Thanks so much for an awesome adventure out on the Kokoda Track. The boys and staff all loved the experience, and we have had some incredible feedback!
Enclosed are many of the photos we took, including photo of the year!
I also put a short video together, which is on the USB, but I am working on an extended version. I’ll send this up as well when it is finished.
Hope your recent trip went well.
Since we didn’t really get to say it at Brisbane, thank you so much for the trip!! I had the best time learning about not only the track, but the history of it. It has been the best experience I have had so far and it’s all a credit to you!
Our itineraries, dates, lengths of treks and community projects are designed to suit your goals and outcomes.
We have structured our programs to develop the important skills young people need including, perseverance, resilience, education, personal development, goal setting, skill development, group participation, team building, confidence, self esteem, leadership, fitness and community connection.
Our Kokoda Track trips offer an innovative and safe educational travel experience, focusing on interaction with the local communities and developing a greater understanding of the diverse and rich cultural heritage of PNG.
Our educational journeys help students develop a sense of worth and self esteem, along with concepts of teamwork, leadership, motivation, goal setting, self discipline, peak performance and shared responsibility- the crossing of the Kokoda Track is an enormous achievement. We also ensure it is heaps of fun!
Our trips focus on the history of the track, community projects, including immersion, humanitarian, Duke of ED, and student empowerment and leadership projects.
We have successfully led many hundreds of Students and more than 5000 trekkers across Kokoda since 2004. The experience of walking Kokoda is empowering and life changing.
Kokoda Spirit prides itself on its professionalism of its staff, and its friendly and knowledgeable ambiance. Our staff truly makes all the difference and ensures that all our trekkers have a safe and memorable trek.
Our priority is the safety of our trekkers. Our staff is focused on ensuring that all of our trekkers cross the Track safely and enjoy their experience.
We provide comprehensive and informative pre trek information and have an exclusive training program and a comprehensive risk management plan designed specifically for our Kokoda adventures.
Walking Kokoda with Kokoda Spirit across the wartime Kokoda Track is an experience not just a holiday. We see things as an explorer, historian and adventurer.
When you trek Kokoda with Kokoda Spirit, you’re participating in a personal discovery experience; you are truly living and participating in an historic and monumental Kokoda adventure.
Kokoda Spirit is or has been involved in a number of youth partnership roles including, the Kokoda Challenge Youth Program (KCYP). The KCYP is a program, which has been developed to help young Australians who are at a crossroad in their lives and require an opportunity to reach their full potential.
Kokoda Spirit also continues its relationship with the MASP Youth Leadership Mentoring program in Victoria and has done so for the past four years.
We have been heavily involved with Jobs Australia and their Indigenous Youth Leadership programs having led a group of Indigenous Leaders and Mentors across the Kokoda Track in their leadership program.
We also work with Y Lead with their School programs.
Every year Kokoda Spirit organises many expeditions for Schools across the Kokoda Track. The Kokoda Spirit school adventure is an authentic experience of different cultures, customs and landscapes where your students can develop a deeper understanding of the world around them and their own cultural heritage while still having fun.
Immerse yourself not only in the heroic and inspirational Australian Diggers battle stories, but also in the rich cultural heritage along the Kokoda Trail as we trek through local villages and spend time discovering the local customs and way of life of your local guides, their families, and the local villages along the Kokoda Track.
Haileybury College, Newcastle Grammar, Berne School, Nhulunbuy High School, Rostrevor College, Murray High School, St Ignatius Riverview College, Hale School, Yarrawonga Secondary College, Mackillop College, Sunshine Coast Grammar, Victorian College of Deaf, St Luke’s Anglican Bundaberg, St Hilda’s College (Melbourne Uni) Y Lead, Ela Murray International School Port Moresby, Knox Grammar, Ravenswood School for Girls, Chancellor Park State College, Kokoda Challenge Association, MASP Youth Mentoring and Jobs Australia Indigenous program.
The leadership and communication skills and TREK FEEDBACK their relentless efforts to ensure that we were safe and well informed were well and truly above my expectation. I will definitely be involved in this experience again.
