Author: Charlie

The Rise, Fall and Future of Kokoda Tourism: 1991-2023

This paper is based on my experiences leading 101 expeditions across the Kokoda Trail over a 32 year period between 1991-2023.

Prior to this there was no Kokoda tourism industry and subsistence villagers earned zero income.

During my time in PNG I spent 95 percent of my time on the Kokoda Trail working with our guides and carriers on the Trail and either living in their villagers or with them on the Sogeri plateau.

My purpose is to summarize the situation which led to the rise of Kokoda tourism under PNG management from 2004 – 2008; its demise under the management of Australian environment officials from 2009 – 2023; and its potential it as a world-class pilgrimage tourism destination.

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Funding Proposal for a Kokoda Trail Military Heritage Master Plan

Michael Pender, an accredited Military Heritage Architect from HPA Projects was commissioned by Network Kokoda to develop a Master Plan for the Kokoda Trail for the 70th anniversary of the Kokoda campaign in 2012.

The plan has been ignored by the DFAT Kokoda Initiative in PNG as they regarded the development of a World Heritage Listing for the Owen Stanley Ranges as a priority.

Since then, a 2015 report from an Australian expert on World Heritage listings, Dr Peter Hitchcock AM and Dr Jennifer Gabriel concluded that the Kokoda Trail does not meet the criteria for a World Heritage listing.

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Conflict in command during the Kokoda campaign of 1942: did General Blamey deserve the blame?

General Sir Thomas Blamey was commander-in-chief of the Australian Military Forces during World War II. Tough and decisive, he did not resile from sacking ineffective senior commanders when the situation demanded. He has been widely criticised by more recent historians for his role in the sackings of Lieutenant-General S. F. Rowell, Major-General A. S. Allen and Brigadier A. W. Potts during the Kokoda Campaign of 1942. Lieutenant Colonel Rowan Tracey, a Trek Leader with Adventure Kokoda examines each sacking and concludes that Blamey’s actions in each case were justified in a paper published by the Royal United Services Institute, Volume 61, 2010.

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