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

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. 

Beautiful POM, Why Are You Classified As The Most Dangerous One - You Still The Best

Port Moresby (POM) is a tough place to live and work, tougher for those with families. Every capital city has it problem, but POM's not controlled and contained. Crime and petty theft is often left unattended by law enforcement bodies, including civilians.

If one thing needs to change it must be the attitude of every person living in POM. Agree with Guise Kola, a commentator on Paitim Garamut, a Facebook discussion group. He said 

"Lets not talk about tourism and try our efforts in vain in a City and country so infested with petty crimes. How many times have we read (and) seen news about tourists being attacked and their personal artifacts stolen! Mobile phones, digital cameras, travel bags, money etc being stolen. Even there were accassions where tourists were being held up (and) raped and killed! 

Lets get our house in order (and) functional first. We have a very long to go with our petty insidious attitude. We need to develop our mind and fully understand how things are done in the first world and learn to emulate them before we start talking about tourism.

No tourist in his or her right mind wish to come to PNG knowing that s/he will be held up, raped or killed! Who in his or her right mind would do that?

Lets forget the talk on tourism and start developing our human capital and command basic law n order issues before other things!"

I completely agree with his point on developing our human capital and law and order.The basic command of order has to prevail, every civil individual has to uphold common sense. Respect one another, respect the law, respect for self. All those good virtues are absent in everyday life and the result is a disorganised society with high crime rate.

POM classified as one of the most dangerous cities in the World was the subject of discussion. Most of these classifications are based on petty criminal offenses like holdup, pickpocket, knife and gun crime, including serious ones like rape and murder. 

These are opportunistic crimes and controllable. They come under duties of law enforcers, the police and courts. Port Moresby policewo/men have to start protecting citizens instead of protecting the white collar criminals and fraudsters. 

POM has the potential to be the best city, but it has left itself down for far too long. The others in 8th and 9th places are ravaged by civil wars and sectarian violence never have a chance to rebuild themselves in the near future. 

There needs to be political will and civil obedience. Only then we'll see a change for the better.

Top 10 Things To Do In PNG's Capital City, Port Moresby

POM has lots of things visitors can do. Like any holiday, if you do a proper research, you are likely to find the best things around/within the city to do. 

I thought it would be helpful to list 10 touristy 'things' visitors (including locals) can do when in POM.

5 Things To Do Within City

1) You can arrange for a guided tour along the ranges from UPNG to Hanubada ( a good way to see POM from a different angle) or singsing group from one of the Motu Koitabu villages (travel out to the village and enjoy the tranquility there). 

2) The  Parliament House -Opens every weekday, free of charge. You can look around or go in when the doors are open and visit Parliament Gallery. Check parliamentary sitting time. If you love comedy, you'll enjoy the sessions - a must watch. 

3) Port Moresby Botanical Gardens - Variety of native flora and fauna to see at the gardens: Animals can be seen up close and personal; Cassowary, Bird of Paradise, Crocodile, Snakes, including a good collection of ferns and orchids. 

4) Vision City Mall - If you are up for a stroll or window shopping, VCM could be the right place to visit. It offers a contemporary shopping experience. ( is the secrete: given value of PNG Kina at the moment, overseas visitors can shop and save). Paradise Cinema is located within its precincts- check out the cinema if you want to watch some dull movies. 

5) Ela Beach Art and Craft Market - takes place either at the end or beginning of every month. A lively atmosphere, always buzzing with traditional items, PNG bilums, carvings, canvas paintings and all things PNG. You may see a traditional PNG 'singsing' performing at the market. 

5 Things To Do Outside The City

6) Loloata - day visit to Loloata Island Resort can be arranged easily from any hotels in POM. Spend ing a day or two is not a problem as there are plenty of activities you can do when on the island: snorkeling, diving, walking, kayaking, or just relaxing in the sun - recommended.

7) Kokoda - If you really want to feel the tropical heat and enjoy the flora and fauna. You've got to do this. Preparation is essential. Tour operators can be found here.

8) Pacific Adventist University Sunday Market - take a trip out to PAU, enjoy the sunday morning market and surroundings there. You can also visit the Safari Park while you are there (right at the entrance to PAU) or travel 10 minutes up to Crystal Rapids & to Bomana War Memorial. A complete package can be found on PNG Trekking Adventures website.

9) Varirata National Park - You don't have to travel to other parts of PNG to see beautiful birds of paradise and enjoy natural beauty of the place. A day trip to VNP is a better way to get out of the city. 

10) March Girls resort - Located 3 - 4 hours out of the city, a nice place with 'black sandy beach'., good family getaway. Along Magi Highway, travelling past Loloata. There are road side markets where you can get fresh 'kulau', watermelon, mango and anything on sale at fraction of the price in POM. Take a picnic, sit on the beach, have an SP beer and enjoy the day.