Following are some extracts from letters and reports we have received from our trekkers over the past year:

Nicole McCranor (and son Connor):
Hello Charlie,

 I think if I was honest – my son, probably took the most away from this trip.

 Part of that is of course your influence – but I cannot thank the people on the trek enough for their support, encouragement and patience.  What a good bunch of role models for him!  He hasn’t stopped talking about it – and most importantly, he has actually said he wants to do it again. 

 The services at Isurava and the War Cemetery were particularly powerful – and I don’t think you can improve on that even if you wanted to. It was perfect.

 I will certainly complete the surveys and send them back through to you both – but essentially, we signed up for the experience – the good, the bad and the ugly – and the good certainly outweighed any of the bad or the ugly!  The bad and ugly bits were character building and didn’t hurt us one bit!!

The whole experience was humbling and provided us a lesson in humility and respect … and helped put a lot of things into proper perspective …. You can’t put a price on that!

 The entire experience was ‘priceless’ and I daresay life changing (in some way) for every single person who was on that trek – whether they care to admit it or not!

 I hope any ‘suggestions’ you receive are positive ones – and know that we wouldn’t actually change any aspect of the trek. We went for the challenge and to show our respect and to learn more – we were certainly challenged, we received an amazing lesson in respect and we have learned so much more than I ever expected ….

Connor has asked everyone who asks him about the trek “Do you know what Bruce Kingsbury did?..Well he …” – you can’t buy that type of PR !!!!!  Connor is very effectively spreading the Bruce Kingsbury legend !!!    Very cool !!       

 Thank you again – an experience of a lifetime!!!  

Paula Heenan:
Thanks for an amazing 12 days Charlie. It provided everything I was hoping for and much more. The group was entertaining and fun, you were brilliant and informative, the boys were helpful and supportive, the hills and river crossings were a challenge and I loved every minute of it.

Have to say I’m enjoying my week in Noosa this week too!

I’ll be telling anyone who listens that Adventure Kokoda is the company to go with. I love that you are putting money and resources into the local community, that you’re working with the people to build and improve their lives and that you’re doing your bit to get our government to do some of the things they should have done years ago to assist the people of PNG and recognise the amazing efforts of our diggers

Stefan Ponosh:
Lived up to every expectation and more. The insight and experience of Charlie made the trip so worthwhile and was at times overwhelming. The physical and mental challenge was second to none.

Andrew Flanagan:
Charlie- your passion, knowledge and devotion to the trail, villages, carriers and trekkers is legendary! You did not disappoint despite living up to such a lofty reputation. Your humour was perfect for the conditions. Your poem at Isurava had me in tears. I love Australian military history and you imparted your knowledge effectively, enabling me to fully understand the strategic situation in each battle location. ‘Ground of tactical importance’ explanation was perfect!

I chose to trek with Adventure Kokoda as I felt through my research of trek companies that your military perspective would be the best, and I was not disappointed. I hope to trek again in 2013.

Once again, many thanks for what was a wonderful experience…….choosing Adventure Kokoda for my first Kokoda Trail trek was a fortunate choice indeed.

Sarah Caskie:
Having trekked with Adventure Kokoda in 2007, I had no concerns about walking the trail again with the company.  It’s professional, safe, well organized and offers trekkers a fantastic opportunity to learn about an amazing part of our history.   The physical and emotional challenge is an unforgettable one, no less the 2nd time round.  Thank you so much for igniting the passion for military history in me.…………

Chad, is amazing.  Without him the trek wouln’t be as enjoyable, fun, informative and fulfilling.  He has a real talent for bringing you into the moment with stories, anecdotes, songs and poems.  His knowledge is outstanding and you finish having done so much more than a trek in the jungle.  Many times I had tears in my eyes at the end of another stirring poem.  His energy, positive attitude, and passion for the story of Kokoda is infectious.

Tyler Young:
I must say you run a bloody great organization. What you are able to offer to customers is really value for money. What you, adventure Kokoda and network Kokoda are doing for the country is fantastic. I have recommended your organization to everyone I know. Well done Charlie.

Nick Miller:
All in all, a perfect “raw adventure” experience which met our expectations and delivered more! While Karen and I both found we may have been able to complete the trek a few days shorter, we also found that there was enough time to rest and appreciate the surroundings and people.

Thank you Charlie and team for a well organized and executed journey.

Shamus Schutt:
This experience was something I will never forget. The highlight for more was going to the Bomana Cemetery the day of finishing our trek. I was blow away by the beauty and the grace of the place. Seeing the graves of the heroes we heard about along the way made it even more emotional and real.

I cannot fault the experience/adventure that Adventure Kokoda offers all aspects were fantastic and I felt safe at all times.

