Day 4: Isurava to Templeton’s Crossing via Alola
Your trek leader will wake you at 4.30 am to assemble the group at the Isurava Memorial before dawn. Here you will engage in some quiet contemplation before your PNG guides and carriers will sing some songs in their local language and finish with their National Anthem.
You will then move back up to the campsite for breakfast and prepare for the day ahead.
After your trek begins you will cross Ololi Creek and continue to the wartime village site of Alola at 1470 m AMSL. From here you have extensive views across the valley to the area defended by the 53rd and 2/16th Battalions at Abuari. You will cross Kaele-Dane Creek and enter the current village of Alola for morning tea.
You then trek down to La La Creek a 1260 m AMSL then climb to the Sabi Mail Exchange Point at 1,340m AMSL (Mail Exchange Points were used by carriers after the war to exchange mail bags being carried between Port Moresby and Kokoda and vice-versa). We continue to the crest of the ridge at 1,375m AMSL then up to Tumunava Ridge at 1,430m AMSL.
You then trek down the ridge to the junction of Eora and Agu Agu Creeks for lunch at 1,420m AMSL.
After lunch youmove up to the old Eora Creek village site (formerly known as Iuoro) at 1,440m AMSL - this was the scene of utter chaos during the withdrawal. Wounded Diggers were forced to crawl up the track while their mates desperately tried to buy them time against the advancing Japanese. Those who couldn’t were given morphine and a gun!
After some quiet contemplation you then climb towards the crest of Vabula Ridge where you will inspect a fire support position with live mortars and grenades - then a delaying defensive position at 1,525m AMSL occupied by the 2/14th and 2/16th battalions on the night of 1-2 September 1942.
Youthen continue your climb to the top of Vabula Ridge at 1,905m AMSL then trek down to Vagebau Creel at 1,895m, AMSL for afternoon tea before trekking down towards your campsite at Templeton’s Crossing at 1,760m AMSL via the Sako Creek tributaries.