9-Day Kokoda Military History, Ecotourism, and ANZAC Day Trek

Day 1: Bomana - Owers' Corner - Ua-Ule (5 -6 hours)

After spending the day at the Port Moresby Holiday Inn, we head out to tour the Bomana War Cemetery, the largest war burial ground in the Pacific, as well as McDonald's Corner, the original trail head of the Kokoda Trail. Then we continue to Owers' Corner, where we have the opportunity to photograph the Kokoda Memorial Arch.

On the way to our campsite, we cross the Goldie River, pass through the abandoned village of Uberi and Goodwater campsite, and then head up the Golden Staircase to Imita Ridge. The ridge was the site of the final Australian stand during the Kokoda Campaign.

Finally we head down to Ua-Ule.

Day 2: Ua-ule - Ofi Creek (4 -5 hours)

We begin the second day of trekking by crossing Ua-Ule Creek and a jungle canyon. The we climb to Ioribaiwa, the site of the final Japanese defensive position of the Kokoda Campaign. Our campsite is on the terraces of Ofi Creek.

Day 3: Ofi Creek - Nauro (5-6 hours)

Day 3 starts with a steep climb from Ofi Creek up the Maguli Range. Along the way we visit a Japanese artillery position as well as Engineer Camp and the peak of the range. Then we make the steep climbs up and down the Japanese Ladder to our campsite at Nauro.

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

On the way to Menari Gap, we follow the flats of Nauro Swamp, cross the Brown River, pass around Augulogo, and climb "The Wall," a narrow ridgeline on the trail. From there, we head to our campsite at called 'The Wall' and onto Menari Gap. From here, we head down 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 to Kagi (7-8 hours)

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

The climb down takes us past Mission Ridge to Efogi 1. We then climb to Efogi Two (Launumu). There we see a memor erected by Kokichi Nishimura, "The Bone Man of Kokoda," a Japanese Kokoda 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 make the steep climb to Kagi, where we spend the night. The locals, including many 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 - Templetons 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, the 1900 Crossing campsite, and the Kokoda Gap, whose  rugged terrain was famously underestimated by Generals MacArthur and Blamey.

From the Kokoda Gap, we follow Eora Creek along several giant 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 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 off 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 - Deniki (6-7 hours)

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

At Isurava, we tour the battle site, visit the local war 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 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 customary for trekkers to tip porters as a token of appreciation for their help and friendship during the trek. 

Day 9: 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.

We spend the night in Port Moresby, and fly out of Papua New Guinea the next day.


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