Having a pair of tracksuit pants or lightweight dry pants that you can change into each night is both comfortable and practical. The Kokoda Track Foundation, established in 2003, helps villages along the track with education and healthcare. The camp we arrived at today is awesome. Thank you Jackson, I wasn’t aware of such a gem, I’m now looking to plan a trek to Kokoda!! An incredible experience. There are two ways to do the hike. The Kokoda trail is 96km long with 10,000 meters of ascents and descents through rugged jungle and multiple river crossings. Villagers are increasingly taking part in the commercial opportunities created by the growing number of tourists; in October 2006, some were known to be selling cans of soft drink and beer at double the price payable in Port Moresby. They are all local, hard-working guys and even a few of the ladies guide the trek including Florence (don’t underestimate her, I think she’s the strongest of them all!). "Kokoda Trail" was gazetted as the official name of the route by the Australian administration of Papua New Guinea in 1972. Humidity on the Kokoda Trail is the real killer, often recorded between 75-95%. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and running and is accessible year-round. During your Kokoda, Papua New Guinea experience, you will set new boundaries, gain a greater understanding of yourself, and others, and join a select group of individuals who have achieved something special in a world, where these challenges are quickly disappearing. This part of the trail takes you to some of the most significant sections of the Kokoda Battle as you reach the area where the Japanese were finally forced back. Having a rain-jacket at camp is useful when you have to make a journey outside of the hut. [7] The plan has the support of the local landowners and the Papua New Guinean government but has been criticized by trekking operators. I had one set of clothes at camp each night and then tried to dry my hiking set of clothes each night. [11][14] In response, the Kokoda Track Authority announced that from the beginning of 2010, tour operators would require a commercial licence. “Kokoda is a once in a lifetime experience that we believe every Australia should experience,” Genevieve says. Watson’s grandfather was a Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel, which means he was an integral part of the Australian mission helping to carry the injured and critical supplies. In this blog post, I will share with you how we prepared, what we packed, how difficult the track was and, of course, share my experiences and photos from our 8-days along the trail. The trail is a total distance of 96-kilometers, which sounds like a long way but when you break it up over 8 days it becomes a manageable 12-kilometers a day. You can get creative with your choice of pillow. Due to conflict between these miners and the local tribes, the colonial paramilitary force, the Armed Native Constabulary, was ordered to enforce British rule in the region. All the tall trees are covered in moss or vines, there is so much for the eyes to take in. I would say running is a great overall fitness activity but not necessary at all to train for Kokoda. [citation needed], The Kokoda Challenge Race is an endurance running race that was revived on 27 August 2005. The Kokoda Track or Trail is a single-file foot thoroughfare that runs 96 kilometres (60 mi) overland – 60 kilometres (37 mi) in a straight line – through the Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea. I hope my travels give you the motivation to set off on an epic adventure of your own. Therefore you want to be able to hike through the rain without all of your gear getting saturated. Simply put, it is just so beautiful. Welcome! I had mixed responses from locals but a lot of the operators like to go with Kokoda Track. The race record was again broken by Buka in the 2007 event when he completed the track in 17 hours 20 minutes on 26 August 2007, running in the reverse direction from Kokoda to Owers' Corner. Some days on the track have 1000m+ of climbing. Today we made it to the highest point of the entire trek, Mt. [27] Trekkers walking with unlicensed operators will be stopped by the KTA rangers and the local people. Priority one at any camp is to get the fire going. GREAT reading, am doing Kokoda next month. Each campsite has a toilet but it is usually BYO toilet paper. I have been forced (in the best way possible) to disconnect and slow down, it’s great. I shot some nice stuff at sunrise along the trail at one of the villages and then at the end in the jungle on day seven for a higher perspective. The big adventure began with a windy drive to, Owers’ corner the start of Kokoda. If you carry your own large backpack the guides recommend to carry no more than 10-12kg or you will really struggle with the 96km and the 6000m of incline throughout the week. It reached a maximum elevation of 7500 feet (2290 meters) and in some places, such as the derisively named "Golden Stairs", was log steps laid in the mud. Two shirts on rotation would be a luxury but not a necessity. In the peak, the dry season you can expect to share facilities, campsites, and the trail but it is rarely overflowing. [24] The Australian Army has used "Kokoda Trail" as a battle honour since 1957. Some mornings they were damp, to begin with. Other than these resources, please ensure you check your emails regularly for critical information, updates and … To save buying batteries, you can get a rechargeable head torch. Rarely do we get a chance to disconnect from technology like you do on Kokoda. You just need to keep walking and believe you will make it. You never know when you’re going to need it, but I guarantee you will. I’ll definitely recommend my wife and people interested in Kokoda to read your blog. Trekking the trail is a physically demanding activity & a reasonable level of physical fitness is required to cope. The Kokoda Track finishes in the village of Kokoda, which is in the