VIDEO: Going Local in Papua New Guinea, Part 3: The Highlands

This is the third post in video contributor Kelley Ferro’s five-part video series on Papua New Guinea. The first part is here, the second part is here and the fourth part is here.

Papua New Guinea’s topography is varied to say the least. We went from sea level to 7,000’ when we visited the Highlands, which had a ruggedly green, mountainous terrain. We stayed in two different locations in the Highlands, exploring both Mount Hagen and Tari.

Watch the video above, and see below for more!


Great headdresses: with a tribe in the Highlands

Great headdresses: with a tribe in the Highlands

Mount Hagen
Mount Hagen is at 5,000 feet and one of the larger towns. The town center has a grocery story, several hotels and large daily market. This market is a perfect way to not only understand more about the local products of the region but to witness a slice of daily social life, as well.


With the chief of a tribe in Tari

With the chief of a tribe in Tari

During our stay in Tari we visited several tribes and watched (and even in participated) in some local rituals and dances. A Sing Sing is a typical tribal dance and is a spectacle to behold with the men donning elaborate feather headdresses, painting their faces and shouting in unison as they danced.


A sing-sing

A sing-sing

A visit with the Wigmen!
A visit with the Wigmen allowed us to learn more about the rite of passage for young men in the community. They grow their hair into mushroom-like bowls that later become wigs and important status symbols in the community. This experience really opened our eyes to the discipline in the social structure of the communities in the Highlands.

In Part 4, next Monday: The Sepik.

For Ian Livingston’s recent series on Papua New Guinea, start here. For more on guided travel in Papua New Guinea, visit For more on the specific itineraries and guides from Kelley’s video, check out

Kelley Ferro

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About the Author

Kelley Ferro
Kelley is an award-winning TV personality, experienced travel journalist & social media influencer. Obsessed with world travel (and Indiana Jones) since childhood, she parlayed that passion into her career, starting at 19 as a National Geographic intern. She went on to be the Director of, and now she is the producer & host of several web series, which feature hotels, tours and destinations across the globe. Her shows focus on the local experience, the world’s best hotels and the best in every destination. Join her on her jetsetting adventures via Kelley Ferro’s YouTube channel, or her Instagram.

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