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Owers Corner to Kokoda – Guaranteed Tour 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 Owers Corner to Kokoda (Allied reinforcements Advance ). 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: 10 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 additional charge
  • Day Pack at hire at no additional charge
  • Sleeping mat at hire at no additional charge
  • Walking Poles hire at no additional 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 an 80 Litre and I a 35 litre, relatively waterproof rucksack. Just bring your regular luggage and repack your belongings into the backpack 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. You will be given your packs, walking poles, sleeping mats. Please make sure you bring your insurance details to hand to your guide.

DAY 2: Owers Corner – Good Water

Today we have an early start to our program as we prepare for a three-hour drive to Ower’s Corner. At Sogeri, be treated to some of the more spectacular views of Port Moresby’s hinterlands, including the majestic Rouna falls.

While we travel, we by-pass some of the Australian battlefield sites and industrial activities. Clients have the chance to see the white stone monument making the beginning of the Kokoda Track. We then travel to Macdonald’s Corner through cattle farms and rubber plantations past local villages, and we head straight to Ower’s Corner. Take photographs of the beautiful mountain scenery.

After the pre-track final briefing, we begin our trek down to Goldie River and cross the river by foot (no bridge – current is a bit fast). We trek past the site of a pre-war village of Uberi which became the site for an Australian supply base supplying food rations and a medical dressing station.

We commence trekking to our first campsite at Good Water. A good challenge and a chance to get used to the temperature and climate for day 2.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

You will be given your back pack’s which you will pack your trekking gear in.

Pack a clean set of clothes in a travel bag which can be left at the hotel.

Valuables can be left in the hotel safe or kept on your persons at all times. It is advised to keep this in a waterproof sleeve.

Day 3: Good Water – Nauro Village

Get ready for a tough day of climbing. The first challenge – climbing up Imita ridge this morning. We will climb the Golden staircase, which is a stairway built by the Australian diggers to assist supply lines to the top of Imita Ridge (850m ascent). Its is here that the troops dragged with them a 25 pounder gun to the top of Imita Ridge, although a valiant effort the Japanese were turned back before they could use the weapon.

From the tip of Imita Ridge, we can see Ioribaiwa village and view the Australian 25 pounder gun’s position while attacking and destroying Japanese lines over Ioribaiwa and finally stopping the Japanese advance over the ranges. We also see a diggers memorial plaque on top of Imita Ridge. From Imita Ridge we continue down a steep slope to V’aule Creek campsite, which is a beautiful campsite, nestled on the side of the riverbank.

At Ioribaiwa Ridge we also have the chance to see the Japanese trenches known as “Fox Hole” tunnels and Japanese supply trenches. We climb to the top of Ioribaiwa, about 850m and descend a steep slope to Offi Creek (400m) where we will have a short break before our second tough session of climbing up Japs Ladder navigating the Maguli Range up to around 1300m above sea level. From here we make our way down the false peaks to our campsite – Nauro Village. There is no river at today’s campground.

ACCOMMODATION – Village Hut (1 night)

MEALS INCLUDED – Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4: Nauro – Menari

A relatively short day today as we make our way to our base village Manari. We start with a descent to the swamp beds leading toward the brown river. Passing Amuduri campsite, we continue to the mighty Brown river, where we cross this fast-flowing river by foot, as there are no log bridges to cross. If there has been some rain the past few days, we will need to navigate this river safely.

From here, we follow a swampy flat land to Avulogo campsite (700M) where we have lunch. After lunch, we climb a steep slope to the top of Manari Gap, about 1130 meters. This might only be a 400m ascent, but it is one of the toughest climbs.

Once we get to the Manari gap, it is a slow walk downhill to Manari Village. This area has many loose rocks, so be careful and stay close to your porter. We will walk past Japanese wartime trenches on our way to Manari (850m).

ACCOMMODATION – Village Hut (1 night)

MEALS INCLUDED – Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5: Menari - Naduri

Today we trek past Manari airstrip a wartime Australian Campsite and trek down to Vabiavu River. We climb up and rest at Manari lookout with spectacular views to Manari and Nauro. After a short rest and we continue trekking uphill until we reach Brigade Hill memorial and the original Australian war gravesite and one of the most significant battle sites of the Kokoda campaign. We will have a short service here conducted by the trek team to pay our respects.

Your South Sea Horizons historian will show you where the Japanese were able to cut the Australian communication lines and resulted in one of the bloodiest battles on the Kokoda Track. The Battle for Brigade Hill, fought along the Kokoda Trail, was an unmitigated calamity for Australia’s Maroubra Force. Hear about the Kikoci Nishimura and see where he hid in a log to evade capture. 

From Brigade Hill, we trek down to Mission Ridge through a very narrow and steep pathway and stony track down to Batari and Elome rivers. Our trek toward Efogi and along the way we can start to see more Japanese and Australian Defensive positions including tunnels, weapon pits and trenches. Around this area, there are a lot of war relics like guns, helmets and live ammunitions like mortar shells.

As the Kokoda is a living museum please and the rain uncovers and covers remnants all the time, please take only pictures, and respectfully leave everything where they are.

At Efogi, there is a new museum filled with artefacts and weapons collected by Gaksi one of the founding members of our trekking operation. A visit to the museum will cost K10 ($4) per person as a donation to Gaksi and his family.

After a quick lunch, we walk down a small slope down to Kavae River – A big fast-flowing river. We cross Kavae River on log bridges carefully navigating between logs placed across the river and climb to the top of Efogi 1. A very tough climb that creeps up on you. The heat is the biggest issue here; make sure you have your hats ready and sunscreen.

After a short break at the top of Efogi 1, prepare yourself for one of the hardest sections of the trek. A steep downhill followed by a hard climb to finish the day. At the top of the next ridge is our campsite – Naduri Village.

