opspng@southseahorizons.com ARBN: 21168524810 PNG IPA 1-111276

Kokoda to Owers Corner – GuaranteedTour Departures 2021

Papua New Guinea has endured a colourful and, at times, bloody history. The Kokoda Track/Trail was once a village track that existed long before, and westerners or foreigners came to Papua New Guinea. The Japanese decided to use this track to attack Port Moresby during World War II and use this trail as a means of launching an attack by foot and by sea.

On this Kokoda expedition, we set out to explore the complete route of the campaign, starting from Kokoda to Owers corner. By taking on this expedition, we will trek across the Owen Stanley Ranges. We will see all the main Kokoda battle sites and also gain an appreciation of the rugged beauty of the region, as exemplified by the Owen Stanley Ranges. The Kokoda is a tough but rewarding journey that will last in your memories forever.

Kokoda Expedition Trip Notes

Duration: 9 Days / 9 Nights

Trip Inclusions

INCLUSIONS

  • Private Charter Flight to Kokoda
  • PUBLIC LIABILITY COVER
  • Personal Porter at hire at no extra charge
  • Large Back Pack at hire at no extra charge
  • Day Pack at hire at no extra charge
  • Sleeping mat at hire at no extra charge
  • Walking Poles hire at no extra charge
  • Local PNG Historian
  • Local Guide
  • Local Food Porters
  • Pre trek briefing
  • Smaller intimate groups
  • Visit Bomana War Cemetery
  • Road transfers from Owers Corner to Port Moresby
  • Kokoda Track Authority Trek Permit
  • Kokoda Certificate
  • Kokoda Trail Map
  • Port Moresby – 2 nights Accommodation only included for the accommodation only.

All Travellers are required to have medical insurance with third world country medivac included within their respective policies.

NOT INCLUDED

  • Extra meals – Villiage food (bowls of fruit and vegetables)
  • Hotel facilities – Laundry, phone calls
  • Medical Insurance

COSTS

Please note that costs in PNG are surprisingly high. You should budget AUD 60-100 per day per person for meals and expenses while in Port Moresby.

TREKKING TIMES

Please note that all trekking times listed in this itinerary are based on ideal, dry weather conditions. Rainy weather and muddy conditions could add several hours to these times.

RUCKSACKS

Rucksack hire is included in trip costs. You will be provided with a 80 Litre and I a 35 litre, relatively waterproof rucksack. Just bring your regular luggage and repack your belongings into the rucksack provided tonight.

Day 1: Australia – Port Moresby

You will have a transfer booked for the Holiday Inn Express. Our guides will be at the airport to meet you to transfer you to the hotel bus.

Your briefing session is at 530 pm, meet your guide in the foyer of the hotel. This is where you will be given your packs, walking poles, sleeping mats. Please make sure you bring your insurance details to hand to your guide.

No Meal included tonight.

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel (1 night)

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer

MEALS INCLUDED

There are no meals included on this day.

AMENITIES

Our hotel in Port Moresby has internet access (not included in the room rate). There are only minimal places along the Kokoda Track with mobile phone reception, so we advise you not to bring a phone on the trek.

Day 2: Kokoda – Isurava

This morning we board our 45-minute chartered flight to Kokoda. All pack weights and body weights will be checked so; please be sure to stick to the 12kg maximum restrictions for your large pack and 8 kg for your day pack.

In Kokoda, our trek team will be waitingfor us, and your lead guide will introduce you to your porters. While your porters repack your packs fitting in food supplies – we will walk to the Kokoda Museum and have a look around.

Once our trek team are ready, we will start our Kokoda journey. Our destination tonight is Deniki Campsite, which is the first position the 39th Battalion regrouped at when the Japanese Imperial 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. We pass through Kovelo and Hoi village along the way and, after the final crossing at Hoi we commence our first steep ascent up the Owen Stanley Range to 1000 meters above sea level. We follow the ridge around to Deniki, which sits at about 900 meters above sea level. At Deniki we are

greeted with spectacular views across Kokoda Valley.

We will set up camp here for the evening.

ACCOMMODATION

Village Hut (1 night)

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Kokoda – Kokoda Memorial

Kokoda – Kokoda War Museum

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3: Deniki – Eora Creek

We will need to depart camp this morning at 530 am. This means we will need to be packed and ready to go by 5 am at the latest. Our trek takes us to Eora Creek this morning.

Travelling through a number of wild choko gardens, we will pass through the village of Isurava (1100meters ) toward the sacred Isurava Battlefield.  At Isurava Battlefield we will hold a short service led by our historians and guides. 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 we are sure to take on board with us for the remainder of our journey to Owers’ Corner.

Your Historian will tell you about 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 the opportunity for the 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 we will encounter throughout our journey along the Kokoda Track.

Your Historian will tell you about 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 the opportunity for the 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 we will encounter throughout our journey along the Kokoda Track.

Following our break at Isurava we continue for 11⁄2-2 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 their retreat of Isurava, they decided to split up with one party trekking across Eora 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.

We continue the trek to Eora Creek which takes roughly 2 hours. We 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 Eora Creek where we will set up camp.

 

ACCOMMODATION

Village Hut (1 night)

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Kokoda – Kokoda Trail trek with personal porter

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4: Eora Creek– Diggers Camp

A tough day of trekking is ahead of us today as we climb to the highest point of the trek at Mount Bellamy. Mount Bellamy is 2200 meters above sea level and provides some spectacular views across the Owen Stanley Ranges. The track towards Digger’s Camp can sometimes be one of the more difficult legs, especially in wet conditions. It is not too steep but can be muddy and slippery.