Finally Rowan is a major asset to your company he did an amazing job as our leader. His passion for the trail is clear for all to see. He allows all trekkers to get from the experience what they want as he understands we are all there for different reasons. No request or question was too hard for him to help and the respect he shows the local porters/people was of the highest standard.

Again thank you for an amazing experience and I would love to do it again with you some day.

Renae Moss:
I had such a wonderful time last time I was there I just had to return.

I love how passionate Charlie is with the history and for the future of PNG and how he inspires us to get to the finish line with all the wonderful stories and poems he tells us along the trail.

Deidre McKinnon:
What can I say – the trek was a wonderful experience and I congratulate you all at Adventure Kokoda on how you put it all together – it is a credit to you.

I am really pleased that I went with your company and I felt safe and secure at all times knowing that if I needed help (medical or other) it would be available.

I appreciate the way you look after the PNG carriers – that they are paid well, fed well and not given too much weight to carry in their backpacks. It was clearly evident that these men love working for you and that is because you respect them and treat them so well. My trip was enriched by having a personal carrier and getting to know Paul was possibly the most rewarding part of my journey. 

Melinda Heyden:
We surveyed quite a few Kokoda Trek websites and found that Adventure Kokoda seemed to offer a more authentic trip. They also seemed to be ‘down to earth’ and give the facts of the place, trek and adventure. The web page was also not afraid to call the other trekking companies for what they are and represent. We liked the way the local porters were looked after by Adventure Kokoda.

We thoroughly enjoyed our journey. It was mentally, physically and emotionally challenging.  We certainly didn’t expect the ‘ish’ factor to play such a huge role, as a society we always need to know what’s coming next and it was challenging (and frustrating) not to know what time we would be into camp, how long we had to go etc.

Thank you to Charlie for the invitation to be your preferred trainers for those wishing to trek with Adventure Kokoda. It is an honor and not something that we will take on lightly.

We loved it so much we will be back in a year or two – to go the other way. We have already a willing group of 13 or so (looking forward to a spotters fee, or discount 😉 LOL)

See you on the 10th at the reunion.

 Meredith Smith:
 Thank you for helping me achieve a dream and giving me an experience I will treasure for the rest of my life. I will never forget my journey, nor the men who’s footsteps we followed. I am in awe of these men and all that they did for our country. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to learn more about the conflicts that helped shape our country and that you employ trek leaders and carriers that are willing to share the information with us and that are passionate about the trail, the people and the history. I would strongly recommend Adventure Kokoda to anyone wishing to trek Kokoda. Finally I would like to say a massive thank you to our trek leader John (I cannot speak highly enough of him), my personal carrier Kombi, and all of the carriers that were part of AK1235. Without each one of these men, my journey would not have been as memorable as it was, and I would not have walked away with the knowledge I now have, nor would I have walked away a changed person. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!!

Stephen Lawler:
I had an awesome time it was exactly what I expected, and wouldn’t change a thing,(except pack some more snacks for myself). Would only ever recommend Adventure Kokoda to anyone wanting to walk the trek. As what I saw with other trek groups we were the most professionally organized and professionally run group on the trek.

Thanks to Charlie, Rowan, Porters and everyone else within Adventure Kokoda  for an awesome time.

Adrian Reinke:
I had a great time on the trek. I learnt a lot from Rowan, the porters and fellow trekkers. I had totally underestimated and was ignorant of the efforts which our men and boys had endured to protect Australian soil.

Leon Drummond:
The trek was very well organized the whole way with allowed participants to enjoy the experience provided by Adventure Kokoda 

Many people struggled in first few days with both humidity and hills – would suggest greater emphasis on this in training , perhaps people spending time in sauna’s to acclimatize – coming from Hong Kong these initial days were easier for me than those coming from a winter in the southern hemisphere.      

Leon Drummond:
Hello Charlie,

I couldn’t seem to get my Mac to enclose the survey form , so will do it the old fashioned way.

It was a great experience with a top group of people. Don’t know if you try to match people together or it’s just a chance thing, but I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch to go with.

All the organisation and admin was very slick and pain free. My only concern was with Rowan’s use of time. You know how us Airforce types like ETD’s, TOT’s etc, well the colonel’s clock had us all baffled as to when things were going to really happen. He reckons he just wanted to keep  us on our toes-some things never change. Rowan’s knowledge, leadership, friendship and rapport with the whole group was terrific right up until he delivered us happy and safe to the airport for departure. Then he probably breathed a big sigh of relief and had a lik lik mary or two.

Thank you and Lukim yu too,

Meredith Bowers:
A truly amazing experience that I’m sure will take some time to sink in for me.  I was very impressed with the professionalism of Adventure Kokoda in all aspects and felt quite fortunate to have chosen your company to travel with.  I also was impressed with the way your company looked after the PNG Porter group who were just fantastic. They must be so proud to work for you.  I’m sure I would be. Rowan’s passion for the history was to our huge benefit and I have learnt so much.  It has now inspired me to read more to consume the history experienced on the trek. It was once in a life time experience that will be cherished with me forever and I will recommend Adventure Kokoda to anyone travelling to PNG to experience this wonderful adventure.

