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Papua New Guinea - Top Tips

Super Seven

Port Moresby Tour

With Port Moresby being your entry point into the country, it's worth spending half a day doing a city tour of the capital. The city is spread into different districts, so you'll need to take a taxi or use a local guide. Spots not to be missed are National Parliament House, which has a stunning mosaic design on the front entrance, Saint Mary's Catholic Cathedral, Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, Remembrance Park, and then finish off with a walk along Ela Beach.

Bomana War Cemetery

A short 20 minute drive north of the capital and you can reach Bomana Cemetery, which is a Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery dating back to WW2. The cemetery contains the graves of those who died fighting in the former territory of Papua. The cemetery is well maintained and has a total of 3,824 graves. Directly behind the cemetery you can also find the Port Moresby Memorial which commemorates the Australian Army. Whether you have an interest in war history or not, this really is a beautiful place.

Varirata National Park

If you're looking for nature, but you're unable to reach the highlands region, then Varirata National Park is definitely worth a visit. Only a 1 hour drive east of the capital and you'll reach Varirata, which was declared the first National Park in PNG. There's plenty of viewpoints around the park offering 360 degree views of lush green nature, as well as waterfalls, and some great bird watching spots.

Mount Giluwe Hike

PNG is home to the highest volcano on the Oceania continent, which is Mount Giluwe at 4,367 meters. This can be easily reached via a domestic flight to Mount Hagen, followed by a 1 hour drive into the highlands. This is a beautiful region that's largely untouched by tourism, but the hike itself isn't easy. The terrain is difficult with thick vegetation, as well as swampy water and river crossings. Definitely don't attempt this without a guide, as I didn't see a single other person during my entire trek (other than my guide). I completed the summit in 2 days, but it was a real struggle, so I would definitely allocate 3. The views from the summit are stunning!

Garu Hot Springs River

I'd recommend spending some time in West New Britain, specifically Kimbe, which can be reached via a domestic flight into Hoskins Airport. There's multiple points of interest here, including the Garu Hot River, which is nestled in the jungle terrain, albeit easily reachble via 4WD vehicle. This is a small river steams at a temperature close to 40 degrees, as it's warmed by thermal activity from the nearby volcano, and is the perfect place to take a dip. Even the ride to Garu River is beautiful as you'll pass through a palm oil plantation, albeit on bumpy roads.

Abandoned WWII Planes at Talasea Airstrip

Also located within close proximity to Kimbe is the former Talasea airstrip, which was built by the Australian army, although it was occupied by both the Japanese and Americans in WWII. The airstrip hasn't been used since 1944 so nature has taken over and you can barely recognise this was an airstrip at all. However, what's left are two WWII planes. You have a B-25 bomber and a Lockheed Ventura that are literally 50 yards from one another. Nature has fully taken over, but I was still surprised at the relatively good condition of both.

Koki Fish Market

To the east of Ela beach you'll find Koki fish market, which is located on a pier platform above the sea. It's a great spot to go people watching and is open the whole day. This is where the locals go for their fish shop, so you'll see all different kinds. Unlike some fish markets, the sellers have no issue with being photographed. Adjacent to the fish market, you'll see Koki stilt village, which is where all the fishermen and market workers live.

Accommodation Advice

Accommodation options were quite limited across the country as a whole, but the one I would recommend is Hilton Port Moresby. The staff were very helpful from the free airport pick up, right the way to checkout. The rooms are very modern, WiFi is high speed, there's a nice pool area to relax, and a high-end gym. I rarely stay in large chain hotels, but I honestly couldn't fault this one.

Food Factor

In New Britain, there's a great resort directly on the ocean that have a great restaurant. Liamo Reef Resort in Kimbe has a great dining area with both local and international dishes available. There's both indoor and outdoor seating in case you want to dine next to the ocean. The local PNG curry dishes really hit the spot!

Good Guide

There's a couple of different guides I can recommend from my stay in PNG. For a Port Moresby city tour, I used Lady Esmine (a former first lady) and she was excellent. Knows every small area of the city and has many recommendations that don't appear in the guide book. Her Whatsapp number is +675 7523 2992.

For the Mount Giluwe hike I used Adams at Mount Giluwe Lodge, who's mother Lima owns Giluwe Lodge. He has a team of experienced hiking guides that will collect you from the airport and provide support during the hike. Overnight accommodation at Giluwe Lodge after summit completion is also part of the package. I was very happy with his communication in the build up to the trip with handling all my questions. You can reach Adams via Whatsapp on +675 7240 3537.


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