10-Day Kokoda Military History, Ecotourism, and ANZAC Day Trek (Owers' Corner - Kokoda)

Day 1: Owers Corner - Goodwater Campsite (2-3 hours)

After leaving the Holiday Inn in Port Moresby, we head to Owers' Corner, the begining of the Kokoda Trail. On the way to Owers' Corner, we visit the Bomana War Cemetery, the burial site of over 3000 servicemen, mostly Australians. We also have the opportunity to photograph the Owers' Corner Memorial Archway.

On the way to Goodwater Campsite, we cross the Goldie River and pass through the abandoned Uberi village and Dump 66. Goodwater is where Australian Sapper Bert Beros wrote the "The Fuzzy Wuzzies."

Day 2: Goodwater Campsite - Ioribaiwa (4-5 hours)

The morning begins with a climb up the Golden Stairs to Imita Ridge, where the Australians made their last stand against the Japanese. After stopping for lunch at Ua-Ule, we cross Ua-Ule Creek and a jungle canyon, and then continue to our campsite at Ioribaiwa.

Day 3: Ioribaiwa - Nauro (5-6 hours)

On Day 3, we climb to the top of Ioribaiwa Ridge, the final Japanese defensive position of the campaign. We then trek down to Ofi Creek and make the steep climb up to Maguli Range, passing the range peak, Japanese Ladder, and a Japanese artillery position on the way.

After we make it to the top of the ridge, we climb down to Nauro village, our next campsite for the evening. Nauro provides spectacular views of the Owen Stanley Range.

Day 4: Nauro - Menari (5-6 hours)

On the way to Menari Gap, we follow the flats along Nauro Swamp, cross the Brown River, pass around Augulogo, climb "The Wall," a narrow ridgeline on the trail. From there, we head to our campsite at Menari, where Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Honner gave his famous speech to the 39th Battalion, "The Ragged Bloody Heroes."

Day 5: Menari - Kagi (7-8 hours)

From Menari, we journey to and climb Brigade Hill, the site of a major, four-day battle. In that battle, nearly 300 of the badly outflanked Australian soldiers escaped the Japanese and retreated with their wounded to spend tree weeks in the jungle.

The climb down takes us past Mission Ridge to Efogi 1. We then climb to Efogi 2 (Launumu). There we see a memorial erected by Kokichi Nishimura, the "Bone Man of Kokoda," a Japanese veteran of the Kokoda Campaign who returned to retrieve the bodies of his fallen comrades.

From Efogi 2, we head down to Efogi River and nake the steep climb up to Kagi, where we spend the night. The locals, including descendents of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, welcome us and treat us to an evening of dinner and entertainment from their sensational village choir.

Day 6: Kagi - Templeton's Crossing (7-8 hours)

On Day 6, our first stop is at the Kagi Gap. After making the gentle climb up the gap, we can enjoy the panoramic views of Kagi and the mountain ranges to the south. On the way to Mt. Bellamy, at 2190 metres the highest point on the trail, we pass through Diggers Rest and 1900 Crossing campsite, and the Kokoda Gap, whose rugged terrain was famously underestimated by Generals MacArthur and Blamey.

From the gap, we follow Eora Creek along several ridgelines to our campsite at Templeton's Crossing. The site of fierce fighting during the Kokoda Campaign, the crossing lies in the vicinity of an Australian war cemetery. 

Day 7: Templeton's Crossing - Alola (7-8 hours)

On our way to the village of Alola, we cross an amazing cane bridge built by the locals. We also visit a famously dangerous Japanese artillery position above Eora Creek.

At Alola, our campsite for the evening, we have the opportunity to take showers and rest the previous days of trekking. We can also enjoy the panoramic views of the trail, the Eora Gorge, and the mountain ranges.

Day 8: Alola - Isurava (2-3 hours)

Our trek to the famous Isurava War Memorial and the Isurava battle site takes us past Surgeons Rock, a flat rock where surgeries were performed during the battle.

At Isurava, we tour the battle site, visit the local musuem, take pictures of the four granite pillars - etched with the words courage, endurance, mateship, and sacrifice - that serve as a memorial to the battle's fallen. The battlefield is also famous as the site where Private Bruce Kingsbury, the first Australian soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross on Australian soil, forced the retreat of the Japanese before suffering a fatal wound at the hands of an enemy sniper.

We spend the night at Isurava, where we enjoy a spectacular view of the Eora Gorge and mountain ranges to the east and west.

Day 9: Isurava - Deniki (3-4 hours)

On Day 9, we pass Front Creek, the site of Kingsbury's shooting, on our way to Deniki, our final campsite.

We return to Deniki in time for nice cool baths and a change of clothing for the evening. Since it's our last night with the porters, they sing for us at dinner. It's also cutomary for trekkers to tip porters as a token of appreciation and friendship during the trek.

Day 10: Deniki - Kokoda (3-4 hours)

On our way to Kokoda, we travel through the villages of Hoi and Kovelo. At Kokoda, the finishing point of the trail, we have the opportunity to tour the battlefield before being driven back to Popondetta.

From Popondetta, we fly back to Port Moresby and bid farewell to the local porters. On the way to the airport, we pass the villages of Wairopi (Kumusi), Oivi, and Gorari, formerly the sites of battlefields during the Kokoda Campaign.

In Port Moresby, we spend the night at the hotel, before flying out of Papua New Guinea the next day. 

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