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Kapa Kapa-Jaure Trail

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23 Days, 22 Nights
Availability : September '21
Port Moresby
Kapa Kapa-Jaure Trail
Trek Summary

General Douglas MacArthur, the Commander-in-Chief of the Allies’ south-west Pacific forces, issued an order to Major General Edwin Forrest Harding of the US 32nd Division on November 29, 1942: “Take Buna or don’t come back alive”.

On the Kapa Kapa Trail, many didn’t. The hard-won Allied seizure of this Japanese Papua New Guinea beachhead saw some of WWII’s most ferocious fighting, under utterly nightmarish conditions.

The price the Allies paid for victory was high, with casualty rates in some units near 90 per cent – mostly due to malaria. The Ghost Mountain Boys were particularly hard hit, with only six officers and 126 GIs still standing when Buna was re-taken.

The mountain track that tested them so sorely has largely retained its ghostly mantle, little visited by outsiders since the war. Getaway Trekking is the only company to have taken trekkers along the entire Kapa Kapa Trail, working very closely with all the communities along the Trail.

Further Reading:
Campbell, James | The Ghost Mountain Boys
Gamgee, Peter | The Kapa Kapa

Departure & Return Location

Jacksons International Airport, Port Moresby (Google Map)

Price Includes

  • Twin share accommodation in Port Moresby (single supplements available)
  • Australian Tour/Trek Leader
  • National Trek Master & Trek Leader
  • 1/2 personal carrier
  • Domestic flights (PNG)
  • Guest house accommodation on track
  • All village tariffs
  • Carriers for food and equipment
  • All meals on track
  • Detailed risk management plan
  • Village cultural activities
  • Satellite phone for emergencies
  • Bus/PMV transport in PNG
  • Visit US Army historical sites along the track
  • US Army historical narration
  • Boat transfer on Kemp Welsh River
  • All food, accommodation & services for carriers
  • Free Getaway Trekking walking shirt
  • Opportunity to join regular training sessions
  • Public liability insurance

Price Excludes

  • Lunch and dinner whilst in Kathmandu.
  • International and Australian domestic airfares
  • Passport & visa costs
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccinations and Anti-Malarial Medicines
  • Personal expenditure
  • Full cost of a personal carrier – a shared personal carrier is included

FREE!

  • Getaway Trekking quick-dry Walking Shirt
  • Getaway Trekking Certificate of Completion
  • Training Walks in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia & Tasmania
What to Expect
  • Walk in the footsteps of the 126th Infantry Regiment
  • Trek through the Owen Stanley Ranges
  • See the magical and world renowned Birds of Paradise
Itinerary

September 2020

DATES STILL TO BE CONFIRMED

Pre-TrekArrival Jackson’s International Airport.

Upon your arrival at Jackson’s International Airport in Port Moresby, you will make your own arrangements to the Gateway Hotel Port Moresby.

There will be a pre trek gathering in the evening where your group will have dinner together before being briefed on the extraordinary challenge you are about to embark on. This is the ideal opportunity to meet your fellow trekkers, the group leaders and some of the Carriers who will help you over the next few weeks.

Note:
Your international flight costs are not included within the trek package cost. We can assist you with your flight arrangements upon request.

Overnight at Hotel in Port Moresby (included in trek package)
N/A

Day 1Port Moresby to Gaba Gaba via the Magi Highway.

Departure is around 10am – collected in PMV with Trek Leader and Buna boys and South side facilitator. Overnight Gaba Gaba in a local house or houses.

Gaba Gaba
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 2Gaba Gaba by PMV to Kwikila then Boregaina and then by boat to Sirimu. Visit Karikadobu along the way.

Possible additional river stop at Dirinomu for leg stretch/visit to school. If Kemp Welch river is low – some walking may be required on the last stretch. At Sirimu we meet our local carriers for the Southern side.

Overnight at Sirimu Village
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 3 Trek from Sirimu Village – Goreba Village. 3-4 hours.

Short but hot walk – a sample of what caused many in the 126th to discard much gear.

Overnight at Goreba Village
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 4Trek from Goreba – Vaya Camp. 7-8 hours.

Leaving the Kemp Welsh River following the smaller streams and commencement of climb up to the higher country. Temperature slightly cooler. Pass a couple of notable US supply camp locations, including Arapara.

Overnight at Bush Camp
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 5Trek from Vaya Camp – Imiduru. 3-4 hours.

Emerge from the jungle to a very small village perched on the side of the ridge. Pass a major US Camp site.

