16-25 April 2015 Anzac Day Trek
Owers’ Corner to Kokoda
Anzac Day Service at Bomana War Cemetery
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
After a break at Menari 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.
Overnight Brigade Hill
After breakfast we 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.
After an early breakfast we commence our descent down from Efogi 2 before commencing a hard climb up to Naduri. Naduri is the Village where one of the last Fuzzy Wuzzy lives Ovuru Ndiki. Ovuru loves sharing his stories about his war experiences.
Overnight Naduri Village
Today is a great day on the track as we cross the highest point of the track at 2190m. The scenery is spectacular as we cross down through Templeton’s 1 and along the Eora Creek to Templeton’s 2 for Camp. The area from Templeton’s 1 down to Eora Creek was the scene of major battles both during our fighting withdrawal and our advance across the track. We stop along the way to inspect the weapon pits and defensive positions.
Overnight Templeton’s Crossing
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. Tonight we will camp on the Battlefield and have time to reflect on their heroic deeds.
Overnight Isurava Battlefields.
Overnight Hoi Village
We inspect the battlesite of Kokoda and discuss the actions that took place in the area before heading to the airstrip for our flight back to Port Moresby.
Tonight we overnight in Port Moresby at the Gateway Hotel.
Anzac Day morning we awake early for our 4.00 am departure from our Hotel. (You can arrange with the Reception staff at the Hotel for your wake up call).
Our buses depart for the 30 minute drive to Bomana War Cemetery.
On arrival we receive our Anzac Day program and take our positions around the Memorial Cenotaph. The service is organised by the Port Moresby RSL and jointly hosted by the Australian, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea Governments.
The service at Bomana 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 Bomana and the early morning sun drapes its rays over the granite headstones the traditional wreath laying service is held. The lone piper plays his tribute and the bugler plays the haunting last post. We turn towards the graves of the 3,300 Australian soldiers that lay buried at Bomana and recite the Ode of Remembrance.
At the conclusion of the service we wander through the graves and pay our individual respects. We then re join our buses to drive to the Australian High Commission for a shot gun breakfast.
At approximately 10.00 am we return to the 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