Kokoda Trail still a testing ground

Despite the deaths Australians are drawn to take the challenge, writes Erik Jensen from the Sydney Morning Herald, who has just completed the RSL Services Clubs Kokoda Youth Challenge with Adventure Kokoda .

There are not the words in Koiari to ask about Kokoda’s spirit. That is an Australian construct, and a reasonably modern one: the sort that made Paul Keating bend down and kiss the earth at Kokoda in 1992, that wrote the word ”mateship” on the memorial built there a decade later, and sends almost 6000 Australians down the track each year. [Read more…]

Upgrade for Kokoda fast-tracked

The following article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 5 September 2009:

The Federal Government will spend $1.8 million to speed up safety projects along the historic Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea – less than a month after a light plane crash in the area claimed 13 lives. [Read more…]

Kokoda code on Track

The following article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 2 September, 2009:

The Government of Papua New Guinea will crack down on rogue tour operators on the Kokoda Track who are not paying taxes or taking proper safety percautions. [Read more…]

EXCRUCIATING,gruelling,torturous,gut-wrenching

by Sally McMillan – The Sunday Telegraph

EXCRUCIATING, gruelling, torturous, gut-wrenching …

Trekking the Kokoda Trail is all of the above – and more.

The cloying jungle seeps into you, radiating waves of body heat. The air is fetid, the dense canopy enveloping – at night ink-black.

[Read more…]

Military Heritage at risk on the Kokoda Trail

There is an urgent need for a re-assessment of Australia’s role in the protection of our military heritage along the Kokoda Trail.

The construction of conventional buildings at Owers Corner and steel wire rope swing bridges across creeks at significant battlesites is akin to desecration of the most significant symbol of our involvement in New Guinea during the Pacific War. [Read more…]

Wire bridges on Kokoda=Bureaucratic vandalism!

The Kokoda Track Authority has advised of a plan to construct permanent swing bridges with cables and metal thread with constructed anchor points capable of taking up to 8 – 10 persons at Eora Creek Crossing, (Dump 1) Eora Creek, Efogi River (between Naduri and Efogi 2), Elomi Creek (between Efogi 1 and Efogi 2), Ofi Creek and Goldie River.

I do not know where these ‘plans’ are coming from but I do know they are being done without any consultation at all with the paying customer i.e. the trekker.

The research we have conducted with a significant number of people who have trekked with Adventure Kokoda over the past 18 years indicates that they want the track left alone. They want to trek in the footsteps of our diggers as they did it. They do not want boardwalks and bridges. [Read more…]

Owers Corner Desecration!

The recent construction of standard buildings with shiny silver iron roofs at Owers Corner illustrates the need for the Office of Australian War Graves to be involved in protecting our military heritage along the Kokoda Trail. 

Owers Corner is a significant site.  It is here that the road ends and the pilgrimage for thousands of Australians begins.  It is where our diggers manhandled massive 25-pounder guns into position to provide heavy fire support to our troops on Imita Ridge for the first time in the Kokoda campaign. [Read more…]

Kokoda: Response & Recommendations

A post by Charlie Lynn:

I appreciate the work that has been done along the Kokoda Trail in regard to providing educational and health support for villagers. Whilst nobody can argue about meeting these important needs I have serious reservations about the process used in determining who should be responsible for the work; the priorities/partnerships associated with it; and the ongoing lack of effective management for trekking operations across the Kokoda Trail. [Read more…]

Australia to spend $12k on Kokoda refurbishment

ABC News: 23 June 2009

Australia will spend $12,000 to refurbish part of the Kokoda Track and build two memorials to Australian service in Papua New Guinea. [Read more…]

Kokoda: Response from the Australian Govt

A post by Robyn Kruk, Secretary of the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts:

Dear Charlie,

As a trekker who walked the Kokoda Track with you in 2007, and now as the Head of the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts I would like to respond to the concerns you have recently raised publicly in relation to Australia’s efforts to assist PNG to protect the Kokoda Track. I note that some of these points have already been outlined in other correspondence to you from this department. [Read more…]