The Kokoda Track
|Papua New Guinea
"The endless trail winds ever on, cross gorges wild and deep. O'er perilous bridges of swaying vines, our eyes alert we keep. Round mountain side and cliff high face, where torrents far below, race on their swift and turbulent way as down chasms deep they flow." - Corporal Peter Coverdale.
Why we love it:
- Papua New Guinea is a young nation, but has endured a colourful and, at times, bloody history. The Kokoda Track is one of many walking tracks that existed long before Europeans came into this part of the world.
- During the course of World War II, the Japanese decided to use this trail as a means of launching a ground attack against the Australians in Port Moresby. You will walk in the footsteps of Australian troops.
- On this trek, you will explore the complete route of the campaign starting from the village of Kokoda and eventually working our way west to Owers’ Corner, perched high on Sogeri Plateau.
- When you arrive at Owers' Corner we will have completed a crossing of the central spine of Papua New Guinea, paid homage at all the main battle sites and also gained an appreciation for the rugged beauty of the region.
- The Kokoda Track was the scene of some of the bloodiest conflicts in the Second World War. Today it is one of the world’s classic overland walks.
- Crossing Papua New Guinea’s mighty Owen Stanley Range is an arduous trek – only suitable for the fit, adventurous and prepared.
- The 90-kilometre trek follows the trail used during World War II, taking in mountain passes, snaking along ridges and descending into deep gullies.
- Along the way you will visit small, isolated villages, war sites, ancient forests and extinct volcanic craters.
- Peregrine is the only company that works with a local co-operative to ensure villages and communities benefit directly from visitors walking the Kokoda Track.
- Our local operator is a co-operative involving 11 villages along the trail.
- Your porters and guides come from these villages – they're the direct descendants of the fabled 'fuzzy-wuzzies' who played such a pivotal role in assisting Australian troops in World War II.
- Trekking with family members of those who helped the Australian diggers is the most atmospheric way to take in the stupendous landscapes and humbling war sites.
- To walk in the footsteps of the soldiers and learn what they endured from the people who helped them helps turn a mentally and physically challenging trek into an emotional journey as well.
- Employing locals also means that in a place where jobs and opportunities are scarce, their work brings needed and valuable benefits to their communities, both economically and by acquiring new skills.
- The wider community benefits from our approach as well - for example, the campsites we use are owned by the villages, meaning every time you stay there the locals benefit.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1: Port Moresby
- Upon arrival in Port Moresby, you will be met and transferred to your hotel, which is located close to the airport.
- Your transfer driver will be waiting outside of the terminal holding a Peregrine sign with your name on it.
- There is a pre-trip briefing in the evening, where you will meet your fellow travelers, trek leader and local trekking crew. This may be followed by an optional dinner together (at your own expense).
Day 2: Port Moresby to Kokoda/Deniki/Hoi
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
- This morning you will travel to Kokoda from Port Moresby on a single-engine light plane.
- This flight takes approximately 25 minutes. Upon arrival in Kokoda you will make your way on foot from the airstrip to the nearby Kokoda Station, where the guesthouse for our travellers is located.
- Here you will be welcomed by the local trekking team, and introduced to your personal porters and food porters.
- In Kokoda it is possible to roam freely around the station and visit such monuments as the Kokoda Memorial and war museum. Lunch and dinner will be provided by the trekking team and served up at the guest house.
- Kokoda is a very hot and humid place, however you will have the opportunity to cool off with a refreshing swim in a nearby river.
- Weather and group dependent, you may trek as far as Hoi (1½-3 hrs) or Deniki (4-6 hrs) today.
- Remember to be flexible and have a sense of humor on this trip, you are working on PNG time for the next 9 days.
Day 3: Kokoda to Isurava
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
- Today you will commence your first day of trekking heading to Isurava village. On the way you will travel through Deniki village. The 39th Battalion was forced to retreat here after Japanese forces occupied Kokoda.
- The journey to Deniki from Kokoda commences with a nice flat walk, passing through rows of palm oil and rubber tree plantations.
- You will pass through Kovelo and Hoi villages along the way, and after the final crossing at Hoi you will commence your first steep ascent up the Owen Stanley Range to 1000 metres above sea level.
