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The commercial centre of the nation, Port Moresby is in itself a microcosm of Papua New Guinea, catering for about 200,000 people consisting of a large number of non-citizens, as well as 800 diverse languages and cultures.

A view of Port Moresby highlighting the contrasting styles of this modern city

Moresby fluctuates from the hustle of commercialisation to the serenity of a country town. Downtown at the waterside is the nostalgic Moresby, of narrow streets and historical street signs. At the entrance of Fairfax Harbour lies Lolorua and Fishermen's Island, favourite picnic areas for sailors. Beautiful views from Paga Point overlook Ela Beach and Koki Bay.

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Juxtaposed to the metropolis is the partly stilt-based Hanuabada Village, home of the traditional Motuan landowners of Moresby. Burnt after WW2, the big village was rebuilt by the Australian Administration. Despite cosmetic changes, the character of the village is still here and it is renowned for its elaborate and expensive bridal ceremonies.

Koki market down at the waterfront is a favourite for trade in seafood brought in daily by local fishermen. Here you'll trade in seafood brought in daily by local fishermen. Here you'll also find lots of fresh vegetables and fruits for sale.

There's a pleasant informality about dress in Port Moresby and casual clothes and open neck shirts for men are worn throughout the year, along with the traditional clothes such as rami, sulus, laplaps and kolos. Blending the new and the old, the National Parliament, a symbol of modern architecture, contrasts with the dignity of traditional design at the National Museum and Art Gallery.

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The first permanent display of local cultural artefacts was established in late 1978 and is well worth a visit. Located on the slopes of Independence Hill at Waigani, the National Museum and Art Gallery is open weekdays and Sunday afternoons. If you are lucky enough to be in Moresby during the Hiri Moale Festival in September, you can join the celebrations to commemorate the historical trade between villagers around the Gulf Province and the capital. The festival features canoe races, processions, choirs, string bands, sing-sings and the Hiri Queen contest.

Port Moresby is made up of a complex traditional society formed upon historical bonds between the traditional landowners, the coastal Motuans and the inland Koitabu, through intermarriages and trade which have been occurring since the mid-nineteenth century.

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Today the Motu-Koitabu have sacrificed much of their heritage to the influence of Europeans and Polynesian missionaries, who have been visiting the port since the 1780s. If you are interested in local artefacts, considered the best in the Pacific region, visit the PNG Arts Artefact Shop. This will confirm the wealth of tribal implements, statues and weaponry.

Forty-six kilometres from Port Moresby is the Sogeri Plateau where the infamous Kokoda Trail became the centre of war between the Japanese and Allied Troops. The trail is a redex trial of slippery slopes and steep mountains covered in jungle.

At 800 metres, the atmosphere is cool in contrast to the humidity of the city. You can take short drives around the many picnic sites and jungle walks, and swim in the Crystal Rapids. 

Varirata National Park is a spectacular natural mountain region which offers views over Port Moresby and the coastline. If you get up early, you can catch the mist which blankets the ranges and provides a glorious picture. West-bound from Port Moresby is the Hiritano Highway which connects the city with Bereina, home of the Kairuku and Mekeo people. The Mekeos are renowned for their strong chieftain system as well as their grand traditional costume and the designs they draw on their faces.

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While in Moresby and its surrounds, keep your eye out for Papua New Guinean wild life. It is as varied as the vegetation and very special. Look for the long-snouted echidna, the New Guinea eagle, the bird of paradise, goura pigeons, seven types of birdwing butterflies and different kinds of egrets.



Set in 12 acres of tropical gardens, The Islander Travelodge is located at Waigani, midway between the airport and the city centre, within five minutes drive of Central Government Offices, Parliament House and the National Museum.

The convenient location is only one reason to stay at The Islander. Luxurious accommodation includes queen rooms and suites equipped with direct dial telephones, colour TV with satellite feed, mini bar, tea and coffee making facilities and a private balcony.


