Kokoda Trek with Jason Dunstall

EXCLUSIVE TREK with JASON DUNSTALL | Kokoda to Owers’ Corner (North > South) in the direction of the Japanese Advance

Getaway Trekking is pleased to present a ONCE IN A LIFETIME and EXCLUSIVE OPPORTUNITY to trek the Kokoda Trail with one of Australian Rules Football’s most celebrated icons… Hawthorn Football Club Legend; Jason Dunstall!

Jason Dunstall, is a former Australian Rules football player for the Hawthorn Football Club of the AFL. He was widely regarded as one of the greatest full-forwards and the greatest Queensland born player of all time. Dunstall played in premiership sides in 1986, 1988, 1989 and 1991. He also played in 5 night premierships. From 1995-98, he captained the Hawks.

Jason Dunstall qualified for the prestigious All-Australian side in 1988, 1989, 1992 and 1994, and was also part of the Hawthorn Team of the Century. He retired at the end of season 1998 after 269 games, winning 4 Best and Fairest awards, and kicking 1254 goals; the 3rd highest in AFL/VFL history.

Jason Dunstall was a regular panellist of Channel Nine’s The Footy Show in its first four seasons before moving to the Seven Network where he worked as a football commentator and host of Live and Kicking. He spent the best part of 20 years with radio broadcaster MMM, including morning and drive shifts, football commentary, and hosting shows like The Gospel, Pig, Jimmy and Rooboy, and The Dead Set Legends.

For the last 15 years Dunstall has been with Fox Footy, as a football commentator, and involved with shows including Saturday Central (with Wayne Carey), League Teams and On the Couch. He continues to host long-running magazine show Bounce, on Sunday nights, and appears on AFL 360 on Thursday nights, along with his match commitments.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity – Enquire Today!

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Cost: AUD4495 per person

Departs: 27 October 2018

Duration: 8 Days on Kokoda Track

Trek Ratings: Activity 3&4 / Conditions 2 / Accommodation 3 / Training/Preparation 4

Country Visited: Papua New Guinea

Trip Start: Kokoda Village

Trip Ends: Owers’ Corner

Trip Route: Kokoda Village-Isurava Battlefield-Eora Creek-Dump 1-Efogi-Menari-Ofi Creek-Goodwater-Owers’ Corner

Trip Style: Guided

Activity: Jungle Trekking

Activity Per Day: Approximately 9-10 hr walking

Day 1 – Pre-Trek Arrival Jackson’s International Airport. Overnight at Hotel in Port Moresby.
Day 2 Transfer to airstrip for charter flight to Kokoda. Trek to Hoi (campsite). 2 hours. Overnight at Guesthouse.
Day 3 Trek from Hoi – Isurava Battlefield. 6 hours. Overnight at Guesthouse.
Day 4 Trek from Isurava Battlefield – Eora Creek (campsite). 4 hours. Overnight at Guesthouse.
Day 5 Trek from Eora Creek – Dump 1. 7 hours. Overnight at Guesthouse.
Day 6 Trek from Dump 1 – Efogi. 8.5 hours. Overnight at Guesthouse.
Day 7 Trek from Efogi – Menari. 5 hours. Overnight at Guesthouse.
Day 8 Trek from Menari – Ofi Creek. 8.5 hours. Overnight at Guesthouse.
Day 9 Trek from Ofi Creek – Goodwater. 7 hours. Overnight at Guesthouse.
Day 10 – Post-Trek Goodwater – Owers Corner. 2 hours Bomana. Return to Port Moresby. Overnight at Hotel in Port Moresby.
Day 11 – Post-Trek Depart Papua New Guinea from Jackson’s International Airport.

Day 1 – Pre-Trek Arrival Jackson’s International Airport.

Upon your arrival at Jackson’s International Airport in Port Moresby, you will be met by a Getaway Trekking (GT) representative and transferred to the 5-star Stanley Hotel & Suites where your group will spend the night in a little bit of luxury before setting foot in the jungles of Papua New Guinea.

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 across the Kokoda Track.