- You will follow the ridge around to Deniki, which sits about 900 metres above sea level. At Deniki you will be greeted with spectacular views across Kokoda Valley.
- The trek to Alola commences with a 2-2½ hour walk to Isurava village. You will pass through a number of choko gardens that were planted by Deniki and Isurava villagers, as well as a number of good water holes where you can fill up your water bottles or camel packs.
- Be sure to ask your trek leader or your personal porters about where the best fill-up points are.
- Isurava is located at 1100 metres above sea level. The village has been relocated several times since World War II, but now sits in a very tranquil location with good access to water and sunshine - very important for the local villagers and their gardens.
Day 4: Isurava to Templetons Crossing II
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
- The trek to Templetons Crossing II commences with a 45 minute to one-hour hike to the famous battleground, and now memorial ground, Isurava Battlefield.
- Here you will enjoy a good break and have the opportunity to see the battlefield and its surroundings.
- This memorial was built by the Australian Federal Government and is maintained by the Australian War Graves Department. The four pillars encapsulate the battle along the Kokoda Track with the four words - ‘Courage, Sacrifice, Mateship and Endurance’.
- These are four words that are sure to resonate with you as you hike the remainder of the journey to Owers' Corner.
- This battle is attributed to the heroics of Private Kingsbury, a real estate agent from Victoria who was enlisted to fight in New Guinea with the 2/14th Infantry Battalion. His heroics at Isurava earned him a Victoria Cross when he was said to have held off an onslaught of invading Japanese soldiers with his Bren gun. This event was enough to give the retreating Australian troops enough time to escape from total annihilation and for reinforcement troops to arrive.
- The unfortunate death of Private Kingsbury occurred on the rock when he was struck in the head by a Japanese sniper. His story is one of the many legends that you will encounter throughout our journey along the Kokoda Track.
- Following your break at Isurava, you will continue for 1½-2 hours to the village of Alola. This is a beautifully located village that sits on the mountainside overlooking Iora Valley and Auberi.
- At the time when the Australian troops commenced the retreat of Isurava, they decided to split up with one party trekking across Iora Creek to Auberi and the other following the ridge down to Alola.
- This split was planned to act as a diversion for the Japanese and to place the Australian troops at the best vantage points across the valley.
- You will continue the trek to Templeton’s Crossing which takes roughly five hours. This leg of the walk passes through beautiful, lush rainforest, complimented by a multitude of trickling creeks and rivers that feed straight out off the mountain springs.
- You will commence with a 30-minute steep descent down to the first river crossing, followed by a number of ascents and descents which follow the ridge around to Iora Creek, where you will enjoy a short break and refresh yourself in the river.
- During the war, Australian troops suffered a high number of fatalities at Iora Creek. The Australian supply and storage facility was located at Templeton’s Crossing. It was also a burial ground where Australian soldiers from the Battle of Iora Creek were laid to rest.
- The burial ground at the guesthouse is marked with iron rods symbolising each individual soldier or body found at the site. These bodies were removed at the end of the war and relocated to Bomana War Cemetery.
- The walk from Iora Creek to Templeton’s Crossing will take approximately 2½ to 3 hours depending on the speed with which you trek.
- Upon arrival in Templeton’s Crossing II, you will settle into the guesthouse, which is owned by a cooperative partner. You can treat yourself to a refreshing swim in the fast-flowing Iora Creek.
Day 5: Templetons Crossing II to Digger's Camp
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
- You have a tough day of trekking ahead today - you will be climbing to the highest point of the trek at Mount Bellamy. Mount Bellamy is 2200 metres above sea level and provides some spectacular views across the Owen Stanley Ranges.
- The track towards Digger’s Camp can be one of the more difficult legs, especially in wet conditions. It’s not too steep, but can be muddy and slippery. Be sure to stay close to your personal porter and follow his every step.
- At Digger’s Camp you will be accommodated at the local village guest house, which is set in amongst lush rainforest. The campsite is just over 2000 metres above sea level, so it can get very cold at nights. After checking in to the campsite you will take a walk to Myola, which is a beautiful flat plain of grassland with little creeks flowing through.
- During the war, Australian troops had utilised Myola’s airstrip to drop in supplies. When making their advance to Port Moresby the Japanese completely missed Myola, which probably played a significant role in the ultimate chain of events.
