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Kokoda Trail

Papua New Guinea
Apr 01 2008 Written by: Brad Horn

I just undertook a crossing of the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea. A superb trek into the heartland of New Guinea, the trail holds a very special place in Australian military history. This is where the Japanese drive south was halted in 1942 and the myth of Japanese invincibility obliterated.

Covering 96 kilometres of pristine rainforest, the track covers arguably some of the most rugged and wild jungle in the world. It is a demanding endeavour with, in excess of, 10,000 metres of uphill. The group covered the track in quicker than usual time taking five and a half days, as opposed to the normal eight. What struck me most, apart from the military significance, was the pristine nature of the rainforest and the incredible culture encountered. New Guinea of course is a treasure trove of ancient culture. The natives that inhabit the track are living the subsistence existence of their forebears. The location of some of the villages on the track is incredible. Perched high on hillsides they offer magnificent views over deep re-entrants and valleys below.

Kokoda is very much recommended for those wanting to experience something totally different and test their physical limits at the same time.