The town was built as an intentional international community for the Summer Institute of Linguistics, an evangelical Christian non-profit organisation, whose main purpose is to study, develop and document languages, in order to expand linguistic knowledge, promote literacy, translate the Christian Bible into local languages, and aid minority language development. It continues to be the main centre for SIL-PNG. The population of the town consists of a variety of paid staff and volunteer staff who live nearby.
The town is located alongside the Ba'e River, which originates upstream from Ukarumpa and then heads down through the Gadsup area on to Kainantu.
The climate of the town is Equatorial Highland, meaning there are cool days and nights, with daily afternoon rains between November and March.
Ukarumpa can be accessed via the local Aiyua Airstrip serviced by JAARS.
Ukarumpa can be reached by PMV up the Highlands Highway from Lae or Goroka - turn south at Kainantu and catch another PMV into the Aiyura Valley. But as always with Papua New Guinea, the roads are poorly maintained, and so driving will be a real challenge.
- 1 Ukarumpa Farmer's Market. Fruit and vegetable market on M, W & Fr mornings.
- 2 Kolwara Market, Highlands Highway, Punano. A traditional Papua New Guinean market, with numerous local highlands specialties.