- There were once many aircraft remains scattered around Myola, but since the war, local villagers have salvaged much of what was left for scrap metal.
Day 6: Digger’s Camp to Efogi
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
- You will head towards Efogi village today - a hike that takes about six hours. You will start off heading towards the northern face of Mount Bellamy, where you will enjoy spectacular views across the villages of Naduri, Kagi, Brigade Hill, Nauro and, in the distance, Imita Ridge.
- The leg down to Naduri is a long and steady, and you will be exposed to the harsh sun as the majority of this sector passes through open Kunai grassland. Be sure to have your hat and sunscreen on hand. It is also recommend that you wear a long sleeve shirt.
- You will have a short break at Naduri and then commence the trek down the ridge towards Efogi I. The descent will take up to 1½ hours and is very steep and slippery. The climb up to Efogi I is also very steep and slippery. Your personal porters will keep a very close eye on you.
- You will enjoy a well-deserved rest upon reaching Efogi I. The local village will have a range of their local fruits and other foods on display. Be sure to carry some small change so you can purchase some of their produce, all of which is organically grown.
- After the break at Efogi I you will continue your trek down to Efogi II, which involves a one-hour descent. This leg is relatively short but will be exhausting and energy sapping - it will be the middle of the day by this point, and there isn’t much canopy protection. Make sure you’re hydrated and have good sun cover protection.
- On arrival into Efogi II you will be greeted by the local village and accommodated at a cooperative guesthouse owned by the Siosi family. Efogi II is the largest of the Koiari villages along the trail, with an estimated population of 400-500 people.
- The elementary school has more than 150 students. The kids of Efogi are a lively bunch with plenty of vibrant energy.
Day 7: Efogi to Menari
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
- You will have an early start today, as you head towards the village of Menari. The trek today involves a decent climb up to Mission Ridge following the path taken by the retreating Australian soldiers, which ultimately lead to the ambush that took place on top of Brigade Hill.
- The Aussie troops occupied the Seventh Day Adventist mission during the war, using it as a shelter and storage facility.
- After the first climb of the morning you can turn back and look over Mount Bellamy, Efogi I and II and Kagi villages in the distance. Just imagine the sight of 20,000 Japanese troops marching down Mount Bellamy towards Kagi village with illuminated lanterns, which seemed to the Australian troops like a sea of fireflies lighting the night sky.
- Their advance was so swift and clinical that within a few days they had completely occupied the base of Brigade Hill. The walk to Brigade Hill from Efogi takes approximately 1½ hours. It is a decent walk following the ridge of Brigade Hill or Mission Ridge, as it was referred to during the war.
- Upon reaching Brigade Hill you will come across a huge tree trunk that looks big enough to house a person. This is exactly what happened during the war. There is a story about a Japanese soldier who hid himself in the tree trunk after losing his band of comrades in battle. The Japanese soldiers had promised each other that whoever survived the war would need to return and locate the remains of their comrades.
- This Japanese soldier, who is now known as the ‘Bone Collector’, marked this particular tree that saved his life, and ultimately fulfilled the promise he had made to his fallen comrades.
- At Brigade Hill your trek leader and local historian will relate the story about Brigade Hill and how the Australian troops were engulfed or ambushed by fast-approaching Japanese troops. Over 75 Australian soldiers fell at Brigade Hill and there is a plaque at the top of the hill that commemorates this.
- Glorious views can be enjoyed from the top of Brigade Hill and, on a clear day, you can see across to Mount Victoria - the highest mountain in the region. To the southeast you will see views to Nauro village and Maguli Ridge. In two days time you will be climbing to the top of Maguli, along the infamous and heartbreaking Nine False Peaks.
- After a long break at Brigade Hill you will head down the back of Mission Ridge for about two hours - this is a steep and sometimes very slippery path to walk.
- At the bottom of the valley is a beautiful waterway and from there it's a 40 minute climb to Menari village.
- At Menari you will be welcomed by the local villagers including one of the three last remaining Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, Faole Bokoi, who is the father of our cooperative partner, Saii Faole.
- Faole is a lovely old man and is more then willing to share a few yarns about his time during the war and his involvement with the Kokoda campaign.
