|Grade of Tour||7/10|
|Direction:||Kokoda to Owers Corner (North to South)|
|Dawn Service||Brigade Hill|
|International Flight:||To PNG: 23rd May
From PNG: 02nd June
|Hotel Stay||2 nights at the Ela Beach Hotel|
This is one of our amazing 9 day Kokoda Track tours, that begin in Port Moresby at our luxury accommodation and travel to Kokoda village the following day. Over the duration of 9 days, we will complete this journey detailing all of the wartime sites and relics on the wartime trails.
Over the trek the group will cover the landing of the Japanese, the battles of the Northern Beaches Campaigns and the Kokoda Campaigns and have the opportunity to stand in the places where so many soldiers gave their lives.
The conclusion of the trek is at Ower’s Corner where celebration photos will be taken before making our to Bomona War Cemetery for a visit. After our commemorative stop at Bomana, we travel into Port Moresby to grab lunch and head to the hotel for a shower and our last meal as a group together.
All of our treks provide a cultural, historical experience where trekkers assist us to give back to the communities and villages in Papua New Guinea. Visiting the schools, churches and locals in the villages is a humbling experience.
All of our tours are guided by the best Australian outdoor recreation guides in the business. Our guides are extremely knowledgable in the Kokoda Trail campaign, outdoor adventure travel skills, remote area wilderness first aid and Papua New Guinean culture. All of our Aussie guides are highly trained and competent we will ensure you get the best experience the Kokoda Track has to offer.
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Day 1 Arrive Port Moresby
Trekkers, please note that the itinerary is just a guide and can change for a number of reasons. Your guide will keep you informed of the daily itinerary should it need to change.
Your Kokoda Trek package starts when you arrive in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. You will be met at the airport by our Escape Trekking Adventures PNG Operations Manager, and transferred to our hotel for the night.
Later that afternoon, all of our trekkers and tour guide will meet, collect gear and be briefed about the tour. If you have any questions, your guide will be more than happy to answer them for you. As a group, you will enjoy a nice meal together (personal expense) and discuss the adventure ahead. Please ensure you are packed and ready for an early morning departure before going to bed
Day 2: POM to Kokoda to Hoi via Kokoda Battle Site
From Popondetta, you will take the long drive towards Kokoda, on the way stopping at the Kumasi River & Oivi for pictures and to listen to the tour commentary. After arriving in Kokoda, we walk to the Kokoda Museum (if open) and memorial. It is here that you will get your first real look at the Owen Stanley Ranges and get an appreciation for what lies ahead.
A battlefield briefing will occur while in Kokoda as you uncover the happenings of the two Kokoda engagements.
Lunch will be served at a guesthouse in Kokoda before we walk towards the Owen Stanley ranges.
After lunch, we introduce you to our expedition team and match with you with your personal guides (if you have one).
Now together as a team, the group will commence the trek from Kokoda to Hoi. It takes around 2 hours (depending on the pace of the group). Hoi is a great little village and is a fitting first night to camp.
Tonight you can wash in a beautiful stream (no soap please) before sharing the first evening meal time on the track which includes a briefing on the relevant history of the area and the next day’s itinerary.
Day 3: Hoi to Cons/Surgeons Rock via Deniki & Isurava Battle sites
Rising early (450 hours) the group will enjoy breakfast, break camp and for the first time hear the call to be ready to move out.
The first ascent to Deniki can be quite hot and steamy, please take your time and ensure you don’t overheat or sustain a heat-induced injury.
Deniki and Kokoda now behind you, the group will trek through the lush green Choko vines that reach into the canopy of the trees. We will continue to move up the Owen Stanley Range to Isurava Village for lunch.
After a welcomed rest, we will continue to Isurava Battle site. A minute silence is held here to remember the soldiers who fought, and to also pay tribute to the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels and Papuan Infantry Battalion. Isurava battle site was lost for many years to the jungle. Today the memorial site has been cleared serving as a memorial to the fallen soldiers that died in the Kokoda Trail campaign.
