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

Owers Corner to Kokoda

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: 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. 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, clients will 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, Trekkers begin to 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. This will be 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 – Offi Creek

From Goodwater campsite, we have to look forward to climbing the Golden staircase, which is a steep wide track to Imita Ridge. The Golden Staircase is a stairway built by the Australian diggers to climb to Imita ridge (850m ascent), bringing with them 25 pounder guns to positions on the top of Imita Ridge, surprising and stopping Japanese advancement at Ioribaiwa village. We trek and past camp 66 – a site of a wartime supply dump. We also see diggers defensive trenches, supply trenches and routes to different mountainsides including some war relics.

From the tip of Imita Ridge, we view 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. Here we look back and view Imita Ridge to Ower’s corner and see the very close battlefields of the Japanese and the Australian troops.

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 850 meters and descend down a steep slope to our next campsite at Offi Creek. We will check into our guesthouse for the evening and have a swim in the river to freshen up our legs after a big day.

ACCOMMODATION

Village Hut (1 night)

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4: Offi Creek – Menari

We say good-bye to Offi Creek early this morning and we commence a steep upward climb up “Japanese ladder.” This was a stairway built by the Japanese troops, cutting steps into the clayey soil to climb down a very steep slope from Maguli Range. We trek past Japanese campsites and trenches as we climb Japanese ladder until we reach Station 88 – About 1050 meters above sea level – This was a site for the Advancing Australian wartime carriers camp.

We will see the Australian engineer’s campsite, where the 2/16th battalion ambushed Japanese Advance party during the Australian withdrawal.

We continue to climb a steep slope to the top of Maguli range, about 1320 meters above sea level. As we descend, we trek down the infamous 9 false peaks with an open view to the beautiful mountain ranges overlooking the Nauro Valley. We will follow the trek along the spectacular Blue Mountains of Manari and Efogi.

After a short break, we trek down to the old wartime village of Nauro. After lunch, we take a short trek to Amuduri campsite and continue to the mighty Brown river, where we cross this fast-flowing river by foot, as there are no log bridges to cross. From here, we follow a swampy flat land to Avulogo campsite where we have lunch. After lunch, we climb a steep slope to the top of Manari Gap, about 1130 meters, with spectacular views to Manari Village, Mt. Tamata and Mt. Victoria.

From here we climb down Manari Ridge through slopes to Manari village and overnight. We will walk past Japanese wartime trenches or pits. Manari is located about 850 meters above sea level and is a famous wartime village.

An early wake up is required today and our trek will require at least 10 hours of walking.

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 view a memorial plaque on a stone along the river. And we carefully navigate log bridges to cross this river. We climb up to Manari lookout and view Manari village from the top with spectacular views to Manari and Nauro. We take a short rest and continue trekking uphill until we reach Brigade Hill memorial and the original Australian war gravesite which occurred between October 6 to 8, 1942.

During our trek, we discover and view Japanese and Australian Defensive positions including tunnels, weapon pits and trenches. Around this area, clients will find a lot of war relics like guns, helmets and live ammunitions like mortar shells. We take photographs of the beautiful mountain top scenery and view the memorial plaque, while we have a lunch break. Many Australians dies in this battle and many still remain missing in action – meaning most died in the bushes within the vicinity of the battlefield site including many Japanese soldiers. 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. We cross these two (2) rivers and climb up to Efogi airstrip

and have Lunch at a selected guesthouse. At Efogi, we take a sightseeing view of the village and view Brigade Hill and mission ridge from Efogi. We visit the Efogi War museum for PGK 5- 10. 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. From here we take a clear view of our lunch location and view Kagi and Naduri at the top, and a chance to take photographs. From Efogi 1, we climb down a stony steep slope with many beautiful flora species to view.

We come across Evoge River – A big fast-flowing river on the log ridges and we climb to the top to Naduri about 1400meters with very nice places to take fantastic panoramic photographs. A visit to meet one of the last remaining “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels” who resides at Naduri village. His name is Ovuru Ndiki if he is available and present we will have a chance to pay our respects to him. A campsite will be set up here in 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 vigorously outnumbered and pulled back towards to Kokoda, during the Australian advance. During our trekking, 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 is a haven for the famous Regina bird of Paradise and many other bird species. We continue our trek to 1900 Crossing and climb passed moss forests through some of the thick jungles of the ranges to the highest peak of the ranges at Mt. Bellamy, about 2637 meters; we trek to the Kokoda Gap, about 2190 meters, and view the Kokoda mountain ranges in the distance. Around this area, it is very cold 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, slippery 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 1910 meters above sea level, navigating our way through swampy and slippery tracks. We then descend down very steep tracks and see Australian ambush positions and view Japanese foxholes. We continue to trek to Eora Creek about 1425 meters above sea level, which was a major Australian Field Hospital and supply base. During the Australian advance and during the battle of Isurava, we see many war relics including empty mortar shells, empty ammunition shells, Japanese tunnels and trenches.

We see a memorial Brass plaque, commemorated in memory of the brave diggers at Eora Creek Campsite. Here we must carefully navigate across the log bridges, supported by local porters, as it is about 15- 20 meters wide with many large rocks below. From here we have a very clear view of Kokoda and Poppendeta in a distance. Alola village is a beautiful mountain top village with many fresh local organically grown fruits. We will have lunch here during which our clients will be free to take photographs of the beautiful scenery.

After lunch, we trek through some of the stony tracks with many steep climbs up and down with two (2) major steep descents, one at 45 meters down and the other about 75 meters down. Here we advise our clients to be very careful as many trekkers have been injured or killed. We trek up to the highest peak of this track, standing at 1420 meters above sea level and then follow the mountain ranges and trek to Isurava Battlefield campsite and overnight. During our walk, we will view the many defensive positions of both enemy lines including a memorial plaque of Private Kingsbury. They will also be able to visit the rock that Kingsbury used as protection whilst while attacking the Japanese Advance party until he was shot. We will also visit Butch Bisset’s death site and trek for a few hundred meters to Con’s rock. We then trek passed a wartime rest house and trek to our campsite for the night. At Isurava battlefield campsite, we will be treated to a breath-taking view of Kokoda and its surrounding mountains.

We view a memorial monument and Plaque. It is a very interesting site, as the Prime Ministers of both Australia and Papua New Guinea opened it 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.

ACCOMMODATION

Village Hut (1 night)

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8: Isurava – Kokoda

We will have a brief dawn service this morning to remember all the parties that fought in the bloody Kokoda campaign. We will wake at 430 am and make our way down to the pillars where the porters will lead us in a service. We leave Isurava campsite and trek passed wartime Isurava village to present day Isurava village, trekking down very steep terrain past a number of 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 trek through flat land walking in between Oil Palm, cocoa and rubber plantations until we reach Kokoda Station and overnight at a selected guesthouse.

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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