Kokoda: World Heritage or Military Heritage?

Kokoda is a powerful word. According to the Orokaiva ‘koko’ means place of skulls – ‘da’ is village. The combination of syllables conjures up thoughts of ‘ adventure’ – mystery – danger’  in the minds of sedentary beings.

And no wonder.  Orokaiva warriors fearlessly resisted incursions into the Yodda valley when gold was discovered in the late 19th Century.  Many early explorers and missionaries ended up in village cooking pots as they were stalked in the remote jungle-clad mountain ranges. [Read more…]

KTA Response to ‘Kokoda: World Heritage or Military Heritage’

My name is Rod Hillman and I am the current Chief Executive of the Kokoda Track Authority and feel it appropriate for me to say a few things.

1. I respect Charlie Lynn as a leader and for the work he has done both on the Kokoda Track and with his company Adventure Kokoda. I have met with Charlie and some of his tour leaders and believe we have a mutual respect. He has put together a strong and qualified team and whilst we don’t always agree we do talk and discuss issues surrounding the Kokoda Track. [Read more…]

Charlie’s ‘angel’s Survive K-Trail

Article in PNG Post Courier by Barney Orere

Port Moresby Grammar School grade 12 students, Alfreda Nakue and Margaret Aitsi, have a different view of the Kokoda Trail from what history teaches them. Having walked the track recently, both girls say their real life experience of the track has given history a different dimension where they can relate more meaningfully. [Read more…]

Lets not forget the villagers along Kokoda?

A post by Sandy Lawson

In 2006, because tourist numbers on the Kokoda Track were rising rapidly, I outlined (on invitation) a proposal to animate community development. Based on local agriculture, it recognised that for tourism to be sustainable and welcome, it must engage the interest of the villagers along the historic trail. It must give them power as custodians of their land to explore new ways of using their land by carefully exploiting opportunities offered by a growing tourist industry. They must reap a real benefit. [Read more…]

Kokoda: Track or Trail?

On 12 October 1972 the name ‘Kokoda Trail’ was proclaimed in the Government Gazette of Papua New Guinea. This proclamation has never been amended or rescinded so the official name of the track over the Owen Stanley Range between Owers Corner and Kokoda is ‘The Kokoda Trail’.

The custodian of Australia’s Military History, the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, revisited the debate in 2002 after some new-age historians argued it should be referred to as the ‘Kokoda Track’.  The official historian at the War Memorial concluded that the term ‘trail’ was favoured by a majority of veterans and because it appears on the battle honours of units who served in Papua in 1942. He concluded that the official designation for the track is ‘The Kokoda Trail’. [Read more…]

Kokoda Gazetted as a Place of Historic Significance to Australia

INCLUSION OF PLACES IN THE LIST OF OVERSEAS PLACES OF HISTORIC
SIGNIFICANCE TO AUSTRALIA
Published by the Commonwealth of Australia, No. S150, Friday, 10 August 2007
Cat. No. S15007, ISSN 1032-2345,  Commonwealth of Australia, 2007
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Country: Papua New Guinea
Place: Kokoda Track
Location: The Kokoda Track, in Papua New Guinea, is a mountain track that winds across the Owen
Stanley Range between Owers Corner, about 35 kilometres north of Port Moresby, and the
Kumusi River, which marks the northern side of the Owen Stanley Range. It was named after
the village of Kokoda, through which the main route passes. It is also known as the Kokoda
Trail. Both terms are legitimate – ‘Track’ reflecting the language of Australians who fought
along it, and ‘Trail’ reflecting the official name given to it. It has become a site of pilgrimage
for Australians and also for Papua New Guineans, with most walking the main section
between Owers Corner and Kokoda (in either direction). [Read more…]

PNG – a difficult place to help!

The influx of Australians trekking the Kokoda Trail in PNG has resulted in an increased awareness of the plight of our closest neighbour. Trekkers arriving in Port Moresby for the first time are struck by the squalor of the settlements surrounding the city, the countless thousands of unemployed people, and the forbidding razor wire wrapped around every house in the city. [Read more…]