10 Days
Duration
Challenging
Physical Rating
Kokoda, Papua New Guinea
Location
14+
Age
February- November
Dates

(OWERS CORNER – KOKODA)

This ideal and popular military history slow trek will take you from Owers’ Corner in the south to Kokoda in the north.

Take your time along the famous native thoroughfare as you follow the Australian withdrawal in WW2 under our military-Australian tour leader. Begin with a solemn tour of Bomana War Cemetery, the resting place of over 2000 Australians killed whilst fighting the Japanese during the Kokoda Campaign, followed guided battle site tours from Imita Ridge to Kokoda. This includes Australian and Japanese defensive positions still covered with tunnels, weapon pits, unexploded ordnance, and war relics, where you get to appreciate the magnitude and ferocity of the battles. Trek, meet and stay with lovely locals, many descendants of the PNG stretcher bearers who helped carry Australian soldiers to the comfort of relative safety where there was medical help. This selfless native were dubbed the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels because of their angelic deeds and fuzzy wuzzy hair. What’s also great about this trek is it’s a challenge and an opportunity to be enjoyed with some of the most breathtaking scenery seen nowhere in the world. On this trek, the emphasis is on the military history aspect of the trek where you get a slightly more in-depth analysis of the fighting in New Guinea.

DESTINATION Kokoda – Owers’ Corner
DEPARTURE LOCATION Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
TOUR TYPE History
MIN PERSON 2
TOUR LEADER Australian
EXPERT GUIDE Papua New Guinean
 TOUR DURATION 10 Days
TRAVEL DURATION 2-Days (Transit Holiday Inn Express/Holiday Inn, Port Moresby)
TOTAL TRIP DURATION  12 Days
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT See Plan Your Trip

What’s Included

  • Trek Permit with Kokoda Track Authority
  • Experienced Australian tour leader
  • Knowledgeable PNG tour guide
  • Battle site and areas of military significance tours and commentaries
  • Tribal welcome by descendants of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels
  • Safety and security plan
  • Daily safety and administrative briefs
  • Medevac plan
  • Kokoda trek fitness plan
  • Pre-tour health and medical check plan
  • Satellite, mobile and radio communications
  • First aid support (trained attendant and complete kit)
  • Staff Reception and airport transfers in Port Moresby
  • Transit hotel accommodation in Port Moresby (Holiday Inn Express /Holiday Inn)
  • Transit hotel buffet dinner and breakfast
  • Charter /domestic flight pre-trek (Port Moresby – Kokoda / Port Moresby – Popondetta)
  • Road transport to drop-off and pickup points (Popondetta – Kokoda/Owers’ Corner – Port Moresby)
  • Buddy system for trek safety (porter per trekker)
  • River crossing and counter obstacle procedures
  • Survival and obstacle breaching equipment
  • Guesthouse and campsite landowner fees
  • Village guesthouse accommodation and campsites (tent carried by porter)
  • Food and equipment porters
  • Trek rations and camping supplies
  • Cooking and meal preparation
  • Delicious and nutritious local and western-style meals
  • Water resupply plan and procedure
  • Daily situational trek updates
  • Free souvenir Kokoda t-shirt and cap

What’s Not Included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa and passport costs
  • Medical expenses
  • Baggage cost
  • Spending money
  • Local museum fees

Travel Prerequisites

  • Trip – book your trip by browsing through our list of tours on this site.
  • Travel itinerary – have a return international travel itinerary. If you’ve included flights with your booking, we’ll handle this for you.
  • Passport – have a valid passport; if not contact your local passport office for assistance.
  • Visa – PNG has visa on arrival for Australian tourists but you can apply here in Australian by lodging your application in person or by registered mail with the PNG consular offices in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane or Cairns.
  • Travel insurance – have travel insurance to cover you in case of an emergency. We highly recommend QBE’s Travel C plan otherwise go with a travel insurer who can cover you on the Kokoda Track and in PNG.
  • Medical – see your GP or family doctor to be deemed medically fit to complete the Kokoda Track and be protected against Malaria and other tropical illnesses.
  • Fitness – you must be physically fit and in good health to do Kokoda. This doesn’t apply to non-trekking tours.
  • Diet – inform us if you have specific dietary requirements, for instance if you’re on a gluten-free diet.
  • Travel – email us copies of your travel documents i.e. passport (only front page that has your photo ID and pers details), completed medical form, travel insurance, and travel itinerary.

