Adventure Kokoda

Kokoda History Treks


Kokoda History Trek ItineraryThe Bulletin Kokoda Trail

Walk in the footsteps of the brave as we follow the war diary of Warrant-Officer Jack Wilkinson as he led his young bravehearts across the Kokoda Trail in 1942:

Day 1

Met at Port Moresby International Airport by Adventure Kokoda Trek Leader.  Bus to the Sogeri Lodge for check-in. Pre-trek briefing by trek leader. Final check of all camping gear. Briefing and video on the Kokoda campaign by trek leader.

Day 2

Bus to McDonald’s Corner which was the end of the road in 1942. Inspect the monument erected by Captain McDonalds CornerP.J. McDonald, a World War 1 veteran who owned the local rubber plantation. Continue to  Owers Corner.  Meet Niugini guides and porters.  Inspect 25-pound Artillery gun relocated to this site.  They were used to fire over the Australian position at Imita Ridge onto the Japanese position at Ioribaiwa. Some were towed down to the Goldie River with mules and packhorses.

Trek leader gives orders that were issued the 39th Battalion on their departure from this location.

Commence trek from here. Follow track down to the Goldie River and onto the abandoned village site of Uberi39th Battalion troops preparing for the march across the Kokoda Trail. Climb to Imita Ridge.  Inspect weapon pits on the Brigade position amongst the sheer rock face of ‘fortress Imita’.  This was the ridgeline the Australians were ordered to defend at all costs and fight to the death if necessary. It was the final obstacle between the advancing Japanese and their objective at Port MoresbyTrek Leader will provide a Battlesite briefing on Imita Ridge

Follow the track down to Imita Creek and along to campsie at Va Ule Creek

'7 July 1942: 0800 hrs. We left Ilolo in a hurry carrying packs. What a weight. Uncle Sam (Templeton) in Crossing Brown Riverthe lead. Arrived Uberi 1730 hrs. Several chaps sent back here with fever and bad knees. Hell of a strain on knees on down grades. Had busy time patching feet.'

Day 3

Continue along Imita Creek to the base of Ioribaiwa Ridge. Steep climb to the village of Ioribaiwa then onto the crest of the ridge. This was the furthest point of the Japanese advance. This is a significant battlesite becausethe Australian withdrawal caused widespread panic amongst many of our political leaders in Australia. They believed that Port Moresby would soon fall as a result. Battlesite briefing on the fight for Ioribaiwa Ridge. Kokoda Trek

Descend to Ofi Creek.for lunch. This was the site of a successful Australian ambush during the withdrawal toIoribaiwa

Gruelling climb to the crest of the Maguli Range – known as Mogolonumu. There are numerous false ridges over this range. Inspect Japanese delaying defensive position on the southern slope of the ridge.

Descend to campsite at Nauro village.

'7 July 1942: 0800 hrs. We left Ilolo in a hurry carrying packs. What a weight. Uncle Sam (Templeton) in the lead. Arrived Uberi 1730 hrs. Several chaps sent back here with fever and bad knees. Hell of a strain on knees on down grades. Had busy time patching feet.'

Day 4

Trek down the ridge via the abandoned wartime village of Nauro. Trek through the Nauro swamp river.  Cross the Brown River and trek to the base of the Ladavi Saddle.

Sharp climb up to the Menari Gap (Ladavi Saddle) - extensive views over the village of Menari, the southern Adventure Kokodaslopes of Brigade Hill, and the valley beyond. Descend to campsite at Menari Village – this is the site where Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Honner addressed his young bravehearts after the battle of Isurava – the parade was captured by wartime photographer, Damien Parer.

'8 July 1942: Made Ioribaiwa. Had carriers for our packs and just as well. Two long hills to climb. Missed out on tea as I was with last of troops. Had a job to get some of them to make it. Uncle Sam came back and helped me about half-way up last hill. Was carrying four rifles and three haversacks and had doubts about making it myself. Uncle Sam insisted on carrying all my gear as well as that of others. Had a busy time when reached camp. Many Adventure Kokodafeet blistered and chafes from haversacks and rifle slings. Camp cold and wet. Made a brew of rum and lime and hot water which revived some. Many non-drinkers among these kids. Rum turned out to be mostly metho spirits. Doled out by Steve (Captain Stevenson, Second-in-Command, B Company). Had a bad, cold night.'

'9 July1942: Made Nauro. A long hard day but not too bad. One man broke down but we all made camp. Good camp and nice place. Bothered by native bees enroute crawling all over us after the salt in sweat. No stings. Last downhill to camp very hard to take. Many falls as knees gave way. General condition of troops good. One man severe exhaustion. Conference with Uncle Sam and decidedAdventure Kokoda to stay here for one day to give troops a spell.'

'10 July1942: One man shows signs of dysentery. Age about 48. Oldest man in company - first war also. Has son in company and trying to keep up. Said nothing about being sick hoping he would improve. Decided to leave him here to come on later.'

