The Kokoda Track
10 days with Intrepid Travel Rating:
Day 1 Port Moresby
Your adventure begins in the capital of Port Moresby. Take your included arrival transfer to the hotel. Attend a pre-trip briefing this evening at 6 pm to meet your fellow travellers and trek leader and local trekking crew.
Day 2 Deniki
This morning take a short, spectacularly scenic chartered flight over the jungle canopies and craggy peaks of the Owen Stanley Range to the landing strip of Kokoda (approximately 35 minutes). Arrive and meet your trekking team, including your your personal and food porters. Kokoda, situated at 340 metres above sea level, is a hot and humid place, but there’s a nearby river to cool off in if you need. There is free time explore and visit the Kokoda Memorial and War Museum this morning before the trek begins.
After lunch, lace up and set off for the village of Deniki (4–5 hours). Begin with a flat walk through rows of palm oil and rubber tree plantations, passing through Kovelo and Hoi villages before the first steep ascent up the Owen Stanley Range. Deniki village is 900 metres above sea level and on arrival you’re greeted with spectacular views across the Kokoda Valley.
Day 3 Alola
Commence the first full-day trek with an early start to Isurava village. Pass through choko gardens planted by local villagers and by water holes where you can fill up your bottle. Your trek leader or porters will let you know the best fill-up points. Arrive at Isurava (1350 metres), a village relocated several times since WWII which now sits in a tranquil location with good access to water and sunshine. Continue to the famous Isurava battlefield and stop for a break to learn about the significance of the site. A powerful memorial built by the Australian Government commemorates the qualities of ‘Courage, Sacrifice, Mateship and Endurance’. Spend the night at the village of Alola (1400 metres), which overlooks Iora Valley and Auberi village.
Day 4 Templeton’s Crossing
The trek to Templeton’s Crossing begins with a walk through lush rainforest and past creeks and rivers that feed directly out of mountain springs. Follow the hilly trail to Iora Creek, and enjoy a short break to freshen up in the river. Continue hiking for 3 hours to Templeton’s Crossing, were iron rods symbolise the sites of fallen soldiers. Spend the night in Lokobo (1900 metres).
Day 5 Diggers Camp
Get set for a tough day of trekking as you climb to a 2200-metre-high point on Mt Bellamy. Be sure to stay close to your personal porter while navigating the ascent. Take in some spectacular views across the Owen Stanley Ranges and descend a few hundred metres to your accommodation at Digger’s Camp. Set among lush rainforest, the village guesthouse is still around 2000 metres above sea level, so it can get very cold. Take a quick walk to flat grasslands and creeks of Myola, used for supply drops during WWII. Head back to Digger’s Camp and enjoy a dip in the river before dinner.
Day 6 Effogi
Rise and shine and set off towards the northern face of Mt Bellamy, taking in views of the villages of Naduri, Kagi, Brigade Hill, and Nauro along the way. Make a 2-hour descent to Efogi I through open grassland and along steep, slippery trail, with a brief break en route in Naduri. Enjoy a well-deserved rest on arrival at Efogi I. Keep some change handy so you can buy some of the organically grown fruit the locals sell. Continue the trek to Efogi II with a roughly 2-hour descent. While this leg of the trek is relatively short, it will take place in the middle of the day and the trail has no canopy protection, so pace yourself. Arrive in Efogi II, a Koiari village of around 500 inhabitants, and settle into your locally-owned cooperative accommodation.
Day 7 Nauro Village
Embrace an early start this morning to trace the path taken by retreating Australian soldiers. The first climb takes you to Mt Bellamy, where you can turn and look back over the Efogi I and II. Continue following the ridge of Brigade Hill, known during WWII as Mission Ridge. Upon reaching Brigade Hill (approximately 1.5 hours), your trek leader and local historian will relate the wartime history of the spot where Australian forces were overwhelmed by fast-approaching Japanese troops. Begin the descent down the back of Mission Ridge to Menari (approximately 2 hours) on a steep and sometimes very slippery track. Meet local man Faole Bokoi, who was among the many PNG nationals who acted as war carriers and cared for wounded soldiers during the Kokoda conflict. Grab lunch and then set off again on a steep, 1.5-hour climb to the top of Menari Ridge. Enjoy the mental boost that comes with knowing you’ve ‘broken the back’ of the Kokoda Track, then make a descent to the Nauro Valley (approximately 1 hour). Cross the mighty Brown River to Nauro and cool off in a pleasant stream near your cooperative guesthouse accommodation near the original airstrip.
Day 8 Va'ule Creek
Tackle the Nine False Peaks to the top of Maguli Range (1350 metres) this morning. This involves roughly 3 hours of serious uphill trekking. From the top of the ridge, make the first of many descents today with a rest stop at Jap’s Ladder. Take another break at Ofi Creek and continue on to historic Ioribaiwa, situated at approximately 650 metres. It was here that the Japanese troops fought their final victorious battle against the Australians before withdrawing. Set up camp for the night.
Day 9 Owers Corner
Your journey continues down the steep Ioribaiwa Ridge, then across multiple river crossings to Uaule Creek. Come prepared with sandals or expect wet boots. Continue with a trek up the back of Imita Ridge for about 1.5 hours. From here, trek down a trail once known as the Golden Staircase, built by Australian troops during the war to transport artillery and supplies from Port Moresby. Take a break at the summit of Imita Ridge then descend to Goodwater. Continue to Goldie River (3 hours), then make the final climb to Owen’s Corner (30 minutes). Congratulations! You can now officially say you completed the Kokoda Track! Meet an Intrepid representative and transfer to Port Moresby, stopping en route to visit Bomana War Cemetery, where 3600 Australian soldiers were laid to rest. This evening grab a well-deserved drink with your team and fellow trekkers. Cheers!
Day 10 Port Moresby
Your adventure has come to an end. Check out of the hotel is at 11 am and transfer to the airport can be organised on request. Just let your leader know your flight details this morning.
All This Included
With dense greenery, difficult passes, glistening rivers and incredible views, it is hard to believe that the historic Kokoda Track was the site of one of the bloodiest battles for Australian troops in WWII. Discover the humbling history and remote beauty of the track on this 11-day adventure, with seven days of intense trekking through the Papua New Guinea mountains. Conquering the trail requires dedication, courage and mateship – just like it did over 70 years ago. With the guidance of your personal porter, trekking leader and a hardworking local crew to illuminate the wartime stories of the trail, this trip will see you testing your personal stamina on a journey through tiny villages and thick jungle.
Hotel (1 nights)
Village community hut or camping (8 nights)
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