Bushwalking in PNG: Taurama Barracks to Malaoro market
Walk from Taurama Barracks to Malaoro market is tough but it’s one of the most scenic walks around Port Moresby. It shows the stunning scenery of Port Moresby surroundings in all its splendour – rippling green hills of extreme beauty, blue ocean and picturesque villages on stilts.
Bushwalking around Port Moresby
“It will be an easy walk today,” I am trying to convince Errol to join us, “it says “medium”, and we know that it’s usually easy”.
But the bushwalk from Taurama Barracks to Malaoro market was anything but easy… Personally for me, it’s one the toughest walks around Port Moresby, together with Hombrum Bluff and Burns Peak, but also one of the most scenic ones. We didn’t climb the highest mountain in Papua New Guinea but the scorching sun and oppressive heat made it extremely tough.
After a short drive to Taurama Barracks, we start slowly going uphill to reach the heights above Pari village.
The rippling green hills of extreme beauty, blue ocean and clear sky, a perfect combination promising a beautiful walk. But what started as a reasonably easy walk, ended up being a brutal climb.
Very soon, our walk on gentle slopes transforms into a very steep ascent. But we keep walking along the coastal ridge line. The views on Pari village are spectacular. This village, located right on the sea, is one of the few remaining hamlets around Port Moresby with picturesque houses on stilts.
With the baking sun, traversing a series of rolling hills becomes challenging. But we keep going, and I keep taking photos. I am exhausted but I cannot miss these beautiful shots. Now our group is spread out, with some walkers struggling to maintain the pace. I am secretly felicitating myself for being in the middle.
We continue walking along the undulating ridge line. It’s hot, the sun is strong, and the walk is tough. No one is talking but just walking. There were a few times I wanted to give up. But the stunning scenery (or maybe my pride) made me keep going. At some point, I was so exhausted that my legs didn’t seem to want to respond.
By now a few bushwalkers cannot cope with the heat. Laid out with heat exhaustion, they are about to faint… No one is talking anymore about going to Malaoro market. It’s now the question of safely get the whole group off the hill and out of the sun. Errol, exhausted himself, and a few others help a couple of bushwalkers to get down the hill.
We will definitely remember this walk. Not only because of its challenge but mostly because of the stunning scenery. It shows the beauty of Port Moresby surroundings in all its splendour. Hopefully, it will also make some bushwalkers want to discover more of Papua New Guinea incredible nature.
How to organise the walk: Taurama Army Barracks, the start of the walk to Malaoro market, is located about 15 min drive from Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.
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.
To find out the planned walking routes, check Port Moresby Bushwalkers Facebook page or become their member and receive their newsletters by writing them an email.
Timing: Walk is about 9-10km.
Difficulty: Walk is rated “medium – hard” depending on weather conditions. It’s “medium” if there is a little breeze and clouds but “hard” in sunny, windless conditions.
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).