Located in the Eastern Highlands, Goroka is known today for its annual show, the famous mudmen and its pottery. It was coffee that primarily opened Goroka up as a commercial hub. Before World War II, German missionaries arrived in the region and, longing for European comforts, began experimental plantings of coffee. The perfect environmental conditions, a large available workforce and a worldwide demand for coffee quickly resulted in a successful business formula. In just a short time, coffee became one of the financial mainstays for Papua New Guinea.
Things to see and do
In September each year Goroka plays host to the Goroka Cultural Show, which coincides with Papua New Guinea’s Independence celebrations and the Hiri Moale Festival in Port Moresby. The show harks back as far as the 1950s and provides visitors with the opportunity to experience the traditions and culture of Papua New Guineans in the region. Attendees are privy to performances by the Huli Wigmen of Tari and the Mudmen of Asar, among many other wonderful treats.
Other points of interest in the area include Mt Gahavisuka Provincial Park which is eleven kilometres out of town and accessible only by four-wheel drive. Here visitors can experience the amazing fauna of the region, all the while drawing in the panoramic views from the lookout.
If you are planning on visiting Goroka, then be sure to take a trip to Kainantu to visit the famous Kainantu Pottery. The entire region is famous for its clay work but Kainantu, itself, has a worldwide reputation for its remarkable pottery.
Other attractions worth checking out
- The JK McCarthy Museum
- Coffee plantations
- Yagusa Valley
Annual Festivals & Shows
- The PNG Coffee Festival & Trade Fair, May
- Goroka Cultural Show, September