9 Days
Duration
Tough
Physical Rating
Kokoda, Papua New Guinea
Location
14+
Age
April – May
Dates

(OWERS CORNER – KOKODA)

Celebrate ANZAC Day in Papua New Guinea at Isurava battlefield along the Kokoda Trail during this trek with an expert bilingual Australian tour leader and the best tour group.

Take guided tours of battle sites and areas of military significance from Bomana War Cemetery to Kokoda. See defensive positions still covered with weapon pits, trenches, unexploded ordnance and war relics, a stark reminder of the ferocity and magnitude of one of the most notable battles in Australian military history. As you face your personal challenges on this arduous journey, pay homage to the soldiers and servicmen who fought and fell during the Kokoda Campaign at an Anzac Day dawn service at Isurava. You’ll also experience and enjoy trekking through one of the most pristine tropical rainforests in the world while you camp in beautiful villages and remote jungle campsites in the upper reaches of the mighty Owen Stanley Range. And form long lasting bonds and friendships with the lovely locals  who you’ll get to meet and trek with, whose forefathers supported the Australian war effort as carriers and soldiers during the Kokoda campaign in the Second World War.

DESTINATION Owers’ Corner – Kokoda
DEPARTURE LOCATION Port Moresby
TOUR TYPE Pilgrimage
MIN PERSON 4
TOUR LEADER Australian
EXPERT GUIDE Papua New Guinean
 TOUR DURATION  9 Days
TRAVEL DURATION 2-Days (Transit Holiday Inn Express/Holiday Inn, Port Moresby)
TOTAL TRIP DURATION  11 Days
WEAR See Plan Your Trip

What’s Included

  • Trek Permit with Kokoda Track Authority.
  • Expert bilingual Australian tour leader.
  • Experienced PNG tour guide.
  • ANZAC Day dawn service at Isurava battlefield.
  • 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 and breakfast in Port Moresby (Holiday Inn Express /Holiday Inn).
  • Charter /domestic flight post-trek (Kokoda-Port Moresby / Popondetta-Port Moresby).
  • Road transport to drop-off and pickup points (Port Moresby-Owers’ Corner and Kokoda-Popondetta).
  • 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.
  • Wages, flights, hotel accommodation, meals and transport for guide and porters.
  • Trek rations and camping supplies.
  • Cooking and meal preparation.
  • Delicious and nutritious western-style and local meals.
  • Water resupply plan and procedure.
  • Daily situational trek updates.
  • Free souvenir Kokoda t-shirt and cap.

What’s Not Included

  • Dinner at hotel.
  • 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.
1

Day 1: Owers' Corner - Ua-Ule (approx. 6.5 hours)

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Today, we leave Port Moresby for the drop-off point of the Kokoda Trail to begin our long awaited nine day trek.  En route, we tour stop at Bomana War Cemetery to pay our respects at the graves of fallen soldiers, and McDonald’s Corner, the original road head of the Kokoda Trail in World War II. Our destination today is our campsite at Ua-Ule campsite. From Owers’ Corner, we trek down the section 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 the descent with the help of our porters, before trekking past the abandoned Uberi village, the site of a field dressing station, Dump 66, established after Dump 33 near Ua-Ule was abandoned following Japanese occupation of Ioribaiwa, and Goodwater.  From there, we head 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 where 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 trek down precipitous slopes to Ua-Ule Creek where we establish our camp for the night.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

2

Day 2: Ua-ule - Ofi Creek (approx. 4 hours)

Today our destination is Ofi Creek. After spending our first night on the trail at Ua-Ule, the site of Dump 44, we leave our campsite and cross the creek back and forth, numerous times, before making another unrelenting climb to Ioribaiwa village where we stop briefly for a rest. After Ioribaiwa village with its panoramic views of Imita Ridge and the surrounding mountain ranges, we continue the 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 wartime Ioribaiwa village before being relocated on the southern slopes, 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, in time for a nice cool bath in the creek, a good meal, and some rest. Many places along the trail offered suitable positions 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)

It’s Day 3, and today our destination is our campsite at Nauro village. After Ofi, we trek up to Maguli Range which will take us to Nauro. 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 and head up to the peak of Maguli Range to Nauro lookout, where we stop briefly to enjoy breathtaking views of Nauro and the towering Owen Stanley Range. 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. On the range, a quick survey of the perimeter at rest stops in cleared areas, will reveal Australian weapon pits from the fighting. From the lookout, we trek down to our campsite at Nauro with plenty of time for sightseeing and photographs around the village with its red clayey soil which can be seen from the air.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

