Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

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Port Moresby, on Port Moresby Harbour on the Gulf of Papua, is Papua New Guinea’s capital and its main port.


The British sea captain John Moresby explored the area in 1873 and named the port after his father. It was claimed by the British 10 years later and served as an important Allied base during World War II. By this time New Guinea was an Australian-administered UN Trust Territory and Papua an Australian Overseas Territory. Port Moresby served as the administrative seat. Having been heavily developed, Port Moresby formed the National Capital District (established in 1974) and a year later it became capital of independent Papua New Guinea. There are proposals to transfer many of the capital’s institutions to the suburb of Waigani.

Modern City

Port Moresby’s port offers shipping services to Australia and other coastal ports. It has a good road infrastructure and the Jackson international airport is close to the city centre. Water comes from the nearby Laloki River but the city is prone to droughts.

Principal exports are copra, rubber and gold. Tourism is also an important revenue-earner. There is a university.

Places of Interest

Among the leading tourist attractions are the parliament building and the national museum and gallery. There is a bustling market at Gordons and a big shopping complex at Boroko. There are several unspoilt beaches nearby and Sinasi reef is popular with divers. A short distance from the city centre are the Rouna Falls and Varirata National Park.

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© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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