After the briefing make sure you head to bed (relatively!) early and enjoy your sleep in the cozy bed as it would be fair to say the next seven nights might be a little less comfortable!

Also 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)
Breakfast Included

Day 2 Transfer to airstrip for charter flight to Kokoda. Trek to Hoi (campsite). 2 hours.

As a group, we will travel to the Domestic Airport where we will connect with our flight to Kokoda.

On arrival at Kokoda Village we meet the Getaway Trekking and Adventures Carrier team who will support us on our journey across the Kokoda Track. Prior to commencing our trek, we take some time to explore the Kokoda Battle Site and Museum whilst also inspecting monuments, memorials and the Australian defensive position on the Kokoda plateau. Your trek leader will recall in detail many historical facts about the Kokoda Campaign whilst we explore the sites. Once all final preparations have been made, our trek across the Owen Stanley Range commences as we step through the historical Kokoda Arch.

We begin our walk through rubber plantations. It was here during the campaign that friend and foe became entangled due to extremely heavy fog. Australians were caught behind the enemy lines, yet, bravely and stealthily, made their way through the Japanese forces to rejoin their mates. We continue to follow a flat track for approximately 2 hours until we reach the pretty village of Hoi, camp for our first night on the track together.

Hoi has a beautiful stream we can cool off in.

Overnight at Guesthouse*
Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 3 Trek from Hoi – Isurava Battlefield. 6 hours.

This morning we will become acutely aware of just how challenging this trek will be; not due to the ascent, but simply because it’s our first full day of trekking. We begin by embarking on a gradual but unrelenting climb towards Deniki, where the Australians withdrew after Kokoda fell under Japanese control.

We continue on, walking on a winding track in full sunlight, with a steady climb through vast ‘choko’ fields’, before commencing a steep ascent to Isurava Village. A leafy green vegetable high in iron, the Japanese planted choko as a food source; the vine has since spread prolifically and now threatens to overtake the jungle.

After a short break at Isurava Village we continue on to Isurava Battlefield Memorial, commemorating a major battle, known today as the ‘Battle of Isurava’. It was here that Private Bruce Kingsbury was killed during battle and ultimately awarded (posthumously) the Victoria Cross; the highest award for bravery in the Commonwealth. Kingsbury, who was one of the few survivors of a platoon which had been overrun by the Japanese, immediately volunteered to join a different platoon which had been ordered to counterattack. He rushed forward firing his bren gun from his hip, clearing a path through the enemy and inflicting a number of casualties. Kingsbury was then seen to fall, shot by a Japanese sniper and instantly killed. His actions, in delaying the Japanese to provide sufficient time for the Australians to fortify their positions, have been identified as what undoubtedly saved the Battalion Headquarters.

Overnight at Guesthouse*
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 4 Trek from Isurava Battlefield – Eora Creek (campsite). 4 hours.

This morning we will rise early and make our way down to Isurava Battlefield Memorial, where we reflect on the gallantry, courage and sacrifice of all our soldiers during an emotion charged memorial service. Your trek leader will recall the bravery of Australia’s young soldiers during the Battle of Isurava, while you will be invited to participate, perhaps with a reading or poem (should you wish to do so), the Last Post will be played and National Anthems sung. Following the service, we take some time for our own personal reflection as this will be quite an emotional experience for most people in our group.

After walking the short distance to beautiful Alola Village we are treated to some extraordinary views, we will continue with a steep and challenging descent down a narrow track to Eora Creek, site of the ‘Battle of Eora Creek’. This battle was the single most costly clash of the Kokoda Campaign. Here Australian soldiers sought to overcome a strong Japanese defensive position. Record books are divided on the exact number of Australian soldiers killed and wounded; some believe 79 Australians died with 145 wounded, while others believe 99 were killed and 192 wounded.

Throughout today’s trek, your leader will recall stories from the Battle of Eora Creek as we follow the high ridge line along the creek. En route we have the opportunity to inspect one of the key Japanese defensive positions, where remnants of a Japanese mountain gun, helmets, grenades and the mortar position lie at the top of the ridge.

