Kokoda History Trek

Kokoda History Treks led by an expert Australian guide, unforgettable 8-day experience from $3795.

Days
8
From
$3,795

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.

What's included

  • Meals
  • All transportation
  • All accommodation
  • All trek fees
  • Mosquito-proof tents

Dates & Availability for Kokoda History Trek

Date
Status Price  
23 Jul - 1 Aug 2018
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Reg Yates Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
28 Jul - 6 Aug 2018
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Dave Sherry Private group only Private group
15 Aug - 24 Aug 2018
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Reg Yates Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
3 Sep - 12 Sep 2018
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Bernie Rowell Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
30 Sep - 9 Oct 2018
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Dave Sherry Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
5 Oct - 14 Oct 2018
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
1 Nov - 10 Nov 2018
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Dave Sherry Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
15 Mar - 24 Mar 2019
Owers Corner to Kokoda
Peter Morrison Private group only Private group
1 Apr - 12 Apr 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Reg Yates Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
16 Apr - 25 Apr 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Rowan Tracey Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
16 Apr - 25 Apr 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Peter Morrison Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
6 May - 15 May 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Bernie Rowell Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
13 May - 22 May 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Peter Morrison Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
10 Jun - 19 Jun 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Peter Morrison Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
1 Jul - 10 Jul 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Dave Sherry Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,759 $4,545
12 Jul - 21 Jul 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Bernie Rowell Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
13 Jul - 22 Jul 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Peter Morrison Private group only Private group
3 Aug - 13 Aug 2019
Owers Corner to Kokoda
Peter Morrison Private group only Private group
19 Aug - 28 Aug 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Dave Sherry Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
26 Aug - 4 Sep 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Reg Yates Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,995 $4,545
2 Sep - 11 Sep 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Bernie Rowell Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
7 Sep - 16 Sep 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Reg Yates Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,494 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
14 Sep - 23 Sep 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Peter Morrison Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
21 Sep - 30 Sep 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
29 Sep - 8 Oct 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Bernie Rowell Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
5 Oct - 14 Oct 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Dave Sherry Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
12 Oct - 21 Oct 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
19 Oct - 28 Oct 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,595 $4,695 $3,795 $4,545
26 Oct - 4 Nov 2019
Owers Corner to Kokoda
Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,595 $4,694 $3,795 $4,545
9 Nov - 18 Nov 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,595 $4,695 $3,795 $4,545
16 Nov - 25 Nov 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Taking Bookings $5,595 $5,295 $5,395 $4,595 $5,345
23 Nov - 3 Dec 2019
Owers Corner to Kokoda
Taking Bookings
16 Mar - 25 Mar 2020
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Peter Morrison Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
16 Apr - 25 Apr 2020
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Peter Morrison Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
4 May - 13 May 2020
Owers Corner to Kokoda
Bernie Rowell Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,589 $3,795 $4,545
13 Jun - 22 Jun 2020
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Peter Morrison Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
26 Jun - 5 Jul 2020
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Bernie Rowell Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
3 Aug - 12 Aug 2020
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Reg Yates Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
15 Aug - 24 Aug 2020
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Peter Morrison Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
28 Aug - 7 Sep 2020
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
12 Sep - 21 Sep 2020
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
27 Sep - 6 Oct 2020
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
10 Oct - 19 Oct 2020
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
24 Oct - 2 Nov 2020
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545
7 Nov - 16 Nov 2020
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Taking Bookings $4,895 $4,495 $4,595 $3,795 $4,545

Load all dates

FAQs about this trek

No - we are not.

We declined the invitation to join the Kokoda Tour Operators Association (KTOA) which was established to protect the interests of Australian companies operating in PNG and does not provide for the welfare of the PNG guides and carriers they engage.

We believe the reasons for establishing the KTOA were well-intentioned however whilst they tolerate practices that allow some of their members to exploit local PNG guides, carriers and subsistence villagers we will not join.

The failure of the KTA to provide proper welfare support to local villagers they engage is evident in their reluctance to require all KTOA members to provide such basics as a sleeping bag and mat for each guide and carrier they employ.  We do not believe that PNG guides and carriers should have to sleep on wet ground because they are not provided with such essential items of comfort.

One KTOA tour operator has a record of failing to meet their legal and moral obligations in regard to the payment of trek fees which are meant to benefit local subsistence villages along the trail. 

