Kokoda Enduro Trek

Kokoda Enduro Treks are a combination of Boot Camp, Tough Mudder a dOxfam – they are not for the unfit, semi-fit or faint-hearted – 138 kilometres through rugged jungle terrain with a total climb higher then Everest requires special endurance qualities.

Days
5
From
$2,695
The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award

Kokoda Enduro Treks are a combination of Boot Camp, Tough Mudder and Oxfam - they are not for the unfit, semi-fit or faint-hearted - 138 kilometres through rugged jungle terrain with a total climb higher than Everest requires special endurance qualities.

Only those who train hard and maintain a high level of physical fitness should apply.

These treks are ideally suited for gym squads, boot-campers, footy teams, personal trainers and any other sporting teams who train together.

Kokoda Enduro Treks are cheaper than normal treks because you get across the trail faster and save the expense of an additional two days - but you have to be fit! 

Enduro Treks are for those with a high level of fitness who want to take on the ultimate challenge – Kokoda in five days. It is gruelling, tough and relentless – but will inevitably be the most rewarding endurance challenge you will ever do.

We can tailor our Enduro Treks to meet the needs of individual groups. We require a minimum of 8 enduro trekkers if you choose to trek with a PNG leader or 10 if you choose an Australian leader.

Enduro Treks are available from $2195

What's included

  • Meals
  • All transportation
  • All accommodation
  • All trek fees
  • Mosquito-proof tents

Dates & Availability for Kokoda Enduro Trek

Photos from the Kokoda Enduro Trek

FAQs about this trek

Adventure Kokoda has a strict policy of carrying our rubbish off the track. All rubbish is collected by our PNG guides and carriers from our campsites and carried off the track for disposal. 

The current management system, put in place by  Australian Government officials during the period 2009-2012, has proved to be dysfunctional.

Trekkers should therefore be aware that they have no protection from the PNG Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) in its current state. The Prime Minister of PNG, The Hon Peter O'Neill, has recently called for an urgent review of the KTA. Currently there is no integrity in the trek operator licensing system; there is no Public Liability Insurance protection for many trekkers; the 'Trek Ranger' system has broken down; there is no protection for the welfare of local guides and carriers; there is not a single management protocol in place; they have not published an Annual Report for 5 years or a newsletter for 3 years; and no funds are being distributed for community development along the trail.

Prior to the year 2000 the Kokoda Trail was only crossed by small numbers of hardy adventurers.

A rapid increase from 76 trekkers in 2001 to a peak of 5621 in 2008 transformed it into Papua New Guinea’s premier tourism attraction.

In 2003 the PNG Government established a ‘Kokoda Track (Special Purpose) Authority (the ‘KTA’) as a statutory government body of the Koiari and Kokoda Local-level Governments to manage the emerging Kokoda trekking industry and ensure local villages across the trail received shared benefits from it.  Unfortunately it has not worked out as it was envisaged.

In 2004 a PNG expatriate CEO was appointed to manage the KTA with a part-time secretarial assistant.  During the next four years trekker numbers increased 255% from 1584 in 2994 to 5621 in 2008.

In response to a public outcry over a threat to mine a large part of the Kokoda Trail in 2006 the Australian Government entered into a ‘joint’ agreement with the PNG Government to assist in developing a case for the Owen Stanley Ranges to be listed as a World Heritage site.  Responsibility was delegated to the Department of Environment in Canberra.

This released a conga-line of taxpayer funded environmental officials, academics, contractors and consultants to 'assist' PNG manage the emerging Kokoda trekking industry.  For most it was their first trip to PNG.

In 2009 an Australian CEO was appointed to the KTA on an eye-watering salary package.  It was his first time in PNG and he did not trek across the Kokoda Trail until just prior to his departure in 2012.  He was supported by a 10-fold increase in staff and a multi-million dollar budget.

Despite this injection of resources annual trekker numbers declined by 44 per cent from 5621 in 2008 to 3156 in 2012!

A desktop study titled ‘Kokoda Track Authority Strategic Plan 2012 – 2015’ was developed over a long period of time.  It is instructive that not a single one of the five strategies or 33 key performance objectives contained in the plan were achieved.

The Australian CEO departed towards the end of 2012 without leaving a single management protocol in place for his PNG successor - no draft legislation; no management database; no campsite booking system; no integrity in the trek operator licensing system; no safeguards for the welfare of PNG guides and carriers; no audit system for campsite owners; no trail maintenance plan; no community development plan; etc. etc. etc.

The management system inherited by his PNG counterpart in 2012 is now  beyond dysfunctional and completely irrelevant to the Kokoda trekking industry - This is why the PNG Prime Minister has ordered an urgent review of the KTA.