Overnight at Guesthouse*
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 5 Trek from Eora Creek – Dump 1. 7 hours.

In addition to the battle described above, Eora Creek is also noteworthy for an event during the Japanese advance.

Following the Battle for Isurava, the Australians began the strategic withdrawal they executed so brilliantly. Australian Imperial Force (AIF) Battalions, the 2/14th and the 2/16th, withdrew south, and their arrival into Eora Creek was covered by the 39th, a Militia Battalion, previously looked down upon by the AIF. The militia were known as chockos’ – chocolate soldiers – because it was thought would melt in the heat of battle. This was the first time in Australia’s military history a militia unit had covered the withdrawal of an AIF unit, a very clear statement about the now assured worth of this young Battalion.

We start today’s adventure early, with a steep climb under canopy, passing numerous weapon pits, which leads us to a fabulous newly built bridge. Once we’ve crossed the bridge safely we press on through a forest of giant trees, arriving at Dump 1, where we will stay for the night.

Overnight at Guesthouse*
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 6 Trek from Dump 1 – Efogi. 8.5 hours.

From here, we commence a very hard, steep and long climb which takes us over the Kokoda Gap. This section of the Kokoda Track is covered with protruding tree roots and is often quite slippery, that said though, we will witness some of the most spectacular panoramic views PNG has to offer so be prepared for an interesting morning!

En route your trek leader will recall the story of the Kokoda Gap; the area that Australian Generals Macarthur and Blamey wanted to blow up, denying access to the Japanese troops. Unfortunately, they were not aware the Kokoda Gap is over 11km wide making their command impossible to fulfill and one that was, understandably, not received well by our Australian troops.

We continue on trekking towards Mt Bellamy, the highest point on the Kokoda Track, at approximately 2190m above sea level. As we traverse this part of the track, your trek leader will recall digger’s stories of their experiences at Mt Bellamy. It is well documented that many believed this section of the track to be the hardest as they were battle weary, wounded and often infected with hideous diseases.

After reaching the summit of Mt Bellamy, we enter what’s known locally as the ‘enchanted moss forest’, where Antarctic Beech forest, phosphorescent fungi and giant Pandanus line the track. Take some time to enjoy this section of the Kokoda Track as the walk is less demanding and our surrounds are quite beautiful.

From here we pass through the village of Naduri and commence a steep descent before we use a log bridge to cross over the fast flowing Efogi River.

The log crossing over the river is high, but you will be well accustomed to safety procedures by now, and the support you receive from our wonderful carriers. Safely over the river, we commence an equally steep ascent before arriving at Lanamau, and finishing the day with a steep descent down to the Village of Efogi, the largest settlement on the Kokoda Track, with a museum, airstrip and first aid post.

Overnight at Guesthouse*
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 7 Trek from Efogi – Menari. 5 hours.

The locals here are extremely friendly and we will have an opportunity to indulge slightly as we can purchase cans of Coke, Twisties and fresh fruit. There may also be an opportunity to purchase Bilums (traditional string bags), should you wish to take home a souvenir from our time at this village.

Our trek continues with an ascent onto Mission Ridge then Brigade Hill (also known as Butchers Hill due to the number of soldiers from both sides, who were killed during battle).

Brigade Hill was the site of one of the most horrific battles our soldiers fought while withdrawing over the Owen Stanley Range. This is known today by Australians as the ‘Battle for Brigade Hill’ and is considered a scared site as many lives from both side were lost. Heavy fire from the Japanese artillery signaled the commencement of the battle as the Australians were assaulted head-on up Mission Ridge by the Japanese troops. Fierce bayonet charges and hand to hand fighting characterised the battle here.

Your trek leader will lead a memorial service here at Brigade Hill. You will be provided with a full historical overview of the events that took place during the battle and will be given time to reflect on the terrible scenes that occurred.

This morning, we follow a steep ridge line down the south side of Brigade Hill, carefully negotiating our way along the narrow track, which features more bulging tree roots. Reaching the depths of the gorge, we cross another log bridge over the Vabuiagi River before commencing a sharp climb to Menari Village, a large and well established village where we camp for the night. Menari has a lovely creek to freshen up in.

