24 JULY : ARRIVAL DAY
Welcome to PNG! Now it’s real! Get settled in to your accommodation and then come and join us for a welcome dinner and drinks…but not too many! You have a big few days ahead! > Overnight stay in Port Moresby, Gateway Hotel
25 JULY : HEAD TO KOKODA
Today we leave Port Moresby and head to Kokoda. We’ll have our pre-race briefing and gear check and in the afternoon we will hold our memorial service on the Kokoda Battlefield and inspect the battlefields and war museum > Overnight at Kokoda Village Campsite
26 JULY : RACE DAY 1 > KOKODA TO TEMPLETON’S
DISTANCE: 30.5 km
CHECKPOINTS: ISURAVA, ALOLA, EORA CREEK
5.30am: Early morning breakfast and pre-race briefing
6.15am: Race start
Firstly we head to Kovello and then onto Hoi. We will begin our climb over the awesome Owen Stanley Range to Deniki, up to the Isurava village and then onto the Isurava Memorial. Isurava was the scene of a 4-day battle that has been described as the battle that saved Australia. There is a beautiful memorial here with the four Granite pillars inscribed with the words Courage, Endurance, Mateship and Sacrifice. We then continue our journey to Alola trek down to Eora Creek and up to Templeton’s > Camping overnight at Templeton’s Campsite
27 JULY : RACE DAY 2 > TEMPLETON’S TO NAORO
CHECKPOINTS: 1900, NADURI, EFOFGI, BRIGADE HILL, MENARI, BOTTOM OF “The Wall”, BROWN RIVER
Today we cross over the highest point of the Kokoda Track, Mt Bellamy at 2190m. We have a pretty hard start to the day with a steep climb up to the Kokoda Gap. The Kokoda Gap was the area that Generals Macarthur and Blamey wanted to blow up and make it our own Thermopylae with our troops playing the 300 Spartans part. The down side to the plan is that the Gap is 12 km wide, and all the Spartans died! After climbing over the highest point of the track we make our way through the Moss Forest and an Ancient Arctic Beech Forest. We then descend down to Naduri before commencing a steep difficult climb up to Efogi 2 before an easy down into the main Village of Efogi.
We then head up to Brigade Hill. Brigade Hill and Mission Ridge was the scene of a bloody and ferocious battle during the 6-8 September 1942. 101 Australian Soldiers were killed in these battles. From Brigade Hill we have a long and tiring descent down to Menari before commencing our climb up to the Menari Gap and the steep descent down the other side of “the wall”. At the bottom of “the wall” is a short flat section before we cross the Brown River before spending a couple of hours ploughing through the thick sticky mud of the Naoro swamps. After the swamps we commence our climb up the “11 false peaks” of the Maguli Range to Naoro Villge > Camping overnight at Naoro Village
28 JULY : RACE DAY 3 > NAORO VILLAGE TO OWERS CORNER
We depart Naoro and continue our climb before reaching the highest point of this section of the track. We now have a long descent down to Ofi Creek. From Ofi Creek we have a hard and tiring climb up Iorabaiwa Ridge, followed by a steep descent down Iorabaiwa Ridge and begin our 22 river crossings of the beautiful and spectacular Ua Ule Creek area. We then climb up Imita Ridge, which was the Australians last and final stand, there was to be no further withdrawal from this area. We then descend down the area known as the Golden Stairs before crossing the Goldie River where we now have a short but steep climb up to Owers Corner. It is a great feeling as we cross under the arches and know that we have just completed walking in the footsteps of heroes across the Kokoda Track! We depart Owers’ Corner for Port Moresby returning to the Hotel for a welcome shower and some well earned celebrations! > Overnight in Port Moresby, Gateway Hotel.
29 JULY : DEPARTURE DAY
Depart Port Moresby for home…time to rest your legs and say goodbye to PNG, a place that will stay in your memory for a lifetime. Soak up that feeling of achievement, endurance and smashing your goal…it’s well deserved! Time to plan your next adventure??!