Adventure Kokoda

Planning Your Trek


Planning your Kokoda Trek

Papua New Guinea is often referred to as the ‘land of the unexpected’ or a ‘parliament of a thousand tribes’.  It is the most complex and culturally diverse island on the planet.  It is also the custodian of our wartime history in the South-West Pacific.

The Kokoda Trail is located in remote mountainous terrain in the formidable Owen Stanley Ranges.  The climate is tropical – hot, wet and humid.  Much of the area is inaccessible by helicopter and remote from the nearest medical facility in Port Moresby. 

The trek itself is a physically demanding challenge. We therefore require each of our trekkers to be in adequate physical and medical shape and free of any medical conditions that may prevent them from completing such an arduous personal challenge.  We also need to ensure our trek leader is fully alerted to any potential health problems. 

If you prepare yourself adequately for the adventure it will be a pilgrimage you will never forget.

The most important qualities for a successful pilgrimage are a sense of adventure, a positive attitude, a healthy body, an inquiring mind, an abundance of common sense and a good sense of humour.

Keep in mind that from the time you arrive at the airport in Port Moresby, until the time you depart at the end of your pilgrimage, you will be led and accompanied by our trek leaders and PNG guides.  We have successfully managed every situation we have encountered over the past 21 years however our job is always made easier if our trekkers have taken note of our advice organised themselves

The following suggestions will help you in this regard:



Before you decide on a date to trek do a ‘self-assessment’ of your physical fitness. If you have any concerns arrange for a check-up with your doctor and/or a physical assessment with Personal Trainer. Click here to download the Medical Clearance we require for our trek. This ensured we had a 99.99% success rate in 2012.


Allow yourself a minimum of three months to prepare yourself physically for the trek – longer if your fitness needs to improve


Take out an appropriate Travel Insurance policy the day you lodge your deposit for your trek – this will often cover any contingency that might happen between then and the start date of your trek. Your policy must include emergency helicopter evacuation from the trail.


Arrange to take leave of absence from your workplace employer


Carefully check what is included in the price of your trek – make sure there are no hidden extras such as meals in Port Moresby, tent and equipment hire; airport transfers;


Obtain an indicative budget of discretionary expenses in PNG during your trek so there are no surprises. We will provide this for you in our trek package


Read ‘Kokoda’ by Peter Fitzsimons before you leave – Fitz trekked with us and borrowed our entire Kokoda library as part of his research for his book. Our war history presentations at each battlesite are comprehensive and will leave you with a detailed understanding of the military strategy, tactics and outcomes of each battle.


Give yourself time to purchase and use your trekking gear before your trek. Clothing should be light and comfortable; boots should be worn a few times to ensure there are no ‘hot-spots’; you should acquire a good quality backpack and/or daypack. Seriously consider using two trekking poles (I wouldn’t trek without them) and make sure you try out your camping mattress before you leave. Time spent selecting; organising and testing your gear will pay dividends during your trek.  We provide a detailed list of recommendations in our trek package which you receive when you book with us.


If you are not an experienced bushwalker or are not in excellent physical shape we recommend you consider hiring a personal carrier. We use local villagers from along the trail and they are truly masters of their environment. They are happy, cheerful and regard it as a personal honour to get you safely across the trail.


You need to ensure you have a valid passport. It is also a good idea to obtain a visa before you leave Australia if you have time. However you can obtain one on arrival at the Port Moresby airport if this is not possible. We will send you more details in this regard with our trek package.


We recommend you register with before you leave Australia. This is a free service recommended by the Australian Government.


Remember that every step you take as part of your physical training regime is akin to a deposit in your personal fitness account. If you make enough deposits you will have more than enough to draw on when you are doing the hard yards on Kokoda. If you haven’t made enough deposits you might have to go into debt – and that is always painful!


As part of our service you can call us anytime to discuss any aspect of your preparation.  When we receive your booking we will advise you of the name of your trek leader and give you his mobile telephone number and email address.  You can also call Charlie on 0439 303 303 or email him at





You have a duty of care to yourself and to your family to ensure the trekking company you choose has a proper and current Public Liability Insurance policy. More than 90 per cent of trek operators on the Kokoda Trail do not have this type of cover because it is both difficult and expensive to obtain. It is therefore your responsibility to ensure the operator you choose has a valid and current Certificate of Insurance for at least $10 million per claim. If they cannot provide you with the name of the insurance provider and a policy number it would be grossly irresponsible to trek with them.


Click on the following information for more detailed information on our Adventure Kokoda tres:





Six important points of difference to note with Adventure Kokoda:

1. We conduct an Authentic Dawn Service at the Isurava War Memorial
2. The historical knowledge of our Australian Trek Leaders is unsurpassed
2. We trek the original wartime route and do not take the eco-shortcut via Naduri
4. We provide a roomy mosquito proof tent for each of our individual trekkers
5.We provide freshly cooked meals (courtesy of our specially trained trek catering crew).
6. We are a pioneering trek operator with more than 21 years experience on Kokoda

and we don't subscribe to the 'bogan chant' increasingly used by eco-trek operators as their 'jungle war cry'

Comments on the Kokoda 'bogan chant' blog

'Charlie I could not agree more. As a witness to such an occurrence I am sad to say it was cringeworthy in the extreme and highly inappropriate. Aussie pride is great and should be encouraged but not in this way. Surely there is a better way to express patriotism in a setting as important to us as the Kokoda Trail than this stupid chant that is well past its use by date and in my view has become a national embarrassment.'

Steve G
April 2013

'We whole heartedly agree & support your statement above Charlie. We were surprised & appalled by the behaviour of other trekkers & companies we come across while we were in the wonderful, historic & peaceful setting of the PNG jungle.'

'Watching trekers shouting “Oi,Oi,Oi” while playing stacks on, with the trek leader watching & 3 other Trekkers still on the track hours behind (as they were 2 men in their 70′s & a lady in her 60′s) left with only their carriers (doing an outstanding job) & no medical support was almost more than we & our fellow trekkers could stand.

'Not to mention while at Brigade Hill, where we were honouring those who had fallen a group on completing a climb with Australian Flags on their back yelling “we did it” barging through disrupting our group, our guide & our clear time of reflection.

'How dare companys be allowed to operate in such a horrid & disrespectful manner.

'Going to PNG has been a highlight of our lives. The people of PNG we meet along the track were truly inspirational & the hardship faced by those living in Port Morsby, who are clearly trying to do what they can shows the strength of the PNG people.

'We would like to thank you & Chad for allowing us to see PNG for what it truly is & giving us not only a wonderful trekking experience but also teaching us one of Australia’s finest moments of war.'
Marie and Michael T
April 2013


Charlie Lynn leading climb towards Tovovo Ridge