Overnight at Guesthouse*
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 8 Trek from Menari – Ofi Creek. 8.5 hours.

We continue our trek with a very steep ascent up through the Menari Gap before embarking on an equally steep descent down the southerly side of the mountain known as ‘The Wall’. We then push on to safely cross the fast flowing Brown River. We now find ourselves walking along the flat, through the Nauro Swamp; your trek leader will recall some of the many tales of lost soldiers who spent sleepless nights up to their waist in the waters of the Swamp. Another ascent and we will arrive in the beautiful village of Nauro – have your camera ready again as views from this lovely village are simply spectacular.

After a break, we commence our ascent of the Maguli Range; be sure to keep a close eye on where you’re walking as the track is once again covered with protruding tree roots. There are many weapons pits to inspect en route, and these provide a fascinating insight into the Japanese defence position after they withdrew from Ioribaiwa Village.

A sharp ascent down into a gorge takes us into Ofi Creek campsite, another lovely area. Ofi Creek was one of the ambush sites used by the Australians; in this instance they threw rations into the creek as bait. Japanese soldiers, desperate for food, waded into the water to retrieve the tins of food, to be met with a barrage of fire from the Australians. We will camp here tonight, and again, enjoy freshening up in Ofi Creek.

Overnight at Guesthouse*
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 9 Trek from Ofi Creek – Goodwater. 7 hours.

Our trek continues with a steep climb over Iorabaiwa Ridge, the most southern point along the track reached by the Japanese troops. Within sight of Port Moresby, the Japanese were ordered to retreat, much to their dismay knowing they had Port Moresby in sight.

En route we take time to visit more Japanese trenches and weapon pits that extend along the ridge. Continuing on, our trek of the Kokoda Track takes us down an extremely steep spur to Ule-Ule Creek where we put on our river shoes to cross the creek many times before commencing our slippery ascent of the northern side of Imita Ridge; site of the final defensive stand by the Australians. En route to the summit of Imita Ridge, your trek leader will describe the circumstances our Australian troops found themselves in at this particular location; they had been told that there was to be no further withdrawal beyond Imita Ridge and they had no other option but to succeed with their mission.

The southern side of Imita Ridge is the sight of the famed ‘Golden Staircase’. 4000 steps once lined the Ridge, providing a supposedly easier climb for the diggers heading to the front. As you descend down the south side of the ridge, take a moment to visualise our troops climbing the same route as they made their advance on the Japanese troops who were positioned back at Ioribaiwa Ridge, where we crossed less than 6km ago.

To complete the day’s trek, we make our way to Goodwater campsite and the abandoned village of Uberi.

Overnight at Guesthouse*
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 10 Goodwater – Owers Corner. 2 hours Bomana. Return to Port Moresby.

Our final river (Goldie River) crossing here will see us wading through what can be a fast flowing river, supported by our ever loyal Carriers.

Safely across the river, we arrive at the Goldie River campsite where we spend our final night on the Kokoda Trail.

This morning marks our final day, so embrace the opportunity and savour every step! We head off early from Goodwater for a relatively short and straightforward walk to Goldie Camp, from where we start the climb to our final destination – Owers Corner, at the southern end of the track. From the Arch at Kokoda to the Arch at Owers’ Corner…our trek is now complete!

Armed with a new found appreciation of the accomplishments and hardships endured by our Australian soldiers during the Kokoda Campaign, we will pause at the Owers’ Corner Memorial and reflect upon the past 8 days. Many trekkers are overcome with emotion at this point as the realisation sets in that they have just completed the unrelenting 96km trek that is the Kokoda Track. Once the group is ready to depart Owers’ Corner, a Getaway Trekking & Adventures Private Motor Vehicle (PMV) will take us to Bomana War Cemetery, final resting place of 3,779 souls, of whom a little over 3,300 are Australian.

Here we hold a final small service to remember all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice as part of the 1942 Kokoda Campaign, whatever their nationality and contribution.