4

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

After a night at beautiful Nauro, our destination today is Menari village. Following breakfast, we leave the campsite, and trek 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 up to a beautiful lookout where we stop briefly and enjoy breathtaking views of Nauro and the mountain ranges to the south. After the rest stop, we continue the trek to 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, AMF, caught on camera by cinematographer Damien Parer, as they were being commended on parade in the village by their Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Honner, following weeks of intense fight north of the trail at Kokoda, Deniki, Isurava, and Eora Creek. Menari has a nice creek where we can go for a bath after settling in camp.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

5

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

After a night in Menari, we leave bound for Kagi after breakfast. The trek takes us past Menari airstrip before crossing Vaibuagi River, and heading up unrelentingly to Brigade Hill, the site of another famous battle 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 along the trail. We take a solemn guided tour of the battle site before continuing 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 the north. This was the famous “Japanese Lantern Parade.” We continue and head past Efogi 1 and 2, before crossing Efogi River and trekking up 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. We enter the village to a rousing Fuzzy Wuzzy welcome from lovely locals with their war cries and charming village choir before taking a bath and preparing for dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

6

Day 6: Kagi - Templeton’s Crossing (approx. 7 hours)

From Kagi, we trek to Templeton’s Crossing. After leaving the village, the trek takes up to Kagi Gap, which provides a beautiful vista of Brigade Hill, Kagi and Naduri villages, before reaching Myola turn-off and 1900 Campsite. After 1900, we make the climb to the peak of Mt Bellamy, the highest point on the Kokoda Trail, at 2190 m above sea level, which takes onto 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 the area that’s 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. After the Gap, we take the precipitous muddy drop to Dump 1, the first crossing of Eora Creek, where the Australians fought a battle during their withdrawal. From the dump, we trek to our campsite at Templeton’s Crossing, the site of the Battle of Templeton’s Crossing. 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. Templeton went missing during delaying actions near Oivi. In camp, we tour the battle site before having a bath in Eora Creek, having a nice dinner, and getting some rest.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

7

Day 7: Templeton's Crossing - Isurava (approx. 7.5 hours)

From Templeton’s Crossing, we trek to Eora Creek, where we stop briefly for a tour of the 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. After the brief stop, we continue along the trail and take 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 continue the trek past Alola, the location of Maroubra Force headquarters during the fighting at Isurava and Abuari located to the eastern side of the Eora gorge. After Alola is Con’s Rock where we stop briefly to view a 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. From there we trek to the famous Isurava battlefield where we take a guided tour of the battlefield and memorial with its local museum and granite pillars – etched with the words courage, endurance, mateship, and sacrifice – that serve as a memorial to the battle’s fallen before setting up camp. The Battle of Isurava was the first major battle of the Kokoda Campaign for the Australians.. 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.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

8

Day 8: Isurava - Hoi (approx. 5.5 hours)

We wake up at about 4:00 am for the Anzac Day dawn service followed by group photos before leaving for our last and final campsite at Hoi village. Today’s trek tales us past the postwar Isurava village and Deniki on the way there. Deniki located on a  blunt nosed spur with breathtaking views of Yodda Valley and Kokoda is the site of the Battle of Deniki, a relatively short battle between the Australians and Japanese following the battles at Kokoda before Australians withdrew to Isurava. We tour the area before having lunch and trekking down to Hoi. We arrive in ample time for a nice cool bath and some washing before having dinner and presenting of gifts and tips with our porters.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

9

Day 9: Hoi - Kokoda (approx. 3.5 hours)

After breakfast and farewell formalities, we head off on the final last leg of our trek to Kokoda station.  At the finish, we are ushered through the arches and congratulated before making our way to tour the Kokoda battle site. Kokoda is the site of First Battle of Kokoda and Second Battle of Kokoda early in the campaign. The location was strategically important because it had the only airstrip between Port Moresby and the beachheads of Gona and Buna. After the tour, we make the trip by road on our vehicle, stopping at Popondetta town to grab some lunch and souvenirs, before getting dropped off at Girua Airport for the  flight back to Port Moresby. On arrival, we meet our airport shuttle and return to our hotel where we spend the night before leaving PNG the next day.

Meals: Breakfast

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