12 Days
Duration
Challenging, Leisurely
Physical Rating
-Papua New Guinea, Buna, Gona, Kokoda, Sanandana
Location
14+
Age
April – May
Dates

(OWERS CORNER – SANANANDA)

Join this fabulous 12 day slow trek and tour and commemorate ANZAC Day at Isurava battlefield during your pilgrimage trek along the entire wartime trail from Owers’ Corner in the south to Sanananda on the northern beachheads.

Begin the tour with a solemn visit to the beautifully manicured Bomana War Cemetery where you get to pay your respects at the graves of Australians, British and Papuans who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice during the Kokoda Campaign and in other battles around PNG before setting off along the iconic wartime trail at Owers’ Corner. Tour battle sites from Imita Ridge to Sanananda, learn about the wartime history, and hear individual tales of courage, endurance, mateship, and sacrifice, qualities that gave Australian soldiers the fighting spirit to wage war against the formidable and battle-hardened Japanese, in a place that was foreboding which claimed its fair share of casualties through sickness and disease. Experience and appreciate the challenges that the soldiers had to put up with, often in very trying and inhospitable battle conditions. On the northern beachheads, tour and hear about events of the bitter fighting at Gona, Sanananda, and Buna, that claimed three times as many casualties as those in the ranges of the Owen Stanley’s. Meet descendants of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels and lovely locals in the villages where you camp for the night, who live a very simple lifestyle on human values that keep them together in their tight knit communities while you enjoy some of the most breathtaking and panoramic views seen nowhere in the world.

DESTINATION Owers’ Corner – Kokoda – Sanananda
DEPARTURE LOCATION Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
TOUR TYPE History
MIN PERSON 10
TOUR LEADER Australian
EXPERT GUIDE Papua New Guinean
 TOUR DURATION 12 Days
TRAVEL DURATION 2-Days (Transit Holiday Inn Express/Holiday Inn, Port Moresby)
TOTAL TRIP DURATION  14 Days
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT See Plan Your Trip

What’s Included

  • Trek Permit with Kokoda Track Authority
  • Bilingual and 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 (Popondetta – Port Moresby)
  • Road transport to drop-off and pickup points (Port Moresby – Owers’ Corner /Kokoda – Sanananda)
  • 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 a porter)
  • Mosquito nets (for tour of the beachheads)
  • 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
  • Daily social media and 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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Today, we leave either the Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express and begin our tour with a tour of Bomana War Cemetery. After the tour, we continue by road to Owers’ Corner, the drop-off point off the Kokoda Trail to begin our trek. Enroute, we stop for a tour McDonald’s Corner, the original road head of the trail in World War II. Today is a short trek to Goodwater campsite to get us to acclimatise and get our body accustomed to the physical demands of the trek. From Owers’ Corner, we trek down 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. We cross Goldie River at the foot of our first descent with the help of our porters before trekking past abandoned Uberi village, the site of a field dressing station, and Dump 66, a supply dump established after Dump 44 near Ua-Ule was vacated following the Japanese occupation of Ioribawa. We arrive at Goodwater campsite in plenty of time to re-adjust our equipment, re-energise, and rest for more trekking in the days ahead.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

2

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

Today our destination is Ofi Creek. After spending our first night at Goodwater campsite, we trek up the famous Golden Stairs, built by Australian engineers and Papuan labourers, to make climbing to the top of Imita Ridge easier. At the top of the ridge, we tour the site which the Australians defended after withdrawing along the trail, before going on the advance against the Japanese who stopped on the opposite ridge at Ioribaiwa.  After Imita, we head down precipitous slopes to Ua-Ule Creek, which we cross back and forth numerous times, before taking the climb to Ioribaiwa village with its panoramic views of Imita Ridge and the surrounding mountain ranges. From the village, we trek up 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. We tour the battle site before heading past fighting pits to our campsite at Ofi Creek. 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)

After breakfast, we leave Ofi Creek and trek up to Maguli Range destined for our campsite at Nauro village. The trek takes us 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 to the peak of Maguli Range and Nauro lookout where we stop briefly to enjoy breathtaking views of Nauro and the towering mountain ranges of Owen Stanley’s. At rest stops in cleared areas, a quick survey of the perimeter will reveal Australian weapon pits from fighting along the range. Withdrawing Australians found a defensive position along the range before coming under attack from the advancing Japanese. From the lookout, we trek down to the village with plenty of time to rest our tired bodies.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

4

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

After breakfast, we leave Nauro and head to Menari village. We trek through the only swampy flats located along the Kokoda Trail before crossing Nauro River. After the crossing, we trek along the bank of the river to Augulogo village, before heading up the steep slopes of “The Wall,” and onto a beautiful lookout with breathtaking views of Nauro and the surrounding mountain ranges. After brief rest at the lookout, we continue and head up to Menari Gap before heading down and into Menari. Many Australian troops passed through Menari and one that’s more notable is “Those Ragged Bloody Heroes” of the 39th Battalion, AMF, caught on camera by cinematographer Damien Parer, as they were being commended on parade by the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Honner, in the village following weeks of intense fighting at Kokoda, Deniki, Isurava, and Eora Creek. Menari is a beautiful village with a big creek so we have the option to go for a bath or sightseeing.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

5

Menari - Kagi (approx. 7.5 hours)