Professional service from The Islander's courteous staff, conference and banquet facilities for up to 500 people, complete secretarial services, and airport transfers ensure comfort and convenience for business travellers.

Amenities include the garden swimming pool, and a Sports Club with four glass backed squash courts, two synthetic tennis courts and a fully equipped gymnasium.

After relaxing at the cocktail bar, sample the superb cuisine at the Kofi Haus Coffee Shop, the elegant VIII ells Grill Restaurant, or take advantage of the 24-hour room service. Entertainment is provided at the night club, and in-house shops and boutiques provide the little extras.

One of Papua New Guinea's first truly international hotels, The Islander Travelodge is the luxurious alternative for business or holiday travellers alike.

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For More Information Contact:


P.O. Box 1981
Telephone: +675 3255955
Facsimile: +675 3250837


Situated on the foreshores of Ela Beach and within walking distance of Port Moresby city centre, the Ela Beach Hotel is for the young and the young at heart.

With 47 comfortable rooms ranging from budget priced singles and doubles to long stay apartments, the Ela Beach Hotel provides some of the best value accommodation in town. All rooms are individually air-conditioned, have direct dial telephones, cable television and tea/coffee making facilities.


For dining, the hotel's popular poolside brasserie and bar offers inexpensive meals and a variety of daily specials with extensive blackboard menus. The bar and disco is one of Port Moresby's most exclusive night spots. For additional excitement, try your luck at the hotel's gaming facilities.

Services include 24-hour reception and security as well as courtesy airport transfers. Ela Beach Hotel is ideal for the business person, visitor or tropical adventurer.

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For More Information Contact:


Ela Beach Road
Port Moresby
Telephone: +675 3212100
Facsimile: +675 3212434


The first truly international hotel to be built in the idyllic paradise of Papua New Guinea was the Port Moresby Travelodge. Its prime hilltop position commands panoramic views of the beach, harbour and the Pacific.

During its history, this first class hotel has become a renowned meeting place for those who live and do business in Papua New Guinea, attracting more visiting dignitaries than any other hotel.


The Travelodge has 163 air-conditioned rooms, including two suites, all with direct ISD/IDD telephones, satellite, colour television, video movies, mini bar, refrigerator, tea and coffee making facilities, private balcony and 24-hour room service.

There is a sparkling pool, fully-equipped gymnasium, and major attraction of the area is that Port Moresby and the Coral Sea offer excellent diving and game fishing. On site, guests have the convenience of a coffee shop, cocktail bar and restaurant, as well as several specialty shops. There is also a business centre and a spacious convention room and meeting rooms catering for up to 300 people. Other services include free undercover parking and airport transfers, and the friendly Travelodge staff can arrange foreign currency exchange, taxis and flight bookings or confirmations.

The Rapala Restaurant is famous throughout the country for its cuisine, luxurious decor and furnishings. Guests dining in the restaurant or relaxing in the Pondo bar will be entertained by local and international bands. Experience the exotic paradise that is Papua New Guinea just ten kilometres from the airport, in the style and comfort of the Port Moresby Travelodge.

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For More Information Contact:

Corner Hunter Street and Douglas Street
or P.O. Box 1661
Port Moresby
Telephone: +675 3212266
Facsimile: +675 3217534


Experience the beauty and diversity of Papua New Guinea diving without the hassle and experience of travelling to remote locations. The Dive Centre is conveniently located overlooking the beautiful Ela Beach just minutes from the International Airport. You can choose from a range of accommodation options to suit your budget.

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The Dive Centre offers a full range of services to the dive traveller. The comprehensively stocked shop and service centre can supply all your diving equipment needs. The Dive Centre is a PADI facility and its experienced instructors can take you from beginner to instructor.

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They can also arrange a variety activities for the non-diver - see the famous Kokoda Trail, visit a crocodile farm, or may be spend the day fishing ...

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 Jane Resture
(E-mail: -- Rev. 10th February 2004)