Day 8: Menari to Nauro
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
- Today you will set off by initially climbing up to the top of Menari Ridge. This is a steep climb and a perfect way to kick-start the day. It should take approximately 1½ hours to get to the top, and once again there will be some spectacular views towards Nauro and looking back towards Brigade Hill from here.
- Mentally this is an important point in the trek, you have essentially broken the back of the Kokoda Track, and this provides a great psychological boost.
- After a short break at the top of Menari Ridge you will then trek down the back, which is an extremely steep and sometimes slippery walk that should take about an hour.
- At the base of Menari Ridge you will enter Nauro Valley, where you will pass through Agu Logo campsite and then cross the mighty Brown River. Today is a relatively short walk as you will spend the majority of the day walking through Nauro Valley. This section can be swampy and unpleasant during the rains, but for most trekkers it should be a more comfortable walk.
- At Nauro you will be accommodated at our cooperative partner's guesthouse, which is situated at Old Nauro near the original airstrip. There is a pleasant stream to wash and bath in and a nice sitting area to relax under and enjoy a warm campfire.
- There are mosquitoes in this area, so be sure to wear insect repellent.
Day 9: Nauro to Uaule
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
- This morning you will start your day by tackling the Nine False Peaks to the top of Maguli Ridge. This involves roughly 2½ to 3 hours of serious uphill trekking. You will pass by New Nauro village and enjoy a quick recovery break before pushing on to Maguli Ridge.
- From here you will commence your first of many descents, with your first break being at Jap's Ladder. You will have a good rest at Jap's Ladder and then continue your march down towards Ofi Creek (approximately two hours).
- At Ofi Creek there will be another break before continuing to Ioribaiwa,. It was here at Ioribaiwa that the Japanese troops were turned back.
- From Ioribaiwa you will be able to see quite clearly Imita Ridge, which is less then 12 kilometres away, and in the background (if you’re lucky and only on a clear day) you may be able to see Port Moresby.
- From Iorbaiwa your journey continues down a steep slope that leads to Uaule Creek. At the base of the Ioribaiwa Ridge you will make your way across a myriad of river and creek crossings (nine in total) until you reach Uaule Creek and set up camp for the night.
Day 10: Uaule to Owers Corner (to Port Moresby)
Meals included: 1 breakfast
- You will begin the day by crossing Va’Ule Creek's 14 crossings, so expect wet boots from the start. At your final crossing you will commence the trek up the back of Imita Ridge, which takes up to 1½ hours.
- At the summit of Imita Ridge you will enjoy a stunning view looking back across to Ioribaiwa and Maguli Ridge. From the top and looking southwest towards Port Moresby, you will trek down what was known as the Golden Staircase.
- This flight of stairs was built by Australian troops during the war to help with transporting artillery and other supplies from Port Moresby. The ‘staircase’ no longer exists, but some historians and operators believe that it has been identified its original location.
- After a good break and recovery at the summit of Imita Ridge, you will head downhill towards the campsite at Goodwater. Today is a long day of trekking and a good example of why trekkers must be sufficiently prepared mentally and physically to take on this arduous and testing walk.
- You make your final push to Owers corner from here. From Goodwater you will travel onto Goldie River, which takes close to three hours. From Goldie River you will climb the final hill towards Owers' Corner.
- At the completion of your trek, you return to the hotel in Port Moresby for your last night.
Day 11: Port Moresby
Meals included: 1 breakfast
- Your trip will end in Port Moresby this morning after breakfast. Please note that this itinerary can vary considerably due to weather conditions, group needs and overnight locations. Flexibility, patience and good humor is required. For this reason these Trip Notes must be treated as a guide and are subject to changes.
What to know
Physcial preparation is essential, you will trek on terrain with plenty of ascents and descents, often on steep and narrow trails. Please note that on our special Anzac Day departure, there is no rest day on Day 8. The trek will finish on Day 11 at Owers' Corner and we return to Port Moresby that night before visiting Bomana War Cemetery on the morning of Day 12 for the Anzac Day Dawn Service.
- The services of an English-speaking local trek leader throughout the tour.
- Personal porter (1:1 ratio) and additional group porters.
- Eight day trek following the Kokoda Track, camping and staying in huts along the way.
- Trek food packs.
- Arrival transfer.
