Kokoda History Treks led by an expert Australian guide - unforgettable 8-day experience from $3795.
Our Kokoda History Treks follow the footsteps of the brave as they fought one of the most desperate series of battles across the Owen Stanley Ranges from Kokoda to the doorstep of Port Moresby at Imita Ridge.
They are led by experienced Adventure Kokoda trek leaders with a detailed knowledge of the wartime history of the Kokoda campaign. They understand the Principles of War; the strategy of the Kokoda campaign; and the tactics of each battle which they will explain at each site.
The route follows the original 138 km wartime trail which is shorter than our 10-day Kokoda Premium Campaign Treks as it does not include the battle areas defended by the 53rd and 2/16th Australian Battalions on the eastern side of the Yodda Valley.
Our Kokoda History treks cover all the major battle sites at Imita Ridge, Ioribaiwa Ridge, Brigade Hill, Templeton's Crossing, Eora Creek, Isurava, Deniki and Kokoda where you will receive detailed historical presentations.
- All transportation
- All accommodation
- All trek fees
- Mosquito-proof tents
Dates & Availability for Kokoda History Trek
FAQs about this trek
The Kokoda Trail is a rugged and remote 130 kilometre jungle path across some of the most hazardous terrain most people will ever traverse.
'Imagine an area of approximately one hundred miles long. Crumple and fold this into a series of ridges, each rising higher and higher until seven thousand feet is reached, then declining in ridges to three thousand feet is reached, then declining in ridges to three thousand feet. Cover this thickly with jungle, short trees and tall trees, tangled with great, entwining savage vines. Through an oppression of this density, cut a little native track, two or three feet wide, up the ridges, over the spurs, round gorges and down across swiftly-flowing, happy mountain streams. Where the track clambers up the mountain sides, cut steps - big steps, little steps, steep steps - or clear the soil from the tree roots.
'Every few miles, bring the track through a small patch of sunlit kunai grass, or an old deserted native garden, and every seven or ten miles, build a group of dilapidated grass huts - as staging shelters - generally set in a foul, offensive clearing. Every now and then, leave beside the track dumps of discarded, putrifying food, occasional dead bodies and human foulings. In the morning, flicker the sunlight through the tall trees, flutter green and blue and purple and white butterflies lazily through the air, and hide birds of deep-throated song, or harsh cockatoos, in the foliage.
'About midday, and through the night, pour water over the forest, so that the steps become broken, and a continual yellow stream flows downwards, and the few level areas become pools and puddles of putrid black mud. In the high ridges above Myola, drip this water day and night over the track through a foetid forest grotesque with moss and glowing phosphosrescent fungi. Such is the track which a prominent (Australian) politician publicly described as 'Being almost impassable for motor vehicles', and such is the route for ten days to be covered from Ilolo to Deniki.'
Major General Sir Kingsley Norris
The Kokoda Campaign - Chronology
The best time to trek Kokoda is during the 'dry' season from April through to October. Trekkers can still trek comfortably during the wetter periods provided they are equipped with proper gear.
'Blackbirding' was a term associated with the kidnapping of Pacific Islanders to work in the Queensland sugar-cane fields in the late 19th Century - it was later outlawed as a form of slavery.
The practice, and its ugly connotations has been adopted by shady Australian trek operators who have sought to benefit from the increasing interest in trekking Kokoda in recent years. These operators are able to get away with the exploitation in Papua New Guinea because they do not have systems in place to protect their villagers against such abhorrent practices and because many Australians are seeking the 'cheapest' deal.
Blackbirders can be flushed out by asking the following questions:
- Do you have a maximum weight limit of 18 kg for the local guides and carriers you engage?
- Do you provide each of your local guides and carriers with a sleeping bag and mat each?
- Do you provide each of your local guides and carriers with a full trek uniform i.e. a cap, shirt and shorts?
- Do you pay each of your guides and carriers PGK 70 per day?
- Do you pay each of your guides and carriers a 'Walk-Home-Allowance' of PGK 250?
If they cannot answer an affirmative 'Yes' to each of these questions - no ifs or buts - you are dealing with a Blackbirder.
The average size of our groups in 2017 was 12 trekkers - groups are larger during school holiday periods.
The trek across Kokoda is the toughest physical challenge most people will encounter.
The decision as to whether to carry your own backpack is important because it can mean the difference between enjoying the experience or suffering and having to withdraw from the trek.
Some trekkers in the past have stubbornly refused to engage a personal carrier because they want to do it like ‘the diggers did it!’
If this is your rationale we suggest you purchase a pair of hobnail leather boots, carry a canvas backpack with webbing pouches; travel with a half-blanket which you will willingly share with up to six other trekkers; borrow a rifle and ammunition; sleep outside your tent and leave your underwear and toiletries at the hotel in Port Moresby!
For those who are young, confident and physically fit it will not be a problem. But for those who lead a sedentary lifestyle; who might be carrying an extra kilo or two; who might be harbouring some self-doubt about their ability to burden themselves with extra weight; or who do not maintain a daily regime of physical training it will be a struggle – you will find the track does not make concessions to anybody! It is therefore important that you do an honest assessment of your physical capabilities.
