HeartKids Kokoda Challenge

Take the Kokoda Challenge and help raise awareness and funds for HeartKids

Challenge Highlights

  • Raising awareness and money for HeartKids
  • Challenge yourself with this historic trek, the setting for some of the greatest displays of heroism of the Second World War
  • 9 full days trekking through the Papua New Guinean jungle in the footsteps of these famous warriors
  • Experience local village life and culture with stays close to traditional villages and secluded jungle camps
  • Develop an accurate insight into the history of the trail through your experienced guide

Overview

For many, the Kokoda Track is a fitting reminder of the Australian Army's heroic battles in 1942 to defend Port Moresby, in extraordinary conditions, from the advancing forces of the Japanese. In the company of our expert guide, we trek across the geographical heart of Papua New Guinea following trails from the tropical rainforests to the rarified climes of the Owen Stanley Ranges. At night we stay in secluded jungle camps close to traditional villages in some of the most remote regions of PNG. We take our time, allowing plenty of opportunity to embrace the history and local culture as well as meet the physical demands of this rugged track. It takes nine days to cover the 96km trail - offering tremendous rewards and a feeling of accomplishment as we complete the trek between the township of Kokoda and the highlands.

Challenge Grade

This trip is graded ‘moderate to challenging’ under our fitness grading system. We recommend people begin their fitness preparation immediately upon booking. Solid work-outs that are aerobic (ie. hill walking, jogging, swimming, bike riding or gym work) of 45 mins to 1 hour four times a week is a guide to a routine training program. This should be combined with hill walking in rugged terrain, with a pack that weighs approx 15kgs, in variable weather conditions. The amount of training and preparation you do beforehand can determine the amount of enjoyment you have on the track. Medical assessments, performed by a medical practitioner are required to be performed when booking to assess your suitability for this trip.

Itinerary

After all the fundraising and preparation, the wait is finally over! You will make your way to your Australian gateway airport for your flight to Port Moresby. You will be met and taken to your hotel. In the late afternoon, a trek briefing by your leader will be held, and your camping gear will be distributed. Afterwards your group will get acquainted over dinner (at your own expense) and discuss the adventure ahead. Overnight: Ela Beach Hotel. NOTE: You must arrive in Port Moresby no later than 17:00hrs. If you cannot arrange a flight to arrive before this time, please ask us for details of transfers and pre-tour accommodation (additional cost applies) so that you can arrive the day before.

Meals:  Nil

This morning we will be transferred to the Domestic Airport to catch the flight to Popondetta. The flight over the Owen Stanley Range takes approximately 30 minutes. Upon arrival we will meet up with our Kokoda trekking team, and then drive to the Kokoda Track trailhead. Along the way there will be rest and photo stops. After arriving in Kokoda, if it is open we will visit the Kokoda Museum. Afterwards the group will commence the trek from Kokoda Station to the village of Hoi. While trekking, the porters will assist you wherever possible, to make your experience even more enjoyable and will keep you informed about the availability of water along the track. Approx Walking time/distance: 2-3hrs / 7.5km; Ascent: 151m, Descent: 51m.

Meals:  L,D

The first full day of the trail walk includes a trek through the lush green choko vines that reach into the canopy of the trees. We will continue to move up the Owen Stanley Range to Isurava Village and Battle site. A minute silence is held here to remember the soldiers who fought, and to also pay tribute to the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels. The battle site was lost for many years to the jungle, although today the site is cleared and serves as a memorial to the fallen soldiers that died in the Kokoda campaign. We relish in the history of the area visiting Bruce Kingsbury VC rock. There is a small war museum here and if open you can look inside and take photos (entry fee own expense). Then it's a short walk to tonight's campsite at Con's/Surgeon's Rock. Approx Walking time/distance: 7-8hrs / 11.3km; Ascent: 1273m, Descent: 376m.