In the meantime trekkers should be aware that they have no protection from the KTA.  There is no integrity in the licensing system which means anybody can – and many do – walk in off the street, fill out an application, pay a small fee and become an authorised Kokoda tour operator.  There are no due diligence checks.  They do not have to have a registered company.  They do not need a Public Liability insurance policy.  They do not need satellite phones, VHF radios or medical kits - and if something bad happens they have no assets to reclaim.

They do not understand the Principles of Commemoration and know little about the wartime history of the Kokoda campaign.

Trekkers should therefore take note of the old Latin proverb of Caveat emptor which means ‘let the buyer beware’ – as it is applicable to the current dysfunctional management system put in place by the Australian Government.

If you trek from Owers Corner to Kokoda via the wartime trail you follow the footsteps of our young Diggers as they advanced across the Owen Stanley Ranges to meet the Japanese 144th South Sea Islands Regiment.

If you trek from Kokoda to Owers Corner via the wartime trail you follow the route of the Australian withdrawal in the face of overwhelming Japanese odds back to the last line of defence on Imita Ridge.

There is no 'best' way to trek Kokoda. The experience is just as powerful in either direction (that is the opinion of Charlie Lynn who has trekked 61 times from Kokoda to Owers Corner and 29 times from Owers Corner to Kokoda).

The difference is the experience and knowledge of your trek leader.  If your trek leader has a detailed understanding of the history of the Kokoda campaign you will get maximum value from your trek.  If they don't you will be disappointed and will soon realise the savings you made from going 'cheap' are a false economy in more ways than one.

We declined the invitation to join the Kokoda Tour Operators Association (KTOA) which was established to protect the interests of Australian companies operating in PNG.

We believe the reasons for establishing the KTOA were well-intentioned however whilst they tolerate practices that allow some of their members to exploit local guides, carriers and subsistence villagers we will not join.

The failure of the KTA to provide proper welfare support to local villagers they engage is evident in their reluctance to require all members to provide such basics as a sleeping bag and mat for each guide and carrier they employ.  We do not believe that subsistence villagers should have to sleep on hard surfaces or wet ground because they are not provided with such essential items of comfort.

Some members of the KTOA continue to claim a 'Student Discount Rate' of 50 percent on trek fees for Australian private school students in spite of the fact this anachronistic practice was voted out at their own tour operators forum in Sydney in 2015. Whilst these operators may be able to justify the discount on a 'technicality' it is morally wrong to expect subsistence villagers in a third-world country to subsidise wealthy private school students from Australia.  It is an abhorrent anomaly and certainly not in keeping with the spirit of Kokoda.

According to the 2017 KTA Trek Permit register local villagers were deprived on approximately $30,000 in lost benefits because of this 'loophole' - this is equivalent to the combined annual income of all villages along the trail in the early 1990s!

One KTOA tour operator has a record of failing to meet their legal and moral obligations in regard to the payment of trek fees which are meant to benefit local subsistence villages along the trail. 

Recently a local carrier employed by KTOA tour operator tragically died on the trail.  A local Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) Ranger has alleged that the load he was carrying was far in excess of the 20 kg recommended in the KTA Code of Conduct for tour operators.  According to other KTA Rangers the overloading of local carriers is a common practice by many Australian tour operators as a means of keeping their costs down.

Adventure Kokoda will not join to the KTOA until they weed out those who don't provide for the proper welfare of their local guides and who deprive subsistence villagers of their rightful share of benefits from the Kokoda trekking industry.

The difference between Adventure Kokoda and KTOA members is that we provide the following for each of our PNG guides and carriers:

  • Maximum allowable weight of 18 kg (which means we have to engage more carriers);
  • Full trek uniform - cap, shirt, shorts
  • Sleeping bag;
  • Sleeping mat;
  • Wholesome meals - equivalent to what we provide for our trekkers;
  • Gratuity equivalent to one day's pay at the end of each trek; and
  • Return charter flight at the end of each or the equivalent cash payment if they wish to walk back to their villages

In addition to this we engage a PNG medic with a full medical kit to look after their specific medical needs across the trail.

If our guides or carriers suffer serious illness or injury during their trek we arrange for them to be evacuated by helicopter and treated at the Port Moresby Private Hospital - they receive the same care, attention and treatment as our trekkers.

 

  • Adventure Kokoda is the only specialist trekking company operating on the Kokoda Trail.
     
  • We do not trek or travel to any other location - Kokoda is all we do!
     
