Is Port Moresby Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On November 7, 2023
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
* Rated 45 / 100 based on 4 user reviews.

Port Moresby is the capital and largest city of Papua New Guinea.

The city is on the shores of the Gulf of Papua. Its population is around 300,000.

Moresby, as it is commonly known, got its name from Captain John Moresby, who arrived in 1873 as the first European visitor.

Travelers come here to see Port Moresby Nature Park (formerly The National Botanical Gardens) – it has some fantastic examples of country’s wildlife such as birds of paradise, cassowaries, tree kangaroos, multiple wallaby species, and many other native bird species.

Many reefs and wrecks are excellent for Scuba Diving. Just near to Port Moresby, diving can be arranged through day vessels.

Warnings & Dangers in Port Moresby

Overall Risk


Port Moresby is not a safe city. Civil uprisings and pogroms often occur here. The police can not always cope with crime; besides, the level of corruption is high. It is not recommended to walk around the city at night and alone.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Poor road maintenance and crime make road travel dangerous. Keep windows up and doors locked. Better to have own or rented car for getting around. Avoid driving at night. Avoid travel by motorcycle, taxis and public transport.

Pickpockets Risk


The risk of picketing is quite high. You should know that on the roads, bags are often pulled out of the hands of passing drivers. Do not carry a lot of cash and jewelry. Do not shine them in the streets.

Natural Disasters Risk


Port Moresby region is located in a seismically hazardous area. Earthquakes of high magnitude are not uncommon here. Also nearby are active volcanoes. Tropical cyclones and floods associated with them are also possible in the city.

Mugging Risk


Armed severe robberies are not uncommon here. You should be very careful when moving around this city. It is best not to walk the streets alone, to run in groups and not to go out at night. Some areas of the city should be especially avoided at any time of the day.

Terrorism Risk


In the recent history of Port Moresby, there have been no cases of terrorism. It can be said that there is minimal risk from terrorism in Port Moresby. Transnational terrorism is uncommon in Papua New Guinea.

Scams Risk


Most fraud is related to the Internet and SMS mailing. This usually does not apply to tourists. Not so rare are scams with bank cards and scams in ATM. Make sure you withdraw money from ATM at the bank and in a safe place.

Women Travelers Risk


Women are not advised to travel to Port Moresby, unaccompanied. It's better do not wear immodest clothing and jewelry to avoid unwanted attention to yourself. Avoid appearing on the streets of the city at night; do not stay in bars by yourself.

So... How Safe Is Port Moresby Really?

Port Moresby is well-known for its bad reputation, and it has a high level of crime.

Most crimes in the capital of Papua New Guinea connects to the car and things stealing, armed robberies, vandalism.

Also, in Port Moresby, there is an extremely high level of bribes and corruption.

There is a lot of civil unrest in the city, and the police cannot always deal with them.

Because of bribery and corruption, the police often side with criminals.

You should always monitor your surroundings, avoid places where criminal groups gather – for example, the Vaigani district and the golf club.

When stopping at a traffic light – do not open the windows of the car and keep the vehicle closed – in these places, there are many cases of breaking the car.

There are many marine crocodiles in the coastal waters of Port Moresby. Care should be taken near and in the water.

There are dangers that isolated travelers will face as they make their way around Port Moresby.

While most parts of the city are safe, it’s best to stay in groups and avoid traveling at night.

It’s not rare for people to occasionally get into violent confrontations with some locals.

Criminals often use ‘bush knives’ (machetes) and guns.

Always be alert to your surroundings.

Avoid going out after dark.

How Does Port Moresby Compare?

CitySafety Index
Port Moresby55
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61

Useful Information



A foreign national wishing to enter Papua New Guinea must obtain a visa in one of the country's diplomatic missions unless they are a citizen of one of the countries eligible for visa on arrival or eVisa. All visitors must hold a passport valid for six months.



The kina is official the currency of Papua New Guinea. It has code: PGK, the currency symbol: K. It is divided into 100 toea. The kina was introduced on 19 May 1975.



The best times to visit Port Moresby for ideal weather are June to November. Average temperatures in Port Moresby vary barely at all and feel hot all year with a fair chance of precipitation about half of the year.



Jacksons International Airport, also known as Port Moresby Airport, is an international airport located 8 kilometers outside Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. It is the largest and busiest airport in Papua New Guinea. The airport also serves as the main hub for Papua New Guinea Air and Travel Air.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

The travel insurance policy is a must when visiting a foreign country. Make sure you got it before starting your journey, the customs officer may ask for it.

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Port Moresby Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 28° C
Feb 27° C
Mar 27° C
Apr 27° C
May 27° C
Jun 27° C
Jul 26° C
Aug 26° C
Sep 26° C
Oct 27° C
Nov 28° C
Dec 28° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Papua New Guinea - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Port Moresby55

Where to Next?

4 Reviews on Port Moresby

  1. A
    Alex Black says:

    No Go Zone

    Not a good place to visit. Maybe it was safer many years back but I would not go here today. Too much of a risk and honestly, the city is not well-kept in most areas. I cut my trip here short and went to a different location. I just didn’t feel safe enough to stay here for more than two nights. I would not go back if someone had paid me.

  2. c
    colin hayward says:

    Port Moresby was never safe, even in the 1960’s. However it gradually became more dangerous until, after Independence it descended into a hell hole.Things rapidly slid down hill when Comrade Whitlam got to the throne in Australia.

    I personally believe that as a member of Comintern, he did a deal to hand the place over to Russia. This could not happen at that time so the deal was made to allow China in at some time in the future, and this is actually what is occuring now under the “Belts and Roads” policies.

    Nobody who knew anything about the place at all during the 1960’s believed there was any chance that the place was ready for Independence’ The white people who lived there could not, at that time, believe that even the Canberra politicians could be stupid enough to allow the place to go so soon after the vicious fighting of WW2 when the Japs were literally at our front door and would have been in Australia if the Americans had not been here to stop them.

    The moment that Independences was signed the place went downhill and returned to corruption and tribalism and is currently a failed country in all but name.

    This is not all due to Comrade Whitlam and he could not have got away with it were it not for the stupidity and ill education of the Australian people.

    My advice: Don’t even think about going there to see for yourself.

    1. K
      Kanaka Mangi says:

      POM is a hell hole. Stay away.

      Yep, this pretty well summarizes the decline of PNG. My mom used to call Gough Whitlam “Goof” Whitlam. If you visit, stay away from Moresby and Lae, the 2 largest cities. Madang is safer if you want to experience the tropical coastline, coral reefs, diving, etc. Goroka is fairly safe if you want to experience the Highlands. Stay at a resort, and go on guided tours. None of the country is safe to go traipsing around by yourself, especially if you are a woman. Rape is very common. I don’t know what is wrong with PNG men, but a shockingly large proportion of them think it is OK to rape women.

  3. R
    Ron Marlborough says:

    Port Moresby Safety

    I lived in Port Moresby from 1965 to 1970 and it WAS safe. Both for me and my wife. I do agree however it was a long way from independence, or so I thought.

Port Moresby Rated 2.25 / 5 based on 4 user reviews.

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