A mother’s perspective of our 2018 Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge . . .

Hi Everyone,

I have put off writing to you, because I don’t know where to start or how to use the right words for what i would like to say.

Thank you so much for your amazing organisation and the opportunities you give people. My dealings with you all were fantastic and you never made me feel silly when I had a million and one questions I needed answered.

I was so lucky to have both of my twins go to Kokoda with you. I was a little nervous sending them both, but that’s just me.

We live 3 & 1/2 hrs from Sydney and i was surprised to have non stop chatter all the way home. they loved every moment of their experience, the good and the bad. They had so many amazing stories to tell and the friendships they have made will be with them forever. Lochie told us about being sick, and how they just had to keep going. The experience has made them appreciate their lives differently. I am extremely blessed to have the children I do, 99% of the time they are wonderful. Jake our youngest has CP and is in a wheel chair and has a communication device, the twins are amazing with Jake. He was so happy to see them on
their return that he burst into tears.

On the Saturday they were asked if they would do it again, both said yes, however Jacinta piped up and said “Not today”. Thank you for making her dream come true, she waited 2 years to be able to apply to do it.

Thank you doesn’t do justice to what you have done for Jacinta and Lochie, you have helped cement their values, qualities and characteristics that are making them into the wonderful young adults they are becoming.

They have both been put in situations since being home, where they have stepped out of their comfort zone to help others.

They both speak so highly of the experience and the people who helped them along the way, it will be something they will never forget.

Thank so so much.
From a very proud and grateful mum,
Mary Ballard

Adventure Kokoda and the RSL Services Clubs Association are very proud of you Mary and we look forward to keeping in touch and monitoring their progress. (more…)

Feedback from our Adventure Kokoda trekkers in 2012

Following are some extracts from letters and reports we have received from our trekkers over the past year:

Nicole McCranor (and son Connor):
Hello Charlie,

 I think if I was honest – my son, probably took the most away from this trip.

 Part of that is of course your influence – but I cannot thank the people on the trek enough for their support, encouragement and patience.  What a good bunch of role models for him!  He hasn’t stopped talking about it – and most importantly, he has actually said he wants to do it again. 

 The services at Isurava and the War Cemetery were particularly powerful – and I don’t think you can improve on that even if you wanted to. It was perfect.

 I will certainly complete the surveys and send them back through to you both – but essentially, we signed up for the experience – the good, the bad and the ugly – and the good certainly outweighed any of the bad or the ugly!  The bad and ugly bits were character building and didn’t hurt us one bit!!

The whole experience was humbling and provided us a lesson in humility and respect … and helped put a lot of things into proper perspective …. You can’t put a price on that!

 The entire experience was ‘priceless’ and I daresay life changing (in some way) for every single person who was on that trek – whether they care to admit it or not!

 I hope any ‘suggestions’ you receive are positive ones – and know that we wouldn’t actually change any aspect of the trek. We went for the challenge and to show our respect and to learn more – we were certainly challenged, we received an amazing lesson in respect and we have learned so much more than I ever expected ….

Connor has asked everyone who asks him about the trek “Do you know what Bruce Kingsbury did?..Well he …” – you can’t buy that type of PR !!!!!  Connor is very effectively spreading the Bruce Kingsbury legend !!!    Very cool !!       

 Thank you again – an experience of a lifetime!!!  

Paula Heenan:
Thanks for an amazing 12 days Charlie. It provided everything I was hoping for and much more. The group was entertaining and fun, you were brilliant and informative, the boys were helpful and supportive, the hills and river crossings were a challenge and I loved every minute of it.

Have to say I’m enjoying my week in Noosa this week too!

I’ll be telling anyone who listens that Adventure Kokoda is the company to go with. I love that you are putting money and resources into the local community, that you’re working with the people to build and improve their lives and that you’re doing your bit to get our government to do some of the things they should have done years ago to assist the people of PNG and recognise the amazing efforts of our diggers (more…)

A ‘Thank You’ testimonial for Adventure Kokoda

Dear Charlie

I’m not quite sure how to start this except to say thank you.

I recently completed the track starting at Owers Corner on ANZAC Day with John Nalder, and I am proud to say that the track was so much more than i ever expected. It was an experience so very difficult to put into words, and as John explained to us it is impossible to give a three word answer when someone asks “how was it?”.  I can’t manage to answer that question without at least talking for ten minutes. 

