Day 6: Kagi Village to Menari Village
After Reveille, breakfast and pack-up your trek leader will check your welfare then give you a detailed briefing of the day ahead where we cross Brigade Hill – the site of the biggest battle of the Kokoda campaign.
From Kagi the track plunges down towards a steep valley to Efoge Creek at 1040m AMSL then climbs to Laununumu Village (also known as Efogi 2) at 1385m AMSL. We inspect the Japanese monument erected by Corporal Nishimura when he returned to PNG 45 years after the war to honour a pledge he made to his comrades to locate their bodies and release their spirits.
Your trek leader will provide a battlesite briefing in the vicinity of the assemble area used by the Japanese troops in preparation for their attack on Brigade Hill on 7 September 1942.
We then trek down to Kavai Creek at 1200m AMSL then onto Efogi Village at 1205m AMSL for lunch. Efogi is the largest village along the trail with a population of around 350. It has an airfield, a VHF Base Station, an elementary and primary school and a health centre.
We trek through the main village and down to Efoge Creek at 1105m AMSL then climb towards the junction with Mission Ridge at 1395m AMSL which was defended by the 2/27th Battalion on 7 September 1942. Troops who fought in the campaign referred to it as ‘Butcher’s Ridge’ because of the carnage they inflicted on the Japanese attackers during the battle.
We continue trekking past the positions occupied by the 2/14th and 2/16th Battalions to the crest of a knoll which was the forward edge of the Brigade Headquarters at 1435m AMSL for afternoon tea.
Your trek leader will show you the 21st Brigade Headquarters area which later became a gravesite where 72 Australians were buried before being reinterred at Bomana War Cemetery. He will then provide you with a detailed wartime briefing on the Battle for Brigade Hill at the 21st Brigade Headquarters site.
From here we follow the trail down the ridge to the Nauro Lookout at 1395m AMSL; the first Envilogo track junction at 1355m AMSL; the second junction at 1160m AMSL; and the lookout at the abandoned village site of Mandalogo which has extensive view down over Menari Village.
We continue your trek down to Vabuyavi River at 695m AMSL followed by a short climb to your campsite at Menari Village at 845m AMSL. 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.