Our PMV will then take us back to Port Moresby, where we will enjoy our final night with our group.

Overnight at Hotel in Port Moresby (included in trek package)
Breakfast Included

Day 11 Transit Day.

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Australia.

Breakfast Included

*In the event that a Guesthouse is not available, Tents and/or Bivvys will be erected as a sleeping alternative.

Cost Includes

Trek Inclusions – PRE-TREK
Transfer from Jackson’s International Airport, Port Moresby to hotel on arrival
1x night accommodation in a Standard Twin Room^ at the 5-star Stanley Hotel & Suites, Port Moresby
Buffet breakfast in the Green Haus Restaurant at the Stanley Hotel & Suites
Private charter flight from Jackson’s Domestic Airport, Port Moresby > Kokoda airstrip

Trek Inclusions – KOKODA TRACK
Wilderness First Aid qualified and highly experienced Australian Tour Leader/s – Guaranteed*
Professionally trained and highly experienced PNG Trek Master and PNG Trek Leader
All meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner – throughout the trek, prepared fresh (daily) by our local, trained team members
8x nights in Tent/Bivvy/Guesthouse-style accommodation during trek
Detailed historical narration of the Kokoda Track campaign by our Soc Kienzle-educated Australian Leader/s
Visit and Memorial Services at Isurava Battlefield, Brigade Hill & Bomana War Cemetery
Cultural Activities at villages along the Kokoda Trail
24-hour emergency support network
Detailed Risk Management Plan including River Crossing Protocols
Emergency equipment, including satellite phone
EXCLUSIVE use of Getaway Trekking’s Portable Shower and Privacy Tent
All ground travel arrangements (where required)
Local Carriers for food and equipment
Transport Home for our Local Carriers
FREE Getaway Trekking quick-dry Walking Shirt
FREE Getaway Trekking Camp Polo Shirt
FREE Getaway Trekking Certificate of Completion
FREE Training Walks in Victoria, Queensland & South Australia
All village tariffs
Kokoda Track Authority Trekking Permit
Public Liability Insurance

Trek Inclusions – POST-TREK
1x night accommodation in a Standard Twin Room^ at the 5-star Stanley Hotel & Suites, Port Moresby
Buffet breakfast in the Green Haus Restaurant at the Stanley Hotel & Suites
Transfer to Jackson’s International Airport, Port Moresby from hotel on check-out

Important
^ Standard Twin Room includes 2x Queen Beds. You will be paired with a same gender trekker if travelling alone. Single Supplement available.
* Australian Leader-led departures must have a minimum of 6x adult passengers confirmed prior to 60 days before scheduled departure date to proceed.

Cost Does not Include

International and Australian domestic airfares & airport departure tax
All costs associated with obtaining a passport
All costs associated with obtaining a PNG VISA
Travel Insurance [mandatory]
Vaccinations and anti-malarial medicines
Personal expenditure including alcohol
Personal carrier @ $750 including pack hire
Any others expenses which are not mentioned on ‘Price Includes’ section.

Your Pack
You will need a top loading Back Pack which is comfortable and in good condition. If you are carrying your own gear, it must be at least 65-70 litres in volume – this must be a true hiking pack. The pack should have a good quality hip belt which will take the pressure off your shoulders.

Your pack should weigh a maximum of 12 kg dry – i.e. before you add your water bladder and/or bottles. Packs are weighed in Port Moresby prior to starting our trek. Packs that exceed the maximum weight can either be re-packed, or you will be asked to pay for an additional carrier to handle the excess weight.

We take our responsibilities to the health and safety of our carriers very seriously and will not allow them to carry weights beyond what we consider reasonable.

If you intend to have a carrier, you will be supplied with a pack on arrival at Port Moresby. You will need to supply a large pack liner that your gear will fit into that can be handed to your Carrier at the start of the trek.

If you are employing a carrier, you will also need a day pack for personal use. This should also have a good quality hip belt as, even with lighter weights, you may experience discomfort on your shoulders without one.

All packs should have a pack cover large enough to protect the pack in the rain.

