Chimbu, occasionally spelled Simbu, Province (SP) covers 6,181 square kilometers of mountains and intermontane high valleys in the middle of the highlands. On its border is Mt Wilhelm (4,509 meters), PNG’s highest mountain. The population rose from 178,300 in 1980 to 183,800 in 1990. Twenty-one languages are spoken. The Constitution, adopted in 1977, provides for an elected Assembly of 27 members. There are seven districts and the headquarters is at Kundiawa. In 1953 Kundiawa was linked to the coastal town of Lae by the Highlands Highway. The main product is coffee produced by PNG smallholders.
There is evidence of human occupation 24,000 years BP. Europeans did not reach the area until 1933 and Catholic and Lutheran missions were established in 1934. Overpopulation and shortage of land is causing many people, mainly men, to seek work in the coastal towns.
Things to see
Kundiawa: There are basic facilities in town, which was the first government station in the Highlands. The market is located on a side road between the Shell Station and the Police Station.
Kegsugl: The road to Kegsugl at the base of Mt. Wilhelm snakes through rugged country patchworked with gardens on impossibly steep slopes. Several very pleasant guesthouses cater for trekkers and make a good base for exploring other villages. One of them, 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/trekking: Mt. 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. It 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.
FYI: PNG’s 4 Regions & 22 Provinces
|Highlands||Eastern Highlands Province||Goroka|
|Western Highlands Province||Mt. Hagen|
|Southern Highlands Province||Mendi|
|Southern||National Capital District||Port Moresby|
|Central Province||Port Moresby|
|Oro (Northern) Province||Popondetta|
|Milne Bay Province||Alotau|
|East Sepik Province||Wewak|
|Sandaun (West Sepik) Province||Vanimo|
|New Guinea Islands||Manus Province||Lorengau|
|New Ireland Province||Kavieng|
|East New Britain Province||Kokopo|
|West New Britain Province||Kimbe|
|Autonomous Region of Bougainville||Buka|