You can Contact Us if you need assistance to Plan Your Trip

Optional extras

  • International flights – to and from Moresby ex Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth or Darwin.
  • Personal Porter – highly recommended for all Kokoda treks if you’re not super fit
  • Accommodation – supplement for an extra night at the hotel in Port Moresby pre-tour or post tour
  • Photos – capture your tour moments with photographs
  • Videos – capture your tour moments on a video
  • Photos & videos – capture your tour moments with photos and a video
1

Day 1: Owers’ Corner – Goodwater (approx. 2 hours)

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Our 10 day trek begins today. After spending a night at either the Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express in Port Moresby, we travel by road to Owers’ Corner, the drop-off point of the Kokoda Trail to begin our trek. Enroute, we tour Bomana War Cemetery, the largest war cemetery in the Pacific, and McDonald’s Corner, the original road head of the Kokoda Trail in World War II. Our destination is our campsite at Goodwater and it’s a short trek to acclimatise and get our body accustomed to the physical demands of the trek. We leave Owers’ Corner and trek down the sections of the trail cut into the steep slopes by Australian engineers and used by horses and mules to transport supplies as far as Imita Ridge north of Goodwater. We cross Goldie River at the foot of the first descent with the help of our porters, and trek past the abandoned Uberi village, the site of a field dressing station, and Dump 66, a supply dump established after Dump 44 near Ua-Ule north of Imita Ridge was abandoned after the Japanese occupied Ioribaiwa. We arrive in camp with plenty to spare and use the afternoon freshening up and re-adjusting our equipment in preparation for nine days of challenging trekking ahead, before having dinner and getting as much rest as possible.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

2

Day 2: Goodwater – Ofi Creek (approx. 7.5 hours)

Today our destination is Ofi Creek. After our first night at Goodwater campsite, we trek up the famous Golden Stairs with ease, built by Australian engineers and Papuan labourers to make climbing to the top of Imita Ridge easier. Imita Ridge was defended by the Australians as they withdrew along the trail, before going on the advance against the Japanese, who stopped on the opposite ridge at Ioribaiwa during the Kokoda Campaign. After a tour of Imita, we head down precipitous slopes to Ua-Ule Creek. Dump 44 was located in its vicinity before being moved to Dump 66. We cross Ua-Ule Creek back and forth numerous times before taking a steep climb to Ioribaiwa village. We stop briefly in the village for a rest then trek to Ioribaiwa Ridge, the furthest point of the Japanese advance which brought them within sight of their objective, Port Moresby. The ridge is the location of wartime Ioribaiwa village, and the site of the Battle of Ioribaiwa, a final defensive battle fought by the Australians during the campaign. After a guided tour of the battle site, we continue past fighting pits to our campsite at Ofi Creek. We arrive in time for a nice bath, dinner and more rest. Many places along the trail offered ideal sites for conducting ambushes for the Australians and Ofi Creek was one of them.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

3

Day 3: Ofi Creek - Nauro (approx. 4 hours)

Today, we set our sights on Nauro village where we’ll spend tonight. After breakfast, we leave Ofi Creek and climb to the towering Maguli Range which will take us to Nauro. We trek past Station 88, a probable site of a wartime carrier camp set in a clear and prominent large kunai grassy patch, used sometimes as a helicopter-landing pad, Japanese Ladder, steps dug by Japanese soldiers into the clayey soil and Japanese Camp. We continue the trek up to the peak of the range, and take a brief stop at Nauro lookout to enjoy breathtaking views of Nauro and the towering mountain ranges of Owen Stanley’s. Withdrawing Australian composite units formed due to their reduced numbers from heavy fighting along the trail, continued the climb up the range from Nauro, found a defensive position and camped before coming under attack from the advancing Japanese. A quick survey of the perimeter at rest stops in cleared areas will reveal Australian weapon pits. From the lookout, we trek down to our campsite at beautiful Nauro village with prominent clayey soil.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