At Digger’s Camp we are accommodated at a local village guest house for the evening. The campsite is set in amongst lush rainforest and is just over 2000 meters above sea level, so it can get very cold if it is raining.

After we will drop our bags and take a quick walk to Myola, which is a beautifully 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. We will make our way back from Myola to Diggers camp where we will enjoy a nice cold dip in the river before dinner

ACCOMMODATION

Village Hut (1 night)

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5 : Diggers Camp – Effogi

We start off this morning heading towards the northern face of Mount Bellamy, where spectacular views can be shared looking over to the villages of Naduri, Kagi, Brigade Hill, and Nauro and, in the distance, Imita Ridge.

The leg down to Naduri is a long and steady descent and we 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 and it is also recommend that you wear a long sleeve shirt. We have a short break at Naduri and then commence the trek down the ridge towards Efogi I. The descent will take up to 11⁄2 hours and is very steep and slippery. The climb up to Efogi I is also very steep and slippery. Our personal porters will keep a very close eye on us. We enjoy a well-deserved rest upon reaching Efogi I. The local village will have on display a range of their local fruits and other types of food. Be sure to carry

some small change with you so that you can purchase some of their produce, all of which is organically grown.

After the break at Efogi I we continue our trek down to Efogi II, which involves a one-hour descent. This leg is relatively short but will be exhausting and energy sapping as it will be the middle of the day and there isn’t a lot of canopy protection. Make sure you’re hydrated and have good sun cover protection. Our arrival into Efogi II we are greeted by the local village and accommodated at our 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.

ACCOMMODATION

Village Hut (1 night)

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6: Effogi – Manari

This morning we head towards the village of Manari where we will be spending the night. Today’s trek 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 had occupied the Seventh Day Adventist mission during the war, using it as a shelter and storage facility. After the first climb of the morning, we 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 lanterns lighting the sky, 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 11⁄2 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 we first come across a huge tree trunk that looks big enough to shelter a person – and where the famous story of the Bone Man from Kokoda will be told.

At Brigade Hill our 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 this is commemorated by a plaque, which sits at the top of the hill. Glorious views can be enjoyed from the top of Brigade Hill and, on a clear day, we can see across to Mount Victoria- the highest mountain in the region. To the southeast are views to Nauro village (our evenings camp) and Magulu Ridge. A short memorial service will be conducted here by our trekking team.

From Brigade Hill we head down the back of Mission Ridge for about 2 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 Manari village.

At Manari we are welcomed by the local villagers and we will be shown to our guesthouse for the evening.

ACCOMMODATION

Village Hut (1 night)

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7: Manari – Offi Creek

We have an early climb up to the top of Manari Ridge this morning. This is a steep climb should take approximately 11⁄2 hours to get to the top. After a short break at the top of Manari Ridge, we then trek down the back, which is an extremely steep and sometimes slippery walk that should take us about an hour and a half. At the base of Manari Ridge, we enter Nauro Valley, where we pass through Agu Logo campsite and then cross the mighty Brown River. This section can be swampy and unpleasant during the rains, but it is a long flat section and more of a comfortable walk. Our lunch stop is Nauro village which is situated on an old airstrip. There are mosquitoes in this area, so be sure to wear insect repellent.

After lunch – we take on the Nine False Peaks to the top of Maguli Ridge. This involves roughly 3 hours of serious uphill trekking. We pass by New Nauro village and enjoy have a quick recovery break before pushing on to Maguli Ridge.

From here we commence our first of many descents, with our first break being at Jap’s Ladder. We have a good rest at Jap’s Ladder and then continue our march down towards Ofi Creek (approximately 2 hours). A nice river awaits us at the bottom of the last climb where we can swim an freshen up for the evening.

ACCOMMODATION

Village Hut (1 night)

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8: Offi Creek – Owers Corner

This morning is an early climb to Ioribaiwa. It was here at Ioribaiwa that the Japanese troops were turned back. From Ioribaiwa we will be able to see quite clearly Imita Ridge, which is less then 5 kilometres away as a crow flies, and in the background (if lucky and only on clear days) we may be able to see Port Moresby.

From Iorribaiwa our journey continues down a steep slope that leads to Uaule Creek. At the base of the Ioribaiwa Ridge, we make our way across a myriad of rivers and creek crossings (nine in total) until we reach Uaule Creek so make sure you have your wet shoes handy.

From Va’Ule Creek’s expect 14 river crossings, so expect we will leave our wet shoes on. At our final crossing, we commence the trek up the back of Imita Ridge, Which takes up to 11⁄2 hours to climb.

At the summit of Imita Ridge, we enjoy a stunning view looking back across to Ioribaiwa and Maguli Ridge. From the top and looking southwest towards Port Moresby, we 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 they have identified its original location. After a good break and recovery at the summit of Imita Ridge, we head downhill towards our campsite at Goodwater.

We make our final push to Owers corner. From Goodwater, we travel onto Goldie River which takes close to 3 hours. From Goldie River, we climb our final hill towards Owers’ Corner. After a short 30-minute climb up to the top, we can finally say that we have completed the Kokoda Track! We are met at Owers’ Corner and transferred to Port Moresby. Along the way, we stop to visit Bomana War Cemetery where 2890 Australian soldiers were laid to rest at the end of World War II.

This evening our trekking team will meet us for a drink and catch up at our hotel; a great way to reflect on our recently-completed trekking adventure with our new mates from Papua New Guinea.

ACCOMMODATION

Village Hut (1 night)

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 9: Farewell, Not Goodbye

Checkout of the hotel is at 11 am and transfer to the airport can be organised on request. Just let our guides know your flight details on the day.

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Complimentary Airport Departure Transfer

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast

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