If you are physically fit, are an experienced extreme conditions trekker, and have prepared yourself with a strenuous training program then you should be able to carry your own pack. On the other hand if you have any doubts about your ability then you should consider engaging a personal carrier for yourself or sharing one with a mate.
If you engage your own Personal Carrier prior to your trek we provide them with a trek uniform and purchase additional food and camping gear for them before we leave Port Moresby – there is none available along the track.
The cost of a Personal Carrier is between $660 - $790 per person, depending on the trek type/duration. The cost will be displayed when completing the online Booking Form.
If you decide to engage one after you arrive an additional $150 surcharge will apply to cover the additional costs we have to incur as short notice.
From time to time we have trekkers who realise they cannot carry their backpack after the second or third day - we then have to try and recruit additional carriers along the trail. This is a difficult exercise in the middle of the Owen Stanley Ranges as we are not able to arrange for additional food, uniforms or camping gear for the additional carriers. It’s also unfair as our PNG trek guides and carriers, who already work hard under extreme conditions, don’t appreciate having the size of their meals reduced whenever we have to engage additional personal carriers during the trek.
A Personal Carrier will carry your backpack and act as your ‘trek caddy’ for the duration of your trek – he will often catch you before you fall; will assist you over the most difficult sections of the trail; assist you with packing up and setting up and proudly introduce you to his family in his village.
Meet the Trek Leaders
In 2015 Charlie was inducted as an Officer of the Logohu by the Government of Papua New Guinea in their New Years Honours and Awards list 'for service to the bilateral relations between Papua New Guinea and Australia and especially in the development of the Kokoda Trail and its honoured place in the history of both nations' over the past 25 years.' More..
Chad is a decorated Vietnam veteran - he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in action. Chad first joined the 8th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (8 RAR) as a tracking dog handler. He was promoted through the ranks to Sergeant while serving with 8 RAR and served with the Battalion in Malaysia and South Vietnam. More..
Scott joined the Australian Army as a 16 year old apprentice in 1985. He was promoted through the ranks and has spent over 34 years serving in the Australian Regular Army.
Scott has worked with the United Nations in Sudan as a Military Observer and as an Adviser in Afghanistan with the US 82nd Airborne and the 3rd Infantry Divisions. More..
Craig joined the Australian Army in 1979 and was posted to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps where he has served for 40 years with over 20 years serving in Special Operations Command as a Commando.
Craig has seen regimental service as a soldier and officer rising through the ranks within The Royal Australian Regiment and Special Operations Command, his career culminated as soldier with two Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) appointments prior to commissioning to officer in 2005. More..
Rowan is a pioneer of the Kokoda Trail. He first trekked it 30 years ago when he served with the PNG Defence Force. He is fluent in the local language 'Tok Pisin'. Rowan is a military historian and is acknowledged as the most eminent authority on the strategy and tactics of the Kokoda campaign. More..
Over the past 34 years Captain Reg Yates has explored most of the WW11 battlesites in PNG. He is fluent in Tok Pisin and is well respected by village elders along the Kokoda Trail. More..
Peter Morrison is an unassuming young Australian. He first trekked with Adventure Kokoda almost a decade ago and developed a strong desire to learn more about the campaign and the people he met along the trail. Peter is a professional boxer and former NSW Welterweight Champion. More..
Simon joined the Australian Navy a Cadet Midshipmen in 1973 and carved out an outstanding career spanning 33 years. He specialised in maritime surface ship operations and spent the majority of his career at sea. More..
Bernie is a Kokoda tragic. He first trekked with Kokoda to honour his father who served in New Guinea during the war. He has since trekked it 55 times. Bernie has transposed his success in business to his passion for leading treks across the Kokoda Trail. More..
Rod is currently serving as a Sergeant in the Royal Australian Artillery at 4 Field Regiment Townsville. He has served in the Sinai Peninsula and Iraq and has a deep understanding of the wartime history of the Kokoda campaign. He is also a competitive ultra-marathon athlete. More..
Peter served in the Army Reserve for 7 years and has two grandfathers who served in both World Wars - one being a highly decorated soldier. Peter recently graduated with a MPhil in Military History with the Australian Defence Force Academy and is now studying for his PhD. More..
Prior to John joining Adventure Kokoda he used to wrestle crocodiles with Steve Irwin. John is a qualified para-medic and expert bushman. He has a deep emotional commitment to Kokoda and the veterans he has met over the years. He is a keen student of the Kokoda campaign. More..
Fiona has a strong passion for Kokoda, PNG and its people which was sparked as a young girl knowing her grandfather fought on Kokoda.
As a school teacher Fiona has extensive experience in developing leadership in young Australians and has been involved in the development of a leadership program within the school environment. This saw her bring two passions together; teaching our future generations and Kokoda, whilst getting them outside of their comfort zones, and allowing them to learn about themselves. More..
Carla brings great organisational skills, energy and humour to her role. She is passionate about the Kokoda campaign and thrives on seeing how transformative and life-changing this experience can be for trekkers.
Carla was initially inspired to trek Kokoda to honour her Grandfathers service with the AIF in Buna and has now successfully participated in a number of Adventure Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge treks as a Trek Guide. More..
Tracie is the General Manager and engine room of Adventure Kokoda - she is on-call 24/7 and will look after your every need and concern from the moment you book your trek until you arrive back in Australia. More..