Kokoda Track Frequently Asked Tour Questions
The Kokoda Track is a 96 kilometre journey in which you will trek along the path of Australian history. You may have heard about sporting groups who complete the trek in 4-5 days. We salute them – and we’ve taken some of them! But our main groups take 7-8 days. We think the journey is important as the destination, and ensure you have time to take photos, chat with locals and soak up the entire experience.
We get asked a lot of questions about the Kokoda Trail Tours, so we thought we’d address some of those here.
How many days are your trekking tours?
We have four different Kokoda Trail Tours – 6, 10, 11 & 14 day tours. Check them out -
- Kokoda Short Trek & Isurava – 6 days
- Kokoda Explorer- 10 days
- Kokoda Adventure – 11 days
- Kokoda Adventure – 14 days
How fit do I have to be to trek the Kokoda Trail Tour?
That’s a hard one, because everyone is different, and everyone starts from a different base. We all know there are different sorts of fitness – an elite swimmer might struggle more than you riding a bike! You do need to purpose train for Kokoda and that means walking up – and down – hills. You need to build endurance too, because you’ll have to back up trekking day after day.
Once you’ve paid your deposit, we will provide you with our exclusive training program. We’re talk with you as you are preparing and provide you with as much support as we can. Depending on where you live, we’ll invite you to join our training days.
When is the best time to go, weather wise?
We generally trek between March and November. December through to February is pretty wet and conditions are not good for trekking in the jungle. Having said that, Papua New Guinea is a tropical area and it can rain any time. We’ve had June treks that were wet, and October treks that were dry. Expect a high level of humidity whenever you go, though you are under canopy for about 80% of the time, so you won’t often be exposed to direct sun.
How big are your groups?
Between 10-20, with an average of around 15. We are very concerned about minimising our environmental impact and believe that larger groups put this beautiful area and the local villagers under a good deal of pressure. For groups larger than 20, we can discuss different methods of addressing your needs.
Are your leaders qualified?
Yes! All leaders carry the internationally recognised accreditation of Wilderness First Responder First Aid. We also provide ongoing development and training to our trek leaders and are proud of our group – we reckon we’ve got the best leaders on the Kokoda Track!
Will I get to know my carriers (porters)?
Yes! This is a huge part of your experience. Getaway Trekking is culturally sensitive and has a good grasp of the customs inherent in the Papua New Guinea villages. We take nothing for granted and believe our carriers should be reimbursed adequately for helping provide our unique experience. We offer a multi level pay scale that encourages and rewards our carriers for seniority and skills. We insist our carriers are part of our trekking experience and part of our team on the Kokoda Track (some companies direct their carriers to eat away from the “client” group).
Getaway Trekking has built a trusting relationship based on equality – we treat our Papuan friends as we would like to be treated. As members of a wealthy and materialistic society we often lose sight of what is really important in life, and our relationships with our carriers helps remind us. Papua New Guinea culture is very family oriented, and our friends are very much at one with their culture and their land.
You will have the opportunity to visit the Getaway Trekking orphanage along the track at the village we sponsor.
One of our clients recently had the great privilege of having his carrier’s newborn son named after him! Open yourself to the possibilities of learning because they have so much to give.
How far do we trek each day?
We generally measure this in time, rather than distance. This is because an 8km day might be longer and harder than a 12km day, depending on trekking terrain. As a general rule we trek between 6-8 hours per day, though that is dependent on group fitness and conditions. It’s obviously harder to trek in mud than on a dry track!
How fast do we trek?
We trek to the pace of the slowest trekker. Everyone in our groups has worked hard to get there and wants to enjoy their experience to the full. We make sure we take time out to ‘smell the roses’ along the way.
What’s the accommodation like?
We stay in village guesthouses if available. If not, we use a mixture of tents and bivvy tarps. Ideally, you will get the opportunity to try all options! You will love the welcome you get from locals along the Kokoda Track.
Do I have to bring my own meals?
No. Getaway Trekking provides nutritious and plentiful food for you. We love our food – so we make sure you will too! The food we carry into the track is supplemented by fresh fruit and vegetables we buy at local villages. You should take high energy snacks for your own use – we recommend nuts, dried fruit, chocolate and energy bars.
How do I know what sort of equipment I need?
We’ll help you with that. We provide you with a list of required items and talk to you about your options. You can hire equipment through us, or we’ll direct you to suppliers who can assist you to buy your own.
Do you offer hire equipment?
Yes. Our hire kit includes backpack & cover, sleeping mat, sleeping bag & liner and duffel bag to carry your equipment in. You may have one, or can borrow one – if not we can hire this to you as well.
Do I have to carry my own pack?
You can, but you don’t have to. Some people like the challenge of carrying their own pack, which would weight about 5kg. We can arrange a personal carrier for you so that all you do is carry a day pack. Alternatively you can share a carrier – this means that you and another person would each give half your pack to your carrier, and you would take the rest. If you did that, you would be carrying around 10-12kg.
A Personal Carrier is available at a cost of $695, which includes an appropriate pack for him/her to use.
Will I see battlefields and relics?
Yes. You’ll see weapon pits, monuments and museums. Time dependent, we can take you to view the remnants of a Japanese plane, a Japanese gunsite with mortar shells, tunnels and armaments
Will I learn about the history of the campaign?
Our leaders are well versed in the history of the Kokoda Track and will talk to you about events all along your journey. At key points we hold memorial services to honour the deeds of those who were here before us.
If you have a connection with the track through a family member or friend, please let us know so that we can better support you on your journey of remembrance.
Which direction do we trek?
The trek can either start from Owers’ Corner and head north to Kokoda, or start at Kokoda and head south. Generally, our our 10 day packages south-north and our 11 & 14 day packages run south-north. This allows those spending 14 days to visit the northern beaches, a very much overlooked area in terms of Kokoda history.
What happened at the northern beaches?
The Japanese forces landed at Gona to commence their assault across the Kokoda Track, with the goal of taking Port Moresby. They moved up to Kokoda, before advancing along the Track and encountering an undersized but gallant Australian force. After many months of fierce combat, the Japanese were pushed back beyond Kokoda to the beaches where the Allies engaged them in some ferocious battles resulting in a very heavy toll. More than twice as many diggers died at Buna, Gona and Sanananda on the north coast than on the Kokoda track.
As there any books you think I should read to prepare?
The following references provide excellent reading -
- Those Ragged Bloody Heroes, by Peter Brune
- A Bastard of a Place, by Peter Brune
- Kokoda, by Paul Ham
- Papua New Guinea, Lonely Planet
- Kokoda, by Peter Fitzsimons
- Mud Over Blood, by Carl Johnson
- Field Guide to the Kokoda Track, by Bill James (this is a new release and highly recommended reading)
- Kokoda Trail, by Clive Barker
- The Silent Men, by Peter Dornan
So, in summary…?
If you are considering this journey, beware of the risks…. Kokoda trail tours have a way of seeping into your soul. You may never be the same again!
What’s stopping you? Contact us today. Call 1300 979 088 or (03) 9723 8188 or email for more information.