Meals:  B,L,D

We have an early start today after a special service held at Con’s/Surgeon's Rock. Today's trek is quite challenging with our first steep down hill section which can be slippery if it is wet, followed by a creek crossing and then a steady uphill climb to Eora Creek campsite. Along the way, a detour is taken to view the Japanese gunning position overlooking Eora Creek. Some trekkers say that tonight's campsite is their favourite spot, and you will understand why as the creek is a beautiful swimming place albeit a little chilly, which is great for your aching muscles! Approx Walking time/distance: 5-6hrs / 7km; Ascent: 403m, Descent: 441m.

Meals:  B,L,D

We rise early and prepare for a long hard day's hiking which will see us rise to the highest point on the track. Today we will pass many Australian weapon pits that were used in the fighting withdrawal in 1942, with rest stops at Templeton’s Crossing and Dump 1. After lunch we will proceed up the shoulder of Mt Bellamy and take in the view of the Kokoda Gap (2240m). We take our time and encourage each other as this section of the track can be quite difficult. From the gap we will trek down to Camp 1900 for the night, where there is a pleasant little stream to wash in. This campsite will be the coldest night's sleep you will have on the track. Approx Walking time/distance: 9-10hrs / 14.4km; Ascent: 1194m, Descent: 754m.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we trek to the beautiful village of Naduri. The track can be extremely slippery if it has rained, so take your time and watch your step. From Naduri there will be a steep descent followed by a steep ascent up to Efogi. There may be an opportunity here for a quick refreshing swim in the creek. We tackle another steep climb after lunch along a narrow pathway with steep drops to Brigade Hill which offers little shade, so remember to wear plenty of sunscreen. Brigade Hill is considered the most other-worldly and eerie campsite with the clouds often rolling in over the summit. Approx Walking time/distance: 8-9hrs / 13.1km; Ascent: 842m, Descent: 1335m.

Meals:  B,L,D

After an early morning dawn service we descend down to Menari. On the trek down the ridge the group will be shown the lookout to Menari, and be briefed on Japanese positions in the area during their advance. Whilst in Menari we will have a rest stop, and the local school students may gather to present a show for you. Trekkers are welcome to bring educational and stationary resources as gifts for the Menari School. Afterwards there will be another steep up and down over ‘The Wall’ through tree roots and mud, before stopping for lunch at Agulogo. Afterwards we will cross the Brown River. The remainder of the day will involve hiking through more muddy terrain and swamp following the Naoro River, culminating with another steep climb to our campsite at New Nauro Village. This is halfway up the nine false peaks and is the most comfortable campsite on the track. Approx Walking time/distance: 8-9hrs / 15.9km; Ascent: 840m, Descent: 1112m.

Meals:  B,L,D

Another challenging day starting with a trek up the ridge where it is easy to become discouraged with the remaining 9 false peaks. But the group encourages each other and before long you reach the top and trek down to the Japanese ladder (for lunch) and then it will be boots off to cross Ofi Creek. Reward yourself with a welcome wash at picturesque Ofi Creek. Afterwards the group will trek up and over the Ioribaiwa Ridge to the post war village. We will be briefed on the history that took place at this amazing place, which marks the location that the main Japanese forces got to, before being ordered to ‘advance to the rear’. The sunsets here are magical if the weather is kind to us, and the porters will quite often play football on the large grassed area. Approx Walking time/distance: 6-7hrs / 11.9km; Ascent: 600m, Descent: 953m.

Meals:  B,L,D

The group sets off early and hikes down through Dump 44 and onto Ua-Ule creek, keeping an eye out for sightings of the colourful and beautiful Bird of Paradise. We will cross the creek at least 17 times in our river shoes/sandals, before stopping for morning tea. Then we will have a challenging climb up Imita Ridge, so trekkers should be aware to pace yourself. At the top after a group picture and briefing, the team will trek down to Imita base (Goodwater) camp for the night. There is a terrific swimming hole to enjoy your last night on the track, before our final night's celebration with the porters, the majority of whom will return to their villages after we finish trekking at Owers Corner tomorrow. Approx Walking time/distance: 5-6hrs / 9.1km; Ascent: 593m, Descent: 738m.

