One of the most scenic towns in Papua New Guinea is Wabag the capital of Enga.
Surrounded by mist covered mountains with a river running through a gorge in the centre of town and another river, the famous Lai, running around it, the town is green all year round with flowering plants and green pines flourishing beautifully in the cold alpine climate.
Wabag was an old airstrip and was important in the colonizing of this part of the highlands in the 1920’s onwards.
As Independence came around in 1975, the airport was moved to Wapenamanda and the old landing strip of the Wabag airport became the main street of Wabag which also became the capital of the newly established province of Enga (declared in 1973 but established in 1975).
These days Wabag is a sprawling and busy town that continues to grow along the Highlands Highway.
The other major centers in the province apart from Wabag include Wapenamanda, where the airport is located Laiagam, which has a government and botanical research station and Porgera where the giant Porgera Gold Mine is located.
Most of the main stores in the province are located Wabag. You can find most of the groceries you need here as well hardware, stationary and other supplies. However variety is limited so if you are looking for more specific items, then you would have travel down the highway to Mt Hagen or onwards to Lae to shop there.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are sold at roadside markets. Once the Wabag Market is reopened after current upgrading to facilities is completed, you can do most of your vegetable shopping here as well. There are also small markets everywhere selling not only fresh foods and fruits but also store goods and crafts including bilums and bows and arrows.
The town is quite small, but it’s a nice place and full of people, especially on weekends.
Things you can do here include visiting the Taekanda Cultural Centre, hiking the nearby mountains and ranges or visiting the Yuo Waterfall just behind the northern side of the town.
You can also head down to the local football field on the weekends and join hundreds of other Engans watching the local rugby league games. They are very passionate about this sport so you will be entertained by both the players and also by the spectators.
The roads are always busy so you can easily catch a PMV all the way up to Porgera or down the Highlands Highway to Mt Hagen.
Enga people are quite friendly and they tend to mind their own business, so you won’t be bothered too much.
I enjoyed my short but amazing stay in beautiful Enga and I am pretty sure you will too.
Enjoy the pictures and for more information, please visit www.papuanewguinea.travel, who helped me get to Enga.
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