We recommend at least 30 litres in volume. You will typically use this pack to carry:

Water & Electrolytes
Snacks
Personal first aid
Poncho or light rain jacket
Sunscreen
Insect Repellent
Disinfectant hand wash
Camera

Your Boots
Although you can stagger the purchase of much of your equipment, taking advantage of sales and special offers, we recommend that you buy good quality boots sooner rather than later. No matter how much training you do, if your feet aren’t happy, the rest of you won’t be either.

Ensure that you are correctly fitted and take plenty of time on boot selection. You have a wide range of choice, however the main decision you will make is whether to buy synthetic or leather – both have advantages and disadvantages. Synthetic boots are lighter and will dry more quickly. Leather boots will stay dry longer, but will also take longer to dry once they are wet. They will be harder wearing and last longer than synthetic boots. You should take advice from your supplier.

The most important thing is that you need to break your foots in. A blister on a training walk in Australia is far less of a problem to you than on the Kokoda Track. Remember too, that in a tropical environment, blisters can easily become infected. Get on top of this before you leave for your trek!

As important is your sock selection. There is no right or wrong here – you need to discover for yourself what sort of socks suit you. Again, try them out during your training before you leave. Problems in Australia are generally simple ones – equipment can be changed here, but not on the track!

Remember also to keep your feet as dry as possible, especially after creek crossings or wet encounters.

Suggested Clothing and Equipment List:

Spare bag for leaving your spare clothes in your hotel.
One set of neat clothes for hotel use.
Trekking Equipment
Backpack – see above
Backpack Cover
A medium weight hollow-fill sleeping bag. Many people find a + 5 degree rating adequate, however if you feel the cold you may need something warmer, especially at the higher altitudes.
A silk or cotton liner or light sheet (for hot coastal conditions)
A thermal sleeping mat, suggested self inflating type
Mosquito net (necessary to protect from malarial mosquitoes). Note this should have a hook or string to hang from.
Small pillow
Lightweight bowl, knife, fork spoon set and cup
Headlamp with spare globe and batteries
Camel pack / Water bladder. This is mandatory as it is critical that you maintain hydration at all times.
Water bottles for spare capacity and to mix up supplements. We recommend total water capacity to be around 3-4 litres.
Walking stick or poles (optional). Please try using poles during your training to determine if this is right for you.
Small section of foam mat to sit on

Clothing
A pair of strong, comfortable, worn in walking boots (with spare laces) – see above
A pair of sandals or water shoes, a pair of thin socks worn inside these shoes can be helpful to keep small river stones out of your shoes. (you will need to walk through a creek for 2 hours in these) CROCS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR THIS TREK, NOR ARE THONGS. An old pair of runners works well, and you can leave these behind – they are often greatly appreciated.
Socks: several changes – you must look after your feet and a dry set of socks is important. Numbers will vary depending on the season; in the dry we recommend 3-5 pairs, however if you are trekking in or near the wet season, you may wish to take a pair for every day.
Gaiters and/or Spats
Lightweight rain jacket or a “poncho” which also covers the pack if it rains
Wide brimmed hat
Adequate underwear that is comfortable when wet and does not chafe
Bathers
Sarong (ladies)

Walking / Daytime Clothes
These must be strong, lightweight and comfortable when wet.
Cotton based fabric is often more comfortable in the heat however can be difficult to dry in the humidity & become smelly. Modern high tech fibres are more expensive, but excellent in this climate.
Getaway Trekking & Adventures provides a shirt for walking in.
Walking shorts and/or ‘Skins’. ‘Skins’ are not essential, but these are highly recommended to reduce chafe.
Also suggest “Zip off” pants – these are excellent as they provide early morning and evening “longs” (for warmth and protection from mosquitoes) and “shorts” for when you are walking.
It is important that a long sleeved loose fitting shirt is included for sun and mosquito protection.