After a night in beautiful Menari, our destination is Menari village. The trek takes us past the airstrip and across Vaibuiagi River before making the unrelenting climb to Brigade Hill, another famous battle site where we stop for a tour, offer prayers, and lay poppies for the battles fallen. 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 once more. After the tour, we continue and trek past Mission Ridge, from where the Australians defending its razor-sharp ridges saw hordes of Japanese troops with lanterns coming down the precipitous slopes of Kagi to our north. This was the famous “Japanese Lantern Parade.” We continue past to Efogi 1 and Efogi 2, before crossing Efogi River, and taking the climb to our campsite at Kagi 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. On arrival, we greeted by 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 – Myola (approx. 4 hours)

Today, we’ll be short trek to Bombers Camp near Myola. After breakfast, we leave lovely Kagi and trek up to Kagi Gap which provides a beautiful vista of Brigade Hill, Kagi and Naduri villages. After the lookout, we trek to Myola Turn-Off which takes us to our campsite at Myola.  After pitching our tents, we take a hike to tour Myola 1 and Myola 2, supply dropping zones for the Australians during the Kokoda Campaign. We view open and panoramic kunai grass plains that extend for kilometres used by military C-47 aircrafts known as “biscuit bombers” to conduct supply drops to alleviate loads carried by native carriers. Many Australian units camped here when withdrawing along the track early in the campaign. After a tour of the area which includes war relics mainly aircraft wrecks and ordnance, we return to camp for a nice hot cup dinner with everyone else and some relaxation.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

7

Day 7: Myola – Templeton’s Crossing (approx. 4 hours)

After Myola, our next destination is Templeton’s Crossing, We leave and head back on to the main trail before trekking past 1900 Campsite, and taking the climb to 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 the 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 trek down the precipitous muddy drop to Dump 1, the first crossing of the Eora Creek where the Australians fought a battle during their withdrawal early in the campaign. From the dump, we trek to Templeton’s Crossing where we tour the battle site before camping. The Battle of Templeton’s Crossing was fought by the Australian during their advance later in the campaign. 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.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

8

Day 8: Templeton’s Crossing – Isurava (approx. 8)

Following a night at Templeton’s Crossing, our destination today is the Isurava battlefield. After breakfast, we trek to Eora Creek where we stop briefly for a tour of the Eora battle sites. 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 the battles of Isurava and Abuari. After the tour, we continue along the trail before taking a detour on to Eora Ridge to tour a Japanese defensive position, which was heavily defended during the Australian Fighting Withdrawal and 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. From there, we continue to Alola village with its breathtaking views of Eora Gorge then Con’s Rock before reaching our campsite. Alola village was the location of Maroubra Force headquarters during heavy 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.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

9

Day 9: Isurava - Hoi (approx. 6.5 hours)

We begin day nine with an Anzac Day dawn service before taking a guided tour and leaving for our next campsite at Hoi. The battle of Isurava was one of the biggest battles during the campaign which claimed the lives of many Australians like Private Bruce Kingsbury VC and Lieutenant Harold “Butch” Bisset who died in the hands of his brother, Captain Stan Bisset, near Con’s Rock. The Battle of Isurava was the first major battle of the Kokoda Campaign for the Australians early in the campaign. At the battle site, there is a musuem and several memorials including amazingly designed granite pillars etched with the words courage, endurance, mateship, and sacrifice – values portrayed by the soldiers that kept together as a fornidable fighting force. During the fighting with the Japanese, 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 – PNG was at the time. Private Kingsbury was killed in action by an enemy sniper. The trek from Isurava to Hoi takes us past Deniki, the site of the Battle of Deniki, a relatively short battle following the battles of Kokoda before Australians withdrew to Isurava. Deniki has breathtaking views of Yodda Valley and Kokoda where we take a break before continuing on.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

10

Day 10: Hoi - Kokoda - Sanananda (approx. 8 hours)

After a night at Hoi, we continue on the last leg of our trek to the finish at Kokoda, the site of First Battle of Kokoda, and Second Battle of Kokoda, early in the Kokoda Campaign. At the finish, we are ushered through the arches and congratulated by our porters. We take a break then take a tour of 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 in World War II. After Kokoda, we head for the nothern beaches by road. The drive takes us past Popondetta before reaching the coastal village of Sanananda which will be our home for the next couple of days for the tour of the northern beachheads. Time permitting, we take a guided tour of the Battle of Sanananda before settling in for the night in our lovely village guesthouse surrounded by lovely locals and curious onlookers.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

11

Day 11: Sanananda – Gona - Buna - Sanananda (approx. 8 hours)

After breakfast, we leave Sanananda for a tour of Gona and Buna. We begin with a tour of the Gona battle site before proceeding on to Buna. The Battle of the Beachheads at Gona, Sanananda, and Buna formed the final and bloody stage of the Papuan Campaign from 1942–43. Following the Kokoda Campaign, exhausted, battle-weary Australian and inexperienced American troops, began a brutal and daunting mission to destroy the Japanese-held beachheads at Gona, Buna and Sanananda, and it wasn’t easy against desperate defenders in well-constructed, and heavily fortified bunkers and trenches. After the tour, we return to Sanananda for one final night before flying back to Port Moresby.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

12

Day 12: Sanananda - Port Moresby (approx. 6 hours)

Today, we have breakfast and make the journey by road to Popondetta’s Girua Airport where we board our plane back to Port Moresby. The 30 minute flight takes us over the Kokoda Trail which took us 10 grueling days to complete. On arrival, we are met and transferred in the hotel bus back to our 4-star hotel accommodation at the Holiday Inn where we spend a night before leaving PNG the next day.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

12 Day Anzac Day Trek
12 Day Anzac Day Trek

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