The Western Highlands in Papua New Guinea is noted for its diverse landscape and features. It is locally known as the wild frontier, with plenty of activities for travelers.
The Highlands is a province in Papua New Guinea. Flights via Air Niugini are available. These will provide connections to the major centers around the country too.
What to See
Mount Hagen and the surrounding area is known for its coffee plantations, gardens and little villages. The atmosphere is akin to that of a wild west town. Aside from banks, there is also a market where you can buy all sorts of goods.
The best time to visit is Saturday when locals gather to sell their wares. The Mount Hagen Show takes place in the third week of August. Here you will see numerous Highland tribes, clad in colorful outfits and engage in different cultural activities. It is one of the most popular events at the Western Highlands in Papua New Guinea.
The province spans an area of 8,500 sq km. The latest census puts the population at 440,025. Through the years, coffee and tea have been the main products produced at the province. At the border of the Highlands is Mount Wilhelm, the tallest in the country. Tourism is proving to be economically beneficial.
However, coffee is still the main source of income. Small-holder blocks and plantations are used for its production. Apart from coffee, tea is also processed heavily. The tea is made for local and export use. The vegetables produced are designed for local consumption.
If you are backpacking, you will get by with K178 (US$60) daily. If you would prefer to stay in resorts and hotels, a daily expense of 300 USD and up is most likely.
If you opt to stay in the villages, expect the daily costs to drop to K50. Mid-range lodging will cost you 100 USD. It is best to check the Web for more information on travel tour packages to the province.
Visitors to the Highlands should check out the hats, bilums, arts and other handicraft. They can be purchased in many souvenir stores. The Cultural Center is a rebuilt village hut complete with artifacts and relics.
The Western Highlands in Papua New Guinea also boasts of the Kuk Valley. This is an important archaeological site. Visitors to the site can also go trekking at Mount Hagen, Mount Giluwe and Mount Ongo.