Showing posts with label Tourist Visit Port Moresby. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tourist Visit Port Moresby. Show all posts

Nature Park Forced Closure Land Issue

The Nature Park in Port Moresby is closed for business indefinitely. The park was affected in a dispute over the land.

Pic: Twitter/@ConfigGuyPOM

Why Nature Park Closure

It is known that the University of Papua New Guinea owns the land on which the park is situated. However, the National Capital District Commission, Lands Department and University of Papua New Guinea are in a debacle over the land forcing the Nature Park to close indefinitely.

The long time residents of Port Moresby would recall how rundown the facilities and grounds were before a new park management came in 2014/2015. It was a wasteland of broken boardwalks, rubbish and dead plants.

Understandably, the park and its owner must pay any money  it owed to UPNG. But does it have to end up with a court battle? Sadly, not!

There are probably other intervention or mediation measures the landlord can take to not disturb the operations of the park.

The Nature Park, in a statement, said
'The recent announcement of the indefinite closure of the Port Moresby Nature Park is a result of a land acquisition matter before the courts between the Department of Lands, the National Capital District Commission (NCDC) and University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG).'  Official Statement 12/11/2019
Have all avenues being exhausted before  the landlord went to court?

I am sure UPNG, in its wisdom, can seek re-address through the city hall or talk directly to the park management to amicably resolve this issue.

Perhaps the first thing in this debacle is allowing public access to the park. In an ideal world, the disgruntled parties would not see it fit to hold the public to ransom for some uncollected debt.

Also, the Nature Park and its owner must pay any money it owes to UPNG as per the Contract Agreements, if any.

It is, in fact, sad to see a recreational area so used and so enjoyed by the general public (and at this busy time) has closed.

So, in the best interest of the users of this beautiful and well-managed park in the city, please resolve this matter immediately.

Let us, the public, use the park and its recreational grounds as we approach the Christmas holidays and festive periods.

Follow the conversation on Twitter. Let us know what you think.

Here is the Public Statement released by the Nature Park management on their Facebook page on the 12th November 2019.


Port Moresby Nature Park recently celebrated its obtainment of International Wildlife Welfare-Accreditation from the Zoo and Aquarium Association of Australasia, the first Pacific Island facility to have passed what is considered globally as the most scientific and rigorous assessment of animal management for zoos and wildlife facilities.  This comes after 7 years of tremendous transformational change with over K7million in public-private partnership funding being spent in the redevelopment of the Park.  As a charitable organisation, the Park has and continues to rely heavily on the commitment of NCDC, the generosity of sponsors and donors, and visitation by the community.   

It was NCDC’s vision to establish the Charitable Trust, overseen by an independent board that would become PNG’s leading recreational space inspiring through education the guardianship of PNG’s unique natural environment.

When one visits the Nature Park it is evident of the staffs commitment to delivering exceptional experiences.  The Nature Park is now the highest visited attraction in Papua New Guinea with over 140,000 visitors, including over 24,000 school students that attend the Park’s educational schools-excursion programs.  In fact, next year the Park will reach it’s 1 millionth visitor through the Park.  Further to this, the Park is a shiny example of the tourism potential of Papua New Guinea and regularly plays a tourism role for key International Events such as APEC and is visited by almost 1 in 5 international visitors to this country.

Over the last 4 years, the Park has taken seriously its role in wildlife conservation and research through its dedication to wildlife conservation and research supporting CEPA, our universities, PHD students and conservations organisations.  This has included the rescue and rehabilitation of hundreds of injured, orphaned and abandoned wildlife, research into pig-nosed turtles growth rates and the release of turtles back into the wild, and breeding programs for endangered and little-known PNG animal species.   The Nature Park has provided many, many opportunities for undergraduate and further education students to gain valuable on-the-job training and skills.

Not only has the Papua New Guinean community taken notice of the Park successes, but so too the Park has shone on the Global stage receiving a number of prestigious awards including a 2016 Award for Innovation and in 2018 an Education Award, both by the Zoo & Aquarium Association of Australasia. The Nature Park was also inducted into the Zoos Victoria Hall of Fame Awards for its commitment to partnership development in 2017 and in 2019 the Park became the first attraction in PNG to receive a Hall of Fame award by TripAdvisor for 5 years of continuous Certificates of Excellence from TripAdvisor. 

Port Moresby Nature Park has quickly become a shining example of what can be achieved through public and private partnership and what a small, charitable organisation can achieve with the right strategic planning, leadership, NCDC, Government and business support, and when combined with a motivated and passionate workforce dedicated to the service of the community.  The Park has always dared to dream big for the benefit of the community and biodiversity.

The recent announcement of the indefinite closure of the Port Moresby Nature Park is a result of a land acquisition matter before the courts between the Department of Lands, the National Capital District Commission (NCDC) and University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG).

NCDC has managed and funded the site since 1993 (formerly as the Botanical Gardens and now Port Moresby Nature Park) investing tens of millions of Kina in this time to ensure that throughout the space has remained opened for the public.

The Port Moresby Nature Park remains committed to NCDC and its goal of securing recreational spaces and activities that improves the lives of its citizens.  Recreational spaces are an important extension of community and when they work well, they serve as sacred spaces to stage our public lives.  Additionally, the Nature Park serves as a facility for education, tourism, research and conservation, all vital activities worth securing for future generations to come.

The management of the Port Moresby Nature Park would like to take the opportunity to thank the general public for its outpouring of support towards our organisation.  Please stand firm in the knowledge that the Nature Park is committed to the community and to conservation and with the support of NCDC will continue to ensuring that the Park remains PNG’s leading recreational space dedicated through education to the guardianship of PNG’s unique natural environment.

