Understandably one of the most popular places in Port Moresby, the Nature Park is the best (or at least the easiest and cheapest by some margin) way to see the incredible native animals of Papua New Guinea up close.
The first enclosure was a converted WW2 structure relocated from downtown Port Moresby. It was home to some of the most colourful birds in the park, such as the Eclectus Parrot, with its wonderful green feathers.
The Raggian Bird of Paradise has voluminous plumage and is the national bird of Papua New Guinea, featuring on the flag.
The Victoria Crowned Pigeon is a huge bird, was quite terrifying when one flew through the air close to my head, maybe twice the size of the New Zealand wood pigeon.
The Yellow-faced Myna is a colourful species of starling.
The aptly named Rainbow Lorikeet is unusual in that it feeds on flowers, pollen and nectar, rather than the usual parrot diet of nuts and seeds.
The Western Black-capped Lory was a striking red parrot.
Outside were three different species of Cassowary, the third tallest bird species (after ostrich and emu), and the most dangerous. When threatened they can attack with 10cm long sharp claws, can jump up to 2m high, swim well, and run up to 50kmph, impressive birds!
Nearby was a decent sized salt water crocodile, probably the most dangerous animal in the wild for humans.
By comparison the Slender-billed Cuckoo-Dove was quite dowdy.
I didn’t catch the name of this multicoloured parrot.
Nor this species of bird of paradise.
I think this may be a Magnificent Riflebird, great name.
I didn’t catch the name of this colourful bird but think it’s another species of bird of paradise.
The Blue-king Kookaburra was familiar sounding from seeing / hearing them in Australia. I love their blue wings, though their heads seem over sized.
The Nature Park is not just home to birds, there are a number of mammals which are similar to those found in northern parts of Australia, a legacy of when the two countries where physically joined. One example being Doria’s Tree Kangaroo, the heaviest tree dwelling marsupial in the world (up to 20kg), only found in a small area of Papua New Guinea.
Next door were Grey Dorcopsis Wallaby and Agile Wallaby.
The Huon Tree-Kangaroo and Goodfellow’s Tree-Kangaroo were quite unusual.
As well as animals there are some wonderful Papua New Guinean cultural artifacts around the park, starting with these totem poles by the cafe at the entrance.
Followed by this masked figure, and ceremonial baskets.
I loved the colourful and intricate Trobriand Yam House from the Riku region.
Next door were these intricate shelters, and a lengthy yellow canoe.
To finish with more impressive masked figure, I never tire of these.