12 Days
Duration
Leisurely, Tough
Physical Rating
Kokoda, Papua New Guinea, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea
Location
14+
Age
February- November
Dates

(KOKODA – RABAUL)

This fantastic trek and tour of Kokoda and Rabaul which covers the Kokoda Campaign and the battles of Rabaul,

will take you from the breathtaking and rugged jungles of mainland PNG to the turquoise coastal island province of the Gazelle Peninsula. We set off in Port Moresby and make the pilgrimage journey across the Owen Stanley’s on foot from Kokoda back to Owners’ Corner. Tour battle sites still bearing the scars of the bitter struggle between the Australians and Japanese, and experience the challenge the soldiers were faced with. Camp in jungle campsites amid exotic flora and fauna and beautiful villages, before finishing with a solemn side tour of the Bomana War Cemetery. We spend a night in Port Moresby before catching our flight the next morning to Rabaul. Part of the former Australian mandated territory sits on the “Ring of Fire”, and was last devastated by a volcanic eruption on 19 September 1994. Sit in on a presentation of Rabaul followed by welcome drinks on the eve of your arrival, before beginning your guided tour of battle sites and areas of military significance from Bite Parka to Rabaul. Finish off with a visit to the Montevideo Mara memorial to conclude what is a great expedition.

DESTINATION Kokoda – Owers’ Corner
DEPARTURE LOCATION Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
TOUR TYPE Commemorative
MIN PERSON 8
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 PNG 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
  • 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: Kokoda - Deniki (approx. 3.5 hours)

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This morning we’ll begin our trek at Kokoda. After a night at either the Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express in Port Moresby, we travel to the airport and fly to Popondetta. On arrival, we meet our vehicle and travel by road to Kokoda. The drive takes us past the battle sites, but now villages of Wairopi, Gorari, and Oivi. If we’re directly into Kokoda, it’s a short walk from the airstrip to the infamous plateau where we begin our trek. Kokoda is the site of the First Battle of Kokoda, and the Second Battle of Kokoda, early in the campaign. Kokoda was strategically important for the Allies, because it had the only airstrip between Port Moresby, and the beachheads of Gona and Buna. We tour of the battle site, memorials, and museum, before setting off. The trek takes us past the villages of Kovelo and Hoi, before reaching our campsite at Deniki, a battle site located on a prominent blunt-nosed spur with breathtaking views of Kokoda and the Yodda Valley. The Battle of Deniki was 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 camping for the night.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

2

Day 2: Deniki – Con’s Rock (approx. 5 hours)

Today, our head for our next campsite at Con’s Rock. After breakfast, we set-off and trek past thick rainforest, trickling jungle streams, and choko fields, before reaching the postwar Isurava village. After the village is Isurava Battlefield. The Battle of Isurava was the site of the first major battle of the Kokoda Campaign for the Australians. We take a guided tour of the famous battle site, visit the local museum and take pictures next to the famous granite pillars – etched with the words courage, endurance, mateship, and sacrifice – that serve as a memorial to the battles 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 later killed in action by an enemy sniper. After our tour, we continue to Con’s Rock, a flat rock Australian medical orderly Constantine Vafiopulous used as an operating table to conduct an amputation on a digger. The rock is located near 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 tour before having dinner and getting some rest.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

3

Day 3: Con’s Rock - Templeton's Crossing (approx. 8.5 hours)

Its day 3 and today our destination is Templeton’s Crossing. After Alola, our first stop is Alola 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 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. Following the tour, we head to Eora Creek where we stop briefly for a tour of the battle. 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 Eora, we trek to Templeton’s Crossing, the site of the Battle of Templeton’s Crossing which we tour before camping for the night. 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 fatherly-figure to the young and inexperienced soldiers in the Australian militia.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

4

Day 4: Templeton's Crossing - Kagi (approx. 7 hours)

Today, our next destination is the beautiful village of Kagi. After breakfast, we leave Templeton’s Crossing and trek to Dump1, the second crossing of the Eora Creek, where the Australians fought a battle during their withdrawal early in the campaign. After the dump, we trek up the precipitous muddy slopes to Kokoda Gap (also known as the “Gap”) which rises above the blanket of clouds over the mountain ranges on a cloudy day, and Mt Bellamy, the highest point along trail at 2190 m above sea level, before trekking past 1900 Campsite and Myola Track Junction. The section of the trail between the Gap and the junction turn-off 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 here, the trek takes us to Kagi Gap with panoramic views of Brigade Hill, Kagi and Naduri villages, and onto the Kagi. No fighting took place at Kagi because of the open terrain but it was used 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

5

Day 5: Kagi - Menari (approx. 7.5 hours)

After breakfast, we leave Kagi and trek to our next campsite at Kagi village. The trek past Kagi airstrip and down the precipitous slopes where hordes of Japanese with lanterns were seen coming down by the Australians defending Mission Ridge further south. This is the famous Japanese Lantern Parade.” We cross Efogi River and continue past Efogi 1 and 2, before making another climb past Mission Ridge and onto Brigade Hill. 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. The Australians were forced to withdraw further along the trail. We tour the battle site before continuing to Menari. Many troops passed through Menari like “Those Ragged Bloody Heroes” of the 39th Battalion, AMF, caught on camera by cinematographer Damien Parer, being commended by the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Honner, on parade in the village after weeks of fighting at Kokoda, Deniki Isurava, and Eora Creek.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

