KOKODA Open Adventure Challenge with Heather Hawkins

Join Adventurous Spirit Heather Hawkins on Huma Kokoda Challenge and help raise awareness and funds for our chosen charity.

Challenge Highlights

  • Raising vital monies for your charity
  • Trek with Adventurous Spirit Heather Hawkins
  • 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. Please contact your Huma reservations person if you need any help organising or booking your flights for the Kokoda Challenge. On arrival you will be met and taken to the group 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.

Meals:  Nil

We depart from the hotel early this morning and head towards the Owen Stanley Range. With the improved gravel road, it is not too long before we arrive at Owers Corner, which marks the start of the Kokoda Track. There will be time to view the memorials before we commence trekking through the Owers Corner Gates. After a few hours you will arrive at Camp Goodwater, located at the southern foot of Imita Ridge. Then we will hike up to Imita Ridge, which is the southern most point where the Australians withdrew to during the Kokoda Campaign. At the top of the ridge you will be briefed on the events that occurred here. Descending off Imita Ridge takes you into yet more beautiful rainforest, following and crossing the Ua-Ule creek numerous times in our river shoes/sandals to our first night's campsite. 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: 5-6hrs / 9km; Ascent: 460m, Descent: 855m.

Meals:  L,D

This morning is the long ascent up to Dump 44 and onto Ioribaiwa. This village is located near the patch of Kunai grass where the Australians fought against the Japanese in an almost suicidal attack before the Australians withdrew back to Imita Ridge. We will trek up and over the Ioribaiwa Ridge before descending to Ofi Creek guesthouse. Approx Walking time/distance: 4-5hrs / 9km; Ascent: 581m, Descent: 280m.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is the start of a challenging climb up the Maguli Range. The next few hours can be frustrating for trekkers as you encounter several false peaks. It was in this region that the Japanese mountain gun was located firing on Australian positions across the valley. We have a couple of welcome rest and meal stops before a steep descent down the ridge to New Nauro Village. The remainder of the day will involve hiking through muddy swamp following the Naoro River and crossing the Brown River, before arriving at Agulogo for the night. Approx Walking time/distance: 7-8hrs / 9km; Ascent: 695m, Descent: 610m.

Meals:  B,L,D

The first challenge you will face today is going up and over the ‘Wall’. The downhill track can be slippery in places and with the group looking out for each other, this encourages slow and steady steps. Whilst in Menari we will have a rest stop, and be briefed on the events of the war around Menari. The Japanese in an elevated position (during the Australian withdrawal) had the upper hand, and Australian soldiers were scattered and forced to retreat. We will stand in a similar position to the Japanese, overlooking the now peaceful village. Trekkers are welcome to bring educational and stationary resources as gifts for the Menari School. Past Menari Airstrip, there will be a steep descent followed by a long ascent up to Brigade Hill, where you will learn about the hill’s significance, the Brigade Headquarters and the Japanese positions. A minute’s reverent silence is given to remember those who lost their lives. Afterwards we follow the track around to Mission Ridge, where we pause to imagine the Japanese lantern parade, which was viewed by the northern troops. While witnessing such an extraordinary sight, the Australian troops occupying wartime Efogi were ordered to withdraw further up the ridge closer to supporting fire. We continue trekking to Efogi 1 campsite. Approx Walking time/distance: 8-9hrs / 15.9km; Ascent: 1112m, Descent: 840m.

Meals:  B,L,D

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is a long trekking day as we head up towards the highest point on the track up the shoulder of Mt Bellamy (2240m). After a rest stop at Dump 1, we descend down to our campsite at Templeton’s Crossing. Approx Walking time/distance: 5-6hrs / 11.5km; Ascent: 420m, Descent: 504m.

Meals:  B,L,D

From Templeton’s Crossing, we have a steep climb up and over a ridge before a long and slow descent into Eora Creek. The creek here has a beautiful swimming place albeit a little chilly, which is great for your aching muscles! Afterwards you will be briefed on the amazing events that the Australian soldiers were confronted with during their advance. Even though the Japanese had an elevated position, they were over run and forced to retreat when Australian troops bravely attacked their post. We will take a short detour up to view the Japanese position, and it is a very moving sight. Some trekkers may not wish to take this detour, but we highly recommend it. Afterwards we will continue up the track to Alola, and then onto tonight’s campsite at Con’s/Surgeon’s Rock. Approx Walking time/distance: 7-8hrs / 11km; Ascent: 436m, Descent: 733m.