Firstly I’d like to say a huge thank you for the professionalism of your company and the thoroughness with which you prepare.  I was quite suprised to receive a phone call from John on Good Friday seeking more information on my gluten intolerance.  I expect that gluten free foods are not that easy to shop for in PNG. Aside from my dietary requirements I was also impressed with the description that John gave of the trekkers he meets a the airport.  I think that I was wearing the apprehension tinged with nerves and alot of excitiemnt quite well, and i t was not a look I was trying to achieve, it was exactly how I was feeling.  I was also impressed with the quality of information provided on equipment such as boots and clothing for the trek.  I know that if I ever do it again there will be a few small changes that I will make in the equipment that I bring. (more…)

Lady luck smiled: Getting fit for a Kokoda trek was a life saver for Noel

13 Dec, 2011 04:00 AM

ON day two of a 10-day Adventure Kokoda trek, Noel (Lucky) Cameron, 64, was wishing he was back in Gol Gol on his fruit block.

“Lucky” as he’s been called since he “was old enough to remember”, has just returned from an “eye-opening” trek through the hot, wet, humid and mountainous jungle of Papua New Guinea as one of a 25- member mixed group of Aussie adventurers.

Lucky can’t recall how he came to be given the “Lucky” tag, but after listening to his story leading up to the “surprise” Kokoda trek birthday gift from his wife Midge – the name is appropriate.

Had it not been for the pre-Kokoda medical examination, Lucky may not be telling his story after a serious heart artery blockage was discovered two and a half years after his first heart attack. (more…)

Another happy trekker!

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are all well and have a wonderful and safe Christmas and New Year.  Sorry it has taken me a while to make contact, I haven’t stopped travelling really, between work and flying to Melbourne I haven’t been home much.

Thank you for being the most Wonderful Group of People I have ever had the priviledge of travelling with.  Your friendship and encouragement you all showed to me and each and everyone of us along the track will stay with me for the rest of my life.  My holiday was perfect from start to finish.  If you ever organise a trip all together as a group count me in ;-0) ….( Machu Picchu , Great Wall of China ,Camino de Santiago walk etc would be good adventures! ) My knees have finally recovered, I did head straight back to the gym on my return to Perth , mind you I was a bit easier on myself because of my knees , but my personal trainer Bec showed me no mercy..I guess that is what I pay her for ;-0)

As for Adventure Kokoda , WOW !! I haven’t stopped singing your praises, what an Awesome Professional Company!  You did not disappoint! Adventure Kokoda was everything I had hoped for and more.  Adventure Kokoda is the first Company I have ever come across that has not only been everything they advertised to be , but more!

Chad Thank you ! Thank you Thank you ! You made our trip what it was – the most moving, memorable experience of a lifetime .  Because of you and your knowledge of Kokoda , its history , the relationship  you have with us as a group and the people of PNG, your awesome personality, humour and of course the wonderful poetry ( that was truly awesome and what made the experience so special) , and singing of Danny Boy (my favourite song) made the trip something I will remember and talk about forever.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my time in PNG , it truly has left a foot print on my heart, especially  the people of PNG what warm, caring, beautiful people.

I have finally worked out how to replay the video camcord (blonde coming out in me) and yayy it did work and I captured a lot of footage, which turned out really well and very clear!  Mind you my filming skill leave a lot to be desired ( I moved too fast at times, it was the first time I had used it , should have practiced hey!) but the most crucial moments , the dawn service , presentation night etc  turned out lovely.  It was wonderful to watch and I got homesick for PNG and of course the choko vines ( they were so yum, the simple things in life are definitely the best!).

I will endeavour to get them copied to disk and have a copy sent to you all in the New Year.

Can you please email me your postal addresses and your surnames too.  Regina I have all your photo to send to you too ;-0)

I really look forward to hearing from you all ;-0)

Kind Regards,


Ron Beattie – Kokoda Trek Leader

Hi Ron,

I guess after being home for over a week now and fully recovered I thought I would drop you an email to say thank you for everything you did. It was a life long dream to do Kokoda and to now sit back and look back at what I have achieved is an amazing feeling.

Words cannot express how grateful I am to you in helping me achieving that goal.  But I will try so to you I thank you for your guidance, leadership, mateship and most important your knowledge. Without that my experience would not have been the same. I have brought back many memories and stories that I will keep for the rest of my life. Everyday with your stories and knowledge of the trek made the trip that extra bit rewarding I could not have asked for a better leader you certainly took me back to 1942. (more…)