6

Day 6: Menari - Nauro (approx. 5 hours)

Today our destination is our campsite at Nauro village. We leave Menari and trek past Menari Gap and head down the steep slopes of “The Wall”, which takes us to Augulogo village. After the village, we trek along the bank of Nauro River, before crossing the river with the help of our porters, and trekking through the only swampy flats located along the Kokoda Trail. After the flats is our campsite located on spur with breathtaking views and its easily distinguishable red clayey soil. Wartime Nauro village was down in the flats in the vicinity of the river but due to dampness and mosquitoes it had to be relocated. Withdrawing Australian composite units, formed due to their reduced numbers from heavy fighting along the trail, continued the climb up range from Nauro, found a defensive position and camped before coming under attack from the advancing Japanese.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

7

Day 7: Nauro - Ioribaiwa (approx. 5.5 hours)

Following breakfast, we leave Nauro and trek up to Maguli Range and to our next campsite at Ioribaiwa village. A quick survey of the perimeter at rest stops in cleared areas will reveal Australian weapon pits from fighting along the range. We trek past Japanese Camp, and Japanese Ladder, steps cut by Japanese troops cut into the clayey soil, and Station 88, a probable site of a wartime carrier camp set in a clear and noticeably large kunai grassy patch, used sometimes as a helicopter-landing pad. After the station, we trek takes into Ofi Creek. Many sites were chosen by the Australians as suitable ambush positions, and Ofi Creek was one of them. From Ofi, we climb to Ioribaiwa Ridge, the furthest point of the Japanese advance which brought them within sight of their objective, Port Moresby. It’s 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 tour of the battle site, we continue down to Ioribaiwa village located on the southern slopes of the ridge where we camp for the night.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

8

Day 8: Ioribaiwa - Goodwater Campsite (approx. 6 hours)

Today, we leave Ioribaiwa destined for Goodwater campsite. The trek takes us down to Ua-Ule Creek, which we cross back and forth, around a dozen times, before making an unrelenting climb to Imita Ridge. Dump 44 supply dump is located in its vicinity before relocating to Dump 66 near Goodwater. 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 Ridge, we trek down the famous Golden Stairs, built by Australian engineers and Papuan labourers to make climbing to the top of the ridge much easier, to our campsite at Goodwater. We arrive in time for a nice cool bath in the nearby creek and a well awaited dinner on our last night on the trail.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

9

Day 9: Goodwater – Port Moresby (approx. 6 hours)

Today is our last day on our Kokoda trek. We leave Goodwater to the finish at Owers’ Corner. The trek takes us through sections of the trail used by horses and mules to transport supplies as far as Imita Ridge, Dump 66, established after Dump 44 near Ua-Ule was abandoned following the Japanese occupation of Ioribaiwa, and the abandoned Uberi village. After the village, we cross Goldie River, with the help of our porters, before making the last and final climb to Owers’ Corner. At the finish, we are ushered through the Kokoda arches and congratulated by our porters, before travelling by road to Port Moresby where we’ll a night at our hotel for the trip to Rabaul to the next for the second part of our tour.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

10

Day 10: Port Moresby – Rabaul (approx. 1.5 hours)

After a night back from the Kokoda Track, we leave the hotel after breakfast and make travel to the airport for the flight to Rabaul. We are met on arrival at Rabaul’s Tokua Airport and transferred to our hotel accommodation at the Gazelle Hotel in Kokopo. We receive a customary welcome from the locals with their harmonious recitals and singing. Lunch is an appetizing Tolai dish called the mumu before sitting on a presentation on Rabaul in preparation for our tour the next day. The rest of evening is spent relaxing before having dinner and getting some rest for the following day’s activities.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

11

Day 11: Rabaul – Namanula Hill – Blue Lagoon - Karavia – Bita Paka - Kokopo (approx. 8 hours)

After breakfast, we travel to Rabaul and begin our tour at the Lark Force and 2/22nd Battalion, and Montevideo Maru memorials in the township. From there, we head to the Rabaul Museum, and Yamamoto’s Bunker, for a look into its World War II past under the Japanese. After the bunker, we continue up to Namanula Hill for historical insights into the province’s colonial administration by the Germans under Governor Eduard Haber. Here, we stop there for lunch before continuing to Blue Lagoon, and Karavia, to view Japanese tunnels. Following Karavia, we travel to Bita Paka War Cemetery, containing over 1,000 burials from World I and War II. After visiting the cemetery, we view memorials dedicated to members of the Australian Army, and the Royal Australian Air Force, who lost their lives in the area, before returning to Kokopo to tour the East New Britain Historical and Cultural Centre. After the visit, we return to our hotel accommodation.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

12

Day 12: Rabaul - Port Moresby (approx. 1.5 hour)

Today brings to the end of adventurous commemorative tour. We pack our bags and farewell Rabaul then make the trip back to the airport where we board our flight back to Port Moresby. We are met on arrival and transferred to our 4-star hotel where we’ll spend the night for our trip back home the next day. The afternoon is spent relaxing by the pool and having a few at the bar followed by dinner and some rest.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

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