir Hubert Murray Highway. Numerous crocodiles, some very large, as well as birds and other animals. 

Hiri Moale Festival. This takes place on the weekend of PNG's Independence Day in mid-September. The centrepiece is a race of up to 100 traditional Lakatoi canoes, recalling the sea voyages undertaken by the Motuan people from the Port Moresby area who exchanged sago and clay pots with the people of neighbouring Gulf Province. The departure of the canoes from Port Moresby's Ela Beach is really spectacular. The Festival is the city's main cultural show with traditional performances, as well as the canoes.

History

The Motuan people of the area now known as Port Moresby traded their pots for sago, other food and canoe logs, sailing from Hanuabada and other villages built on stilts above the waters of the bay. Their language, Motu, was the basis of Hiri Motu, an official language of Papua New Guinea.

There was already an important trade centre on the site of Port Moresby when the English Captain John Moresby of HMS Basilisk first visited it. He sailed through the Coral Sea at the eastern end of New Guinea, saw three previously unknown islands, and landed there. At 10 a.m. on 20 February 1873, he claimed the land for Britain and named it after his father, Admiral Sir Fairfax Moresby. He called the inner reach "Fairfax Harbour" and the other Port Moresby.

In 1883 Queensland attempted to annex the south-eastern corner of the New Guinea Island (subsequently known as Papua), fearing that Germany would take control of the entire eastern half of the island. British authorities refused to approve the annexation following the German annexation of New Guinea in 1884, but four years later it established a protectorate over Papua as British New Guinea.

In 1905 the recently federated Australian government passed the Papua Act which came into effect in 1906. The act transferred Papua, with Port Moreseby as its capital, to direct Australian rule. From then until 1941 Port Moresby grew slowly.

During World War II, some Papuan men enlisted in the Papua Infantry Battalion and others as carriers over trails and rough terrains (porters) as supply support to Allied and Japanese armies during long jungle marches. Many Papuan residents of Port Moresby either returned to their family villages or were evacuated to camps when the threat of Japanese invasion loomed. The city became, by September 1942, home to an important Allied complex of bases and thousands of troops were eventually stationed in the area or more often, staged through it, as it was the last Allied bastion on the island and, conversely, a key staging and jumping off point as the Allies began conducting offensive warfare themselves, pushing back the Japanese advances.

In 1945, the Territory of Papua and New Guinea was formed when Papua and the former German New Guinea, which had been administered by Australia since 1918, were amalgamated under a single Australian administration though several laws remained in two territories and remain so, which can be complicating with provinces sitting on two sides of the otherwise extinct boundary. Port Moresby became the capital of the new combined territory and a focal point for the expansion of public services.

In September 1975, Papua New Guinea became an independent country with Port Moresby as its capital city. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, represented the Queen of Papua New Guinea at the celebrations.

Climate

Port Moresby has a tropical wet and dry climate with relatively constant temperatures throughout the year. The wet season starts in December and ends in May; the dry season covers the remaining six months.

Port Moresby's average yearly rainfall is just over 1,000 mm (39.4 in). Average daily high temperatures range from 28 to 32 °C (82 to 90 °F) depending on time of year, while the average low temperature shows very little seasonal variation, hovering around the 26 °C (79 °F) mark. It tends to be slightly cooler in the city during the dry season.

