Mount Hagen

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This article is about the city. For the volcano which the city named is after, see Mount Hagen (volcano).
Mount Hagen
Town
Mt Hagen Cultural Show, one of the largest annual cultural events in Papua New Guinea
Mt Hagen Cultural Show, one of the largest annual cultural events in Papua New Guinea
Satellite view
Satellite view
Mount Hagen is located in Papua New Guinea
Mount Hagen
Mount Hagen
Location in Papua New Guinea
Coordinates: 5°52′S 144°13′E / 5.867°S 144.217°E / -5.867; 144.217Coordinates: 5°52′S 144°13′E / 5.867°S 144.217°E / -5.867; 144.217
Country  Papua New Guinea
Province Western Highlands Province
District Mount Hagen District
Established 1934
Elevation 1,677 m (5,502 ft)
Population (2013)
 • Total 46,256
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
Main languages Melpa, Tok Pisin, English

Mount Hagen (German: Hagensberg) is third largest city in Papua New Guinea, with a population of 46,250. It is the capital of the Western Highlands Province and is located in the large fertile Wahgi Valley in central mainland Papua New Guinea, at an elevation of 1,677 m (5,502 ft).

The Highlands Highway is the main arterial route to connect Mount Hagen with the coastal cities of Lae and Madang.

The city is named after the old eroded volcano Mount Hagen, located about 24 kilometres (15 mi) to the northwest. The volcano was named after the German colonial officer Curt von Hagen (1859-1897).

History[edit]

The plane, 'Canberra', before the 1933 expedition to Mount Hagen

In 1933 Mick Leahy, brother Dan Leahy, and government officer Jim Taylor conducted an aerial reconnaissance of the highlands and discovered the huge and heavily populated Wahgi Valley. A short time later they walked in with a well supplied patrol and became the first westerners to come in to contact with the tribes that are now in the location of Mount Hagen. The first patrol built an airstrip at Kelua, a short distance from modern Mount Hagen. From 1934, a new airstrip, the 'Mogei drome', was located on a site where the future town was formed. Later, this airstrip was to become the main street passing by China town and the airstrip (current) was moved 15 minutes out of town.

Culture[edit]

Each year, Mount Hagen hosts the Mount Hagen Cultural Show, one of the largest cultural events in Papua New Guinea. Various regional, provincial, even national tribal dance groups gather to celebrate their cultural heritage in the form of sing-sing. It is also one of the biggest tourist attractions of the country. Its near the Baiyer District which hosts the biggest collection of birds and wildlife in Papua New Guinea, the Baiyer River Bird Sanctuary. Although locals do not recommend visiting the sanctuary as the road through the Baiyer District is prone to many highway robberies.

Traditional culture and beliefs remain strong in Mount Hagen and its surrounds. In 2009, and again 2013, local women were reportedly burned alive after being accused of sorcery.[1] However, such acts are an engrained part of Papua New Guinean culture and many witch burnings happen in surrounding villages.

Transport[edit]

Mount Hagen Airport is located at Kagamuga, a satellite town 15 minutes drive from the centre of Mount Hagen. It is an international airport although flights into and out of it are not always available to the public. The airport altitude is 1,635 metres (5,364 ft) above sea level. Currently, Airlines PNG operates a charter service using Dash 8 aircraft from Cairns, Queensland, for mine workers at the Porgera Gold Mine in Enga Province. Asia Pacific Airlines also fly Dash 8s regularly to Tabubil, their hub, to service the Ok Tedi Mine. Air Niugini also service Mount Hagen, with regular Fokker F100 and Dash 8 services to destinations such as Port Moresby, Moro and Cairns. Near the airport is Airport Hotel.

From time to time, the combination of altitude, midday temperatures and runway length restrict takeoff weights for domestic flights out of Mount Hagen.

Mount Hagen is connected via the Highlands Highway to the city of Lae and other provincial capitals such as Madang, Goroka, Wabag, Mendi and Kundiawa. The road between Mount Hagen and all these centers is theoretically sealed, although frequent landslides and general deterioration can lead to parts of the road becoming unsealed or rough.

You can travel from Mt Hagen along the Highlands Highway by using the popular PMV buses which operate as taxis or hire a car from the numerous hire car companies within Mt Hagen. Because of the difficult road conditions of the Highlands Highway, it is advisable to use four-wheel drive cars.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Mount Hagen
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29
(84)
29
(84)
29
(84)
29
(84)
29
(84)
28
(82)
28
(82)
28
(82)
29
(84)
30
(86)
30
(86)
30
(86)
29
(84)
Average low °C (°F) 12
(54)
13
(55)
13
(55)
12
(54)
12
(54)
11
(52)
11
(52)
11
(52)
11
(52)
12
(54)
12
(54)
12
(54)
12
(54)
Rainfall mm (inches) 283
(11.14)
299
(11.77)
309
(12.17)
249
(9.8)
180
(7.09)
122
(4.8)
135
(5.31)
163
(6.42)
193
(7.6)
218
(8.58)
208
(8.19)
279
(10.98)
2,638
(103.85)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 24 25 26 26 25 23 23 22 23 24 23 24 288
Mean monthly sunshine hours 155 113 124 120 124 120 124 124 120 155 150 155 1,584
Source: http://worldclimateguide.co.uk/climateguides/papuanewguinea/mounthagen.php

Twin town[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UN decries PNG case of woman burned alive for sorcery". ABC News. AFP. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 

External links[edit]

Mount Hagen travel guide from Wikivoyage