Day 5

Trek via Menari airfield down through village gardens to Vabuyavi River – log crossing.

Climb up southern ridge to a track junction located at Tabunumu. Grruelling climb to the crest of the ridge toAdventure Kokoda Brigade Hill – the site of the biggest battle of the Kokoda campaign (site was rediscovered by Charlie Lynn in 1992). Inspect the weapon pits in the area held by the 2/14th Battalion during the battle. Trek around the crest of the hill to Mission Ridge.  The Diggers of the 2/27th Battalion referred to this as ‘Butchers Ridge because of the carnage that occurred during the battle. Battlesite briefing on the 21st Brigade HQ site. Trek down to Efogi village, cross Efoge Creekthen climb to Launumuvillage. Inspect the Japanese monument. Trek to campsite at Kagi – the 144th Japanese Regiment assembled in this area in preparation for their attack against more than 1500 Australian defenders from the 21st Brigade.  Adventure Kokoda

'11 July1942: Made Efogi. A long day but not too bad. Menari is nice spot in between and we had lunch there. Troops in good shape. Day's spell worked wonders. Uncle Sam very annoyed about the rum and metho. Pity any QM blokes he can pin the blame on.'

'12 July 1942: Made Kagi. Only a short walk but steep. Fairly high and cold. Peter Brewer (Assistant Resident Magistrate at Kokoda) here to work with carriers from Kokoda. Long talk about track ahead.'

Day 6

Trek down to Laili Creek and climb to Militia Ridge to follow the footsteps of the 39th Battalion along the Adventure Kokodaoriginal wartime trail. Continue long climb to Niavi lookout then to Veu Creek and a 39th Battalion A Echelon position. Trek to Manevu Creek for lunch and a swim. Climb to the highest point of the trail on Hagava Ridge near Mt Bellamy at 2342 metres. Trek via numerous creeks and a steep descent to our campsite at Templeton’s Crossing.  Battlesite briefing at Templeton’s Crossing

'13 July: To Eora Creek Crossing No 2. Long day over range. Rain forest and lawyer vines. Deep moss and slippery track. Rain and mist. Cold and dreary. Camp not too good. Creek roaring loudly. To bed with wet clothes. Hope my feet stand up to it a bit longer.'Adventure Kokoda

Day 7

Trek to Eora Creek – the site of the abandoned village of Eora.  This was the scene of utter chaos during the withdrawal.  Wounded Diggers were forced to crawl up the track while their mates desperately tried to buy them time against the advancing Japanese.  Those who couldn’t were given morphine and a gunDuring the Australian advance a month later this was the final obstacle for the Australians to breach – it took them four days to fight their way through the Japanese Defensive Position. Battlesite briefing on the delaying defence and the later attack at Adventure KokodaEora Creek.

Climb to Japanese position with dominating views over Eora Creek.  Gain an appreciation of how difficult it would have been for the Australians to breach this obstacle. Trek to Alola Village then onto our campsite at the Isurava Memorial.

'14 July1942: To flat below Deniki. Long day but reasonable walking. Could see Kokoda from hilltop. Kienzle, Uncle Sam and Brewer to Kokoda first and sent back tents for troops. Much warmer than in hills. Troops in good form. Some bananas and pawpaws for 'kai'.'

Day 8

Dawn Service and battlesite briefing at the Isurava Memorial Adventure Kokoda– includes traditional songs by PNG guides and carriers. Trek to Isurava Village via Etume and Ilole creeks and down the mountain through old garden areas that have been overgrown with choko vines.  Take a break at the old village site of Deniki which was the scene of the first battle after the Japanese attacked Kokoda.  Trek down to the campsite at Hoi Village via Deniki. After the Australians were forced off the Kokoda plateau they made a brave stand at Deniki.  From here they sent out patrols which recaptured Kokoda for a short time but were eventually forced to withdraw to Isurava after a brief but intense battle.  Extensive views down over the Yodda Valley from Deniki.

'15 July 1942 : To Kokoda. Nice place. Glad to be here. Adventure KokodaTook over native hospital. Got some potash permanganate and made troops soak feet for an hour. Then to sit in sun and dry out.'

Day 9

Trek to the plateau where the gallant 39th Militia Battalion first met the Japanese.  Battlesite briefing on the Kokoda plateau.  Inspect the monuments, memorials and small museum on the Kokoda plateau. Proceed to the airfield to meet the charter aircraft for our flight back over the track to Port Moresby. Charter flight from Kokoda to Port Moresby. Visit Bomana War Cemetery. Final briefing on the Kokoda campaign.

Check-In to Sogeri Lodge. Presentation Dinner.

Day 10

Hearty breakfast at Sogeri Lodge.  Depart for tour of Port Moresby which includes a visit to a major PNG artefact warehouse. Check-in at Jacksons International Airport. Departure Flight details and Check-in as advised by respective Travel Agents.

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