Today the reality of the track that we are walking begins to take shape. 20-30 minutes after Isurava battle site is Surgeons rock an amazing campsite that takes in views of the valley back to Kokoda
Day 4:Cons/Surgeons Rock – Eora Creek via the lower Japanese defensive position
A service will be held at Con’s Rock this morning after breakfast.
Aloli and Alola are the next two villages we encounter, and this should only take us 1 hour, where you will have a short break.
From Alola, we encounter our first steep downhill section that can be slippery if it is wet. The descent takes around 1 hour until we cross a creek and proceed to climb at a steady pace for 2 hours towards Eora Creek.
Along the way, a detour is taken to view the lower Japanese defensive position overlooking Eora Creek (landowner dependant). This position was used by the Japanese primarily in their retreat and was the scene of bitter fighting as the Aussie diggers scaled almost vertical embankments in some parts to capture the Japanese position. From the junction, we walk on to Eora Creek campsite. Some trekkers say that this is their favourite spot, and you will understand why as our team establish a camp for the evening.
The creek is a beautiful swimming place, although it can be a little chilly, which is great for your aching muscles.
This afternoon we take part in battlefield briefings about the Australian withdrawal and advance. One story talks about the Eora creek river running red from the hellish battle that took place here during 1942.
We gather for dinner as we do each night and reflect on the day, talk about some additional war stories and facts along with covering what the next day entails.
Day 5: Eora Creek to Camp 1900
After an early rise, we prepare for a long hard days hiking, which will see us rise to the highest point along the entire Kokoda Track.
First up this morning we spend 2 hours of solid climbing and descending passing many Australian weapon pits established during the Australian advance and an Australian mortar supply dump at Fabula (local name for the area).
Trekkers will stop for a rest at Templeton’s Crossing for morning tea before proceeding onto Dump 1 for lunch.
After lunch, we hike up Mt Bellamy stopping at the Kokoda Gap to take in the views.
Today is about taking our time and encouraging each other over this section of the track that can be quite difficult.
From the gap, we trek down to 1900 campsite for the night where there is a pleasant little stream to wash.
This campsite will be the coldest nights sleep you will have on the track so rug up and prepare for temperatures around 5-14 degrees Celsius.
Day 6: Camp 1900 to Brigade Hill via Myola wartime drop zone via Ovuru Ndiki’s Tomb
Setting off from 1900 we trek to Naduri Village. The Myola drop zones are visible in the distance. At the top of this mornings ascent, there is a magnificent viewing area where Naduri and Brigade Hill are visible. The track leading into Naduri can be extremely slippery if it has rained, so take your time and watch your step. Naduri is a charming village, and the group will pause for morning tea.
Naduri was the home of, one of the last Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, Ovuru Idiki, who sadly passed away on November 2013. We visit his memorial and tomb where the old man now lays in peace.
Often one of Ovuru’s family members will greet us and tell stories passed on by Ovuru. We regularly donate money to this village to help out the schools and church. You can assist the village by giving 10-20 kina as a way of showing our appreciation for the service of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angles.
From Naduri we plunge down a steep descent (2 hours) and climb a steep ascent on the other side up to Launumu (Efogi 2), then on to Efogi for lunch.
We can also stop for a quick swim in the creek before lunch to cool down.
After lunch ensure you’re wearing sunscreen as we spend quite a long period out in the open climbing up to Brigade Hill. Brigade Hill is the eeriest place to camp, and often the clouds roll in over the summit.
Tonight we will prepare ourselves for a dawn service the following morning.
Day 7: Brigade Hill to Nauro via Japanese offensive positions
After an emotional early morning dawn service, we descend down to Menari. On the trek down the ridge, the group will stand at the lookout high above Menari village, the location of Japanese positions in the area during their advance.
