TripAdvisor has judged Adventure Kokoda to be the No.1 tour company on the Kokoda Trail over the past 5 years.
TripAdvisor has judged Adventure Kokoda as the No.1 tour company on the Kokoda Trail for the past 5 successive years. According to the PNG Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) Adventure Kokoda is the only Australian trekking company to operate legally across the Kokoda Trail in PNG. Prospective trekkers therefore need to adopt the Latin phrase ‘Caveat Emptor’ i.e., ‘let the buyer beware’ when choosing a company to trek with.
Prospective trekkers therefore need to adopt the Latin phrase ‘Caveat Emptor‘ i.e., ‘let the buyer beware‘ when choosing a company to trek with.
Unfortunately, in recent years incompetent management within the PNG Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) has led to an increase in low-rent Kokoda tour operators cashing in on the market and degrading the value of the pilgrimage.
A trek across the Kokoda Trail should be regarded as a respectful pilgrimage in the footsteps of the brave – through a rugged jungle shrine linked to our Australian military heritage in the ‘land of the unexpected‘!
It should not be degraded as a ‘bucket-list’ item; a ‘Tough Mudder‘ event; or a ‘bogan challenge‘ complete with guitars and cringeworthy ‘Ozzie, Ozzie Ozzie – ‘Oi, ‘Oi, ‘Oi’ chants.
The jungles of Papua New Guinea can be a dark and foreboding place for the unwary. During the Kokoda campaign darkness came swiftly as the overhead canopy didn’t allow any form of twilight to penetrate below. Fires were forbidden because the glow of embers and the smell of dank smoke could betray a position to the enemy.
Before the transition to darkness each day soldiers would lie still during ‘stand-to‘ in shallow pits lest the enemy used the cover to launch a surprise attack. The silence in such an environment is deafening – until virtual ‘battalions’ of cicadas (known to the diggers as ‘6 o’clock crickets‘) pierce the air with shrill buzzing calls lasting for up to half-an-hour. For the first-timer in the jungle it can be unnerving but it soon becomes part of the normal cycle of activity as they acquaint themselves with their environment and the sounds of nature.
Speak to any veteran of the Templeton’s Crossing campaign and they will quickly ask if the ‘6 o’clock crickets‘ are still around.
They still are – but they now have competition from a new species of ‘chanting bogans!‘
Chanting bogans are keen to tick the Kokoda trek off their bucket list and get across as quickly and as economically as possible. Low-rent Kokoda operators seem to target the bucket-lister market because they are low maintenance. They don’t want anything more than a superficial introduction to the wartime history – in fact they don’t want anything that will detract from their ego driven mission of “doin’ Kokoda mate“!
Just as the peace of a ‘stand-to’ was often shattered by the ‘6 o’clock crickets‘ during the Kokoda campaign the solemnity of a battlefield presentation or service is now disrupted by chanting bogans shouting ‘Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie – Oi, Oi, Oi’ as a form of ‘reveille’ or to keep cadence as they stomp on by. Those on a historical pilgrimage across the trail have cause to cringe when they are unfortunate enough to encounter these bogan war cries during their treks.
Six O’clock crickets have endured for centuries and will continue their shrill orchestra for centuries to come. It is hoped that the new bogan-chant, ‘Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie – Oi, Oi, Oi’ will not be as long lived.
How to Identify a Bogan Trek Operator
They wake up to a ‘bogan reveille’ . . .
they hug each other and grunt out a bogan chant . . .
they yell it out . . .
they never let up . . .
if they’re not chanting, they just pull out their guitars and sing . . .
The most reliable guide for assessing the integrity of Kokoda tour companies is firstly to see if they are legal as this could void your travel insurance and the Public Liability Insurance policy of the company (if they have one!). Follow these basic steps to check:
- Click on this PNG Investment Promotion Authority (APA) link;
- Click on the ‘Online Services’ tab;
- Click on ‘Search Foreign Enterprises’ tab;
- Type in the name of the Kokoda Tour company and click on ‘Search’
If the name of the company does not come up in the search the company is operating illegally in PNG!