Most meals are included on your trip (except for North America trips - please refer to your day-to-day itinerary). However, sometimes we think you'll benefit from getting out and discovering the local cuisine. So when a meal is not included, it's a great opportunity to try something new. For group trips, ask your leader for tips on where to get the best meal, or you might decide to dine out as a group and experience the fun together.
- Departure taxes
- Other meals
- Any additional optional tours or activities during free time
- Spending of a personal nature
- Daily budget
What to know
Trekking the Kokoda Track is physically demanding. The 96km track is a narrow, uneven, muddy path with numerous steep inclines and declines. The climate is hot and humid. A high level of fitness is required and training is essential. Any training programme should consist of aerobic exercise, strength building and hiking up and down hills with a backpack. Although most people can complete the track with adequate training and willpower, we recommend that all trekkers consult their medical practitioner to undergo an exercise stress test prior to joining this trek. Those with risk factors such as obesity, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or strong family history of cardiac disease should take extra precautions, or reconsider their decision to join this trek.
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.
Visas and Permits
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all required visas for your trip. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
Papua New Guinea
All visitors to PNG including tourists are required to have a visa to enter. Currently a 30-day tourist visa is available upon arrival for nationals of many countries including Australia, Japan, New Zealand, UK, USA and most western European countries at Port Moresby’s Jackson’s International Airport. This visa is non-extendable and the fee is currently K25. To acquire a visa upon arrival, you will need a valid passport, proof of sufficient funds for your stay, an onward airline ticket with confirmed bookings and Kina cash. Alternatively, you may acquire your visa prior to leaving your home country with either the nearest PNG Embassy or in some cases at the Australian Embassy in your country. Always check with these embassies for current visa requirements prior to leaving home. It’s now normal practice for airport departure taxes to be built into the price of your international air ticket. On top of this, and upon departure from PNG, you will be required to pay a further K30 as airport facilities tax. Remember, this is a separate tax.
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Customs and Culture
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in.
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
Papua New Guinea
A Fact Book on Modern Papua New Guinea - Jackson Rannells Do-it-Yourself Trekking - Kokoda Trail-Clive Baker Rascal Rain - A Year in PNG-Inez Baranay Papua New Guinea-Lonely Planet Bloody Buna-Lida Mayo
During this adventure you will be passing through a number of different climatic zones, from hot and humid coastal areas, to quite high mountain areas where conditions may be considerably colder, especially at night. Although this walk is scheduled during the dry season, there is a strong possibility of some rain at times during this trek.
You should try to travel as lightly as possible, however backpack size should be 95+ litres. Your total belongings should weigh no more than 12 kilograms (backpack and day pack combined). We use charter flights back from Kokoda and weight is restricted due to the small aircraft used. When you start training you should commence with less weight than you plan to carry on the trek and slowly build up.
Included in your tour cost is the assistance of a personal porter to carry your main kit. Please note that there is a weight limit of 10 kilograms for personal belongings carried by the porters as they will also carry your snack packs. Any additional items will need to be carried by the trekkers themselves in day-packs - each day you will be asked to carry your own water and one day's snack pack as well as personal items such as your camera, guidebook etc. We include a 1:1 trekker to porter ratio to promote relationship building between porters and trekkers. Our aim is to provide greater employment opportunities for porters as well as ensuring that all our trekkers complete the trek from start to finish. Our intention is that the relationship between the trekkers and the porters becomes one of the most important experiences of the trip, reflecting the wartime bonds between Australian troops and the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.
SOME QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON THE KOKODA TRACK
DO YOU HAVE A MAP AVAILABLE?
Yes - please click on this link to download a .pdf file with detailed map.
WHAT IS THE KOKODA TRACK?
The Kokoda Track is one of the many walking tracks in Papua New Guinea that existed long before the Europeans came to this part of the world. It was used for trade and cultural interaction between tribes and is still used for these purposes today. During the course of World War Two the Japanese decided to use this trail as a means of ground attack against the Australians in Port Moresby. The idea was to take Port Moresby and use it as a base from which to stage a direct assault on Australia. One end of the track lies in the north of the country at a village called Kokoda. It winds up and down over the rugged Owen Stanley Ranges and finishes in the south at Owers’ Corner not far from Port Moresby. Both the Kokoda Track and the northern coastal plains were the scene of violent close contact jungle warfare as the Australians retreated in the face of the Japanese onslaught. The Japanese were finally stopped at Imita Gap as they had extended their supply lines too far in the rugged terrain and began to die of starvation. The Australians then chased them all the way back to the northern coastline. Today the remains of the war lie rotting in the jungle and the track has reverted to quiet solitude, disturbed only by occasional back packers and local walkers. There are several villages along its length inhabited by peace-loving, hospitable locals. These are the people who became known during the war as the 'fuzzy wuzzy angels' because of their selflessness in helping wounded Australian soldiers.