Afternoon / Evening Clothes
One lightweight set of non-walking clothes. These are the clothes you will change into after the days walk. They should be kept dry as your walking clothes can remain damp for the duration of the trip due to humidity. We recommend a short sleeve shirt and second pair of shorts – you will generally arrive at your day’s destination early afternoon when it is still warm.
Polar Fleece or one warm woolen jumper (not too bulky) and long pants. These are to protect against mosquitoes at dusk, and cold at night.
Shoes or sandals to wear in camp. You should be able to wear these with socks for mosquito protection – with some styles, you can use one pair for both (17) and (31). This does have the disadvantage however, that your camp shoes may be wet when you arrive in camp. Do not take thongs – these are not suitable for anything other than dry ground, and that is never guaranteed!
Set of “thermals” if you are a cold sleeper

Personal Effects
Camera/film (check battery) all in 2 plastic bags .The change in humidity from your pack to open air requires 2 bags otherwise the lens fogs up. You may wish to bring extra batteries / memory cards.
Extra high energy nibbles. Don’t take items that will melt easily. Ideally, divide your nibbles into 6-8 snap lock bags for easier packing and access.
Small items as gifts for local people and children. Pens, pencils, stickers, simple jewellery, large T shirts etc are a great hit with everyone and often help break the ice. We discourage balloons, which are environmentally unfriendly, and sweets which are not appropriate to the level of dental care available on the track.
Strongest insect repellent e.g. Bushmans
Sunblock
Water purification tablets. Eg-Micropur or Puratab
Toilet paper (2 rolls). Place in a plastic ziplock bag.
Toiletries: as this is often where lots of weight and bulk occurs, portion everything and place in plastic bags to prevent spillage. Please be environmentally friendly with your choices.
Towels (2): do not take a cotton beach towel. Bring a small micro fibre towel or sports chamois. One towel is for drying feet and the other for showering. Alternatively use a face washer for drying feet. Many people find a small towel handy during the day for wiping face and brow.
Compression or Vacuum bags. Great for reducing the volume of bulky items
Large inner garbage bags or commercially available stuff sacks for packing all backpack contents into. If you are hiring a carrier you will need one for your gear that is to be carried and one for your day pack.
Clip lock bags ( 6)
Diary / journal & pen
Money in PNG currency – preferably smaller denominations. Amount will depend on itinerary – please refer to trek leader’s advice.

First Aid
Small personal first-aid kit comprising of items from the list below. Not all items will be required – this is a personal kit. However, we strongly recommend the first 12 items. (if travelling with friends, organise to share some items) The rest of the items are optional but recommended – again, sharing items will save money and space.

Note, if you have personal issues – e.g. knee problems – you should ensure you have the appropriate braces, preventive bandages, etc.

Blister prevention – there are some excellent products available.
Personal medications – you are most informed about your personal health and need to take responsibility for your own medications. Please discuss with us if you have any questions.
Sufficient anti malaria tablets (Mandatory)
Antibacterial hand gel – e.g. Aqium
Pain relievers – headache tablets, strong pain relief
Anti-malarial drugs
Tea Tree Oil
Diarrhea tablets / Constipation tablets
1x course of broad spectrum antibiotics such as Keflec/Cephalexin. Retain all prescription medication in original labelled packaging to comply with Australian and PNG Customs requirements.
Bandaids (various sizes, ensure you have plenty)
Antiseptic lotion/cream e.g. Bepanthen, Paraderm Plus, Betadine
Stingose
Prickly heat powder
Roller bandage
Safety pins
Needle and thread
Anti nausea medication
Gastrolyte or other electrolyte
Knee bandage.
1x course of specific antibiotics for wound and boil infections
Anti inflammatory medication such as Ibruprofen, Voltaren or Nurofen
Antihistamines, such as Telfast, Phenergan 10mg
Strapping tape
Ankle and/or knee guards
Foot fungus powder – Daktarin etc
Papaw ointment
Antiseptic powder
Antifungal cream
Hydrocortisone cream for bites etc
1x packet cotton buds or cotton wool (to apply creams)

What level of fitness do I need to trek in Papua New Guinea?

Trekking in Papua New Guinea is a challenging experience, with extensive uphill and downhill sections. A high level of fitness is required although you do not have to be super fit or an Olympic athlete! You will however enjoy the experience much more if you have completed an extensive training program prior to tackling the trek.