We look forward to opening our doors once more and will advise the community in due course.


2020 Public Holiday Dates Published - Plan your Holiday

The 2020 public holidays in Papua New Guinea was published on the 10th of October 2019 by the governor general in the National Gazette 2020.

There are 11 holiday dates to mark on your 2020 calendar. 

  1. New Year 2020 Wednesday 1st January 
  2. Good Friday 10th April, 2020
  3. Easter Saturday 11th April, 2020
  4. Easter Sunday 12th April, 2020
  5. Easter Monday 13th April, 2020
  6. Queen' Birthday Monday 8th June, 2020
  7. National Remembrance Day Thursday 23rd July, 2020
  8. National Repentance Day Wednesday 26th August, 2020
  9. Independence Day Wednesday 16th September, 2020
  10. Christmas Day Friday 25th December, 2020
  11. Boxing Day Saturday 25th December, 2020

Plan your holiday

If you are planning a weekend getaway or spend the long weekends somewhere, check the suggestions here. There are lots of places to visit outside of Port Moresby. 
Papua New Guinea tour
Hula Camping Trip/Motuan Coast/ PNG Insight Photo

If you are a POM resident or local just wanting a day trip awsy from the house and screens, here are 3 suggestions to help you.

1. Port Moresby Parks and Recreation Areas: Varirata National Conservation Park, Nature Park and Adventure Park, Pacific Adventist University Sunday morning market.
2. Travel along the Motuan Coasts: Sunset Lodge, March Girls Resort, Loloata Island Resort, Tutu Beach Retreat.
3. Weekend away to Sogeri Plateau: Koitachi Country Club, Kokoda Trail Memorial, Kokoda Lodge, Crystal Rapids Falls.

For those wanting to have restful day in POM can relax and have fun at the following places.
1. Stanley Hotel Poolside
2. Hilton Hotel and Accommodation 
3. Downtown Harbourside Restaurants and Cafe 
4. Vision City Cinema 
5. The New Ela Beach

Kids things to do in POM

1. Lamana 10 Pins Lanes Bowling
2. Play Station Kids Indoor Play Area
3. Nature Park Holiday Fun and Activities
4. Adventure Park Fishing Competition 
5. Port Moresby Yacht Club Kids Playground

There are lots of things you can do around Port Moresby to keep the whole family occupied over the 2020 holidays and long weekends.

6 Must-See Provinces

Papua New Guinea TOURs
Rabaul Volcanoe /PNG Insight photo

Easter would be a good time to travel out to explore the beauty of PNG. The 6 *must* visit destinations in PNG:
1. Rabaul - swim with dolphins and visit the volcanoes.
2. Hagen - travel along the Baiyer and Kitip roads, and visit the local/traditional singings.
3. Kavieng - travel along the Kavieng-Namatanai Highway and visit the Eel Lady.
4. Goroka - Visit the Asaro Mudmen.
5. Alotau - travel to the pristine islands and snorkel.
6. Tufi/Oro - Tufi is a diver's paradise descibed by influential diver's magazines as the 'best' diving destination in the South Pacific.Or, relax by the beach and enjoy canoeing and fjord getaways. :)
Tufi beach and fjord

Well, these are a few things that come to mind. There are even more for the inquisitive explorers. Have fun!

Let us know if there is any places around POM or places that you think we should add to the list. 


Sunset Lodge: Port Moresby's Bar, Beach and Breeze Getaway

I was going to write about Sunset Lodge for a long time and now find time to post about this Port Moresby's day trip. For first-timers, the lodge is a nice place to get away from the city, about an hour's drive towards the PNG LNG plant and Papa and Lealea villages. The road is fairly flat with potholes to avoid, any small car can make it there and back.


The amenities there are fairly basic. A bar selling can drinks and alcohol, barbecue area, toilets, car park and sitting area. The sitting area overlooks the beautiful Papa sandy beach and sea. If you are lucky, you'll see the massive oil tankers at the LNG plant/terminal refilling LNG for export to the Asian markets.


The beach is nicer than any I've seen near POM. Lovely sea breeze too. My top tip is to camp near the beach or get a bbq area. Kids are going to have fun this way. At low tide, the sea goes further out. You can walk right into the sea and play on the sandbanks. Always have someone to look after you personal & valuable items when you are away from your camp as there are locals using the beach as access way between the nearby villages.


As usual, go prepared with food, sunscreen, hats, water and any day's necessities to make your trip a good one. Sunset Lodge does not do food or provide lodging, they only do drinks. There is a K10 per head standard charge for visitors, both young and old.

Personally,  I think after the Loloata Island Resort (the resort re-opened its doors to visitors in 2019), the Sunset Lodge has got a nicer beach for families or friends wanting a day's visit to the beach or get away from the city's heat.

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. There are five important things that make Varirata 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. 

things to do at varirata national park

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...

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 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.

Leave a comment and let us know about your visit. 

Loloata: A Place to Enjoy Sun And Sea


Contact detail & costs
Whispers on the streets has it that Loloata Island Resort was closed due to take-over by a big hotel company. I had to confirm that this is true because I have always loved going there. A quick call revealed that the island resort was still opened to visitors. 

From casual chats with resort staff on my latest visit revealed that they have not reached a business agreement with the hotel company yet, though talks have been ongoing. Do not make this stop you from enjoying the sun and sea at Loloata.

If you are planning a trip to the resort this year, make sure to give them a call first. Residents of Port Moresby and other visitors alike can contact them on 72768687 (or 3251369/3258590).

Some photos

Boat to and from the mainland
Lion Island : White sandy beach & snokeling area
Boat trips between Loloata and Lion islands