Our Kokoda Trail Treks are led by a PNG trek leader and designed for groups who want to experience the physical challenge of the Kokoda Trail across the original wartime route.
While our PNG trek leaders are masters of their environment and will get you safely across the trail they only have a superficial understanding of the Kokoda campaign strategy and battlefield tactics.
They have been leading treks across the trail for more than 10 years and are well respected by the Koiari and Orokaiva clan leaders across the trail.
Each of our Kokoda Trail Trek group has a PNG medic trained in First Aid - they also carry two VHF radios and a SatPhone and have 24/7 back up from our base at Sogeri.
These treks are best suited for a bunch of mates on a budget who want to experience the physical challenge of the Kokoda Trail and the camaraderie that goes with it.
We require a minimum of eight (8) trekkers for these groups.
- All transportation
- All accommodation
- All trek fees
- Mosquito-proof tents
- Flight to Port Moresby
- Charter flight to Kokoda - trek to Hoi Village
- Hoi Village to the Isurava Memorial
- Isurava to Templeton's Crossing
- Templeton's Crossing to Kagi
- Kagi Village to Menari Village
- Menari Village to Ofi Creek
- Ofi Creek to Imita Basecamp
- Imita Basecamp to Owers Corner - Sogeri Lodge
- Day 10: Return Flight - Port Moresby to Australia
Dates & Availability for Kokoda Trail Trek
Photos from the Kokoda Trail Trek
FAQs about this trek
- Adventure Kokoda is the only specialist trekking company operating on the Kokoda Trail - we do not trek to any other location - Kokoda is all we do.
- We have the most professional and experienced trek leaders - our team has 160 years combined military experience - we have led more than 560 expeditions safely across the trail over the past 29 years.
- We specialise in the wartime history of the Kokoda campaign.
- We are the only trek operator to have established a philanthropic Not-for-Profit company - Network Kokoda - to provide assistance to local villagers in the fields of health, education and local agriculture.
- We pioneered the Kokoda trekking industry - we had been operating on the trail for more than a decade before it was 'discovered'' by eco-tour operators.
- We operate from a secure lodge at Sogeri which has 24/7 back-up communications and our own helipad for emergencies. The owner of our lodge is a former PNG Patrol Officer who has lived in PNG for 52 years.
- We are the only trekking company to provide for the welfare of our PNG guides and carriers by issuing them with sleeping bags, sleeping mats and a full trek uniform to our guides and carriers.
- We are the only trekking company that limits the maximum backpack weight for our guides and carriers to 18 kg which was the maximum weight allowed during the Kokoda campaign in 1942.
The villages along the Trail are Seventh Day Adventists. They are vegetarian, don't drink alcohol and strictly observe their Sabbath between 4.00 PM on Friday and 4.00 PM on Saturday each week. They also have two church services in each village each day - one at 6.00 AM and one at 6.00 PM. Trekkers are asked to respect these religious protocols.
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.
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.
If you trek from Owers Corner to Kokoda via the wartime trail you follow the footsteps of our young Diggers as they advanced across the Owen Stanley Ranges to meet the Japanese 144th South Sea Islands Regiment.
If you trek from Kokoda to Owers Corner via the wartime trail you follow the route of the Australian withdrawal in the face of overwhelming Japanese odds back to the last line of defence on Imita Ridge.
There is no 'best' way to trek Kokoda. The experience is just as powerful in either direction (that is the opinion of Charlie Lynn who has trekked 62 times from Kokoda to Owers Corner and 34 times from Owers Corner to Kokoda).
The difference is the experience and knowledge of your trek leader. If your trek leader has a detailed understanding of the history of the Kokoda campaign you will get maximum value from your trek. If they don't you will be disappointed and will soon realise the savings you made from going 'cheap' are a false economy in more ways than one.
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..