Trip detail at-a-glance
Join us on this emotional journey commemorating the heroic feats of Australias young soldiers during the Kokoda Campaign of the 2nd World War. As you trek the 96 kilometres of mountainous trail over the Maguli and Owen Stanley ranges, you will go beyond the history books and experience the terrain and perhaps the conditions in which the Australian and Japanese fought.
We begin our journey with a visit to Bomana Cemetery, before trekking from Owers Corner north along the track to finish at Kokoda. En route we will pass several historic sites including Imita Ridge the site of the Australian’s last stand and Ioribaiwa, the furthest point reached by the Japanese. We will recall the bravery of the young Australian soldiers at Brigade Hill, where vastly outnumbered,we suffered heavy casualties.
For many, the highlight of the trek will be participation in the Dawn Service at Isurava Memorial. Here you will have the opportunity to join with your fellow trekkers and our wonderful carriers in thanks and gratitude for the achievements of those young men and the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, the Papuan Carriers who were vital to the success of the campaign.
After reaching Kokoda, we travel to Popondetta and the return flight to Port Moresby.
Arrive in Port Moresby-Bomana Cemetery & Owers Corner (L,D)
On arrival you will be picked up at the airport by an Unforgettable Adventures representative and taken to our post trek hotel to drop off your non-trekking equipment. We then travel by road to Owers Corner, visiting Bomana Cemetery enroute. The cemetery contains 3,823 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 700 of them unidentified. Perched high up on the Sogeri Plateau is the point where The Kokoda Track commences. At Owers Corner we will pause for some photos, before commencing our trek with a downhill to the Goldie River. After crossing the river, we will continue to Uberi – also known as Goodwater Camp – for our first night on the track. As our meal is prepared, we will gather together for a briefing to discuss the upcoming activities, a chance to meet your fellow trekkers and some of the carriers. We enjoy our first meal together as a group. Overnight: Goodwater Camp.
Ioribaiwa Camp – (B,L,D)
This morning we will set off early for our first full day. We will travel past “Dump 66” and other staging points before climbing up the “Golden Staircase”, which leads us up to Imita Ridge. It is here that the Australian soldiers retreated to make their last stand. Photographs of this section from the war show the staircase as a seemingly endless series of muddy clay steps cut into the mountainside.
The north side of Imita Ridge takes us along a winding track through many creek crossings. A deep canyon with encroaching jungle foliage makes this a fascinating experience. We will pause to enjoy the pretty village of Ua-Ule before continuing with a climb up Ioribaiwa Ridge. It was here, within sight of Port Moresby, that the Japanese soldiers, having run out of supply, were ordered by their command to ‘advance to the rear’. Overnight: Ioribaiwa Camp.
An early climb will get the heart pumping as we make our way to the top of Ioribaiwa Ridge where we will see many Japanese trenches. We will pause at Ofi Creek, perched on terraces above the intersection of several cascading mountain streams.
Crossing Ofi Creek, we encounter the steep mountain climb and false peaks of the Maguli Range. As we approach the summit, the “Japanese Ladder” provides us with our last steep climb for the day. This is followed by a long downhill walk to the village of Nauro, our camp for the night. Overnight: Nauro.
One of the most beautiful vistas along the track is best-viewed early morning, and as we leave Nauro, we look out over mountain ranges that still hold mist and cloud not yet touched by the day’s heat. Our challenges today include what can be a slippery swampland track and the fast flowing Brown River.
After crossing the Brown, we hit “The Wall”, a steep ridge line which leads us up to the Manari gap. One of the last few Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels resides here and we will take the opportunity to meet a living legend (health permitting).
Efogi 2 (B,L,D)
Today we commence a steep climb up to Brigade Hill, towards the village of Efogi. Brigade Hill was the focus of a major 4-day battle, which saw the Japanese outflank and cut the Australian positions in two.
Look in awe at the steep easterly slope where 300 Australians escaped the onslaught of a well-planned Japanese attack. Three weeks later, gaunt, exhausted & malaria-riddled soldiers were filtering into friendly villages still carrying 120 of their wounded mates on stretchers. After lunch at Efogi, which has a small museum and is well worth the visit, we continue with another 3 hours of hard trekking. Overnight: Efogi 2 or Naduri
Templetons 1 (B,L,D)
After descending into the gorge and crossing the Efogi River, we climb up through the village of Naduri and over the main spine of the Owen Stanley Range. As we continue on, we reach our highest altitude as we cross Mt Bellamy at just on 2,190 metres above sea level (Mount Kosciusko is 2,228 mts). Antarctic Beech forest, phosphorescent fungi and giant Pandanus line the track as we wind our way through to “Diggers Rest” camp.
