At an elevation of 5,000 ft/1,525 m, this town offers relief from the heat and humidity below. Enjoy scenic drives through the cool mountains, then visit the incredible J. K. McCarthy Museum (one of the country's best). There's a nice crafts market near the Bird of Paradise Hotel—it's best on Saturday, when local tribespeople go into town.
Goroka is also home to a branch of the University of Papua New Guinea, which makes an interesting visit. From its mountain perch in the high-altitude rain forest, the campus is a stimulus for the community. Find out about upcoming activities, many of which are open to the public, and spend a few minutes browsing in the library or bookstore. Nearby is Mt. Gahavisuka Park (botanical walking trails) and the legendary mudmen of Asaro.
In August (usually) in even-numbered years, the "Highlands Sing-Sing" festival celebrates native dancing, culture and foods (be sure to book well in advance).
Goroka marks the transportation interchange between the coastal town of Lae and the highland towns of Kundiawa, Mt. Hagen and Mendi. The towns are connected by a road known as the Highlands Highway.
Goroka is an eight-hour PMV ride from Lae, through the spectacular Markam Valley. From Mendi, it's a grueling 10-hour drive through the mountains. 250 mi/400 km northwest of Port Moresby.
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