Thank you to you and your wonderful team. Thank you to those who fought and lost their lives and innocence on the trail.  How lucky are we. Thank you.

FEEDBACK ON OUR PNG PERSONAL CARRIERS

Kym Stapleton:
He was fantastic always stayed with me, he constantly stopped me from falling and was always showing me the safest places to put my feet. As well my husband had no porter and he always helped him across the river crossings etc which was a help to me knowing he was safe. I would recommend him to anyone it was a shame his English was limited as this made it a little harder to forge a friendship with him.     

Deidre McKinnon:
My personal carrier, Paul Duri, was an “angel” in every sense of the word – kind, pure and beautiful and a gift from God. When I was sick Paul washed my clothes, he dried my backpack and filled my water bladder and helped me out in many ways over and beyond his job description.  I never asked him to do these things he just insisted on helping.

It wasn’t hard to imagine these people as “fuzzy wuzzy angels” during World War II as the people along the trail continue to exemplify the characteristics of their ancestors.

Meredith Smith:
Our PNG guides were absolutely brilliant. I have nothing but praise for these men. They were friendly, polite, knowledgeable and always willing to help. They had a good sense humour and always had a smile on their face. They were happy to share information about their villages, families and culture. Nothing was too hard for them and they were fun to have around. Special mentions go to Jerry, Frank, Hudson, Sailor, Gabriel, Smith, Kylie and of course my personal carrier Kombi. I guess I probably would of mentioned everyone except I can’t remember all of their names 

Renae Moss:
It’s a small world Meia is the nephew of the last porter i had Amari.

Meia was awesome he was beside me throughout the whole trek. He boosted me up when my legs couldn’t make the next step and he was behind me ready to catch me on the steep down hills.

I could not do this trek without him.

Me and Meia walked most of the trek just by ourselves and we had a wonderful  time he pointed out things to me and we shared stories with each other.

Meia also carved me a stick that every time I look at will bring back wonderful memories of the two of us together.

Felicity Martin:
We loved the boys- they were so good to us and took great care making sure we were safe and happy. We developed a great rapport with them and were very sad to leave them at the end of the trek. For example, one of our group mentioned at the start that she didn’t like crossing the bridges, and from that moment there was always a boy there to help her across, even if she didn’t realize they were holding on to the back of her pack. They obviously took great pride in their job, and were proud to be working for Adventure Kokoda, and we were proud to have them trekking with us! We learned a lot from them, and they made the trek run very smoothly.

Paul Wilding:
A more caring and wonderful bunch of blokes you won’t come across. They made the trip and my enduring memories will be of the care in which they looked after us. Sensational.

Glen Anyon:
Guides and porters were fantastic.  I had a personal porter which was well worth the money.  My porters name was Raymond.  Raymond did a great job and was very professional.  He is a credit to Adventure Kokoda.

I particularly appreciated the fact that Adventure Kokoda get their porters back to their homes.  Unlike other trekking companies, this is the right thing to do and I am happy to have paid a higher tour price for this to be done.

Shamus Schutt:
One of the highlights of the trip all of the porters were so friendly and helpful. Some were more talkative than other however all spoke politely when spoken too. The singing of their national anthem at Isurava is something I will never forget.

Sarah Caskie:
Jerry and all the team were fantastic.  The boys were so helpful whenever you needed anything.  They were so dependable when we needed their help crossing creeks and negotiating those slippery downhill slopes.

WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT OUT TREK ADMINISTRATION

Deidre McKinnon:
Jill was wonderful and very supportive and patient as I took up a lot of time with her on the telephone asking all sorts of questions. I didn’t sign up for the trek until early May and it was a bit hectic getting passport, medical testing, needles and stress test organised in a short time frame but she was great, very caring and supportive and never pushy or demanding. She gave me all the time I needed to tick all the boxes.  

 WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM

Felicity Martin:
Simon & Abel were faultless! Simon was the perfect balance of being encouraging and sympathetic, while providing tough love and a kick from behind when necessary! His history briefings were great, very interesting and well presented, and we really enjoyed his company in the group. He could have found us very annoying, being 10 kids who all knew each other and had lots of things to talk about that he didn’t know about, but he really embraced our dynamic and was as much a part of our conversations as we were. We definitely want the future Trinity groups to have him as their trek leader, as we enjoyed being able to chat about last year’s group with him, and I like the idea of continuing the tradition in future years. Abel was very well organized and took his job seriously, he took great care and pride in his job and was a real asset to the group. They adapted to situations very well e.g. when we were overlapping with other groups at the end of the trek. All in all, fantastic team and no complaints whatsoever!