Heading the Mount Hagen festival? Here are a few tips on what to do and what to expect.

Go early!

Get the two day pass and make sure you get there for before 9am. The big benefit here is that you’ll get access to the hundreds of tribe members as they prepare for the show. It’s a sort of “backstage” insight as participants prepare their costume and face-paint. As foreigners you get VIP access so go early before the other busloads of tour groups show up.

Bring food and water!

There are no shops or restaurants at the festival ground, so bring plenty of water and snacks as you’ll likely be on the go from 9am – 2pm.

Bring a hat and wear sunscreen!

While Papua New Guinea isn’t the hottest place in the world, the equatorial sun is still pretty strong. Wear a hat and slop on the factor 70 because there’s nowhere to escape the UV here.

Get extra batteries and SD cards for your camera!

If you point your camera anywhere here you’ll likely get a great photo. Prepare to take thousands of shots so make sure your camera has enough juice to last a whole day of shooting. The locals are incredible receptive of having their photo taken too, so it really is a photographers dream here.

Get all your PNG souvenirs here!

There’s not a lot of opportunities to get good quality locally made crafts in Papua New Guinea. At the Mount Hagen festival however, there is a good selection. You can get anything from bags & paintings to wood carvings here at a fair price.

Join in and have fun!

Don’t spend the whole day witnessing this spectacle from behind your camera lens. Feel free to join with the tribes as they show off their traditional dance routines. Don’t be shy, they’re extremely welcoming people who are keen to chat with tourists and bust a few moves!

This is truly a unique event in a unique place. Check out our  Mount Hagen Festival Itinerary here. It only happens once a year – the third weekend of August to be exact so book early with Rocky Road Travel to guarantee your spot!