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The Kokoda Track


With dense greenery, difficult passes, glistening rivers and incredible views, it is hard to believe that the historic Kokoda Track was the site of one of the bloodiest battles for Australian troops in WWII. Discover the humbling history and remote beauty of the track on this 10-day adventure, with eight days of intense trekking through the Papua New Guinea mountains – a pilgrimage that honours those who fought and lost their lives here in 1942. With the guidance of your personal porter, trekking leader and a hardworking local crew to illuminate the wartime stories of the trail, this trip will see you testing your personal stamina on a journey through tiny villages and thick jungle.

10 days, from

$3,690

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

5
Trip code: TESA
Style: Original
Print itinerary

Details

Countries Visited:  Papua New Guinea
Accommodation: Hotel (2 nts), Village community hut or camping (8 nts)
Transportation: On Foot , Plane , Private Vehicle
Meals: 8 dinners, 9 breakfasts
Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Trek the famous Kokoda Track the ethical way. We partner with a local cooperative that ensures local communities benefit directly from your visit.

  • Hear incredible tales of wartime courage from the local historian in Brigade Hill

  • Hike up the arid spines of mountains and through valleys of lush rainforest, stopping to cool off in pristine rivers along the way.

  • Meet the people who live in this region, learn about the local cultures and contribute to these small and remote communities.

  • Trek every step with a personal porter, trekking leader and crew – all locals – to ensure that you have the best experience possible while supporting employment in the region.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Port Moresby

Your adventure begins in the capital of Port Moresby with a welcome meeting tonight. An airport arrival transfer is included in the price of this tour. Please speak to your booking agent to organise this no later than 14 days before your tour begins. Attend the pre-trip briefing this evening at 6 pm to meet your fellow travellers and trek leader.

Day 2: Port Moresby / Kokoda Track

This morning take a short, spectacularly scenic chartered flight over the jungle canopies and craggy peaks of the Owen Stanley Range to the landing strip of Kokoda station (approximately 35 minutes). Arrive and meet your trekking team, including your your personal and food porters. Kokoda, situated at 340 metres above sea level, is a hot and humid place, but there’s a nearby river to cool off in if you need. There is free time explore and visit the Kokoda Memorial and War Museum this morning before the trek begins, where you’ll learn a little more about Kokoda station. This spot held importance during WWII due to having the only airfield along the track, and the opening stages of the Kokoda Track campaign saw two battles take place in and around the village. Australian forces reoccupied Kokoda in November 1942 as the Japanese retreated to the north coast. After lunch, lace up and set off for the village of Deniki (4–5 hours). Begin with a flat walk through rows of palm oil and rubber tree plantations, passing through Kovelo and Hoi villages before the first steep ascent up the Owen Stanley Range. Deniki village is a historically significant location where the 39th Battalion first regrouped when Japanese forces occupied Kokoda. At 900 metres above sea level, you’ll be greeted with incredible views across the Kokoda Valley upon arrival, giving you the chance to pause and reflect on all that occurred here.

Day 3: Kokoda Track

Commence the first full-day trek with an early start towards Isurava village. Pass through choko gardens planted by local villagers and by water holes where you can fill up your bottle. Your trek leader or porters will let you know the best fill-up points. Arrive at Isurava (1350 metres), a village relocated several times since WWII which now sits in a tranquil location with good access to water and sunshine. Continue to the famous Isurava battlefield and stop for a break to learn about the significance of the site. A powerful memorial built by the Australian Government features four pillars, reading ‘Courage, Sacrifice, Mateship and Endurance’, words you are sure to carry with you for the rest of your journey. Hear the story of the heroic Private Kingsbury, a real estate agent from Melbourne enlisted to fight in New Guinea. Kingsbury gallantly volunteered to clear a path through the enemy, allowing the Australian troops to regain their control, only to lose his life to a sniper’s bullet. Private Kingsbury’s courage earned him a posthumous Victoria Cross, and is one of many stories of unbelievable tragedy and bravery you will encounter on your journey. Continue to the village of Alola (at 1400 metres), which overlooks the Iora Valley and Auberi village, which is where you will spend the night.

Day 4: Kokoda Track

The trek to Templeton’s Crossing begins with a walk through lush rainforest and past creeks and rivers that feed directly out of mountain springs. Follow the hilly trail to Eora Creek, where the tranquil landscapes are in stark contrast to the two brutal battles that took place in 1942, resulting in the loss of many Australian lives. Take a break here to learn about the battles and perhaps freshen up in the river before continuing along the track. Three more hours of hiking will lead you to Templeton’s Crossing, the location of the Australian supply and storage facility during the war. Templeton’s Crossing also served as a burial ground for Australian soldiers lost during the Battle of Eora, and while the bodies were relocated at the end of the war, symbolic iron rods remain in the place of each soldier once buried at the site. Tonight will be spent at a cooperative guesthouse in Lokobo (at 1900 metres altitude).

