ANZAC Trek – 9 nights Kokoda Trail
Anzac Dawn Service at Isurava Memorial
On our arrival at Owers’ Corner we make final checks and preparations for the trek ahead and meet our personal porters. Owers’ Corner was also the place where our Australian troops first received the morale boosting artillery support from the gunners. Three 25 pound guns were positioned on the ground and fired 800 rounds over three days into Ioribaiwa Ridge, where the Japanese made their last big push; it took 25 seconds for the projectiles to cover the 15miles across Imita Ridge into Ioribaiwa.
Our troops also dragged down the hill one of the 25 pound guns across Goldie River and up towards Imita Ridge. Have a look for the original zig zag track cut along the way which wound its way down the ridge and up towards Imita Ridge. We start the Kokoda Track with a steep descent down to the Goldie River. The trail crosses the Goldie River and past the abandoned village of Uberi. The first camp is deep jungle, in an old wartime campsite location of Dump 66 at the foot of Imita Ridge. Dump 66 was a major supply/logistic area and also had a medical aid post.
Overnight Dump 66
Overnight Nauro Village
Overnight Menari Village
Today we have a long tiring climb up to Brigade Hill. Brigade Hill and Mission Ridge was the scene of a major battle 6-8 September 1942 where 101 Australian Soldiers lost their lives.
At Brigade Hill we stop and discuss the battle on Brigade Hill and Mission Ridge before participating in our commemoration service to pay our respects to the soldiers who served us so gallantly during this battle.
We now descend down from Brigade Hill and stop at Nishimura’s stump. Nishimura is the Japanese soldier who pledges to recover the remains of his deceased comrades. He is known as the “Bone Man”.
Our journey continues past the Mission Ridge turnoff. The scenery along this part of the track is spectacular, with views to Mt Bellamy and Kagi. We walk through the Village of Efogi before commencing our steep but short walk up to Efogi 2. From Efogi 2 we have spectacular views across the valley to Mt Victoria.
Overnight Efogi 2
We continue our climb up towards the moss forests of Mt Bellamy and we trek towards camp takes us through an ancient Arctic beech forest with magnificent giant pandanus and beech trees.
Overnight 1900 Camp
Overnight Eora Creek
We continue our climb up to Alola village, Alola is a spectacular village perched on top of the ridge with stunning views down to the Eora Creek Valley and across to Abuari. Alola was also the Headquarters for Brigadier Potts during the battle of Isurava. After morning tea we continue our journey onto the Isurava Battlefields passing by the Isurava Rest house area, Surgeons rock and the area the Butch Bisset passed away.
At the Isurava memorial we have time to visit and inspect the battle sites and reflect on the heroic deeds performed by our boys. After our battlesite briefing we hold our memorial service near Kingsbury Rock before group photos are taken.
Anzac Day morning has us up bright and early as we make our way down to the Memorial in preparation for the service. The Anzac Day service at Isurava is organised and hosted by the Australian Government.
The service at Isurava is a comprehensive Anzac Day service and a moving tribute to the men and woman of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea that made the ultimate sacrifice and for those that served their country in all the Military Services.
As the dawn breaks over the ridge and the early morning light creeps up the valley and the sun drapes its rays over the four granite pillars with the words etched into them Courage, Endurance, Mateship and Sacrifice. The traditional wreath laying service is held, the lone piper plays his tribute and the bugler plays the haunting last post. We bow our heads to the west and remember the 3,300 Australian soldiers that lay buried at Bomana War Cemetery in Port Moresby and recite the Ode of Remembrance.
Overnight Isurava Battlefield.
It is now a fast walk to Kokoda and the realisation that you have achieved your dream.
We inspect the battlesite of Kokoda and discuss the actions that took place in the area.
Tonight we overnight in Kokoda.
Overnight Gateway Hotel
Note: Accommodation along the Kokoda Track is camping in tents
Kokoda Spirit reserves the right to vary the trek itinerary/schedule in the event of unforeseen circumstances