Climate data for Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)36.2
(97.2)
36.1
(97)
35.4
(95.7)
34.2
(93.6)
33.8
(92.8)
33.9
(93)
33.3
(91.9)
33.8
(92.8)
34.8
(94.6)
35.5
(95.9)
36.3
(97.3)
36.3
(97.3)
36.3
(97.3)
Average high °C (°F)32.1
(89.8)
31.6
(88.9)
31.4
(88.5)
31.3
(88.3)
31.0
(87.8)
30.3
(86.5)
29.9
(85.8)
30.3
(86.5)
31.0
(87.8)
32.0
(89.6)
32.5
(90.5)
32.4
(90.3)
31.3
(88.3)
Daily mean °C (°F)27.4
(81.3)
27.3
(81.1)
27.1
(80.8)
27.0
(80.6)
26.9
(80.4)
26.1
(79)
25.7
(78.3)
26.1
(79)
26.5
(79.7)
27.5
(81.5)
27.6
(81.7)
27.8
(82)
26.9
(80.4)
Average low °C (°F)23.7
(74.7)
23.5
(74.3)
23.4
(74.1)
23.5
(74.3)
23.5
(74.3)
23.1
(73.6)
22.4
(72.3)
22.6
(72.7)
23.2
(73.8)
23.5
(74.3)
23.6
(74.5)
23.7
(74.7)
23.3
(73.9)
Record low °C (°F)20.4
(68.7)
18.8
(65.8)
18.3
(64.9)
16.8
(62.2)
14.5
(58.1)
14.5
(58.1)
10.4
(50.7)
14.8
(58.6)
14.4
(57.9)
16.3
(61.3)
16.0
(60.8)
19.6
(67.3)
10.4
(50.7)
              
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization
Source #2: Deutscher Wetterdienst

Economy

In recent years Port Moresby has been economically booming. There has been substantial building of housing, office towers and commercial establishments over much of it, apart from the once significant but now vastly depressed Boroko. Airlines PNG has its head office on the grounds of Jacksons International Airport.

Subdivisions

Moresby North-East
Moresby North-West
Moresby South

Prices in Port Moresby

PRICES LIST - USD

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk1 liter$ 3.00
Tomatoes1 kg$ 4.20
Cheese0.5 kg$ 9.00
Apples1 kg$ 3.60
Oranges1 kg$ 4.25
Beer (domestic)0.5 l$ 1.90
Bottle of Wine1 bottle$ 16.50
Coca-Cola2 liters$ 2.65
Bread1 piece$ 1.80
Water1.5 l$ 2.00

PRICES LIST - USD

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range)for 2$ 28.00
Dinner (Mid-range)for 2$ 48.00
Dinner (High-range)for 2
Mac Meal or similar1 meal$ 6.20
Water0.33 l$ 2.45
Cappuccino1 cup$ 3.10
Beer (Imported)0.33 l$ 4.00
Beer (domestic)0.5 l$ 2.30
Coca-Cola0.33 l$ 1.25
Coctail drink1 drink$ 7.00

PRICES LIST - USD

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema2 tickets$ 12.00
Gym1 month$ 62.00
Men’s Haircut1 haircut$ 12.00
Theatar2 tickets$ 30.00
Mobile (prepaid)1 min.$ 0.30
Pack of Marlboro1 pack$ 5.50

PRICES LIST - USD

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics1 pack$ 5.00
Tampons32 pieces$ 4.10
Deodorant50 ml.$ 3.20
Shampoo400 ml.$ 3.50
Toilet paper4 rolls$ 2.50
Toothpaste1 tube$ 1.65

PRICES LIST - USD

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)$ 44.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M)$ 38.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)1$ 75.00
Leather shoes$

PRICES LIST - USD

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline1 liter$
TaxiStart$ 2.00
Taxi1 km$ 1.20
Local Transport1 ticket$ 0.80

Transportation - Get In

Port Moresby is the main point of entry into Papua New Guinea for air-traffic and most of the boat-traffic.

Transportation - Get In

By plane

Jackson International Airport in Port Moresby is the nation's international airport.

  • Air Niugini flies to and from Cairns, Sydney, and Brisbane, Australia;Honiara, Solomon Islands; Manila, Philippines; Tokyo (Narita), Japan;Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.

Airfares from Australia can be quite cheap, especially if you book online and seek one of the special fares. From other countries fares are fairly expensive and it may be cheaper to fly to Cairns and pick up a flight to Port Moresby from there.

The airport has been modernized recently and immigration and customs are relatively smooth (as long as you have the correct visa), especially as the staff are extremely friendly; however, delays are common when multiple flights arrive at once. There is an ATM next to the baggage carousel and another one in the main hall, along with a money changer and a café. If you are transferring to a domestic flight you might have to rush as you have to exit the international terminal, then turn to the right and walk 300m to the domestic terminal. If you are flying Air Niugini domestically, you can check in at their transfer desk next to the other check-in desks in the international terminal, then walk over to the domestic terminal.