The group will complete the descent down to the creek, and after a short walk up, you reach a guesthouse beside an airstrip for morning tea.
While in Menari the school students may gather to present a show for you.
Menari, the group, will trek up towards the top of ‘the Menari gap’. Here the group will have a rest and take our time descending “The wall” amongst the tree roots and mud.
We stop for lunch and a swim at Agulogo, and it is not long before boots are back off, to cross the Brown River. The next 1 hour you will trek through the muddy swamp, then we will slowly climb our way up to New Nauro Village where a welcomed rest and our campsite is for the night. Nauro is halfway up the Maguli range and one of the most comfortable campsites on the track.
Day 8: Nauru to Ioribaiwa Village via the Japanese Ofi Creek and Ioribaiwa ridge defensive position
After Nauro, we will trek up the ridge where it is easy to get discouraged with the remaining false peaks. However, as a team, we encourage each other, and before long, you reach the top and trek down to the Japanese ladder and onwards to lunch. From there the group continues down the ridge to Ofi Creek. This trek will take around 2-3 hours, depending on the pace of the group. Near the descent, to Ofi Creek we pause at the Japanese ambush defensive position. From here, you can see how dangerous this position was.
At Ofi Creek you can enjoy another welcomed wash, at yet another beautiful location. After lunch, we trek up and over the Ioribaiwa Ridge to the post-war village. At the top of the ridge, we gather and discuss the history of the battles that took place here.
Ioribiwa ridge is quite an amazing place for trekkers to stand, as it marks the position that the main forces of Japanese advanced to, before being ordered to ‘advance to the rear’ under pressure from the Australian troops.
Descending from Ioribiwa ridge, we reach present-day Ioribaiwa village. The sunsets here are magical if the weather is kind to us.
Day 9: Ioribaiwa Village to Camp Goodwater Via final defensive position in the Australian withdrawal
The group sets off early and progresses down through Dump 44 and onto Ua-Ule Creek you will need to pause and put on your river crossing shoes. We will be crisscrossing the stream numerous times (18 times in total in this valley) over the next 2-3 hours before reaching morning tea at the base of the mighty Imita Ridge.
The Salvos had a ‘Hop In’ tent erected here during the war, serving refreshments to the soldiers. After morning tea we ascend Imita Ridge.
It is quite a challenging climb and trekkers should pace yourself. After a group picture at the top and a history briefing, the team will trek down to Imita base (Goodwater) camp for the night.
The campsite has a terrific swimming hole to enjoy your last night on the track.
In the evening the trekkers often pass the hat around to tip the group porters. The group Guide tip and the personal Guide tip are presented after dinner on the final night on the Kokoda track.
Day 10:Goodwater to Port Moresby via Ower Cr & Bomana Cemetery
With the group now exhausted but eager to get to Owers Corner, we walk for just over 1 hour to Goldie River. Trekkers welcome the great opportunity here to cool down in the water before the last climb.
After leaving Goldie, we trek up the final climb to Owers’ Corner where there will be many cheers, photos and celebrations as trekkers walk through those famous arches.
There will be an opportunity here to view the memorials before boarding transport for the last trip back to Port Moresby and the last night at the hotel.
On the way, you will have a brief stop at Macdonald’s Corner and Bomana Cemetery. We spend Time at Bomana Cemetery to pay our respects to all of the fallen service personal it holds. We are scheduled to arrive at the hotel between 2-3 pm. After a cleanup, all trekkers usually meet to celebrate their achievement, and to enjoy a final meal together.
Day 11:Tour Conclusion and airport transfer
After a cleanup, all trekkers usually meet to celebrate their achievement and to enjoy a final meal together (personal expense).
Most flights after midday allow for a lazy sleep in and a final breakfast with your fellow trekkers. Flights between 6-10 am require an early rise and transfer to get to the airport in time to clear customs. Customs in PNG are rostered on to open at 4 am.