Overnight at Imiduru Village
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 6Trek from Imiduru – Doribisoro. 7-8 hours.

Pass through several villages and descend around 500m to a very large village of Doribisoro with sister village Igonomu. Great views on the descent.

Overnight at Doribisoro
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 7Trek from Doribisoro – Laronu. 4-5 hours.

Visit grave of 2/14th Private Albert King, and visit Igonomu village. Track travels beside and crosses the mountain river of Mimai.

Overnight at Laronu
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 8 Laronu – rest and resupply day.

Laronu – cool temperate environment – good swimming and sightseeing. Arrival by charter at Doribisoro of those new people to join the trek (subject to numbers).

Overnight at Laronu
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 9Trek from Laronu to Wairi’s Camp. 5-6 hours.

Steady climb, quite steep in parts with great views over Laronu and the Mimai valley. Drop down into the campsite at the foot of the climb to Bardey’s Pass.

Overnight at Wairi’s Bush Camp
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 10Trek from Wairi’s Camp to Uorabare Camp. 8-10 hours.

The big climb 1500m to 2570m and drop down to 1500m. Stunning “ghost” forest and cloud permitting – great views along the Owen Stanley Ranges, and down the Kumusi and Musa rivers.

Overnight at Bush Camp
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 11Trek from Uorabare Camp to Rirembe. 6-8 hours.

Some very steep sections that may require steps to be cut, at least two big river crossings and a long climb up to Rirembe.

Overnight at Old Rirembe Village (disused) Bush Camp
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 12Trek from Rirembe to New Suwari. 5-6 hours.

A moderate day – a few steep sections, a couple of river crossings, pass the site of a reported US Solider grave at the side of a river, and others near New Suwari. In New Suwari we change over from Southern side to Northern side carriers.

Overnight at New Suwari
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 13Trek from New Surawri to Jaure. 5-6 hours.

A climb out of New Suwari followed by some hours following creeks before a short climb into Jaure which was the main Northern staging and resupply post for the 126th and Wairopi Patrol.

Overnight at Jaure Village
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 14Trek from Jaure to Umwate. 4-5 hours.

After dropping down to the river there is a long climb (about 4km) to the crest prior to the steady and relatively easy going drop to Eva creek and relatively level walk to Umwate – a picturesque village sporting unusually big coconut trees in the middle of the village.

Overnight at Umwate Village
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 15Trek from Umwate to Itokama. 3-4 hours.

A relatively “flat” walk with a stop by a river to refresh prior to walking through several pristine villages to arrive at Itokama – a major regional village/town.

Overnight at Itokama Village
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 16Trek from Itokama to Natanga. 6-7 hours.

The first part of the day is a relatively flat walk along vehicle tracks. Stop at a village for lunch prior to returning to well-formed jungle track into Natanga – a large village. Natanga was a major congregating point for 126th and 128th companies that continued on to Buna – including some of those that were flown in to the northern side.

Overnight at Natanga Village
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 17Trek from Natanga to Gora. 4-5 hours

A slight climb – of about 300m and then a steady descent crossing the Eno river several times. Walk past the “Slippery rock” that claimed the life of a US Soldier when he slipped and fell. Gora was another staging camp.

Overnight at Natanga Village
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 18Trek from Gora to Bofu. 4-5 hours.

Bofu is a very small village with an interesting history – interrupted by the relatively recent erruption of Mt Lamington. The last village stay before seeing your first bitumen since starting the trek.

Overnight at Bofu Village
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 19Trek from Bofu to Girua. 6 to 7 hours. PMV 2 hours.

A walk that is along the Bofu then Girua Rivers and through the village of Sewa, emerging at the bridge that crosses the Girua close to the Girua Airport. Then travel by PMV (truck) to Popondetta for some resupply prior to heading out to Buna village.

Overnight at Buna Village
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 20Buna – tour the battle site and the plaques for the 126th. Relax, swim, clean up gear ready for return tomorrow.

It may also be possible to visit the sites at Sanananda where some of the 126th fought.

Overnight at Buna Village
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 21Buna to Girua, to Port Moresby.

Overnight stay back in Port Moresby. Client responsible for their own food & drinks at the hotel.

Overnight at Port Moresby
Breakfast Included

Day 22Fly out of Port Moresby to your home or next destination.

N/A

Please Note:
This itinerary remains subject to change at all times. Conditions may vary on the track and it is important that we are flexible in being able to make appropriate changes along the way if needed.

Map
Photos