The history of Goroka and Eastern Highlands is a story of gold mines and coffee plantations. The coffee, produced here, is known for its highest quality in the South Pacific. As you visit Goroka, you will certainly taste numerous blends of famous coffee, cultivated and produced without the usage of any chemicals or synthetic fertilizers. Special trips for tourists are organized to the Asaro Valley outside Goroka, a pioneer coffee plantation in Papua New Guinea.
However, today Goroka becomes known even better as a cultural center of Papua New Guinea. Annually in September, Goroka holds a cultural show that features a diversity of the Papua New Guinea culture and heritages of different tribes and clans. The show is held in a traditional manner with the beat of drums and colorfully painted performers.
The highlight of the show is a performance of the legendary mud men of Asaro, based on tribal folklore and dating back to centuries ago. According to the local tales, the warriors of Asaro covered their bodies with grey mud to bring fear to their enemies. Due to the legend, this practice worked and today the mud men relive the ritual at the Goroka show.
Another cultural attraction is the J.K. McCarthy Museum, named after one of Papua New Guinea's legendary patrol officers. The museum displays a wide variety of artifacts, handicrafts, war relics and a collection of photographs, picturing early contacts of Europeans and Highlanders.
Goroka also has the Raun Raun Theater Company, which is a highly reputed performing group that holds shows both nationally and internationally.
The diversity of local flora and fauna is displayed at the Mt. Gahavisuka Provincial Park, located eleven kilometers out of town. The area covers about eighty hectares of the amazing mountain scenery and a botanic sanctuary that has gathered exotic plants from around New Guinea.
By far Goroka has splendid accommodation facilities, providing pleasure and comfort for tourists of all budgets and tastes. The finest accommodation facility, the Bird of Paradise Hotel, is located in the center of town and is close to the shopping center and market. The Bird of Paradise Hotel is a perfect blend of a beautiful setting, an impeccable service, a luxurious style and exclusive comfort.
The Goroka Lodge, situated at the foot of Mountain Kiss, is also much appreciated by guests, who find it friendly and cozy. An excellent choice of budget accommodation is offered at the National Sports Institute as well as facilities for conferences, seminars, camps and workshops.
Hotels offer day tours to any of the attractions near Goroka, including visits to working coffee plantations, processing plants and the Mt Gahavisuka Provincial Park.