What Is The Capital Of Papua New Guinea?

The coastline near Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
The coastline near Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Port Moresby is the capital city of Papua New Guinea as provided for by the nation’s constitution. Port Moresby is also the largest city in Papua New Guinea as well as the most populous city in the nation with a population of over 364,000 residents. Port Moresby is the economic and commercial hub of the country with many major corporations having their headquarters in the city.

History Of The Capital City Of Papua New Guinea

The city of Port Moresby has a long history that is intertwined with the history of the island. The site on which the city is situated has been inhabited for hundreds of years and was an important trading center of the Motu ethnic group who are native to Papua New Guinea. Port Moresby was one of several maritime trading ports in the traditional Hiri trade cycle where the Motu conducted their annual trade voyages. The Motu established stilts over the harbor of Port Moresby many of which still exist to date. Captain John Moresby (whom the city is named after) became the first European to visit the port in 1873 and according to his journals, was impressed by the work ethic exhibited by the Motu people. The island later became a British colony in 1888 as British New Guinea, and Port Moresby was established as its capital city. Soon afterward, the colonial government under the stewardship of Sir William MacGregor established several administrative institutions which included the city’s local government as well as the police force. This period also saw the colonial government develop infrastructural projects in the city. Papua New Guinea later gained independence in September 1975 and adopted its constitution which proclaimed Port Moresby as the nation’s capital city.

The Transport System In Port Moresby

Jacksons International Airport, located in the Saraga suburb of Port Moresby is the largest airport in the country. The airport has one asphalt-covered runway which stretches 9,022 feet. Jacksons International Airport is made up of two terminals one servicing domestic flights and the other servicing international flights. Air Niugini, Travel Air, Qantas, PNG Air, Philippines Airlines and Virgin Australia all have flights to and from the airport connecting the city to Tokyo, Sydney, Brisbane, Manila, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The city also has an extensive road network connecting the city to the rest of the country. The most popular mode of public transport is through minibuses domestically known as PMVs.

Economy Of The Capital Of Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is famed for its natural resources with the country having mineral deposits located all around the country. However, Port Moresby is not endowed with such mineral wealth with the city’s economy being primarily based on the service sector. The city is home to the biggest shopping malls in the country, and all the key local banks have their headquarters situated in Port Moresby. Jacksons International Airport is another important sphere of the city’s economy and has been redeveloped in recent years to cater for increased passenger numbers.

Administrative Regions Of Papua New Guinea

Besides being the capital city of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby is also the administrative capital of the National Capital District. Port Moresby is divided into three administrative regions known as Local Level Government areas of LLGs. These LLGs include; Moresby South, Moresby North-West, and Moresby North-East. The city is also segmented into neighborhoods or suburbs and these include; Waigani, Vabukori, Tokarara, Tatana, Saraga, Sabama, Newtown, Morata, Moitaka, Matirogo, Boroko, Kila, Hohola North, Gordon North, Korobosea, Touaguba Hill, Gabutu, Ensisi Valley and Badili. The suburb of Boroko was traditionally the commercial center of the city, but in recent years most of the shops have relocated to other suburbs.


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