  • We specialse in the military history of the Kokoda campaign - one of our trek operators, Lieutenant Colonel Rowan Tracey, is Australia's most knowledgeable historian on the Kokoda campaign.
     
  • We pioneered the Kokoda trekking industry - we had been operating on the trail for more than a decade before it was 'discovered' by the current crop of eco-tour operators.
     
  • We have the most professional and experienced trek leaders - our team has 130 years professional military experience and has led more than 520 expeditions safely across the trail.
     
  • We are the only trek operator to have established a philanthropic Not-for-Profit company - Network Kokoda.
     
  • We provide more philanthropic support to local villages along the trail than all other eco-trekking companies combined.
     
  • We operate from a secure lodge at Sogeri which has 24/7 back-up communications and our own helipad for emergencies.

Meet the Trek Leaders

Major Charlie Lynn OL

In 2015 Charlie was inducted as an Officer of the Logohu by the Government of Papua New Guinea in their New Years Honours and Awards list 'for service to the bilateral relations between Papua New Guinea and Australia and especially in the development of the Kokoda Trail and its honoured place in the history of both nations' over the past 25 years.'  

Major Chad Sherrin MM

Chad is a decorated Vietnam veteran - he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in action. Chad first joined the 8th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (8 RAR) as a tracking dog handler.  He was promoted through the ranks to Sergeant while serving with 8 RAR and served with the Battalion in Malaysia and South Vietnam.

Lieutenant Colonel Rowan Tracey LLB BA

Rowan is a pioneer of the Kokoda Trail.  He first trekked it 30 years ago when he served with the PNG Defence Force.  He is fluent in the local language 'Tok Pisin' . Rowan is a military historian and is acknowledged as the most eminent authority on the strategy and tactics of the Kokoda campaign.

Captain Reg Yates

Over the past 34 years Captain Reg Yates has explored most of the WW11 battlesites in PNG. He is fluent in Tok Pisin and is well respected by village elders along the Kokoda Trail.

 

Commodore Simon Hart CSC MSc MA

Simon joined the Australian Navy a Cadet Midshipmen in 1973 and carved out an outstanding career spanning 33 years.  He specialised in maritime surface ship operations and spent the majority of his career at sea.

Sergeant Rod Foster

Rod is currently serving as a Sergeant in the Royal Australian Artillery at Kapooka.  He has served in Afghanistan and Iraq and has a deep understanding of the wartime history of the Kokoda campaign.  He is also a competitive ultra-marathon athlete.

John Nalder

Prior to John joining Adventure Kokoda he used to wrestle crocodiles with Steve Irwin.  John is a qualified para-medic and expert bushman.  He has a deep emotional commitment to Kokoda and the veterans he has met over the years.  He is a keen student of the Kokoda campaign.

Peter Davis

Peter served in the Army Reserve for 7 years and has two grandfathers who served in both World Wars - one being a highly decorated soldier.  Peter recently graduated with a MPhil in Military History with the Australian Defence Force Academy and is now studying for his PhD.

Bernie Rowell

Bernie is a Kokoda tragic.  He first trekked with Kokoda to honour his father who served in New Guinea during the war.  He has since trekked it 43 times.  Bernie has transposed his success in business to his passion for leading treks across the Kokoda Trail. 

Dave Sherry

Dave began exploring Australia as soon as he was old enough to escape Sydney.  He was born in the city but his heart was in the bush.  There are few places in Australia that Dave hasn’t trekked on foot or explored in off-road vehicles.  He even took to the sea as a crew member on the Tall Ship HMAS Bounty during the Bicentenary in 1988.

 

Peter Morrison

Peter Morrison is an unassuming young Australian.  He first trekked with Adventure Kokoda almost a decade ago and developed a strong desire to learn more about the campaign and the people he met along the trail.  Peter is a professional boxer and former NSW welterweight  champion. 

 

Tracie Watson

Tracie is the General Manager and engine room of Adventure Kokoda - she is on-call 24/7 and will look after your every need and concern from the moment you book your trek until you arrive back in Australia.

Why Trek with Adventure Kokoda

Our primary goal is to lead you safely across the Kokoda Trail and ensure you have an unforgettable wartime historical and cultural experience.

Charlie has led more than 90 expeditions across the Kokoda Trail over the past 26 years.

He previously served in the Australian Army for 21 years. During this time he saw active service in Vietnam; was assigned to the joint Australian, New Zealand and British (ANZUK) Force in Singapore/ Malaysia from 1970-72, and as an exchange instructor in Airborne Logistics with the United States Army from 1977-78. He is a graduate of the Army Command and Staff College.

Why choose Adventure Kokoda?

Why is Kokoda so important?Dive into the History