The next section of the track was one many ‘diggers’ believed was the most difficult section of the track. They were exhausted from continual fighting, lack of sleep and often wounded. A break at Kokoda Gap gives an insight into the lack of understanding that General MacArthur and Blamey had of the conditions our men were fighting in. The command to “blow the Gap” was ridiculous in the extreme! A short downhill will take us into our camp for the night. Overnight: Templetons 1
We commence our trek today to Templetons 2, before moving on to Eora Creek, the site of a major battle where many lives from both side were lost. During the Australian advance track, Eora Creek was the scene of bitter fighting when the Australians sought to overcome a strong Japanese defensive position. Ninety-nine Australians were killed in the battle of Eora Creek and another 192 were wounded.
We then begin a steady climb through numerous valleys to Alola, where we are rewarded with magnificent views of the valley. From here we trek the final distance to Isurava Battlefield, our home for the evening. Overnight: Isurava Battlefield
This day commences with the emotion of our Day Dawn Service at the Isurava Memorial. This is a moving experience, and a wonderful opportunity to recognise the deeds and sacrifices of our soldiers and their support, the loyal Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.
Following some reflection time, we commence a long downhill to the beautiful village of Hoi. The cool waters of the creek are your reward for a long day and will provide relief for aching muscles. The remainder of the walk is characterised by a long flat walk through palm oil and rubber tree plantations. The rubber plantation was the scene of a remarkable retreat. Here, friend and foe were indistinguishable due to heavy fog and the confusion of battle. Several soldiers of the 39th battalion were caught behind the advancing Japanese lines. Bravely and stealthily, they made their way through the Japanese lines to re-join their mates and continue the fight.
As we reach our traditional finishing point at the Kokoda Memorial Arch, take pride in your achievement over the last 8 or so days, and reflect on the accomplishment of our soldiers and the hardships they had to endure. Overnight: Kokoda
Port Moresby (B)
After breakfast, we board a PMV for Popondetta for your return flight to Port Moresby. It will take 25 minutes to fly over what took us eight and a half days to walk. Your evening meal at the hotel (not included in tour price) is an opportunity to swap tales, reflect on your journey, and celebrate the achievement of completing one of the great treks of the World. Overnight: Port Moresby
Tour ends (meals not included in Hotel)
Transfer to Jackson’s airport for return flight.
Prices and departures
Prices start from just $2250.00 (AUS) per person.
We offer discounts for groups of 10 or more. Private treks are available so please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Private departure dates are available for groups of 8 or more.
2018 Departure dates;
ANZAC 75th Anniversary Trek; April 18th-27th
39th Battalion Commemorative Trek; July 31st-Aug 9th
Inclusions and exclusions
- Australian Tour Leader (with group size of 8 or more)
- Local PNG Trek Master & Trek Leader
- Domestic Flights (PNG)
- Accommodation in Port Moresby (1 night)
- Guest house accommodation on track
- All village tariffs
- Carriers for food and equipment
- All meals on track including nutritionally balanced food
- Detailed Risk Management Plan including river-crossing protocols.
- Proven group management with responsible ecological practices
- Village cultural activities
- Detailed historical narration
- Participation in Dawn Service at Isurava Memorial
- Emergency equipment including Satellite Phone
- KTA Trekking Permit (value $200 Aus)
- Bus/PMV transport in PNG
- Hotel/airport transfers
- All food, accommodation & home transport for carriers
- Free UNFORGETTABLE ADVENTURES walking Shirt
- Opportunity to join regular training sessions and /or a copy of our Professionally designed training program.
- Public Liability Insurance
Cost does not include
- Travel insurance, which covers emergency Rescue and Evacuation.
- International and Australian domestic airfares
- Passport & Visa costs
- Vaccinations and anti-malarial medicines
- Personal expenditure including alcohol
- Personal carrier (highly recommended)
- Meals not included in Itinerary and at Hotel
- Any other expenses which are not mentioned on ‘Price Includes’ section.
What type of shape do I need to be in, is this trip for me?
Unforgettable Adventures is a stand alone company when it comes to developing the fitness and preparation of our trekkers.
We are proud of the success rate of our trekkers and have never had a retirement from the track due to poor fitness
from anyone who has adhered to our program!
Physical and mental preparation are by far the most important prerequisites for any kind of trekking
activity. You do not have to be super fit to complete Kokoda, Everest Base Camp, or indeed any of our tours. We will assist and monitor you to ensure you have the required fitness to complete the trek.
Will somebody come to pick me up at the airport upon my arrival?
Yes. Our staff and/or the Hotel representative will meet and greet you at the airport.
Will I be safe?
Your Adventure should be unforgettable for all the right reasons. Safety of our clients, staff and support communities are paramount, and we adhere to strict guidelines developed over many years of operations in remote, isolated areas and often, in developing countries.
Our leaders are First aid qualified to International Standards and are highly experienced in what they are doing and in the countries we operate in.
Is it dangerous?
Everything you do has some inherent level of Risk. To minimize the hazards of Risk, we have developed comprehensive Risk assessment and management strategies for every destination. If the circumstance arises where we need assistance, we have a reliable and competent support network in the areas we operate in.