The Kokoda Track or trail in Papua New Guinea stretches for 96 kilometers through some of the toughest walking conditions imaginable. It runs from Kokoda in the central highlands, to Owens Corner near Port Moresby and was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting of the second world war in the pacific. It was here that the tide of the war finally turned against the Japanese invaders and a highly outnumbered group of Australian soldiers fought a dogged rear guard action in these impenetrable jungles to finally end up victorious and driving back the attackers. The Australian forces were ably assisted by the local tribesmen who became known as the ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels” for there incredible assistance in removing wounded Australian from the battlefields and carrying them to field hospitals to the south.
Today, thousands of Australian have the desire to see where their ancestors died for their country or to experience the rigors that their fathers had told them about. For this reason there are now a number of organized tours available to take you to the region and walk the track as there forebears had done. Make no mistake, the Kokoda Track is not for the faint hearted or the unfit. The terrain is unlike anything you have seen in Australia. It consists of a succession of steep ridges and valleys, mountain streams and creek crossings. The accommodation along the way is provided in native villages or in tents and you will need to either carry all your belongings or hire a native carrier to do it for you. The food provided is mostly in hungerbuster freeze dried food packs and supplemented by native produce grown along the track. Age restrictions apply and walkers must be between 13 and 79 years of age and reasonably fit and healthy.
Tours of the track range from five days to 11 days and the full track will take you about eight of those days spent walking. The tours include accommodation in Port Moresby, transfers, domestic flights one way to Kokoda, services of an Australian tour leader and local guide, carriers and food, village tariffs and permits, walking poles, detailed training notes and program, souvenir polo shirt, a visit to the Bomana War Cemetery, public liability insurance and a certificate of completion. If you are not capable of walking the track or you don’t have enough time, you can do the 6 day Kokoda Heli experience that will take you to the major battle sites.
Walking The Kokoda Track will be an experience that will provide you with a fantastic sense of personal achievement and will live with you for the rest of your life.