You asked us for a harder challenge, and we have delivered! For those who are after a fitness challenge to enter the new decade, we have the perfect trek for you – our brand new 7-day trekking, 9-day itinerary from Australia. Follow the exact war-time track at super speed as you shave two days off our standard trek and challenge yourself, both physically and mentally. This trek is not for the faint of heart – avid trekkers or those returning to Kokoda for a new challenge are recommended for this trek. These treks come with the same safety, staff and crew as our standard 9-day trekking, 11-day itinerary treks, including our professional Australian Guides with our experienced PNG support crew. Join us in 2021 for a new challenge on the Kokoda Track!
Campaign itinerary Overview – 7 Day Trekking Itinerary
|Fly to Port Moresby. Met on arrival and overnight at the Holiday Inn Express. Group briefing late afternoon.
|(Trek day 1) Scheduled Flight to Popondetta. Drive to Kokoda Village via war time road/track. Explore Kokoda. Trek to Deniki. (BLD)
|(Trek day 2) Trek to and camp at Alolo Village via Isurava Battlefield. (BLD)
|(Trek day 3) Trek to Templeton’s Crossing via the Japanese Forest Fort at Eora Creek. (BLD)
|(Trek day 4) Climb Mt Bellamy, then trek to our camp at Efogi Village. (BLD)
|(Trek day 5) Ascent of Brigade Hill and conduct commemorative ceremony on summit, view Mission Ridge, camp at Agulogo. (BLD)
|(Trek day 6.) Cross the Brown River and the Maguli Range to Ofi Creek, then up and over Ioribaiwia Ridge to our camp at Ioribaiwia Ridge. (BLD)
|(Trek day 7) Continue down Ioribaiwia Ridge to Ua Ule Creek before the ascent and descent of Imita Ridge, site of the famed Golden Staircase. Cross the Goldie River and end in Owers’ Corner, before heading back to Port Moresby via the Bomona War Cemetery. Celebrate tonight at awards ceremony (BL)
|Morning transfer to the airport for your flight home to Australia. (B)
Campaign itinerary in detail – North to South
|Port Moresby. Met on arrival and private transfer to our comfortable accommodation at the Holiday Inn Express. The hotel complex features restaurants, comfortable bar areas, a swimming pool, and fully air-conditioned rooms with all facilities. A team briefing is held this afternoon to discuss final preparations for our trek. Early evening Team dinner, and to bed for a good sleep to be prepared for an early morning departure on Day 2.
|Deniki Village. We fly by scheduled flight to the tarmac strip at Popondetta airport. From there we travel by private vehicle along the Japanese advance route from the coast via such historic sites as Wairopi, the Kumusi River, Awala, Oivi and Gorari. On arrival at Kokoda, your leader will explain the battle history as you explore the Kokoda battle site and museum. After an early lunch, we have a short acclimatising walk to the small village of Hoi before a steep ascent up to our first nights camp at Deniki. The scenery is spectacular with sweeping views as we trek close to original war time village, now abandoned, of Deniki, the site of the 39th Militia Battalion’s first defensive position after withdrawing from Kokoda. (BLD)
|Alola.We start early as this morning’s walk is very steep. You’ll be glad you trained hard. We pass through the village of Isurava and will arrive in to the Isurava War Memorial for lunch. The Isurava War Memorial is located at a significant point on the Isurava battle site which the Kokoda Track bisects. We inspect Kingsbury’s Rock, the site of the action which earned Private Bruce Kingsbury his Victoria Cross on 29 August 1942. During the height of the Battle of Isurava, which featured full frontal Japanese mass assaults and brutal hand to hand combat, Kingsbury, who was one of the few survivors of a platoon which had been overrun by the Japanese, immediately volunteered to join a different platoon which had been ordered to counterattack. He rushed forward firing his Bren gun from his hip, clearing a path through the enemy and inflicting a number of casualties. Kingsbury was then seen to fall, shot by a Japanese sniper (near Kingsbury’s rock) and instantly killed. His actions, in delaying the Japanese to give sufficient time for the Australians to fortify their positions, have been identified as what undoubtedly saved the Battalion Headquarters, and he was awarded the Victoria Cross as a result. A full briefing is given on the now legendary 4day battle of Isurava. It was here that the 2/14th Infantry Battalion arrived to support the 39th Militia Battalion and the legend of ‘The Ragged Bloody Heroes’ was born. Within clear sight, and only a short distance on the other side of the valley, a parallel trail marks the locations of the 53rd Militia Battalion’s defensive actions. This section of trail was abandoned under the onslaught of an overwhelming Japanese push up that side of the valley while the Battle at Isurava, opposite, was raging. Your Trek Leader will detail the sequence of events of the 53rd Battalion’s withdrawal and by pointing out the geography and detailing the trail networks, explain the significance of this withdrawal to the ultimate outcome of the battle at Isurava. The 2/16 Infantry Battalion despatched to bolster the 53rd Battalions defences were unable to make a significant impact on slowing the Japanese advance from that flank. The 2/16th and 53rd Battalion now found themselves having to regroup with the withdrawing forces from Isurava to commence a series of rear-guard, strategic defensive actions now part of Australian military folklore. From Isurava Battlefield, it is then only a short walk to our Camp at Alola Village with a stop at Cons Rock enroute. (BLD)