 


Transportation - Get Around

For a tourist, the attractions in Moresby can be spread out. There is little 'attraction' in the CBD and walking around will not get you very far. It is nice to walk along Ela Beach and around market areas but otherwise you will be reliant on motorised transport. There is the odd push-bike around the place - though finding one for hire may be a challenge.

Transportation - Get Around

By PMV

The locals rely on mini-buses (known as Public Motor Vehicles) that service all parts of the city. Whilst cheap, some drivers do not mind over-loading their vans. All PMVs have their route number and destination printed on - it is easy to ask locals where the buses go, they'll be happy to help and warn you.

Transportation - Get Around

By car

Car rental agencies are available close to Jacksons International airport but driving in Port Moresby might not be what most people are used to. In some areas of POM the locals throw stones at the car, usually just for amusement but in some cases they manage to crack your windshield. There are cases of people standing in the middle of a stretch of road they have mended and demanding compensation from people driving by, and as soon as you get outside of the city the roads deteriorate to muddy trails that only a 4x4 with an experienced driver should attempt. If you want to see the sights near Moresby such as Crystal Rapids near Sogeri or the start of the Kokoda, a 4x4 is highly recommended.

Transportation - Get Around

By taxi

There are numerous taxis (some 'teksis' too) around Moresby and calling one from your hotel will bring one promptly. You can try your luck hailing one but if you want to feel safe arrange a friend or your hotel to call one.

 

Hotels

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Hotels

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Shopping


Groceries

There are basically four stores to buy groceries if you are a foreigner in Port Moresby: Andersons Foodland, now called SVS Harbour City, Stop and Shop in Hohola, and Boroko Foodworld in Boroko and Gordons. Andersons is located right next to the Royal Papua Yacht club and usually suffices. Otherwise there is Foodworld which is larger and located over the hill in Boroko. An even larger and newer Boroko Foodworld is further east in Gordons. Just recently Port Moresby has opened its first shopping mall called Vision City in Waigani. There is a large hypermarket called RH selling anything from household furniture to baked beans. Their supply is abundant and the quality is good and prices are competitive. What one should bear in mind though is that everything imported might not always be there. Often if you see something you like you have to buy a lot of it because there is no telling when the next shipment is coming. This doesn't apply to basic foodstuffs but rather to things that might not be in high demand such as herring. RH has basically closed this gap.

Restaurants

  • Asia Aromas,  321 4780. Chinese Restaurant serving great food located inside the Steamships Plaza on Champion Parade in the downtown area. Is popular with the local expatriate community.
  • Daikoku Located inside the Andersons Foodland area, it offers great Japanese cuisine cooked directly at your table (teppanyaki). Don't forget to try the "Puk Puk" which is Tok Pisin for crocodile.
  • Royal Papua Yacht Club Serves good Australian cuisine with some Papua New Guinean touches. Has à la carte menu and a buffet that varies according to the day of the week. An invitation from a member might be required to enter.
  • Crowne Plaza Has a wonderful mediterranean restaurant which is probably the most expensive on the island. But if you feel like splurging this is definitely the place to go, it'll still be a good bargain.
  • Port Moresby Golf Club Has a nice little lunch restaurant which serves à la carte or a buffet during lunch hours.
  • Jepello's Great Italian food, and keyboardist who plays pop tunes. Off Waigani Drive, across the street from Big Rooster.
  • Seoul House Decent Korean food. Next to 5-Mile service station.
  • Fu Gui Assortment of Asian style cuisine. Try the Nasi Lemak chicken. In Gordon's, down the road form RH and Brian Bell.
  • Lamana Hotel. A nice place for a quick lunch buffet and an happening casino at night.Food is good and the only place where you get Indian food.Place to visit certainly with all its friendly staff. 25k.

