At the turn of the 19th Century Irish writer, Beatrice Grimshaw, described Sogeri as “one of the most beautiful places in the world”. She had a cottage built overlooking the majestic Rouna Falls where she might enjoy the “excellent health” that she had observed in the other white residents of the district. The Sogeri Plateau at the foothills of the Owen Stanley Ranges is about half-way between Port Moresby and the start of the Kokoda Trail at Owers Corner.
The plateau was formed by a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. The river Laloki runs through the cannon at Rouna and provides the Port Moresby with water and electricity. Some claim that Rouna Falls are similar to the Sisters Falls in Brazil.
The Koiari people, whose ancestors were fierce warriors, occupied the Sogeri plateau. They lived in treetop houses as a form of protection against surprise enemy raids.
Today the plateau is a popular escape from the scorching heat, razor-wire and bustle of Port Moresby which has been criticised (somewhat unfairly) as ‘one of the world’s worst cities’. At almost 1000 metres the scenic plateau is green and moist with cool, airy mountain breezes, secluded lodges, an Inn and the exclusive Koitaki Country Club. It is hard to imagine General Sir Thomas Blamey addressing the battle weary troops of the 39th Battalion near the current clubhouse in 1942.
The Sogeri Lodge is nestled in rainforest foliage overlooking the Laloki River. The lodge is owned by Warren Bartlett, a former Australian kiap (Patrol Officer) who has lived in PNG for 50 years. It has a combination of lodge rooms, motel rooms with ensuites ad self-contained units. The meals are a highlight of any stay – guests have a choice between a sumptuous buffet or they can take advantage of a popular pizza oven or a private barbeque. A small museum with a range of rusted weapons, ammunition, mess kits, medicine bottles, a Singer sewing machine and a couple of old vehicle cabs provide a haunting reminder of the wartime history of the area. A traditional hut adjacent to the museum allows guests some quiet time for reflection.
The lodge is the hub of some wonderful walking trails towards the World War 11 monuments at Depo and McDonald’s Corner (the start of the Kokoda Trail in 1942); nearby Crystal Rapids; and via the Sogeri National High School to the Koitaki Country Club. The Biosphere Reserve at nearby Variata National Park is located in a tropical rainforest. Many animals especially birds, live in the thick jungle. There is also a largeg variety of trees and beautiful orchids which are endemic to the area. At certain times of the day, birds of paradise, wallabies and deer can be seen along the walking trails. At the end of the trail the Variata lookout presents a panoramic view of Port Moresby and the distant coastline.
The road to Sogeri runs parallel to the Laloki River, between the twin spurs of Hombrum Bluff (the site of General Blamey’s headquarters during the Kokoda campaign) and Variata. On the way there is an old tin smelter’s works where Hollywood star, Errol Flynn, used to live. It was known as the Sapphire Mine after a nearby creek.
Our trekkers regard it as a home away from home:
“What a lovely chalet: Sogeri Lodge. Very clean and well maintained. A real “family” feeling has been created there – so much so, that when I got back from the trek – it felt like home! The meals were plentiful and well cooked. Staff were welcoming, gracious and friendly. Well done once again.”
“Sogeri Lodge was a terrific start and end to my trip”.
“The accommodation and meals were wonderful especially the dinner after we finished the trek the lamb shank just melted in your mouth. It was nice to have met Warren and the way they got our boots and clothes cleaned in a short period of time was incredible.”
“Accommodation was great. The food was excellent as was the service”.
“Sogeri Lodge is not the Hilton, however I am glad we spent our time there rather than an up market hotel. The service and help afforded to us at Sogeri was outstanding.”
“I really enjoyed the first night (and off course the last) at Sogeri Lodge. Staff, management and your leaders were all very helpful and available. The introductions and seating allowed pre-trek mix to the max.”
“Sogeri Lodge was paradise after returning from the trek! Great showers.”
“Sogeri Lodge is wonderful – a home away from home!”
“Accommodation at Sogeri Lodge was great. It was like an oasis – the food was amazing. I really looked forward to this after the trek. Getting my clothes and trekking boots washed at the end of the trek was a real bonus.”
“The food was extraordinary. The accommodation was very reassuring.” Ralph Donnett: ” I really enjoyed the experience of staying at the Sogeri Lodge. The venue is ideal for Trekkers, with adequate facilities for briefings and relaxation. The food was excellent. ‘
“As to be expected. Definitely rather be at Segori Lodge than stuck in Port Moresby.”
“Amazing! The accommodation was clean, comfortable, relaxed and had such great food. The staff could not have been more welcoming and friendly.”
Ellie Garrard: “Sogeri Lodge was fantastic. The staff were lovely and the meals were amazing.”
For information and bookings call the manager, Alfie Jack on +675 7298 5538 or +675 325 1887/325 5540 or email firstname.lastname@example.org