Each year almost 17, 000 people visit the Kokoda track in order to experience a glimpse of the war history of Australia, Papua New Guinea and Japan.
Populated by spectacular rugged rainforest and mountainous scenery, the track echoes of a history from World War II, where Australian Forces assisted by Papuan natives, fought off Japanese soldiers in their efforts to take Port Moresby and put the mainland of Australia under threat.
The track spans over 96 kilometers, running from Port Moresby, through the Owen Stanley Ranges, up into Oro Province and can take anywhere from five to nine days to complete.
Trekkers can experience the track from generally March till November during the “dry” season by booking through the many tour operators both in Papua New Guinea and internationally.
Trekkers are usually advised to pack light with only their essentials such as clothing, water canteen, torch, waterproof jacket, blanket, and strong trekking boots and socks. Most tour operators offer for hire- backpacks, sleeping mats and other tools that trekkers may need for the trip. Local bag carriers are hired to carry the bulk of each person’s cargo, with the owner only carrying a light day pack each day.
Along the track war relics that visitors will see are weapon pits, monuments, museums, remnants of Japanese planes, Japanese gun sites with mortar shells, tunnels and armaments.
Most tour operators make the effort to become well versed with the history of Kokoda and the sites where particular events of interest took place. Intending visitors should note that by the time their trek is over, many experiences, memories and friendships will be made while taking this walk through history.
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