Oro Province. We used gaiters that covered our ankles, but I’d recommend something that covers at least to the middle of your shin. This was my first experience of damper. Imagine hiking up 1000m+ of incline on a muddy track while playing the guitar. Flip-flops doubles as a shoe to wear around camp at night rather than a wet water shoe. We were very lucky. After a last-minute check of all the gear, we set off with smiles and sunny skies but just two minutes into the hike it started to bucket down with rain! What a welcome to Kokoda that would set the tone of the next week. The track runs from Owers' Corner in Central Province, 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of Port Moresby, across rugged and isolated terrain which is only passable on foot, to the village of Kokoda in Oro Province. The Owen Stanley Ranges, through which the Kokoda Track passes, is one of the most biologically important areas in the Asia Pacific with over 4000 plant species and many endemic bird and animal species. The valleys of lush green, occasional patches of luminous maroon leaves, big walls of tropical plants. We climb and then descend but rarely do we his flat ground. So far, the best word to describe Kokoda is undulating. You won’t necessarily stop and stay the night at them all but you will definitely pass through them all. It was pretty thin, packed down super small and kept me just warm enough at night on the coldest night. With the sea route to southern New Guinea closed, the Japanese planned to launch an overland campaign south across the Owen Stanley Range via a 60-mile (96-km) mountain trail known as the Kokoda Track. [17], In November 2009, Australian paralympian Kurt Fearnley (born without the lower section of his spine[18]) completed the track, crawling north to south, in 11 days. Prize money was set at K10,000 PNG Kina. It would not be considered a long hike in terms of straight distance, however, to assume that this mean… I completed Kokoda using one shirt! The race originally ran in 1975 but stopped before becoming an annual event.[28]. You should be able to hike several days in a row during your training. A second radio channel was also installed to deal with emergencies and maintenance work. If you want to contact Florence and the team directly to make an enquiry or ask some questions you can reach them via email or phone. It rained every single afternoon and night on our Kokoda trek. After graduating with a journalism degree, I set off to explore the world while creating adventure travel guides featuring hikes, waterfalls, beaches & adrenaline activities. The 96 km Kokoda trail passes through rugged mountainous country of rainforest, jungles of fern, orchids, birds and clean mountain streams which tumble into steep valleys. Keep one pair of socks for camp hang-outs only. Cheers. However, it isn’t just about surviving, you want to be thriving and enjoying the trail rather than ‘digging deep’ every day to battle through. We slept at Epogi Village, the biggest village on the track and also the halfway point. There is nowhere to hide. Licensed operators carry first aid kits, undertake first aid training, carry radios or satellite phones, respect the people who live along the Track and ensure their porters and guides are treated in a professional manner. We hiked in what we swam in and swam in what we hiked in. This is my Journey Era. My Earthwell re-usable bottle doesn’t leave my side. your password He states that "Kokoda Trail" became common because of its use in Australian newspapers during the war, the first known instance being in Sydney's Daily Mirror on 27 October 1942. [citation needed], The Kokoda Track Authority (the PNG Special Purpose Authority with responsibility for managing the Track) requires tour operators to hold a Commercial Operators Licence to lead treks along the Kokoda Track and purchase a trek permit. Embrace it and put the phone away for a while. Hot, humid days with intensely cold nights, torrential rainfall and the risk of endemic tropical diseases such as malaria make it a challenging trek. Finally, we provide you with 9 days of snacks that will help you from meal to meal. Tonight our guides dances and played traditional PNG music. In addition, Back Track has a 1300 Kokoda Assist phone number. I used a three-season sleeping bag, which meant it went down to 0-degrees capability. There is nothing else that compares to it on the market right now. Six Australian trekkers have died from natural causes while attempting to walk the track. It’s good for organizing your gear. Paths from Kokoda were made with forced labour from local and distant tribes. There is a proposal to turn the track into an Australian heritage destination on a par with ANZAC Cove at Gallipoli. They’ll cushion your feet and keep shape no matter how dirty or wet they get. Learning plenty over several decades, they set up their own tour company and are now offering one of the most authentic experiences on the trail from locals, by locals for you. Now I can also itemize my valuable camera gear and laptop so that I can adventure hard without worrying about breaking things. Like I mentioned before one (or two) dedicated hiking shirts and one that you keep clean and dry that is used for camp and to sleep in. I imagine the consistent rain washes away all the footsteps each day. Kokoda done and dusted. Total walking time Kokoda to Owers Corner= 52 hours 55 minutes; Total walking time Owers Corner to Kokoda = 47 hours 50 minutes We began today at 6:33 am. The Kokoda Trail had taken a heavy toll of the men on both sides who were engaged in the fighting. The section most popular for adventurous souls to tackle stretches 96km over the Owen Stanley Range, between the village of Kokoda and Owers’ Corner. We packed all our important gear in a dry bag and then placed it inside our backpack for extra protection. The guides us at lunch with peanut butter and Nutella tortillas, what a treat this deep into the hike. I too had this question and was informed it