Nick Johnstone Head of Middle School and Curriculum St Luke’s Anglican School Bundaberg Qld
All the members of the trek had a great time, particularly the Buna extension. Adrian and the Buna boys were excellent. Having already done 6 Kokoda’s they are the best set of porters I’ve been associated with. Adrian as a lead guide was fantastic. The boys walked with the clients all the way and log crossings were roped well and they lead all clients across safely. The village stay was fantastic. The Mu Mu and Sing Sing were great and the guesthouse was very comfortable.
David Eke Head of Campus St Luke’s Anglican School Bundaberg Qld
Whether you want to understand the battles along the Kokoda Track, challenge yourself physically and mentally over the tough terrain, appreciate the rainforest at first hand, or immerse yourself in the culture of the local communities, we can create an innovative and safe itinerary with experiences that you just can’t get on a regular school trip.
Our staff members are professional and qualified to lead these expeditions, and guarantee your expedition is everything and more than you expected! And as we arrange every detail, from meals, insurance to risk assessments, you can travel with piece of mind. We have been organising school trips across the Kokoda Track for over 10 years, we can even help you with the paper work to get approval.
Our comprehensive ongoing support and training programs are tailored to your school’s specific needs to support the curriculum priorities you identify.
If you are a teacher (or involved with a school) and are interested in hearing more about what Kokoda Spirit can offer, just email or call us to discuss your plans.
Contact Wayne Wetherall at Kokoda Spirit and we will be pleased to assist in planning, organising and facilitating your requirements.
Thanks for the great experience that you gave us on the Kokoda Track. We had a great time and learnt a lot. It was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. Many thanks.
Nick Skerritt St Ignatius Riverview – Student
Hopefully your boy has now adjusted back to school life following his adventure across the Kokoda track.
Thanks to all that have provided me with the wonderful feedback on the trip. No doubt, your boy has filled you in on all the events across the track. I am sure he has many wonderful memories that will stay with him forever.
The boys, parents and staff have gained so much from this trip. The physical and mental challenge has given them a reference point for future obstacles and challenges they will face;
All would agree they have a heightened awareness and profound respect for the men that fought on the track and the sacrifice and support given by the Fuzzy- Wuzzy Angels; All would agree they have a greater appreciation and deep respect for the local people in Papua New Guinea, so happy and content, caring and considerate, yet with so little in earthly possessions.
No photo could do justice to the wonderful relationships that were established between the porters and the boys.
On behalf of the Kokoda school staff, I would like to thank you for providing us with the opportunity to lead your boy through this journey. We all look forward to our reunion together to share this wonderful experience. Regards
School Kokoda Organiser
Congratulations to our Kokoda Team who successfully conquered the challenging Kokoda Track, walking in the footsteps of our heroes.
Thanks to ClubMulwala (RSL) for their incredible sponsorship which makes this program possible.
“Kokoda was one of the best experiences made special by our porters, trek master Charlie, trek leader Geoff and Kokoda Spirit guide, Max. I never thought it would be so emotional and it was an amazing change in culture and way of life. I learnt it’s not all about the walk but everything around it. What an awesome group of kids and I thank them so much for their fun, support and encouragement along the way”
“Doing Kokoda lived up to every expectation that I had and more. It was challenging, physically and mentally, we learned a lot about what the Australian soldiers went through fighting for our country and we got to experience a small part of the conditions that they had to face while defending our homeland. What made the experience even better was being able to share it with some of my closest friends and develop new ones. Thank you to everyone that donated and thank you to the Kokoda Team – I’ll miss the times we had on the track”
“Of all the things I gained from completing the Kokoda Trail, the most important was the greater level of appreciation I have for the soldiers who fought along the track. Their outstanding levels of endurance, courage, mateship and sacrifice were awe-inspiring!”
“Walking the Kokoda Track was a life changing experience. It was extremely challenging but at the same time great fun with great people. It was one of the best things I have ever achieved and I’m proud of myself and the team for getting through it”
“Being able to accomplish the Kokoda Track at such a young age and have this amazing opportunity at our school is awesome. Over the trip we all faced many obstacles but with teamwork and mateship from everyone we overcame and smashed through our great adventure. I couldn’t have imagined the trek any better than what it was!”