Recently a local carrier employed by KTOA tour operator tragically died on the trail.  A local Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) Ranger has alleged that the load he was carrying was far in excess of the 20 kg recommended in the KTA Code of Conduct for tour operators.  According to other KTA Rangers the overloading of local carriers is a common practice by many Australian tour operators as a means of keeping their costs down.

Adventure Kokoda will not join to the KTOA until they weed out those who don't provide for the proper welfare of their local guides and who deprive subsistence villagers of their rightful share of benefits from the Kokoda trekking industry.

The difference between Adventure Kokoda and KTOA members is that we provide the following for each of our PNG guides and carriers:

  • Maximum allowable weight of 18 kg (which means we have to engage more carriers);
  • Full trek uniform - cap, shirt, shorts
  • Sleeping bag;
  • Sleeping mat;
  • Wholesome meals - equivalent to what we provide for our trekkers;
  • Gratuity equivalent to one day's pay at the end of each trek; and
  • A 'Walk-Home Allowance' of PNGK250 to allow our guides and carriers to walk back to their villages after each trek.

In addition to this we engage a PNG medic with a full medical kit to look after their specific medical needs across the trail.

If our guides or carriers suffer serious illness or injury during their trek we arrange for them to be evacuated by helicopter and treated at the Port Moresby Private Hospital - they receive the same care, attention and treatment as our trekkers.

 

Yes he does. 

The VHF radio net along the Kokoda Trail has improved however there is only one channel and it is sometimes difficult to break into the chatter.  The system does not have a base station with a 24/7 listening watch which could be critical in an emergency.

Professional operators are equipped with satellite phones for use in emergencies.

Trek Operators who do not have a satellite phone with an active account fall into the 'dodgy' category - unfortunately they exist and the only protection trekkers have is the old caveat emptor of 'Let the buyer beware'.

 

According to reports we receive we are the only operator to provide real fresh meals along the trail.

We have obviously trained our PNG guides to prepare, cook and serve meals and this has proved to be a most attractive option to trekkers.  Life is too short for ration packs!

Our menu includes breakfast cereals, tropical fruits, biscuits, jam-vegemite-nutella-peanut butter-cheese, pasta, noodles, rice, meat and vegetables with potato, tea/coffee/hot chocolate etc as standard fare.

We are able to provide for special diets as required.

 

 

 

Most of the emergency evacuations from the Kokoda Trail are caused by gastro problems which cause severe vomiting and diarrhoea leading to dehydration - the most likely source of this condition is contaminated food cooked and served by villagers.  This is why we carry ALL of our food with our trek groups.

The VHF radio net along the Kokoda Trail has improved however there is only one channel and it is sometimes difficult to break into the chatter.  The system does not have a base station with a 24/7 listening watch which could be critical in an emergency.

Adventure Kokoda are equipped with satellite phones for use in emergencies.

Operators who do not have a satellite phone with an active account fall into the 'dodgy' category - unfortunately they exist and the only protection trekkers have is the old caveat emptor of 'Let the buyer beware'.

Trekking without a satellite phone in your group is classified as 'unnecessary risk'.

 

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.

 

Meet the Trek Leaders

Major Charlie Lynn OL

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.'  

Major Chad Sherrin MM

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.

Lieutenant Colonel Rowan Tracey LLB BA

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.

Captain Reg Yates

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.

 

Commodore Simon Hart CSC MSc MA

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.

Sergeant Rod Foster

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.

John Nalder

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 Davis

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 Rowell

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 Sherry

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

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 Watson

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.

Why Trek with Adventure Kokoda

Our primary goal is to lead you safely across the Kokoda Trail and ensure you have an unforgettable wartime historical and cultural experience.

Charlie has led more than 90 expeditions across the Kokoda Trail over the past 26 years.

He previously served in the Australian Army for 21 years. During this time he saw active service in Vietnam; was assigned to the joint Australian, New Zealand and British (ANZUK) Force in Singapore/ Malaysia from 1970-72, and as an exchange instructor in Airborne Logistics with the United States Army from 1977-78. He is a graduate of the Army Command and Staff College.

Why choose Adventure Kokoda?

Why is Kokoda so important?Dive into the History