A getaway to remember: Rondon Ridge Lodge


Want to feel like a rockstar? Spend a few day where Hollywood’s royalty has stayed and enjoy the views, the walks and the delicious food Mount Hagen has to offer.

Rondon Ridge

The Rondon Ridge Lodge. Credit: Chris McLennan

So, this is where Rolling Stone Mick Jagger stayed?

Yes, the old rocker checked in for a short stay in 2014 after a concert tour that included Australia and New Zealand. He arrived in style, jetting in to Mount Hagen on his private jet. He must have liked the lodge, because he vowed he would one day return with his children.

The resort is set high in the hills overlooking Mount Hagen about 2000 metres above sea level. The air is cool and crisp, so be sure to pack your woollen beanie. It’s about an hour by road from the airport, or you can arrive by helicopter and land at a private mountain-top helipad … just like a rock star.

There are views over the fertile Wahgi Valley, and at night you can see the twinkling lights of Mount Hagen, which seems a world away.

Twitchers will love it here because more than 180 bird species have been identified in the surrounding rainforest. There are many walking trails in the hills. You can walk to a beautiful waterfall, visit the impressive orchid garden maintained by the lodge, and stop off at a nearby village to buy some local vegetables for the chef to add to your evening meal.

Simply delightful

Rondon Ridge

Credit: Penny Burns

On the menu you’ll find some delightful choices like Highlands pork chops with sweet potato and ginger mash, fish from Betty’s Trout Farm at Mount Wilhelm, local strawberries, indulgent banana fritters and freshly baked cakes and biscuits. There’s also typical pub fare, such as hamburgers with potato wedges.

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The heart of the lodge is the large open-plan building with the restaurant, a bar, cafe and reception. It’s beautifully finished with sago and pitpit leaf woven-panel ceilings and timber-panelled walls. There are oversized doorways and floor-to ceiling glass with views of a serene pond, manicured garden and misty covered mountains in the distance.

Sitting on a lounge next to the outdoor fire is a good way to take in the views The rooms are spacious and light with high ceilings and big windows. The beds are blissfully comfortable and there’s tasteful decor in neutral colours and natural materials. The interiors are finished with cane ceilings, timber walls and ceramic tiles.

The inclusion of ground coffee and a plunger add to the benefit of your own secluded balcony. The tri-level executive rooms have facilities for self-catering and offer greater luxury. Basic rooms are from 400 kina (+GST) per night and executive rooms from 700 kina (+GST). Village tours are among the options of things to do here, or ask reception to set up a trip to the Kuk World Heritage archaeological site, where the world’s oldest gardening tools and plots have been found.

For some of the best coffee in PNG stop off at the Kofi Kave near Mount Hagen’s airport for a cup of Banz coffee and more cakes.

To visit Rondon Ridge, contact Trans Niugini Tours on +675 7198 9397, email service@pngtours.com, or see pngtours.com

The article ‘A cool getaway’ was first published in the April 2021 issue of PNG Now, PNG’s leading lifestyle magazine.

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