Bordered by Madang to the north and the Gulf to the south, Simbu is the heart of the Highlands and home to the country’s highest mountain, Mount Wilhelm (4509 metres). For many visitors, the climb to the summit is a highlight of their stay, affording panoramic views over the Highlands.
Things to See
Kundiawa: Kundiawa, the provincial capital, sits beside a spectacular airstrip, built on a sloping ridge beneath the towering mountains. The terrain is extremely rugged and many of the valleys are inaccessible. Kundiawa is not a tourist attraction in itself, but a stepping stone for mountain and river adventures in other parts of Simbu Province.
Kegsugl: The road to Kegsugl at the base of Mount Wilhelm, snakes through rugged country, patch-worked with gardens on impossibly steep slopes. Several very pleasant guesthouses cater for trekkers and make a good base for exploring other villages. Betty’s Lodge has its own trout and rabbit farm.
Caves: Close to Kundiawa there are several caves used as burial sites. The Nambaiyufa amphitheatre, which has rock paintings, and the Keu Caves, near the main road, are close to Chuave. Other large caves in the area are more suited to experienced cavers.
Things to Do
Walking and trekking: Known to avid mountain climbers around the world, Simbu Province offers a clearly marked track which passes traditional Simbu villages, through dense rainforest, into the valley before reaching Pindaunde Lakes where there are basic huts for overnight stays. The view from the summit is spectacular and on a clear day, views stretch from the north to the south coast. Cold weather gear is recommended, as it can get very cold on top, with snow sometime present. Guides and porters can be arranged as well as organised trekking expeditions. A trout and rabbit farm at the base of the mountain has a guest house with easy walking tracks nearby.
Mount Wilhelm (4509m) is a fantastic climb in a sub-alpine environment, made harder by the altitude. In clear weather the Madang coast can be seen from the summit. The mountain can be climbed from Kegsugl or traversed from remote Ambulla Village. Take guides and warm clothes.
The three to four-day hike from Kegsugl to Bundi and Brahmin Mission in Madang Province is mainly on a 4WD road with great views and plenty of forest. Bundi has accommodation and an airstrip.