Mt Wilhelm and Highlands, Papua New Guinea

Mount Wilhelm (4,509 metres, 14,793 ft) may be considered the highest mountain in Oceania (including Australia and New Zealand). A Seven Summits list sometimes include Mount Wilhelm.
Mount Wilhelm received its name in 1888 when a German newspaper correspondent, Hugo Zöller, climbed the Finisterre Range, south-east of Madang, and named the Bismarck Range after the German Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, and the four highest peaks of the range after him and his children: Ottoberg, Herbertberg, Marienberg and Wilhelmberg.

Mount Wilhelm is the most accessible mountain to climb in Papua New Guinea. Climbers have a choice of two different routes to the top. The most common route starts from the village of Keglsugl at the end of the road from Kundiawa in Simbu province. A harder hike and climb starts from the village of Ambullua in Western Highlands province.

The Keglsugl route involves climbing up and through a mountain rain forest and then along an alpine grassland glacial valley to the twin lakes of Piunde and Aunde. At Piunde there are two huts, one being an old Australian National University monitoring station and the other an ‘A-Frame’ hut. Though not a technical climb, various sections can be treacherous in wet weather. The climb is usually started during the night; the ascent and subsequent descent can take anywhere from nine to 24 hours. Reaching the peak at dawn allows a better chance of clear weather.

The other route from Ambullua is a much more challenging four-day hike.