Good morning Julie and Wayne,

I would like to pass on my huge thanks to the organising team of Kokoda Spirit but especially to our guide Steve Mackie for an awesome Kokoda experience! Walking the Kokoda Track was an incredible journey and I felt honoured to be there. We had a wonderful group – we connected very quickly, maybe because we all had a common thread – raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s Australia.

Our guide Steve was fantastic – he was so thoughtful, considerate, observant, experienced, knowledgeable, intelligent, respectful and fun. Steve has a wonderful gift of being able to connect with total strangers and bring them together to work (and walk) harmoniously. He is a great story teller and historian – he shared his deep knowledge of the Kokoda, which added to the experience. I enjoyed our daily high and low discussions. Steve was very attentive when fellow trekker Marie was unwell on the second day. He was also aware when the porters had sores on their feet and attended to their cuts/abrasions – I was able to assist him being a registered nurse and felt privileged to do so.

The local porters did an amazing job – never once did I feel hungry – the food was plentiful including donuts, pikelets and pizza! They were incredibly attentive to each trekker and did everything to ensure our safety and enjoyment.

I am still absorbing the whole experience and feel very proud of my achievements.

If I ever have another opportunity to do Kokoda again, I will definitely grab it. It was AWESOME! (I am thinking of exploring voluntary avenues utilising my nursing skills in some capacity).

Thank you for this amazing experience/journey.


Sarah Pettenon