Review of ADVENTURE KOKODA 10-Day Premium Kokoda Campaign Trek Australian Led
Reviewed 6 November 2022
‘There are no words that can adequately impart the experience of walking the 150km Kokoda track through the incredible beauty of the PNG rainforest, the magic of entering remote villages and meeting truly beautiful people, the dedication of the Adventure Kokoda (AK) team to ensure our well-being and safety, our team camaraderie; but much more than that, following in the footsteps of our soldiers and fuzzy wuzzy angels from 80 years ago and learning of their sacrifice and endurance.‘
Mary W. Adelaide
‘It’s brutal out there – nothing else can describe it – the terrain, the weather, the story, the emotion, the physical exhaustion each day, the harshness of village life in the remote regions. We walked single file on a narrow uneven track, sometimes so overgrown you couldn’t see the bloody track, or covered in tree roots and rocks, we climbed almost vertical hills that were literally one step up at a time, and then we slogged it downhill, we walked through streams, we walked in creeks, we walked in mud and slid on the clay surface of the track, we crossed a surreal marshy landscape, we crossed rivers using only a rope, we crossed on logs and wooden bridges, we walked up waterfalls and down as well. And what a truly awesome, wonderful adventure it was to experience all of that – there is nothing else you can compare it to – it’s something you just need to go do.
‘Interspersed with the challenging trek were the wartime briefings provided by Peter Morrison, our AK Trek Leader. These were far, far more than just a narration of the history. Peter’s knowledge and passion for reciting the story of our brave diggers and their PNG angels, is incredible. You can hear the emotion in his voice as he tells you of the battles, the desperate situations the lads were in, the harsh conditions, the wounded making their way along the track and the poems he recited really brought meaning to that horrific campaign. It is a story that needs to be told and retold.
‘Our group was small, just 8 of us, plus our awesome trek leader Peter and all the AK PNG team that looked after us – they carried and set up our tents each day, they carried our food, they cooked for us, and they kept us safe on that track – awesome people we came to love. Peter’s leadership of this team is second to none, he truly cares about “his boys” ensuring that they are well cared for and in return he is accorded a very high level of respect from all.
‘Special thanks must go to Laula Faola, my personal carrier. Laula had my back the whole way – there was not one step I took where he wasn’t there – he saved me so many times from falling or going in the drink or backwards off a log – he jumped in streams to help me across or in the mud – he dragged me up off the ground when I stumbled and fell, he carried most of my gear – and the whole time he was barefoot!!! I could not have done what I did without him – I owe him so much. If you are considering the value of a personal carrier, then I can highly recommend doing so for a couple of reasons: they keep you safe and our safety is a prime consideration for this company, all the PNG team take great pride in ensuring we make it to the end in one piece. Also, the money you pay helps to put back into the local economy via the carriers.
‘The entire journey was backed by the superb administration of the AK team – the information provided, the flight bookings, the training plan, the list of gear, the pre walk briefing, the purchase and packing of food, equipment, ensuring carriers were ready to go etc etc.
‘In addition, AK really goes above and beyond to look after their PNG staff – they are selected equally from the villages along the track, they are paid above award wages, they receive a travel allowance when joining the trek or returning home to their village, they receive a full uniform, sleeping kit, three meals a day, and they have a weight carrying restriction of 18 kg. Many other companies do not look after their staff anywhere near this well.
‘We were so fortunate to walk into Kokoda on 2 November exactly 80 years to the day in 1942 when the Allies took back Kokoda from the Japanese. Wow that was such an awesome experience to walk through the arch on that day.
‘Would I do it again – absolutely – but only with this awesome company!
‘Lest we forget.‘
Date of experience: October 2022