Short but steep climb to Mt Erima lookout with beautiful views, freshest fruits and veggies found at the nearby PAU Sunday market and unique collection of orchids and birds in the National Orchid Garden.
Bushwalking around Port Moresby
The walk starts from the Pacific Adventist University (PAU), about 20 min drive from Port Moresby.
Located at 14 Mile, PAU campus is a local star. It’s famous among Port Moresby residents and expats for its popular Sunday morning market, which starts from the crack of dawn. Set in a beautiful, and peaceful environment, the market is the best place around Port Moresby to find the freshest and the cheapest fruits and veggies grown by PAU students and local farmers.
But today we didn’t come here for shopping. We start our walk as soon as we parked our cars.
Shortly, we come across a small creek followed by beautiful green plantations. The walk is easy and pleasant but now we start going uphill, and the sun is up and cooking.
From now on it’s a short but steep climb to Mt Erima lookout. We have to go to the other side and pass by the water treatment plant before we start our ascent.
It’s a rocky path, and sometimes we have to use hands to have a better grip. But the views opening from the top make it forth our efforts.
On Mt Erima, after a short break under a few trees providing a bit of shade and relief from the sun, we start our steep descent to PAU, which is followed by a flat walk along the creek.
Once arrived at PAU market, we buy some fruits and veggies, however, they are mostly sold out by this time.
And as if today’s walking wasn’t enough, some of us decide to visit the nearby National Orchid Garden, which is part of the Adventure Park. We have been there before, but we like the place, so we decide to go as well.
Although the peak flowering season is between December and March, there are always beautiful orchids in bloom and other flowers. Helpful local employees are always eager to give explanations or simply to chat. We spend some time wandering around with one of them, and discover that the Orchid Garden has a collection of over 3’000 orchid species unique to Papua New Guinea.
Many come to Papua New Guinea to see Birds of Paradise, these emblematic birds of the country. But they aren’t easy to see unless you visit the bird enclosure adjacent to the Orchid Garden. It has the largest collection of Birds of Paradise in PNG. We are walking around surrounded by these beautiful but evasive birds flying in all directions. Numerous cheeky parrots and cockatoos, Victoria Crown Pigeon, and cassowaries also make the bird enclosure their home.
After all, visiting the Orchid Garden and the bird enclosure is a very relaxing ending to our walk.
How to organise the walk: The walk starts from the Pacific Adventist University (PAU), located about 20 min drive from Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, towards Sogeri.
Port Moresby Bushwalkers Group, run by volunteers, organises different walks around Port Moresby every second Sunday. The meeting is at 7.20am (sharp) at the Yacht Club visitors’ car park. There is no membership fee but the PGK20 fee per walk is required to cover the cost of security escort and compensation for landowners.
Timing: Walk is about 10km, 3-3.5h walk all up.
Difficulty: Walk is rated “medium”, and so it is.
IMPORTANT: Even if you are an experienced hiker, given the scorching sun and extreme heat conditions in Port Moresby, some acclimatisation prior to undertaking the walk is definitely a good idea. Bring sunscreen, snacks and a minimum of 2-3L of water (heavy to carry but you will be glad you did).