Papua New Guinea does get quite a few tourists, with most opting for either trekking the Kokoda Track, or venturing further afield to various tourist hotspots around the country. PNG has started to really open up, and the experienced traveller who wants the experience of a lifetime can certainly build a great itinerary here.
However if you are just in Moresby for the day, or maybe have come up for work and have a day spare – here is my “You can do this in one “week” day Moresby list”…
5:30am – Head down to the Royal Papua Yacht Club to walk/run the breakwater. 1km each way, it’s a great way to see the sun come up and you might even meet a few people on the way
7am – Pop over to Edge by the Sea for Coffee and Breakfast. The Poached Eggs on Hummus is terrific.
8am – Moresby has truely woken up and the roads into Town are getting congested, so head out of Town to Bomana War Cemetery and pay your respects to all those service personnel killed in action.
9:30am – Now head on up to Owens Corner and the start of the Kokoda Track. The road to Owens Corner can be a bit dodgy with potholes and PMV’s to negotiate, but the cooler air and scenery will at times leave you gasping.
10:30am – You could try Kotaki Country Club, Bluff Inn or the Kokoda Trail Hotel for brunch, or snake off over to Crystal Rapids for a quick dip, but don’t be too long. Otherwise – head back towards 14 Mile and the Adventure Park where there are giant crocodiles. If you can get back here for 3pm their handler will put on a live feeding show and climb on the Puk Puk’s back. If you like Orchids, then the famous Orchid Gardens are right next door.
12:00pm – Head straight for Vision City Mega Mall, which isn’t huge by developed countries standards, but is the largest mall in PNG. There are some great eateries inside and I recommend the dumpling restaurant around by the food hall.
1:30pm – Now head down to look at Parliment House which is close by, and the Museum. But don’t spend too long – we are trying to get as much done in one day as we can.
2:30pm – a 15 minute trip now to Gerehu and you will drive past the University of PNG to the best little Zoo in the world, PNG’s own Nature Park. You can race around the Nature Park in an hour (or a day) but make sure you spend 15 minutes or so going through handicrafts in their shop.
4:00pm – Drive the backroad past the notorious Baruni Dump (this was a no go road a few years ago but is now pretty awesome). Heading left towards the City you will come across firstly Elevala then Hanuabada Villiage’s (or HB as it’s collectively known). Make your way to Harbourside and have a final coffee of the day at Duffy’s (They do their own coffee blends), or grab an SP at Naked Fish – to sound like a local ask for a Stubbie (for an SP Lager Bottle), Green Can (SP Lager Can), Long Neck (SP Export bottle) or White Can (SP Export can) – if you want to sound like a tosser, ask for a South Pacific Lager, then everyone will look at you strange :).
5:30pm – Head back to your Hotel to spruce yourself up for the night – smart casual is the way – ditch the jeans unless you want to spend the night sweating. If you have an Exec Room at Grand Papua or The Stanley, the Executive Club’s will be open about now.
6:30pm – Choose a place to go for dinner, if you go early – you won’t need to book a table, and if the place is full – then there are plenty of other options; for Asian, you could head back down to Harbourside and go to Asia Aroma’s, or go to my favourite Fusion which is situated between BSP and the new US Embassy that is being built. If you are after Indian, you can’t go past Tasty Bite which is situated in Town, or for fine dining there is Airways Hotel, Grand Papua or The Stanley to choose from. Lamana Hotel has Italian and Brazilian (TIP: you can sit at any restaurant in Lamana, and order from any menu), and there are a myriad of other restaurants tucked away that are really quite good.
9:30pm – You’ve got your dancing shoes with you, so head back to Vision City and the Cosmopolitan NightClub, where they have acts such as Shaggy come and play in Port Moresby. Cosmo has a couple of levels, and if you can get upstairs you can boogie the night away on a dancefloor above the dancefloor. Make sure you are travelling with others or have an escort, Port Moresby after dark isn’t a place for making friends on the side of the road. There are also lots of police checkpoints, so have a sober driver with a license…
1:30am – You are still killing it, so head off to Lamana Hotel and PNG’s first real club – The Gold Club. Perch yourself on the balcony and watch Papua New Guinean’s strut their stuff. Don’t lose your mates, it’s been known to have happened….
3:00am – It’s either home time, or Club Illusion’s in Town which winds down around 5am. Have a crack on the pool tables, or slot yourself in on the dance floor. When you leave the Illusions car park – turn right… It’s a one way street and the police tactically sit there waiting for you and your mates to take a shortcut 🙂
5:30am – Roll into bed, hoping you are catching the 2pm flight out. Your Hotel will have complementary transport leaving at 11am’ish so set your alarm! If you are getting the 6am flight out – then you’ve missed it!
There you have it, a taster of Moresby in 24 hours. And if you don’t think it can be done, you’d be wrong – it just takes a lead foot and a lot of luck 🙂