WHAT DOES THE TREK SET OUT TO ACHIEVE?
We head out by road transport to Owers’ Corner and work our way north to the little village of Kokoda. There is, however, much more to this trek than just the historical war ruins. There is the fascinating cultural experience of interacting with the indigenous people. There is the challenge and adventure created by rugged mountain terrain and fast flowing streams. Papua New Guinea is famous for its spectacular scenery and unusual wildlife. In addition to all this there is the reward of interaction in a small group of people working together for a common purpose and the individual satisfaction of mastering the physical difficulties of the track.
DO YOU HAVE TO BE VERY FIT AND EXPERIENCED TO DO THE TRACK?
No. Most people can achieve the track with adequate training, guidance and willpower. It is important that a certain level of health and fitness be attained prior to the trip. Each person should undertake some form of regular physical exercise for a period of time prior to departure. Please see detailed notes in the Pre Departure Info provided by us.
WHAT IS THE BEST TRAINING TO DO?
General cardio-vascular fitness can be built up by any form of exercise that raises the heart rate for a period of time; some form of specific exercise should also be done to build up the leg muscles. The best exercise for this is walking up and down steep hills using the boots that you will be using to walk the track. After a while you should add your backpack with some weight in it. Slowly build the weight up to no more than 12 kilos. This is the maximum weight that can be carried with ease on the steep hills of the track.
SHOULD I HAVE A THOROUGH MEDICAL EXAMINATION?
Yes. You need to be in prime physical condition to have chance of completing this trek. In fact it is mandatory that you to fill in our 'Adventurous Trip' questionnaire when you book this tour. If you have any doubt about your fitness, you should see your doctor and get a medical certificate.
WILL WE SEE WAR RUINS?
Yes. On previous crossings we have always found items that have been hidden in the jungle. The local people often find them while they are clearing new garden areas and bring them out for us to see. Around the fire at night some of the older people along the track quite often tell stories from the war.
IS THE KOKODA TRACK ISOLATED AND WHAT HAPPENS IF AN ACCIDENT OCCURS?
Yes, the track is isolated and backup medical and rescue services are not easily available. We have drawn up a contingency plan for evacuation from along the track in the unlikely event of a serious problem occurring. The focal point of any communication with the outside is our satellite telephone.
IS THE KOKODA TRACK A TROPICAL NIGHTMARE?
It can be. It often depends on unpredictable seasonal conditions. Most of our crossings have only had one or two days of rain in the total crossing time. Our trips are scheduled at the time of the year to catch the most stable weather conditions but it can still be very wet every now and then. This can make the trip very difficult. It is possible for the streams to flood and we carry suitable equipment for safe crossing once they drop to levels that are not dangerous. Malaria is present and all walkers will be required to take suitable medication by medical prescription to prevent contracting this illness.
HOW BAD IS THE SECURITY SITUATION IN P.N.G.?
The urban centres do have a bad security problem. For this reason we do not stay in them for long. Your guides are familiar with the main urban centres and are experienced at avoiding trouble for the short time that we are there. The Kokoda Track itself is the safest walking trail in P.N.G. Its inhabitants are devout Christians who are famous for their hospitality and kindness.
WHERE DO WE STAY?
In Port Moresby we stay in a quality hotel. It is well fenced, with security guards on patrol day and night. While trekking we stay in local village guesthouses where possible. They are simple buildings made from local materials. We use our sleeping mats to make the floor a comfortable spot to sleep. Showers are had in the mountain streams and the toilets are pit type with surrounding walls. Some of the guesthouses do provide warm water for washing in. Where it is not possible to stay in guesthouses we stay in quality tents transported by our carriers.
WHAT WILL WE EAT?
