Kundiawa was the site of the Highlands first government station, but has been left behind by Goroka and Mt Hagen. Although it’s the provincial capital, Kundiawa is pretty small. There’s a bank, post office, limited shopping, and that’s about it. Most people go straight through to Mt Wilhelm, Goroka or Mt Hagen.
There’s spectacular rafting on the Wahgi River near Kundiawa, but no operators are currently offering it, due, as usual, to land disputes. The scenery is excellent – the river goes through deep chasms, under rope bridges and there are rapids and waterfalls.
Caves around Kundiawa were used as burial places. At the time of research, it wasn’t clear whether a local guide could take you there. Don’t visit the caves without consulting local advice as it might be tambu (forbidden or sacred; taboo). There are other large caves, suitable for caving, close to Kundiawa, while the Keu Caves are very close to the main road near Chuave. The Nambaiyufa Amphitheatre, near Chuave, has rock paintings.
Kundiawa Hotel (735 1399; fax 735 1103; r K198) doesn’t have much competition. It is a bit run-down, although the tariff includes breakfast and dinner, free laundry and airport transfers.
Haus Kai Bilong ol Meri is the best place for lunch – it has good food and a shady place to sit. There is a small supermarket in Kundiawa and travellers recommend the bakery behind it for the cream buns.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
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