4

Day 4: Nauro - Menari (approx. 5 hours)

It’s day 4 and today, we head for our campsite in the heart of Menari village. We leave Nauro after breakfast and trek down and through the only swampy flats located along the Kokoda Trail before reaching Nauro River. We cross the river and trek along its banks and past Augulogo village before making the climb up “The Wall,” a steep near-vertical slope which takes us to a beautiful lookout with breathtaking views of Nauro and the mountain ranges to the south. After a brief rest, we continue and trek past Menari Gap before arriving at our campsite at Menari. Many Australian troops passed through Menari and one that’s more notable is “Those Ragged Bloody Heroes” of the 39th Battalion, caught on camera by cinematographer Damien Parer, as they were being commended on parade in the village by the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Honner, following weeks of intense fighting at Kokoda, Deniki, Isurava and Eora Creek. We use the afternoon for a swim in the river and sightsee around the village.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

5

Menari - Kagi (approx. 7.5 hours)

After a night in lovely Menari, we head to Kagi village. We leave the village and cross Vaibuiagi River, before making an unrelenting climb to Brigade Hill, another major battle site during the Kokoda Campaign. The Battle of Brigade Hill was an unmitigated catastrophe and worst disaster faced by the Australians in the entire Kokoda Campaign. Despite courageous efforts to delay the advancing Japanese, it was a battle that resulted in defeat, forcing the Australians to withdraw further south along the trail. We take a solemn tour of the battle site before trekking past Mission Ridge, where the Australians defending its razor-sharp ridges saw hordes of Japanese troops with lanterns coming down the precipitous slopes of Kagi to the north. This was the famous “Japanese Lantern Parade.” We head past Efogi 1 and 2 before crossing Efogi River and trekking to our campsite at Menari village. No fighting took place at Kagi because of the open terrain, but it was used as a dropping zone for supplies, and was the site of the first air strike against the advancing Japanese. We enter the village to a rousing Fuzzy Wuzzy welcome from lovely locals with their war cries and charming village choir.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

6

Day 6: Kagi – Dump 1 (Lukobo Campsite) (approx. 6 hours)

From Kagi, we head to Lukobo campsite on the foothills of Mt Bellamy in the vicinity of Dump 1 where we’ll spend the night. It’s the location of the first crossing of Eora Creek where the Australians fought a battle during their withdrawal early in the campaign. The trek takes us past Kagi Gap which provides a beautiful vista of Brigade Hill, Kagi and Naduri villages, Myola Turn-Off and 1900 Campsite, before reaching the top of Mt Bellamy, the highest point on the Kokoda Trail at 2190 m above sea level, and Kokoda Gap (also known as the “Gap”) which rises above the blanket of clouds over the mountain ranges on a cloudy day. The area between Myola Turn-Off and the Gap is mossy and heavily wooded with giant trees and huge pandanus. It was along this section of the trail that the advancing Australians encountered their first resistance from the retreating Japanese later in the campaign. From the Gap, we head down the sheer muddy drop to our campsite at Lukobo.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

7

Day 7: Dump 1 – Eora Creek (approx. 7 hours)

