Make an exception for Goroka

Do not always rely on first impressions.

But an exception can be made for Goroka town. Especially when the first thing you see is clean streets…smiling people…and beautiful artefacts lining the pathways; you know you’re at home.

Goroka is the capital of Eastern Highlands Province – home to PNG’s peace-loving and easy-going group of people.

It is the first province into the Highlands region, and can be seen as the centre point for trade, attracting those from nearby coastal provinces like Madang and Morobe.

The town is locally dubbed Kol Peles (cold place) for its cold climate. But it is not always freezing cold.

According to locals, it’s warmer in the early part of the year, and by June and July, the degrees drop.

However, villages located in higher altitudes experience freezing temperatures the whole year through.

But this should not stop you from visiting the province, as Goroka coffee is globally considered the best and should keep you company through your stay.

It will take you less than a day to realise that you can walk freely in this little town and not be harassed by anyone.

The Goroka main market is a must stop – a variety of vegetables, fruits and greens at the cheapest price. And those who love clothes, the second-hand stores there offer quality wear at surprisingly low prices.

The general environment is friendly while people are very helpful, especially if you are new in the area.

Betelnut trade is controlled with spot fines in place whereas people just prefer to keep the streets clean.

The town only recently started seeing major infrastructure development.

The upgrade of its airport is one – costing about K89 million which includes the airport terminal, an extension of the runway and new powerhouse.

Another major development is the provincial general hospital, through the funding of the Austrian government.

In the next few years, Goroka will be the choice of residency for many.

You may want to visit the province to see for yourself.

Go this September 14-16 during the Goroka Show, one of the best in cultural entertainment which sees more than 100 tribes participating.

Gloria Bauai