While plenty of Aussies know a little bit about Kokoda, there are a lot of misconceptions held about actually trekking the Track and PNG in general.
We are here to bust five common myths we get asked about all the time when it comes to Kokoda and trekking!
MYTH #1: Papua New Guinea isn’t safe
BUSTED! One major misconception about Papua New Guinea is that the country isn’t safe to travel through. Like many developing countries, there are areas that are recommended to avoid. However, the majority of local people are friendly and welcoming. The Kokoda Track is maintained by the Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) which is governed by both the Papua New Guinea & Australian Governments. They liaise between the tour operators and the people of the Kokoda Track to ensure it is well maintained, safe and enjoyable for those who visit.
MYTH #2: The Kokoda Track is impossibly difficult
Sure, Kokoda can be a pretty tough trek, both physically and mentally particularly following heavy rain; but if you’re in good health and are seriously prepared (willing and able) to follow Back Track’s fitness training recommendations, then the trek is achievable, enjoyable and a beautiful trek. The fitter you are, the more you’ll enjoy your Kokoda trek. Don’t think you can do it? The oldest person to successfully trek Kokoda with Back Track was 82 years of age, proving just about anyone can!
MYTH #3: Trekking Kokoda is a walk in the park
Many people underestimate the Kokoda Track. This may be because so many Aussies, of differing ages and backgrounds, complete the trek each year. You probably know a few, some finding it hard, some not. The biggest thing to remember is if you are able to put in the time to prepare both physically and mentally for the challenge ahead you will find it a really beautiful jungle trek.
MYTH #4: The Kokoda Track is isolated from the local villages.
On the contrary, the Kokoda Track is an ancient path that links villages from Kokoda Village to Owers’ Corner. The Track is used extensively by the locals and passes through numerous villages. One of the unexpected highlights of our Kokoda trek that we hear from returned trekkers is the interaction they had with the local people.
Our rest day in Naduri not only meets the requests of the local Koiri people to respect their religious beliefs and not have their people work on their Sabbath but has created a trekking highlight in so far as trekkers have an opportunity to glimpse the everyday life of the villagers.
MYTH #5: The Kokoda Track isn’t much to see outside of trekking
The Kokoda Track is one of the most beautiful and interesting jungle walks in the world. The flora and fauna that you pass through between Owers’ Corner and Kokoda are incredibly beautiful, with butterflies, birds and colourful flowers easy to spot among the rich green rainforest. The peaks and valleys make for fantastic views such as those at Brigade Hill and Isurava. There is nothing better than relaxing in camp and watching the sunset after a hard day of trekking.