|Templeton’s Crossing. This morning is a taxing descent followed by a long gradual ascent to Eora Creek battle site. We leave our packs on the main trail and ascend a short side trail to the Japanese Forest Fort. Recently another extensive section of this Forest Fort, located only a short distance further up the ridge has been revealed by the local landowners. This new section is now referred to as “The Lost Battlefield”. The Japanese Forest Fort which incorporates The Lost Battlefield covers part of a high ridge with a commanding position overlooking Eora Creek. For many years now all our trekking teams have been visiting this important site. Your trek leader will explain the forts defensive significance and how the battle to capture the fort unfurled. You will explore the Japanese mountain gun and heavy machine gun positions. Still clearly visible are large quantities of munitions and artefacts. Many Australian soldiers lost their lives here, before the Japanese fled. Until the higher section of the Japanese Forest Fort has been properly surveyed, documented and any human remains identified and respectfully removed for proper burial, no trekking companies will visit the higher section. The trail is always challenging today and the beauty of the jungle provides a wonderful distraction. Lunch is at a convenient spot along the jungle track. After lunch we continue on to camp beside the creek at the battle site at Templeton’s Crossing. (BLD)
|Efogi Village. This morning is a long climb on slippery trails to our highest point on Mt Bellamy (2190 metres). From the Kokoda Saddle the beautiful forest Track is festooned with moss and once again the occasional sweeping panorama adds to the beauty of our surrounds. We make our way down through the Moss Forest to Naduri Village, the home village for the majority of our trek crew. From here we descend to the creek below Naduri and commence a short steep ascent to Efogi 2 village for a quick rest stop before our we head down in to our camp for the night at Efogi 1 Village (BLD)
|Agulogo. This morning beautiful views await us as we begin the slogging ascent of Brigade Hill via Mission Ridge. A small ceremony is conducted on the summit in honour of the soldiers and in remembrance of their bravery. As always, we follow the steep ascent of Brigade Hill with a long descent. We trek through to Menari Village for lunch, then trek steeply up the spur behind the village. From the summit viewpoint, we descend a section of the Track known as ‘The Wall’ and then enter the Brown River flood plain. The flood plain is usually very muddy and slow footwork is required to navigate this section. Our campsite is a nice grassy area with a good nearby wash-point. (BLD)
|Ioribaiwa Village. Once again an interesting day as we complete our crossing of the flood plains. Very soon after leaving camp, we cross the Brown River. Depending on the water level and flow, this crossing can take some time as we move trekkers one at a time across the river. After crossing the Brown River, we face the long gradual ascent of the northern slopes of the Maguli Range. There will be a brief stop to take in the breathtaking views from New Nauro Village before the final push to the summit. The descent down the Maguli Range, via ‘the Jap ladder’ is steep and you will be rewarded with a quick swim at Ofi Creek to cool off. The climb up the north face of Irobaiwa Ridge is challenging. There will be a rest stop at the top to visit a newly discovered mortar and weapons site. A long descent from the summit eventually brings us to our beautiful campsite at Ioribaiwa Village. From our campsite, we can see the grassy clearing which marks the furthermost point that the Japanese reached in their advance on Port Moresby. In this clearing, a large heavily armed Japanese advance patrol was wiped out in a hastily planned ambush by an opposing Australian patrol, who luckily heard the Japanese officer talking as he moved his men down the trail. It was also on Irobaiwa Ridge, with Port Moresby nearly insight, that General Hori received orders directly from the Emperor to withdraw. With major shortages of munitions, food and reinforcements and being pounded by Australian artillery and harassed by well-equipped Australian patrols, the Japanese army retreated with the Australians in hot pursuit. (BLD)
|Port Moresby. Today’s walk begins with a short descent of the last section of Irobaiwa Ridge. Here at the bottom, we switch from our boots into our runners or sports sandals. For the next few hours, we will be crisscrossing Ua- Ule creek and removing and replacing boots is not an option. The creek water is always cold and most find trekking this section of trail fun. After lunch at the top end of Ua Ule Creek, you will shortly commence the long climb up Imata Ridge. After a short rest on the summit and a regrouping of all the team, we commence the muddy trek down the southern slopes of Imata Ridge, through the thick, humid jungle to the mighty Goldie River, the last barrier between us and the trek finish. It’s a steep 40-minute hike till we triumphantly arrive at Owers Corner and our awaiting transport, a cold drink and lunch. We’ve done it! Back to Port Moresby for a swim in the hotel pool, clean up and prepare for a final nights’ celebration at the hotel. On the way to Port Moresby, we stop at Bomana War Cemetery, where Australian soldiers who died in the Kokoda campaign and in other campaigns in the Pacific have been laid to their final rest. This visit is the final tribute we pay to these brave soldiers before our return home tomorrow. A personalised Certificate of Achievement, suitable for framing will be presented to all team members at dinner tonight. (BL)
|Morning transfer to the airport for your flight home to Australia. (B)
Meal inclusions along the trek – B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner