Lae, the capital of the Morobe Province, is the commercial hub of the region. With its deep port and central northern location, Lae is the home of industry and export in Papua New Guinea. The Morobe Cultural Show in Lae, which started out as an agricultural show, is probably the most famous cultural show in Papua New Guinea. The show is held in October each year and provides visitors with information on modern agriculture and commerce as well as showcases one of the largest group of sing-sings in the country. A sing-sing features tribesmen dressed in traditional clothing, such as feathers, leaves and leathers, who perform local dance styles in a dazzling array of colour.
Things to see and do
Meander around the Lae Botanical Gardens, which boasts a large collection of exotic orchids. The gardens are also home to some beautiful bird species and other tropical fauna. Glimpse a piece of war history at the Lae Cemetery located on Memorial Drive, which is home to thousands of graves that hold the remains of fallen soldiers. A large building in the centre of the cemetery provides information on the battles that occurred in the region. The Rainforest Habitat provides visitors with the opportunity to view magnificent flora and fauna including the bird of paradise as well as 26 other species of birds, sugar gliders, freshwater crocodiles and snakes, to name a few. Be sure to check out Agro the 16 metre Salty Crocodile. Located adjacent to the Pistol Club are tunnels that were used as the main hospital for the Japanese troops in World War II. Commonly known as the Mt Lunaman Tunnels, they were subsequently closed when the Allied Forces successfully captured Lae in 1943. The war tunnels were re-opened by a local group of historians in the early 2000s with the site uncovering, amongst other things, an active landmine and a treasure trove of artefacts. Visitors wanting to see the tunnels today can do so from the road but they are not open to visitors due to safety issues. The Japanese Memorial is another really interesting and lesser-known attraction in Lae which can be found on the way to Wagang Village.
Other attractions worth checking out
- Limestone Caves
- Labu Tali Conservation Area
- Lae Main Market
Annual Festivals & Shows Morobe Cultural Show, October © John Batman Group