Mt Hagen is the capital of the Highlands, and nestles in the Waghi
Valley. Named after a German administrator of the 1890's, Kurt von
Hagen, it is a lively and exciting city with a population of 40,000.
The Saturday market is one of the best in Papua New Guinea, and
local villagers come from miles around to sell their fruit and vegetables.
It is a colourful and exciting experience.
The Waghi Valley is home to the Mudmen, one of Papua New Guinea's
many colourful tribes. Their bizarre ceremonial dress of clay masks
adorn many a poster, and their sing-sings are some of the best anywhere
in Papua New Guinea. The Mudmen are very green fingered, and their
villages have well-tended gardens, flower-lined paths and small
One hour by road from Hagen is the Baiyer River Wildlife Sanctuary,
protecting the largest assortment of Birds of Paradise in the world.
The beautiful Blue Bird of Paradise is one of the highlights of
trip to Baiyer River. You will also see gliding possums, tree kangaroos
and over 80 species of butterflies in this stunning location. A
hiking trek through the forests to the top of a ridge affords incredible
views of the forest-covered valleys below.
The accommodation we recommend in Mt Hagen is the Haus Poroman
Lodge, a short distance from the edge of town. Set in neatly tended
gardens, the Lodge has individual rondevals (Roundhouses) with private
facilities, or for budget travellers, Haus Totas, with shared bathroom
facilities. The Lodge is an excellent place to use as base from
which to try some adventurous trips in the Mt Hagen area.Mt Wilhelm,
at 14,793ft is the tallest mountain in Papua New Guinea. In the
winter the mountain often has snow capped peaks, but most of the
year it is a relatively easy climb to the summit for the fit.
We can offer a 5 day/4 night climb of the moutin, but obviously
can extend this if you wish to take in more of the surrounding countryside
en route. Your trip will take you by PMV (local bus) to Kundiawa
where you will overnight at the Kundiawa Hotel. The next morning
you will take another PMV to Kegasugl, at the base of Mt Wilhelm,
where you will stay at Herman's Guesthouse for 1 night before walking
to and overnighting Pindaunde Lakes Camp. Early the next morning
you will climb to the summit of Mt Wilhelm to take in the sunrise
across the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. You will then return to
Lakes Camp to pack and return to Kegasugl. Here you will overnight
at Herman's Guesthouse for 1 night before retracing the route to
Mt Hagen. On both treks we provide porters, English-speaking guide
and all your food (except at the Kundiawa Hotel) and equipment.
We recommend sturdy hiking boots for both trips, and warm clothes
and wind-cheater for the Mt Wilhelm climb, as it can be cool and
damp nearer the summit.
In August, at the Mt Hagen Show, tribes from across the country
compete against each other in a massive "sing-sing". There
is no better sight than to see rival tribes trying to out-do each
other in dress, make-up and noise! It also allows the tourist to
see many different peoples in close proximity to each other, something
that is just not possible under normal circumstances. As this event
happens but once a year, flights to and hotel accommodation in Mt
Hagen are at a premium, and we urge interested parties to book well
in advance to avoid diappointment. We recommend you take plenty
of film, as the photo-opportunities at the Hagen Show are limitless.