Its day 7 and today is a comparatively short trek to our campsite at Eora Creek. We leave Dump 1 and trek to Templeton’s Crossing, where we stop briefly for a tour of the Battle of Templeton’s Crossing, a battle fought by the advancing Australians to flush out pockets of Japanese resistance along the trail. Templeton’s Crossing is named after Captain Sam Templeton, Officer Commanding of B Company of the 39th Battalion, AMF, a veteran of World War I, and a fatherly-figure to the young and inexperienced soldiers in the Australian militia. Templeton went missing during delaying actions near Oivi. Following the brief, we trek to our campsite at Eora Creek. After settling in camp, we take a guided tour of Battle of Eora Creek. Eora Creek was the site of tragic and chaotic fighting during the Australian withdrawal early in the campaign as they fought to delay the advancing Japanese while moving south along the trail with their wounded following heavy fighting at Isurava and Abuari. The afternoon is ours to rest and relax in our tents with unbelievable views of Eora Creek and thick mountains and jungle while we wait for our porters to prepare a nice dinner for us.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

8

Day 8: Eora Creek – Con’s Rock (approx. 5 hours)

Our destination after Eora Creek is our campsite at Con’s Rock. After a night at Eora Creek, we continue along the trail before taking a detour to tour a Japanese defensive position on Eora Ridge. The position was heavily defended by the Japanese during the Australian Fighting Withdrawal and the Battle of Eora Creek. The site is riddled with weapon pits, ordnance, and war relics and has commanding views of Eora Creek on the southern side. After the tour, we trek to Alola village with its breathtaking views of Eora Gorge. Alola village was the location of Maroubra Force headquarters during fighting at Isurava and Abuari, the Australian infantry unit that was responsible for fighting along the Kokoda Trail. Abuari is located on the ridgeline to the east on the opposite side of the Eora gorge. After Alola, we continue to Con’s Rock, a prominent flat rock Australian medical orderly Constantine Vafiopulous used as an operating table to conduct an amputation on a digger. The rock is located next to the memorial plaque of Lieutenant Harold “Butch” Bisset, who was seriously wounded during the Battle of Isurava, before dying in the hands of his brother, Captain Stan Bisset. We take a guided tour of the rock before setting up camp for the night.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

9

Day 9: Con’s Rock - Deniki (approx. 5 hours)

It is our second last night on the Kokoda Trail and our destination today is Deniki. Following a night at Con’s Rock, we trek to the famous Isurava Battlefield where we stop briefly. The Battle of Isurava was the first major battle of the Kokoda Campaign for the Australians. We take a guided tour of the popular battle site, visit the local museum and take pictures of the famous granite pillars – etched with the words courage, endurance, mateship, and sacrifice – that serve as a memorial to the battle’s fallen. The battlefield is the site where Private Bruce Kingsbury of the 2/14 Battalion, AIF, was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, the British Commonwealth’s highest award for bravery, the first soldier to do so on Australian soil, and PNG was at the time. Private Kingsbury was killed in action by an enemy sniper. After Isurava, we trek past post-war Isurava village and onto our campsite at Deniki, the site of the Battle of Deniki, a relatively short battle between the Australians and Japanese following the battles of Kokoda before Australians withdrew to Isurava. We tour the battle site before enjoying breathtaking views of the scenic Yodda Valley.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

10

Day 10: Deniki - Kokoda (approx. 3.5 hours)

This is the day we’ve been for – trekking to the finish and celebrating! After breakfast, we leave Deniki and make the last and final descent to the finish at Kokoda, the site of First Battle of Kokoda and Second Battle of Kokoda, early in the Kokoda Campaign. After the villages of Hoi and Kovelo, we cross the finish line under the Kokoda arches and are ushered through and congradulated by our porters for completing one of the toughest challenges of our lives. At the finish, we tour the battle site, memorials and museum. Kokoda was strategically important for the Allies because it had the only airstrip between Port Moresby and the beachheads of Gona and Buna. After the tour, we say goodbye to our porters and travel by road to Popondetta’s Girua Airport for the flight back to Port Moresby. The drive takes us past the battle sites, but now villages of Oivi, Gorari and Wairopi spanning the Kumusi River. If we’re flying out of Kokoda, we take a short walk from the infamous plateau to catch our plane back to Port Moresby. On arrival, we are met by the hotel bus and transferred back to the luxury confines of our hotel at the Holiday Inn where we spend a night before leaving PNG the next day.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

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