ACCOMMODATION: Village Hut (1 night)

MEALS INCLUDED: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6: Naduri – Templeton’s Crossing 2

A quick breakfast this morning and a cup of hot coffee before we start our climb into what the porters call the “air con” region of the track. We will be climbing toward the highest point of the Kokoda track today.

Our first point will be the Diggers Camp. “Diggers” was a supply base for the Australian Advance –For food, ammunition and back-up battalions from Port Moresby. Most supplies came from the nearby Myola airfield. At this location, the Japanese were outnumbered and pulled back towards Kokoda, during the Australian advance. We come across many “Stay Behind” lines or pits scattered along the track indicating the close contacts and positions of the machine gun battles from both enemy front lines.

We also have the chance to conduct some bird watching. This area is a haven for the famous Regina bird of Paradise and many other bird species. We continue our trek to 1900 Crossing and climb past picturesque moss forests through the thick jungles of the ranges toward the highest peak of the ranges at Mt. Bellamy (2230m); we trek to the Kokoda Gap, about 2190 meters, and view the Kokoda mountain ranges in the distance. Around this area, it is frigid with lots of cloud cover.

As we descend, we climb down steep slopes through some of the muddy rugged tracks to Templeton’s Crossing No. 1. Which is about 1850 meters above sea level; we then cross Templeton No. 1 on log bridges about 20 meters wide, and we climb up and down slippery steep slopes. Some sections are swampy, wet and boggy with many creeks until we reach our next campsite at Templeton Crossing No. 2.

We see the wartime Mail route used by the Australians at Templeton Crossing No. 2; we pay a visit to Australian War relics and graves and see a war memorial plaque and local campsite museum. The campsite museum has a wide variety of war relics, which is complemented by the beautiful surrounding jungle scenery. The group will overnight at the community guesthouse.

ACCOMMODATION

Village Hut (1 night)

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7: Templeton's Crossing 2 – Isurava

An early start this morning, we climb to roughly 1610 meters above sea level, navigating our way through swampy and slippery tracks. We then descend very steep paths and see Australian ambush positions and view Japanese foxholes along the way. We continue to trek to Eora Creek about 1425 meters above sea level, which was a significant Australian Field Hospital. It also was a supply base during the Australian advance and the battle of Isurava. Many war relics remain scattered along this section including empty mortar shells, empty ammunition shells, Japanese tunnels and trenches. Please take photos and leave everything where they are. 

A memorial brass plaque commemorates the memory of the brave diggers at Eora Creek Campsite. Here we must carefully navigate across the log bridges that can be quite daunting if you are afraid of heights. Take your time and listen to your porters and guides. 

We climb up to Alola Village, where we can see the Kokoda Plateau. Alola village is a beautiful mountain top village with many fresh local organically grown fruits, and we encourage you to purchase any fruits from the villagers. K10 will buy a hand of bananas. We will have lunch here at Alola. We can also visit the Alola Village museum which also has many relics from the battles around Eora Creek – K10 donations to the village. 

After lunch, we trek stony tracks with many steep climbs both up and down toward Isurava. Here we advise trekkers to be very careful as many have injured themselves throughout this section of the Kokoda. 

Passing Con’s Rock on our way to Isuarava, we will hear the Story of Stan and Butch Bisset – the Kokoda Wallabies. We highly recommend an optional visit to Con’s Rock ( K10 donation) as this is a site recognised by Con Vapp himself on his last visit back to the Kokoda. This rock saw many operations of wounded men injured from the battle of Isurava.

At Isurava battlefield campsite, we will take in breath-taking views of Kokoda and its surrounding mountains. When we reach this point of the track – we will have a substantial appreciation of the Kokoda Campaign, what the men on both sides had to endure throughout the Kokoda battles. At this site, there is a monument which was opened by both the Australian and Papua New Guinea Prime Ministers in memory of the brave efforts of the many Australian diggers and their Papuan “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel” friends. We will camp here for the night.

ACCOMMODATIONVillage Hut (1 night)

MEALS INCLUDEDBreakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8: Isurava – Kokoda

This morning you will be invited to join the guides and historians at the Isurava memorial site for a dawn service. You may be asked by your trek leader to read the Ode of Remembrance or a poem at the service this morning. If you would like to volunteer yourself, please let your trek leader know. Shortly after the service, you will be left take in the sunrise before making your way to breakfast. 

We leave Isurava campsite and pass wartime Isurava village as we make our way down toward Deniki and Kokoda. Trekking down very steep terrain past several creeks and fast-flowing river crossings. Along the way, we will pass local choko gardens and trek through the mountainsides until we climb up to Deniki, which is 831meters above sea level. We will have lunch here.

From Deniki we will be able to look back and view Alola and Isurava and be treated to a clear view of Kokoda Station and its many beautiful surroundings. After lunch, we will trek down to Hoi village then trek to Kovelo village. Here we travel through flat land walking in between Oil Palm, cocoa and rubber plantations until we reach Kokoda Station. Congratulations we have completed the Kokoda Track. Keep some beer money handy as our guides will be able to purchase some cold beer for you to enjoy around the campfire this evening. 

ACCOMMODATION

Village Hut (1 night)

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 9: Kokoda – Port Moresby

Today we will board our chartered plane to Port Moresby where we will freshen up and spend the night at the hotel. We will have a few beers and enjoy reminiscing on the past few days.

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel (1 night)

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 10: Farewell, Not Goodbye

The trip ends in Port Moresby this morning after breakfast. Hotel checkout is at 11am. There are no activities included on this day and you’re free to depart at any time. A departure transfer is included in the cost of your trip – please reconfirm your flight details and departure time with your leader.

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Complimentary Airport Departure Transfer

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast

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