Coffe & Drink

The drink of choice in Port Moresby as in the rest of Papua New Guinea is South Pacific lager: "SP beer". However, once that cultural experience is done, you will probably prefer to move on to the more refined 'SP Export' lager, or 'Niugini Ice' beer. To buy alcohol you have to go to one of the characteristic yellow and green coloured shops that are usually integrated into the supermarkets. You don't want to go to the ones that aren't. They have a relatively limited selection of wines, mostly Australian or New Zealand brands. The prices are higher than you would expect because of the taxation of alcohol. The locals tend to get quite rowdy when they drink (as everywhere else) so it's best to avoid anyone that seems to be under the influence. Typically most expats drink at hotel bars or sports club bars, which have a more relaxed atmosphere.

Sights & Landmarks

  • The Botanical Gardens A must for the visitor. Has some amazing examples of PNG wildlife such as birds of paradise, a couple of casowaris, and several other native birds. If you are lucky you might catch a wedding while you are there as some locals like to conduct the ceremony in the gardens. On the same road is the National Orchid Garden which is also well worth a look - it is planned to encompass a zoological garden in the future.
  • Port Moresby Golf Club A nice golf course located right across from the government buildings. The prices are quite acceptable for visitors. Be careful, crocodiles inhabit the water holes of the golf course. The main building has a nice restaurant where one can have lunch and have a few SP beers (South Pacific beers) after a round of golf.
  • The Ela Beach Craft Market Run by the Ela Murray International School and held on the last Saturday of each month, this market brings together local artifacts from all over Papua New Guinea. An easy way to get some beautiful carvings, handwoven baskets, or any of a number of other things to bring home as souvenirs.
  • Papua New Guinea National Museum & Art GalleryIndependence Drive, Waigani (Next to the National Parliament House),   +675 325 2458, e-mail:. M-F 9am-3pm, Sun: 1-3PM. PNG's national museum has a relatively small, but very interesting, collection which includes traditional boats and cultural objects. Photography is not permitted inside the museum. Free.
  • Touaguba Hill Perhaps not so much to see, but this is where the ambassadorial residences are located and is also where many of the well-to-do expats and locals live. There is a nice view from the top of the hill overlooking the centre of the city and the ocean.
  • Moitaka Wildlife SanctuarySir Hubert Murray Highway. Numerous crocodiles, some very large, as well as birds and other animals.
  • Hiri Moale Festival. This takes place on the weekend of PNG's Independence Day in mid-September. The centrepiece is a race of up to 100 traditional Lakatoi canoes, recalling the sea voyages undertaken by the Motuan people from the Port Moresby area who exchanged sago and clay pots with the people of neighbouring Gulf Province. The departure of the canoes from Port Moresby's Ela Beach is really spectacular. The Festival is the city's main cultural show with traditional performances, as well as the canoes.

Things to do

Scuba Diving A number of reefs and wrecks are within close proximity to Port Moresby and diving can be arranged through day vessels or on nearby Loloata Island (which has its own dive shop). There are a variety of sites and depths for all experience levels.

Safety in Port Moresby

Stay Safe

Port Moresby is well known for its crime. Carjackings, muggings and worse are common. There is a great deal of concern about the level of crime and civil disorder and about the ability and willingness of the police to cope. Police officers have been found to be complicit in major crime. Police brutality against minor offenders, complainants and witnesses has been the subject of criticism from the international group Human Rights Watch.

It is possible to minimise the chances of becoming a victim of crime by being aware of your surroundings, avoiding places where large groups are gathered and avoiding places where offences are prevalent. The Waigani area, particularly the area around the traffic lights and the Port Moresby Golf Club, has experienced numerous carjackings. The Morata district is well known by locals for its riots during the weekends.

Still, the local people are mainly friendly and peaceful. The main risks are from idle young people, mostly having fun and struggling for money. But traditionally, a wrong or bad or negative behaviour often has the other side of the mirror, which is known as "pay back", also called in some cases compensation, but always wild and violent.

Very Low / 1.9

Safety (Walking alone - day)

Very Low / 0.8

Safety (Walking alone - night)

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