The Kokoda Trail is our most famous trek here in Papua New Guinea. It is steeped in WWII history and is an emotional and physically challenging walk. Our bond with the Koiari people along the track is strong. Our sustainable development projects in the villages are ongoing and were up to the last 18 months due to COVID were bringing in an income for the villagers through trekking.
The long days include river crossings, steep and gradual ascends and descends. The 96 kilometre trek is predominately through rain forest. Usually conditions are wet and slippery as rain can be expected on most days. Temperatures range from 24-30 degrees celcius during the day and 16-24 degrees celsius at night.
This track was made famous during WWII and still bares the scars of a fierce campaign. You do not need to have a connection with the WWll Kokoda campaign to walk the track. Just to walk the track and tick the box that you have completed one of the top 10 hardest treks in the world is an achievement in itself. It is the most beautiful walk, the scenery is stunning, we get to camp out and integrate with our PNG crew working for us. There is a lot of singing and telling of stories around camp fires in the evenings.
Our guides are based over at Kokoda Station and are very experienced most of them with over 100 treks across the track.
When we stay in villages your guide will take you for a walk around the village so you get to meet all our friends. Even if you are born here in Papua New Guinea it is still nice to visit other provinces and areas in PNG. They will talk to you about the Koiari culture. The Koiari people are warm, friendly and generous people who welcome trekkers onto their land.
Your must be very fit to walk Kokoda, it is one of the top 10 hardest treks in the world. The fitter you are the more enjoyable the trek will be. Once you commit to walking Kokoda focus is the key. Pam can help you with a training routine, Port Moresby especially is a great city to train in.
The best time to do the track is between the end of April and the beginning of November.
Meeting point this morning is the Royal Papua Yacht Club 5am sharp, it is very we important we are not late as is crucial the group gets an early start on the track. Driving direct to Owers Corner, depending on the condition of the road this will take 1- 1/2 hours. Our adventure starts here, everyone will meet our PNG crew and be introduced to their personal guides. Trekkers are ready to walk on arrival at Owers Cnr, our first challenge being a steep descent to Goldie River, taking boots off for this crossing. We now begin the long ascent up onto Imita Ridge this will take approximately 3-4 hours to reach the top, another couple of hours down to Va Ule Creek which is where we will stop for a late lunch. At the base of Imita Ridge after descending we advise trekkers to take off their boots and walk in river shoes as there are many small river crossings between here and the base of the climb up to Ioribaiwa Village. From our lunch spot it is another 2 - 2 1/2 hours up to Ioribaiwa Village which is our campsite for tonight. Accommodation – Campsite (BLD)
Every morning the group will be woken up at 5am and will be walking by 6:30am. Our crew will take down your tents whilst trekkers are having breakfast, before setting off your guide will brief the group on what is happening today on the track and a wellness check of each trekker. This morning it is up, up onto Ioribaiwa Ridge. This is where the Japanese were instructed by Tokyo to retreat back to the beaches. It is steep descent down to Ofi Creek, stop here for a break before the group tackles the Maguli Range. This is the range that keeps on giving, many muddy false picks. 4 hours later arriving at Naoro Village which is our campsite for the night. Today is a long hard day. Accommodation – Campsite (BLD)
This morning for a nice change the group starts off walking down the false peaks arriving at what we call the swamp area along the track. It can be particularly challenging if wet under foot. Crossing the Brown River on the way. Arriving at what we call the "Wall" this is a challenging climb up onto Menari Ridge. On the way stopping at the Nauro lookout which has great views across where we have been walking the past several days. Still climbing we will arrive at the Menari Gap with more extensive views looking forward to where we will be walking over the next several days. From here we walk down for 1 1/2 hrs into Menari Village. Menari being the second biggest populated village along the track with approximately 250 people living here. Well serviced with an elementary school, health centre, air strip and communication with a VHF radio station installed. Uluve, Wamia, and the Golebi clans reside around this area. This is our campsite for the night. Accommodation – Campsite (BLD)
Out again this morning at the usual time walking down to the Vabuyavi River. Crossing the river and slowly, slowly making our way up for 2 1/2 to 3 hours onto Brigade Hill. This is a particularly hard grind. Keep in the back of your mind that it is a shorter day today. Not easier just shorter.
It was here that the biggest battle of the Kokoda Campaign was fought. We will stop for a hot drink and something to eat and relax taking in the amazing views north and south of the track. We will then walk along Mission Ridge down to Efogi Creek, walking another 15 minutes up to Efogi Village which is our campsite for the night. Around 350 people live here, being the largest village along the track. This afternoon we have time to rest our weary bodies, drink lots of cups of tea/coffee, go for a walk around the village and generally just relax. We are now at the half way point of our journey. There is a health centre, school and an airstrip and communication via a VHF radio station. Our second half of the treks food is also flown in here for us to pick up. Accommodation - Campsite (BLD)
It takes 20 minutes this morning to walk out of the village down to Kavai River before tackling a steep 40 minutes climb to Launumu Village. Carrying on through the village before a very steep drop down to Efogi Creek. From here it is a steep ascent for 1 1/2 hours into Naduri Village our lunch time spot. We will be very grateful for the break. After lunch we start climbing again for the majority of the afternoon we are slowly making our way to the base of Mt Bellamy. This has to be one of the most beautiful areas along the Kokoda Trail. Walking through the moss forest and massive pandanas trees bearing down on us. Arriving at our Campsite for the night late afternoon. Accommodation - Campsite (BLD)
Day 6: 1900 Campsite to Templeton's 2 Campsite
We are still climbing this morning for 3 hours through the moss forest until we arrive at the Kokoda Gap, hopefully it is a clear view and we will get views down the Yodda Valley towards our destination of Kokoda. From here it is 1 1/2 hours down to Templeton's Crossing 1, we will stop here for lunch and a hot drink before another hours hiking up arriving at the top at the Boili Mail Exchange. This is where mailbags from Port Moresby and Popondetta were exchanged between the mail men. It will take us an hour descending down to Templeton's 2 which is our campsite for the night. This area was named by Captain Kienzle after his friend Captain Sam Templeton who was killed forward of Kokoda when the Australians first came into contact with the Japanese at the beginning of the campaign. Accommodation - Campsite (BLD)
The young men of the 39th Battalion fought here, well outnumbered by the Japanese. It was here that the AIF professional soldiers arrived to shore up the 39th. Even though the Australians had to withdraw due to overwhelming odds they inflicted on the Japanese high casualties and forced them to use up much valuable ammunition and supplies. This morning we walk 1 1/2 hours along the ridge into Isurava Village and will stop here for morning tea. It is then down, down, down along through the abandoned village gardens which are now over grown with choko vines into Deneki. We will stop here for lunch and admire great views down to Kokoda Station and the Yodda Valley. After lunch we have a further 45 min descent down to Hoi Village before walking for 2 hours along the flat into Kokoda. Accommodation - Campsite (BLD)
Congratulations everyone, you have just completed one of the world's toughest treks and have climbed nearly 5,500 metres and descended almost the same figure.
An early start this morning to connect with flight at Popendetta to Port Moresby. The group will arrange private pick up at the domestic airport today. This evening the group will meet for dinner and presentation of certificates and polo shirts.
This morning for a nice change the group starts off walking dow
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