Meals:  B,L,D

The group now exhausted but eager to get to Owers Corner, we hike this morning to Goldie Creek where we will have a rest break. Then it's the final climb to Owers Corner where there are many cheers, photos and celebrations as we walk through the gates. There will be the opportunity to view the memorials, before boarding the transport to our hotel in Port Moresby. Enroute we will have a brief stop at Macdonald’s Corner, The Sogeri Junction, Rouna Falls and Bomana Cemetery. Tonight we will enjoy a celebration meal together (at own expense), and reminisce on the sights and experiences of the Kokoda Track. Trekkers must ensure that all their trekking gear is cleaned properly before the international flight to avoid any quarantine delays in Australia or your onward destination. Approx Walking time/distance: 2-3hrs / 6.2km; Ascent: 339m, Descent: 90m.

Meals:  B

After breakfast, if you are leaving Papua New Guinea today, you will be transferred by the hotel shuttle bus to the airport for your flight home.

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • 8 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 8 dinners
  • airport transfers on days 1 & 11 only
  • expert western trek leader
  • experienced local head guide and expedition crew
  • all group camping and cooking equipment
  • emergency radio communication equipment, satellite phone
  • emergency medical kit
  • accommodation on a share basis in rest huts when in villages
  • hotel accommodation in Port Moresby, twin share
  • internal flight from Port Moresby to Popondetta
  • transfers to and from Kokoda Track
  • private transportation
  • use of hiking tent and rucksack (use in PNG only)
  • Bomana War Cemetery visit; memorial and museum entry fees along the track

What's Not Included

  • Sleeping bag and sleeping mat
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Bottled water, aerated and alcoholic drinks
  • Optional excursions
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Personal expenses such as bar, telephone and laundry bills
  • Porter charges if required approx AUD$700 payable locally in AUD$. This means you only carry your day's necessities in a small day pack. The personal porter is attached to the group for 9 days. This amount pays for the porter's wages, track food & equipment, accommodation and meals in Port Moresby and Popondetta, air fares and road transport, medical etc. The personal porter must be requested at least one month in advance.
  • International airfares and departure taxes
  • Visa
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Should you require hire of a self inflating mat, hire cost is AUD$35, payable in AUD$ cash only, on arrival in Port Moresby. Hire must be requested at least one month in advance. Please check pricing with us at time of booking.

What You Carry

  • Participants are expected to carry their own personal belongings including sleeping bag, sleeping mat, tent, water, as well as a change of clothes etc. This should not exceed 15 kgs and must be carried in a rucksack of min 75 litres. A local porter can be hired at an additional charge, in which case participants carry a day pack (minimum 40L) only. The personal porter must be requested at least one month in advance - please ask our staff for more details.

Fundraising Impact

Your fundraising will help HeartKids to support Australian families impacted by congenital heart disease.

The frightening statistics of congenital heart disease

• Congenital heart disease is a leading cause of infant death in Australia

• Four precious lives are lost each week

• 8 babies a day, that’s 240 a month, will start the lifelong journey with the disease

• There is no known cure - those impacted require ongoing care and support throughout life

• Heart kids fill almost half of the beds in all major children’s intensive care units

Videos

Huma Kokoda Challenge

Fast Facts

Trip Dates: DepartReturn
Duration:11 Days
Activities:Trekking with a Full Pack - optional to hire local porter
Grade:Moderate to Challenging  Click for more information
Trip Code:HK2
Registration Fee:USD$160
Travel Cost:USD$160

HeartKids is the only national charity whose sole purpose is to support infants, teens and adults affected by congenital heart disease all across Australia. Our support is a commitment for life because there is no cure. With your help, we can improve lives