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
You should not have any worries if you are travelling with a reputable trek operator who utilizes a secure hotel and pre-arranged transport in Port Moresby.
Our trek leaders meet you on arrival at the Port Moresby airport; accompany you to your accommodation; provide detailed pre-trek briefings and equipment checks; lead you safely across the trail; and escort you back to the Port Moresby airport at the end of your trek. We are with you the entire time you are in PNG.
Our relationships with local villagers along the trail is based on mutual respect because of the employment we provide to their local Koiari and Orokaiva guides; the money we have invested into their local campsites; and the community benefits we provide through our not-for-profit company, Network Kokoda.
The situation is assessed by the trek leader. If it is an emergency he will immediately contact the Adventure Kokoda base at Sogeri via satellite phone or VHF Radio. The person in charge of the office will initiate immediate evacuation procedures by telephone with the appropriate emergency authorities in PNG and will advise the Australian High Commission of the details. Immediate action will be taken to move the patient by stretcher to an area accessible by helicopter or to a nearby airfield. The patient will be met on arrival by our representative from Sogeri who will then liaise with the appropriate medical authorities and the Australian High Commission for the most appropriate treatment or further evacuation to Australia if necessary.
Anybody can – and many do – walk in off the street, fill out an application, pay a small fee and become an authorised Kokoda tour operator. There are no due diligence checks. They do not have to have a registered company. They do not need a Public Liability insurance policy. They do not need satellite phones, VHF radios or medical kits - and if something bad happens they have no assets to reclaim.
Trekkers should therefore take note of the old Latin proverb of Caveat emptor which means ‘let the buyer beware’ – as it is applicable to the current management system put in place by the Australian Government.
PNG Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill recently initiated a review of the Kokoda Track Authority. The current management system, put in place by the Australian Government during the period 2009-2012 has not worked.
Prior to the year 2000 the Kokoda Trail was only crossed by small numbers of hardy adventurers.
A rapid increase from 76 trekkers in 2001 to a peak of 5621 in 2008 transformed it into Papua New Guinea’s premier tourism attraction.
In 2003 the PNG Government established a ‘Kokoda Track (Special Purpose) Authority (the ‘KTA’) as a statutory government body of the Koiari and Kokoda Local-level Governments to manage the emerging Kokoda trekking industry and ensure local villages across the trail received shared benefits from it. Unfortunately it has not worked out as it was envisaged.
In 2004 a PNG expatriate CEO was appointed to manage the KTA with a part-time secretarial assistant. During the next four years trekker numbers increased 255% from 1584 in 2994 to 5621 in 2008.
In response to a public outcry over a threat to mine a large part of the Kokoda Trail in 2006 the Australian Government entered into a ‘joint’ agreement with the PNG Government to assist in developing a case for the Owen Stanley Ranges to be listed as a World Heritage site. Responsibility was delegated to the Department of Environment in Canberra.
This led to a vertable army of taxpayer funded environmental officials, academics, contractors and consultants to 'assist' PNG manage the emerging Kokoda trekking industry. For most it was their first trip to PNG.
In 2009 an Australian CEO was appointed to the KTA on an eye-watering salary package. It was his first time in PNG and he did not trek across the Kokoda Trail until just prior to his departure in 2012. He was supported by a 10-fold increase in staff and a multi-million dollar budget.
Despite this injection of resources annual trekker numbers declined by 44 per cent from 5621 in 2008 to 3156 in 2012!
A desktop study titled ‘Kokoda Track Authority Strategic Plan 2012 – 2015’ was developed over a long period of time. It is instructive that not a single one of the five strategies or 33 key performance objectives contained in the plan were achieved.
The Australian CEO departed towards the end of 2012 without leaving a single management protocol in place for his PNG successor - no draft legislation; no management database; no campsite booking system; no integrity in the trek operator licensing system; no safeguards for the welfare of PNG guides and carriers; no audit system for campsite owners; no trail maintenance plan; no community development plan; etc. etc. etc.
The PNG management team were left with an unworkable model which has led to a call for a review by Prime Minister O'Neill.
They do not understand the Principles of Commemoration and know little about the wartime history of the Kokoda campaign.
Trekkers should be aware that they currently have no protection from the KTA. There is no integrity in the licensing system.
The temperature on the Kokoda Trail is a constant 29 - 30 degrees Celsius during the day.
Humidity is very high however trekkers are protected from direct sunlight most of the time because they are under the jungle canopy.
Over the higher part of the Owen Stanley's the temperature can drop to 1 - 2 degrees Celsius during the night.
And it can rain in the 'dry' season and be quite dry in the 'wet' season - so always be prepared for rain!
Some claim that 'there are many tracks to the Kokoda Trail' - this is code for them using eco-shortcuts that allows them to cut costs by getting groups across in shorter periods of time.
Much of the wartime trail is much as it was in 1942 because fewer trekkers use it today.
Those interested in the authentic history of the Kokoda campaign trek via the original wartime trail over the Kagi Gap to Lake Myola. Those who wish to explore the mystic charm of the Lake Myola area should allow for an additional day otherwise all they will get is a quick glance at it.
The map below shows a popular eco-shortcut via Naduri village - neither the track itself nor the village existed during the Kokoda campaign.
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.'
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rod is currently serving as a Sergeant in the Royal Australian Artillery at Kapooka. 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.
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.
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.
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 43 times. Bernie has transposed his success in business to his passion for leading treks across the Kokoda Trail.
Dave began exploring Australia as soon as he was old enough to escape Sydney. He was born in the city but his heart was in the bush. There are few places in Australia that Dave hasn’t trekked on foot or explored in off-road vehicles. He even took to the sea as a crew member on the Tall Ship HMAS Bounty during the Bicentenary in 1988.
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.
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.