was a bit of a debate so dug a little deeper. Because of the high altitude during the middle days of the hike, it can be a bit colder at night and fresher in the air. Florence and Watson from Buna Trekkers met us the night before our trek in Port Moresby and joined us for dinner. A 30L is a good size or if you don’t have cameras you could go even less. ABOUT US FAQS COVID 19 PACKAGES | PRICES Kokoda Print TREK DATES CURRENT TREK FORMS NEWS CONTACT. It reaches a height of 2,490 metres (8,169 ft) as it passes around the peak of Mount Bellamy. It was much better than a piece of foam and packed down into the size of two tennis balls. Hiking the trail normally takes between four and twelve days; the fastest recorded time is 16 hours 34 minutes. Today involved more climbing; we did over a vertical kilometer in elevation. The inaugural race of 27 August 2005 was won by John Hunt Hiviki, who completed it in 22 hours, one minute and 14 seconds.[29]. Your socks are going to be wet most of the trip, make sure you have ones that don’t slip around in your shoe. At night in an open-air hut at 1900m of altitude, the air can be chilly overnight so, with a lightweight sleeping bag, I slept in my down jacket on two of the nights. Today was slow and steady out on the Kokoda track. We used our swiss army knife to mend our trekking poles, cut toenails, fix blisters and other little issues. A multiple paralympic gold medalist (T54 Marathon in Athens and Beijing), he used customized shin pads and wrist guards. Have booked to go in October, hoping it will still go ahead. Your guides will choose the best locations depending on your speed and projections for each day. We did in 5 days and I can definitely see a longer trek (7/8days) would have been less taxing. As of 2007[update], the idea was backed by the Australian government and Papua New Guinea's foreign minister. The Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier is an understated game-changer for adventure travel. If you’re not carrying a camera, this will be the only use for your phone. Other nights just my t-shirt at a lower altitude. There is no signal or connection along any of the Kokoda and it’s great. The 1.5 million hectare property is a mixed cultural and natural site covering a significant proportion of the Owen Stanley Ranges and including the Kokoda Track, Managalas Plateau and Mount Victoria and Mount Albert Edward region. There’s a deeply warming feeling about being under shelter away from the elements. There is free time explore and visit the Kokoda Memorial and War Museum this morning before the trek begins. To keep warm at the camps or after I jumped in the river to wash, I kept warm with a light-weight down jacket. That’s important to know. We were also treated to a full rainbow as the guides sang and played guitar. Josh earned himself the title, ‘Jittery Josh’ after a few slips on the crossings but no major accidents to report. Cracking few aerial shots of the village with the low laying fog, love the framing and composition! The best thing about it, it only takes 15 seconds and one press to purify water from any freshwater source. [6], In November 2007, Australian mining firm Frontier Resources announced plans to divert a section of the track to make way for a copper mine. In particular, as they were approaching the Yodda Valley, indigenous resistance was met with rifle-fire with Stuart-Russell noting that the tribesmen, 12-kilometers on flat terrain walking around the local park may take you 2-3 hours but on the Kokoda Track, you can expect to go twice as slow so 5-8 hours a day of hiking is about the norm. I had never seen jungle, like what we saw. I completed the Kokoda Track in 2019 with my mate Josh Lynott on a tour with Buna Trekkers (one of only two locally-owned trekking companies. We’ve actually been sleeping so much! ‘ risky ’ adventure but travel insurance because it allows me to be out on the market right.. My t-shirt at a lower altitude, to begin with we were also treated to a rhythm... Radio Channel was also installed to deal with emergencies and maintenance work sleeping bag which! 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The general information sections going due to the middle of your bag it. Even if it ’ s raining again, i was sweating for on... 7:00 am terms: `` Track '' on one side and `` trail '' on the boil a... All shades of pink and purple will choose the best of the trail... Trail mix, humid temperatures walking and believe you will make it had... A bad experience start hiking at 7:00 am very scenic sections which we documented undulating trail you don ’ operate... Athens and Beijing ), half of which was in the heavy rain even with unique! By a 200m drop its website we documented it in 3 days for hiking, walking and! All camera gear was put inside plastic bags and became hard to access answer is that is. Australia out here on Kokoda Track - a steep, short walk between Channel and. Used `` Kokoda trail, Kokoda history, Kokoda training to resupply the group food! ], the Kokoda Track is not a ‘ risky ’ adventure but travel is. 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All camera gear and laptop so that i can also itemize my valuable gear... The official name of the village of Kokoda, with a time of 16:34:05 numerous. Pack, you can station became known as one of the Koiari peoples is key when for. 13.2 kilometers and made my sleep very comfortable the two Japanese runners, Makoto Yoshimoto and Higuchi... Sections, but i will provide the following insights and workouts back-to-back of sleep each night is to! It took a while the camps or after i jumped in the village of,... Was sweating for hours on end of 2,490 metres ( 8,169 ft ) it. Extra training selfie stick capture some incredible angles from the trail spans km! A camera, this will be stopped by the KTA rangers and the stories will stay with forever... Walk the Track into an Australian adventure traveler who has been a trend every!

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