Varirata National Park: Port Moresby's Best Kept Secret - Must See

The park is less than an hour’s drive from Port Moresby, Varirata National Park covers 1,063 hectares inhabited by all the main iconic species of Papua New Guinea.

I visited several fun places both within and outside Port Moresby but my recent visit stood out - Varirata National Park. To be honest I did not think the visit was going to be fun. It, however, turned out to be an enjoyable trip. 

Other fun places to visit in Port Moresby 

  • Port Moresby Adventure Park
  • Sunset Lodge
  • Loloata Island Resort
  • Koitaki Country Club
  • Varirata Natioanl Park
  • Kokoda Track Memorial
  • Bomana War Cemetry
  • Tutu Beach

Varirata National Park is at an elevation between 600 and 900 metres. The park is rich with a variety of ecosystems and landscapes and plants and animals.

The Park offers four tracks to explore its untamed nature, discover its unique plants and observe its extraordinary wildlife.

How to visit varirata national park
 New buildings are erected to serve as the Information Centre 

As I mentioned earlier, the park is a must-visit as is the best way to get away from Port Moresby. There are five important things that make Varirata  National Park special.

1. The road condition can be described as excellent. From the turn-off to the look-out and all around the park was sealed and in superb condition. Grasses are trimmed neat and tidy. 

2. The BBQ areas and huts are well kept and in very good condition.

3. Cheap to visit - residents pay only K2.00 per head and external visitors pay K5.00 per head. The caretakers of the park will be happy to show you around.

4. Beautiful view of the surrounding places from the look-out; looking out to Loloata, Port Moreby, Jacksons Airport and the nearby mountain ranges. 

5. Nature Walk and Fresh Air - nothing beats the fresh air from the forest. There are lots of animals and plants to see and adore.

visit varirata national park
View towards Port Moresby from Main Lookout  (accessed by car) others are walking distances away

Bush Walking 

Varirata National Park is a fantastic place for bushwalking. A great variety of vegetation from woodland to rainforest, beautiful butterflies, huge ferns, wild orchids, fresh air and lookouts with its spectacular views of Bootless Bay.

Five out of the thirty-five species of birds of paradise live in the park, and PNG’s National Emblem, the Raggiana, is without any doubt, is the guest of honour. 

Between April and October, during peak breeding season, there is an excellent chance of seeing some males in full breeding plumage dancing to attract female attention.

Top tip: If you really what to get the best out of your trip to Varirata National Park, I would recommend enlisting a local guide to take you around the walks through the forest. You can ask for guides or assistance at the main entrance.

Go prepared with cash, food, water, sunscreen and bug repellent. As for the serious walkers, this could be a recurring visit once you've done it the first time. 

You've got to visit Varirata National Park if you have been living in Port Moresby, but have not visited the park yet. 

Bird Watching 

Varirata National Conservation Park is famous among birdwatchers for its birds of paradise, accessible by road. Here are some species of birds you can see at the park:
  • Raggiana bird of paradise, 
  • cassowaries, 
  • hornbills, 
  • kingfishers, 
  • cuscus,
  • forest wallabies, 
  • echidna, 
  • bandicoots, 
  • possums,
  • green pythons...
things to do at varirata national park

Infomation about Varirata National Park 

The Varirata National Park recently opened its new Information Centre at Sogeri outside of Port Moresby. The modern information centre will enhance visitors experience of the nature park. 

The park is already popular with schools excursions, bird watching, weekend outings for city residents and nature tours. PNGTPA is a partner in the development of the Variarata National Park through setting up signboards and working with JICA to develop bird watching attractions in the nature park.

Contact PNGTPA for Varirata Visits

  • Media Coordinator/ TPA Board Secretary : Colin Taimbari
  • For further information, contact the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority’s on Phone: +675 320 0211 or email:

Here are earlier posts about the things to do when in Port Moresby:
There are also other places out of Port Moresby for the more adventurous spirits like the Koitaki Country Club, March Girls Resort and Sunset Lodge, including Varirata National Park

About PNG Insight

PNG Insight is an education blog. It aims to highlight the key developments in the education sector in Papua New Guinea. Started in 2014 on Google's blogger (now self-hosted on WordPress), PNG Insight strives to be a platform for critical thinking and discussions; and a source of information.

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