“Kokoda was an amazing experience, challenging everyone in different ways. We all learnt so much about what our soldiers endured in PNG, as well learning about another culture, their customs and way of life”
“If deb balls are where girls become women, the Kokoda track is where I became a man… it was a test of endurance through the rain, blisters and the malaria tablets. On the up side. .. it was adventurous and fun. Playing football with the local PNG kids put a smile on everyone’s dial. The track itself was undulating and relatively dry as they are in a 9 month drought. Congratulations to the whole team for such a successful trip”
“Walking the Kokoda Track has been one of the best things l have ever done. I was able to gain a much better appreciation of what our soldiers went through in WWII and am proud of our team for overcoming challenges and supporting one another”
A few words and a big thank you regarding Kokoda.
In fact, words won’t capture my level of gratitude and appreciation for all each of you have done.
Jenny, thank you so much for being the inspiration for the participation of students from Surfcoast Secondary. Your organisation, motivation, communication and drive to make the Kokoda experience happen has been just brilliant for the group as a whole. The personal support you have provided Laila is amazing and I feel so lucky that my children attend a school where staff care so greatly. From picking up Laila for those early morning drives and walks, to having to trek back to meet her and miss time with the group, to just being an adult female role model she can talk to and connect with, you have impacted on Laila in just so many positive ways.
Peter, we sat and watched the video you created this morning and it was an emotional experience for all of us. Thank you so much for also giving up your time to support Jenny and the students and for taking the time to capture the experience so that family and friends can share just that little bit more closely. I honestly felt just that bit more secure about my daughter heading off to Papua New Guinea knowing you were there as well.
Scott, thank you for being a principal prepared to take a risk with the kinds of educational experiences offered to your students. As well as supporting the program at a leadership level, it was lovely to see the principal driving the bus load of excited (and apprehensive!) trekkers to Melbourne. Then, when Laila and I needed your support to obtain documents to assist her passage to Port Moresby, your instant offer of support and springing into action helped greatly when our stress levels were still huge.
Wayne, you have provided Laila with a gift that I have no doubt will play a role in shaping the rest of her life. Again, I can’t express my appreciation highly enough. For you to arrange the reversal of the walk was beyond anything I expected. The arrangements you then put in place for Laila to be collected individually, two days after the rest of the group, and to then escort her personally, whilst catching another group and eventually the Surfcoast group, demonstrated a level of flexibility and commitment to the care of your client that is of the highest order. I won’t go into the details, but I think if Laila had missed out on the trek, as looked likely to happen, then I think the short and long term damage to her self-esteem would have been immense. Laila mentioned how comfortable she felt in your company – whether you were both talking or whether you were just slogging it out in silence. She said there was a point when she felt absolutely out of her depth, exhausted, overwhelmed and full of self-doubt. The comfort you gave her, with your kind words, encouragement and compassion, was exactly what she needed at that moment. Thank you.
Thank you also to Lyn (our Kokoda Spirit contact person), who was so efficient in supporting me whilst we were madly trying to get arrangements in place and had so many questions for her. Her level of communication was excellent – right to the day of departure when I called her in desperation at about 6am. (An officious Qantas representative had met with us and declared, ‘there’s no way Laila is flying. She can’t get on the plane. They won’t even look at her in Port Moresby, as she doesn’t have a visa’. Thankfully, he was wrong.)
15 months or so ago, Laila snapped her cruciate ligament and her medial ligament. At that point in time, there is no way I thought she would be walking Kokoda just over a year down the track. Laila was inspired by you, Jenny, to undertake the journey. When she first came home to ask if she could go I was both proud of her for being so pro-active, but also nervous (would she recover from her knee injuries in time? was it safe in P.N.G.? did the transport plane have twin engines?!) There are so many aspects to the experience that challenged Laila. The early morning training sessions when she wanted to lay in bed, like teenagers do. The evening training sessions at Bird Rock stairs, when it was cold, wet and dark. Then, to have to deal with losing her passport and thinking she wasn’t going and to see the rest of the group depart without her. Then, to have to deal with the possibility that we should try to make arrangements for her to fly – but know that there were a huge number of ducks to line up and it may not happen. Then, to have to fly to Port Moresby alone (very much the unknown – which is so often what frightens us). Then, to have to make up time to catch the rest of the group.
Thank you, all, from the bottom of my heart.