Journeying into the wilderness, honouring history and discovering more about yourself than you would ever have imagined – the practice of doing Kokoda Trail tours for Anzac Day is an unforgettable experience. A once in a lifetime trip, this trek sees you walking in the footsteps of the brave soldiers, through stunning rugged terrain. It’s no wonder that many people hold it as a bucketlist item, but knowing where to begin can be a challenge. That’s where our tours led by experienced trek leaders and tour guides come in – helping to turn it into a unique moment for you.
What Is Anzac Day?
A national day of remembrance throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Commonwealth, this day commemorates those valiant servicemen who served and died during world conflicts. Traditionally observed on April 25 each year, it was originally devised in memory of those army corps who perished during the Gallipoli campaign in World War I, but has expanded over time to remember other engagements as well.
What was the Kokoda Campaign?
The Kokoda Campaign describes a sequence of military events that occurred during the Pacific War in World War II. A series of battles raged in the harsh jungle terrain of Papua New Guinea between Australian forces on the side of the Allies, and Japan. Japanese forces were aiming to seize the strategic point of Port Moresby, advancing from the north coast. The goal of the imperial Japanese army was to cut Australian forces off from the United States. This led to a string of intense conflicts around Kokoda and its strategically vital airfield, which had been captured during the battle by Japan. Battles flared up along key points of the trail like Eora Creek, Alola, Isurava, Efogi and Ioribaiwa. The complexity of the physical situation – remote, mountainous terrain, with heavy artillery unsuitable to be transported and little possibility of aerial resupply, seemed to constitute an almost insurmountable fight. Outnumbered and in a desperate position, Australian forces fought against hope. Kokoda has become a national symbol of valiance in the face of seemingly insurmountable problems, and for that reason the battle has entered into history and legend. This is the reason that Kokoda Trail tours are still so popular today.
On The Kokoda Trail
Now, modern day trekkers have the opportunity to experience a little of the history, honour and thrill of these surroundings. New eco-friendly Kokoda trail tours led by experienced trek leaders and tour guides allow visitors to explore these unequaled surroundings the right way – honouring the past while also protecting the future. Experienced military veteran trek leaders can lead you through this incredible, challenging territory, providing a unique experience taking in key landmarks along the way – areas of military significance, essential military positions, battle sites, rendezvous points, troop encampments, hospitals and places such as Bomana War Cemetery on the outskirts of Port Moresby. A true adventure, these tours provide the perfect combination of history, natural beauty and eco-conscious tourism.
Visiting Papua New Guinea
One of the most stunning and diverse natural landscapes on the planet, Papua New Guinea remains relatively unspoilt. Still dotted with remote tribal villages, it is a place of huge biological diversity – with beaches, coral reefs, lush rainforest and active volcanoes. It makes an unforgettable place to undertake a trek, especially one imbued with such immense historical significance. Our selective tours respect and honour the wonderful biodiversity and indigenous cultures of this unique location.
A New Hope for 2021 Tours
Now, a new battle is on our doorsteps as the world fights the effects of the global coronavirus pandemic. This development disrupted the plans of thousands of Anzac Day memorialists, putting travel plans on hold temporarily and leaving many tour operators and travel companies on the brink of collapse. At the time of writing, there is a lot of uncertainty about the lifting of travel restrictions for the rest of 2020. While safety for all parties remains a top priority, tours don’t necessarily have to be cancelled, but can be postponed until the situation stabilises more. In 2021, tours should able to proceed as normal, beginning with the following treks:
- 9 Day Kokoda Anzac Day Trek to Ower’s Corner
- 9 Day Kokoda Anzac Day Trek to Kokoda
- 10 Day Kokoda Anzac Day Trek to Ower’s Corner
- 10 Day Kokoda Anzac Day Trek to Kokoda
- 12 Day Kokoda Anzac Day Trek including the Northern Beachheads
Each of these tours are led by Australian ex-military trek leaders who can give a unique insight into the Kokoda Trail story, guided tours of battlefield sites and points of historical significance along the way – culminating in a moving Anzac Day dawn service on the battlefields at Isurava. Book in for this incredible experience and receive a complimentary Kokoda cap and t-shirt to remember this significant event by. An unforgettable combination of breathtaking natural scenery, emotive historical storytelling and eco-tourism experience, it will certainly be an event that makes 2021 memorable for all the right reasons.