Meals:  B,L,D

We will hold a dawn service to remember those who served for their country. This will be an emotional experience and we slow down a little today to enjoy the moment and reflect on our own journey. After the service we take a short walk to Isurava Battle site, which is where the soldiers dug in, stood their ground and fought as hard as they could against the oncoming Japanese force. During this confrontation they were outnumbered about 2 to 1, and the stone pillars, that stand today, mark the characteristics displayed by the men - ‘Courage, Endurance, Mateship, Sacrifice’. After a late breakfast we will trek to Deneki through stunning scenery where choko vines have overtaken the vegetation along this part of the track. At Deneki, you are able to see down in the Yodda Valley, the Kokoda Airstrip in the distance. It is a further 30 minute descent into Hoi Village, our campsite for the night. Approx Walking time/distance: 5-6hrs / 11.3km; Ascent: 376m, Descent: 1273m

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning there is a further 2-3 hours trekking to Kokoda. At Kokoda celebrations are enjoyed, and we will farewell the porters, the majority of whom will return to their villages. There may be an opportunity to visit the Kokoda War Museum (if open). Then we will travel to Girua (Popondetta) Airport for the 30 minutes flight back to Port Moresby. There are stops along the way so keep your camera handy. We like to get to the airport early to make the check in easy. Please be patient and flexible as things in PNG move a lot more slowly and not everything runs to schedule. Upon arrival in Port Moresby, you will be transferred to the Ela Beach Hotel. Remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. 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. Tonight we will enjoy a celebration meal together (at own expense), and reminisce on the sights and experiences of the Kokoda Track. Approx Walking time/distance: 2-3hrs / 7.5km; Ascent: 51m, Descent: 151m.

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

Step 1: Choose your charity – determine which registered charity you’d like to fund raise for.

Step 2: Choose your challenge – choose from our range of iconic Open Challenges. The Open Challenges are all operated by our parent company, World Expeditions, and have been tailor made just for fundraisers. Complete the registration form and pay the registration fee. You can register online 24 hours around the clock or you can download the registration form online and post, email or fax the completed form to us.

Step 3: Charity authorisation - once we have received your registration form we will contact your chosen charity to seek authorisation for you to fundraise on their behalf. Following this the charity will contact you with your permission to fundraise, the minimum fundraising target and most likely directions for you to create an online fundraising page. Your registration will not progress further until the charity officially gives their authorization.

Step 4: Receive your Confirmation Kit - once you are booked on an Open Challenge we’ll send you a Confirmation Kit containing:

• Welcome Letter

• Fundraiser’s Guidebook

• Responsible Travel Guidebook

• Trip Pre-Departure Information

• Medical Form (if applicable)

• Travel Insurance document

• Travel Invoice

Step 5: Start Fundraising - now here comes some of the challenge as you set about fundraising for your charity. The Fundraiser’s Guidebook we provide you with will assist you greatly in settling fundraising objectives and determining your fundraising activities. Your charity may have aligned with one of the many online fundraising portals in which case you can set up your personal fundraising page and link to your charity. It’s then a matter of getting your friends, family, colleagues and greater network to support you by pledging donations.

Step 6: Start Training - depending on the type of challenge you have chosen, it may be graded introductory through to challenging, you will need to set yourself a fitness program to ensure you're physically ready for the challenge component of your travel. Take a look at our website where we provide definitions for all levels of grading as well as provide some tips for ‘getting fit’ and some suggestions on the gear you’ll require.

Step 7: Take the Challenge - once the fundraising is done it is time to set off on your Open Challenge ... good luck and enjoy the experience with the knowledge that you have made a much needed contribution to your chosen charity.

Travel Dates

Other Challenge Costs

Minimum Charity Donation/Fundraised:USD$400 

Fast Facts

Trip Dates: DepartReturn
 17 Aug 202027 Aug 2020
Duration:11 Days
Activities:Trekking with a Full Pack
Grade:Moderate to Challenging  Click for more information
Trip Code:KT1
Registration Fee:USD$90
Travel Cost:USD$90