2020 Trip Advisor Rankings
TripAdvisor is the next most reliable check as this is a platform dodgy Kokoda tour operators cannot control – reviews for each tour company can be found on this link – the ranking for each one is in the following table:
|RANKING||TOUR OPERATOR||EXCELLENT||VERY GOOD|
|5.||Australian Kokoda Tours||22||0|
|6.||Kokoda Trail Expeditions||19||0|
|7.||No Roads Expeditions||16||0|
|8.||Back Track Adventures||14||0|
|10,||South Seas Horizons||7||0|
|12.||Adventure Bound Tours||2||0|
|15.||Free Spirit Adventures (PNG)||2||0|
|16.||Kokoda Courage (PNG)||2||0|
|17.||Kokoda Track Experience Ltd||1||1|
|20.||Heritage Treks (PNG)||1||0|
|22.||Kokoda Brothers (PNG)||1||0|
|23.||PNG Trekking Adventures Ltd||1||0|
|24.||Kokoda Experience (PNG)||0||1|
|25.||Kokoda Trail Bushwalkers (PNG)||0||1|
|28.||Kokoda Angels Tours (PNG)||0||0|
|29.||Buna Treks & Tours (PNG)||0||0|
|30.||Imofat Trekking & Tourism (PNG)||0||0|
|31.||Kokoda Campaign Tours (PNG)||0||0|
|34.||Kokoda Strive Trekking (PNG)||0||0|
|35.||Kokoda Trail Bushwalking Expeditions (PNG)||0||0|
|36.||Kokoda Tears, Tracking & Tours (PNG)||0||0|
|37.||Kokoda Treks & Tours||0||0|
|39.||Kokoda War Memorial Mission (PNG)||0||0|
|40.||Ko Trek Limited (PNG)||0||0|
|41.||On Trail Expeditions||0||0|
|42.||Operation Kokoda Expeditions (PNG)||0||0|
|43.||Sogeri Enterprises (PNG)||0||0|
|44.||Tropic Tours Ltd (PNG)||0||0|
|46.||Vaili Treks & Tours (PNG)||0||0|
|47.||Unforgettable Adventures Pty Ltd||0||0|
How to Spot a Bogan Operator
Bogan operators are generally not familiar with the military history of the Kokoda campaign. They have no understanding of the ‘phases of war’ or the principles of each phase. As a result, they are unable to provide more than a superficial briefing at each battle-site.
They cover this professional deficiency by diverting the attention of their trekkers with ‘singalongs’ from their PNG support crews or using ‘motivational chants‘ and ‘group hugs’ as a form of ‘group bonding‘.
TripAdvisor reviews reveal that trekkers are less than impressed and probably feel conned – they also realise that a refund is out of the question!
Other tell-tale signs of a ‘bogan operator‘ are:
- The frets on the necks of guitars sticking out the top of backpacks among your PNG support crew – a dead-set giveaway.
- The lack of a full trek uniform (cap, t-shirt, and shorts) professionally printed) – bogan operators usually go cheap with a few t-shirts, but nothing else.
- Check where your PNG guides and porters are sleeping after dinner – if they are snug in their huts with a zippered sleeping bag and foam sleeping mat provided by their tour operator, they are legit – but if they have to bring their own blanket to keep warm, you’re with a bogan company.
- Check the weights of the backpacks among your PNG support crew – if they weigh more than 18 kg (the maximum allowed during the Kokoda campaign) you’re with a bogan company.
- Ask your PNG support crew how much they get paid – if it’s less than PNGK70 per day (plus a bonus of PNGK70 at the end of the trek) and a ‘Walk-Home Allowance of PNGK 250 – you’re with a bogan company.
Our Adventure Kokoda credentials . . .
Adventure Kokoda is a proud custodian of our Kokoda heritage. Our trek leaders have a combined total of 160 years professional military service and we have led more than 600 expeditions across the trail over the past 29 years.
We are registered as a Foreign Enterprise with the PNG IPA: ‘ADVENTURE KOKODA PNG LIMITED (104189)’.
We specialise on the Kokoda Trail and do not trek to any other location!
We are strong advocates of the need to protect our shared Kokoda military heritage with local villagers across the trail.
We have established Network Kokoda as a charity to honour the legacy of the wartime carriers by helping to meet their needs in agriculture, health, education and a sustainable economic future.
Trip Advisor has rated Adventure Kokoda as the No. 1 trekking company on the Kokoda Trail every year for the past 5 years – our goal is to repeat this over the next 5 years by providing the ultimate Kokoda experience for our trekkers.
This blog contains general information over a range of issues regarding our treks. If you have any queries please contact our Manager, Tracie Watson via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Why Adventure Kokoda?|
|Selecting a Kokoda Tour Operator|
|Training for Kokoda|
|Hot tips for Kokoda trekkers|
|Tips for female trekkers|
|Tips for female trekkers|
|Choosing your gear|
|Using trekking poles|
|Kokoda Guides: What teenage girls really think|
Trip Advisor – Trekker Feedback – News:
Tributes to out PNG Friends:
|RIP: Ovoru Indiki – Wartime Carrier, Naduri Village|
|RIP: Faole Bokoi – Menari Village|
|RIP: Sergeant Ben Moide CBE|