We provide freshly prepared meals when you are on the trek, as well as additional snack packs for each trekker which are distributed daily. The snack packs are designed to give you access to energy and small treats whenever you want them, and they are not meals in their own right - main meals are provided on a group basis. Wherever possible our meals are also supplemented using fruit and vegetables from the villages that we pass through. You will be asked to pay for your own hotel meals in Port Moresby. All other meals are included in the cost of the expedition. Local food consists of various combinations of the following: rice, pasta, sweet potato, potato, yams, corn, taro, oranges, mandarins, cabbage, bananas, pineapples, paw paws, sago and coconut. Clients who have special dietary requirements should discuss with us their specific needs well in advance of departure so that we can plan food that is suitable for you.Our experience has taught us that the best way to keep trekkers trekking happily is to provide a mixture of fresh local produce and carefully chosen pre-packaged goods. We provide both freshly prepared group meals and individual daily 'snack packs' to ensure that trekkers dietary needs are met in these testing conditions. These snacks are organised from the main meals. The snack packs are carried by your personal porter, in your personal backpack. Each day after the main meal you will take your snack pack for that day in your daypack, along with water and any other personal items. In this way, you can give yourself some extra energy or a 'treat' when you want. Your trip cost includes all meals and snack packs and wherever possible we supplementary our diet using fresh local produce. Trekkers are advised to carry some money (approximately PGK100-150) in small amounts, as limited additional supplies can be purchased along the track if you wish. This includes fruits such as bananas and mandarins, cooked root vegetables and occasionally goods carried up from the larger towns. Please remember that the prices of imported goods reflect the difficulty in getting the supplies to the villages, and that these sales are an important source of income for the villages. Bowl of Fruit: PGK5-10 per bowl Bowl of Root vegetables: PGK5-10 per bowl Wild Pig: Enquire with your Tour Leader Can of Coke: PGK5.00 Can of SP Beer: PGK10.00 per can (Only available from certain villages)
IS THE TRIP ALL HARD WALKING?
No! We try and break the trip up so that you can take the time to enjoy the culture and the people. The first few days are hard going but we build in rest time at Menari and Myola where you can enjoy exploring, sleeping, reading, trout fishing, bird watching or viewing war ruins. The last days at Kokoda is spent relaxing and being entertained by the local people.
WHAT ARE THE NATURAL FEATURES THAT ARE FASCINATING?
Papua New Guinea is a fascinating country because of its cultural, geological and biological diversity. During our trip we will see tribal dancing, stunning volcanic features and a range of plant, animal and bird life that will inspire you to learn more about the natural history of Papua New Guinea.
TELL ME ABOUT MYOLA
Myola is an empty lakebed at around 2000 metres elevation in the Owen Stanley Range. It was once an active volcanic caldera and is now surrounded by ancient Antarctic Beech forest. It was used during the Second World War as an area to drop supplies to the Australian soldiers. Today it is a peaceful grassland valley, totally isolated from the rest of the world. It is a great place to explore and take a break from the rigours of the Track. It is a great place for ornithologists and nature lovers as it features unique vegetation and wildlife. There are magnificent cascading waterfalls and suspended mountain valleys filled with prehistoric cycads that make you feel like you are stepping back to the dawn of time. Please note however, that this is a sensitive area for local people, and sometimes the landowners may restrict or prevent visits from trekking groups when there are local disputes or for political purposes.
WHAT ARE THE REWARDS OF DOING THE KOKODA TRACK
- A sense of achievement at having completed one of the worlds most famous walks.
- First-hand observation of unique and spectacular natural features of the land.
- Some understanding of what the Australian soldiers must have gone through in their fight to protect our country.
- The experience of interacting with people from another culture.
- A sense of comradeship that can only be gained by a group of people who have worked under trying conditions to attain a common goal.
TRACK VS TRAIL
We use the name 'Kokoda Track' instead of 'Kokoda Trail' in honour of the Australian Diggers that fought in Papua New Guinea from 1942 to 1945. While both names are correct and understood locally, the phrase ‘trail’ is an Americanism that caught on in the post-war media in the early 1940s.
Due to the style of accommodation on our tours it is not possible to book you in a single room throughout the trip. If you book a single supplement it will not apply to nights on the Kokoda Track. If you are unsure of where a single supplement will apply please check with your travel agent before booking.
About this Information
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
27 November 2013
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