A number of rogue individuals and companies can obtain licenses as trek operators without any due-dilligence checks – and they are free to operate!
The Kokoda Trail is managed by a Kokoda Track (Special Purpose) Authority (KTA) on behalf of the PNG Government.
Unfortunately the management system for the Kokoda Trail is dysfunctional – and has been for a number of years. This has allowed a number of rogue individuals and companies to obtain licenses as trek operators – all they have to do is turn up at the KTA Office – pay a fee without any due-dilligence checks – and they are free to operate!
The lack of management protocols allows these operators to lead treks without conducting a risk assessment or having any form of Public Liability Insurance. This exposes trekkers to unacceptable risk in the event of a serious injury.
The local PNG management authority has not produced a financial statement for many years so nobody has any idea where money collected for trek fees and licences goes – what we do know is that nothing is invested in campsites or community development along the trail.
Trekkers should therefore be aware of the principle of Caveat Emptor – a latin phrase for ‘Let the buyer beware’!
Only two Australian trek operators are registered as a Foreign Enterprise in accordance with the PNG Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) Act. Non-registration may possibly void any Travel Insurance Claim. Click on this link to check if the company you select is registered in PNG before you lodge your deposit as this should be a serious consideration post Covid-19 (select ‘Do It Online’ tab > ‘Search Foreign Enterprise’).
We have tried to address these issues over the years but to no avail – our concerns and suggestions can be found on this link.
Tripadvisor therefore offers the only option for trekkers to comment on their experiences along the trail which helps future trekkers identify the best Kokoda tour company to meet their needs.
Many who have had a rewarding experience will take the time out to write a review. Others who have not been so fortunate because they did not receive informative briefings; or who had to sleep in bush huts with a lot of infestation; or who ran out of food before their trek finished often prefer to forget the experience and do not register their concerns because they know the local management authority will ignore them anyway – see review extracts below.
Kokoda Trekking Company Reviews
The following table lists the number of Tripadvisor Reviews for each trekking company on the Kokoda Trail – reviews can be found on this link:
|Ranking||Trek Operator||Excellent||Very Good||Average||Poor|
|5.||Australian Kokoda Tours||22||0||0||0|
|6.||Kokoda Trail Expeditions||19||0||0||0|
|7.||No Roads Expeditions||16||0||0||0|
|8.||Back Track Adventures||14||0||0||0|
|10.||South Seas Horizons||7||0||0||0|
|12.||Adventure Bound Tours||2||0||0||0|
|15.||Free Spirit Adventures (PNG)||2||0||0||0|
|16.||Kokoda Courage (PNG)||2||0||0||0|
|17.||Kokoda Track Experience Ltd||1||1||0||0|
|20.||Heritage Treks (PNG)||1||0||0||0|
|22.||Kokoda Brothers (PNG)||1||0||0||0|
|23.||PNG Trekking Adventures Ltd||1||0||0||0|
|24.||Kokoda Experience (PNG)||0||1||0||0|
|25.||Kokoda Trail Bushwalkers (PNG)||0||1||0||0|
|28.||Kokoda Angels Tours (PNG)||0||0||0||0|
|29.||Buna Treks & Tours (PNG)||0||0||0||0|
|30.||Imofat Trekking & Tourism (PNG)||0||0||0||0|
|31.||Kokoda Campaign Tours (PNG)||0||0||0||0|
|34.||Kokoda Strive Trekking (PNG)||0||0||0||0|
|35.||Kokoda Trail Bushwalking Expeditions (PNG)||0||0||0||0|
|36.||Kokoda Tears, Tracking & Tours (PNG)||0||0||0||0|
|37.||Kokoda Treks & Tours||0||0||0||0|
|39.||Kokoda War Memorial Mission (PNG)||0||0||0||0|
|40.||Ko Trek Limited (PNG)||0||0||0||0|
|41.||On Trail Expeditions||0||0||0||0|
|42.||Operation Kokoda Expeditions (PNG)||0||0||0||0|
|43.||Sogeri Enterprises (PNG)||0||0||0||0|
|44.||Tropic Tours Ltd (PNG)||0||0||0||0|
|46.||Vaili Treks & Tours (PNG)||0||0||0||0|
|47.||Unforgettable Adventures Pty Ltd||0||0||0||0|