Day 5: Kokoda Track

Get set for a tough day of trekking as you climb to a 2200-metre-high point on the flank of Mt Bellamy, also known as the Gap. Be sure to stay close to your personal porter while navigating the ascent. Take in some spectacular views across the Owen Stanley Ranges and descend a few hundred metres to your accommodation at Digger’s Camp. Set among lush rainforest, the village guesthouse is still around 2000 metres above sea level, so it can get very cold. Take a quick walk to the flat grasslands and creeks of Myola, a location that played a pivotal role in WWII, being used for supply drops and to tend to the sick and injured. You could once find the scattered remains of old aircrafts around Myola, however these have since been salvaged by locals for scrap metal. Head back to Diggers' Camp and enjoy a dip in the river before dinner.

Day 6: Kokoda Track

Rise and shine and set off towards the northern face of Mt Bellamy, taking in views of the villages of Naduri, Kagi, Brigade Hill, and Nauro along the way. Make a 2-hour descent to Efogi I through open grassland and along steep, slippery trail, with a brief break en route in Naduri. Enjoy a well-deserved rest on arrival at Efogi I, a staging post where troops stopped overnight during their advance along the Kokoda Track. Keep some change handy so you can buy some of the organically grown fruit the locals sell. Continue the trek to Efogi II with a roughly 2-hour descent. While this leg of the trek is relatively short, it will take place in the middle of the day and the trail has no canopy protection, so pace yourself. Arrive in Efogi II, a Koiari village of around 500 inhabitants, and settle into your locally-owned cooperative accommodation.

Day 7: Kokoda Track

Embrace an early start this morning to trace the path taken by retreating Australian soldiers. The first climb takes you to Mission Ridge where you can turn and look back over Efogi I and II. Continue following the ridge towards Brigade Hill. Upon reaching Brigade Hill (approximately 1.5 hours), your trek leader will relate the wartime history of the spot where Australian forces were overwhelmed by fast-approaching Japanese troops. Hear how 20,000 soldiers marched down Mt Bellamy, their thousands of lanterns resembling a sea of fireflies to the Australian troops. This swift and efficient advance saw the Japanese take complete control of Brigade Hill in just a few days. Begin the descent down the back of Mission Ridge to Menari (approximately 2 hours) on a steep and sometimes very slippery track. Grab lunch and then set off again on a steep, 1.5-hour climb to the top of Menari Ridge. Enjoy the mental boost that comes with knowing you’ve ‘broken the back’ of the Kokoda Track, then make a descent to the Nauro Valley (approximately 1 hour). Cross the mighty Brown River to Nauro and cool off in a pleasant stream near your cooperative guesthouse accommodation near the original airstrip.

Day 8: Kokoda Track

Tackle the Nine False Peaks to the top of Maguli Range (1350 metres) this morning. This involves roughly 3 hours of serious uphill trekking. From the top of the ridge, make the first of many descents today with a rest stop at Jap’s Ladder. Take another break at Ofi Creek and continue on to historic Ioribaiwa, situated at approximately 650 metres. It was here that the Japanese troops fought their final victorious battle against the Australians before withdrawing. From Ioribaiwa continue down a steep slope that leads to Uaule Creek. At the base of the Ioribaiwa Ridge make our way across a myriad of river and creek crossings (nine in total) until we reach Uaule Creek and set up camp for the night.

Day 9: Kokoda Track / Port Moresby

Your journey starts across multiple river crossings along Uaule Creek. Come prepared with sandals or expect wet boots. Continue with a trek up the back of Imita Ridge for about 1.5 hours. From here, trek down a trail once known as the Golden Staircase, built by Australian troops during the war to transport artillery and supplies from Port Moresby. Take a break at the summit of Imita Ridge then descend to Goodwater. Continue to Goldie River (3 hours), then make the final climb to Owers Corner. Congratulations! You can now officially say you completed the Kokoda Track! Meet with your driver and transfer back to Port Moresby, stopping en route to visit Bomana War Cemetery, where 3600 Australian soldiers were laid to rest. This evening perhaps grab a well-deserved drink with your team and fellow trekkers. Cheers!

Day 10: Port Moresby

Your adventure has come to an end. Check out of the hotel is at 11 am and transfer to the airport can be organised on request. Just let your leader know your flight details this morning.

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