It is very important to prepare yourself for the challenge ahead. We provide a recommended training schedule to all of our clients, though this is a guide only. Many of our trekkers have used this as a training guide and have found it very successful in their preparation.

In addition to general fitness and core work, we highly recommend lots of hill training and stair climbing. You need to be doing a minimum of 2-3 sessions of hill training per week, and a 6-8 hour hill walk on the weekend. It’s also a good idea to back that up with a shorter walk the following day.

Remember, this is a guide only. Your training should ramp up as you get closer to your trek – you cannot train on too many hills.

Does Getaway Trekking run any training walks?

Yes we do! For our Melbourne, Adelaide and Cairns trekkers (at this stage – more coming soon!, we have schedules of weekend walks throughout the trekking season.

Please check either the Victoria, South Australia or Cairns trek training schedule and contact us to advise our leaders which walks you would like to attend.

Many Saturday mornings you will find Getaway Trekking Melbourne staff and leaders on both the Glasgow Road Firebreak and the 1000 Steps in Ferntree Gully.

You are welcome to come along – please contact our office to register your intention to come along.

We have also developed a comprehensive training program that is available to all of our registered trekkers. This will be forwarded to you on receipt of your deposit.

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding training please do not hesitate to contact one of our leaders at info@getawaytrekking.com

What type of trekking boots do you recommend?

Although you can stagger the purchase of much of your equipment, taking advantage of sales and special offers, we recommend that you buy good quality boots sooner rather than later. No matter how much training you do, if your feet aren’t happy, the rest of you won’t be either.

Ensure that you are correctly fitted and take plenty of time on boot selection. You have a wide range of choice, however the main decision you will make is whether to buy synthetic or leather – both have advantages and disadvantages. Synthetic boots are lighter and will dry more quickly. Leather boots will stay dry longer, but will also take longer to dry once they are wet. They will be harder wearing and last longer than synthetic boots. You should take advice from your supplier.

The most important thing is that you need to break your boots in. A blister on a training walk in Australia is far less of a problem to you than on the Kokoda Track. Remember too, that in a tropical environment, blisters can easily become infected. Get on top of this before you leave for your trek!

As important is your sock selection. There is no right or wrong here – you need to discover for yourself what sort of socks suit you. Again, try them out during your training before you leave. Problems in Australia are generally simple ones – equipment can be changed here, but not on the Track!

Backpacks and day packs - what should I be taking with me?

If you are carrying your own pack;

Your Pack – 85 litres minimum

You will need a top loading Back Pack which is comfortable and in good condition and at least 85 litres in volume – this must be a true hiking pack. If you intend to have a carrier, you must leave enough room in the top for his/her clothes, food and water. This means that your equipment should fill the pack to a maximum of 2/3 capacity.

The pack should have a good quality hip belt which will take the pressure off your shoulders.

Your pack should weigh a maximum of 12 kg dry – i.e. before you add your water bladder and/or bottles. Packs are weighed in Port Moresby prior to starting our trek. Packs that exceed the maximum weight can either be re-packed, or you will be asked to pay for an additional carrier to handle the excess weight.

We take our responsibilities to the health and safety of our carriers very seriously and will not allow them to carry weights beyond what we consider reasonable.

If you are employing a carrier;

You will need a day pack for personal use. This should also have a good quality hip belt as, even with lighter weights, you may experience discomfort on your shoulders without one.

All packs should have a pack cover large enough to protect the pack in the rain.

We recommend at least 30 litres in volume. You will typically use this pack to carry:

  • Water & Electrolytes
  • Snacks
  • Personal first aid
  • Poncho or light rain jacket
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent
  • Disinfectant hand wash
  • Camera
  • Toilet Paper

What type of clothing should I pack?

We will be passing through a number of different climatic zones, from hot and humid coastal areas, to high mountain areas where conditions may be considerably colder, especially at night. Although we trek predominantly during the dry season, it is not uncommon for it to rain. As you are carrying your own personal gear try to travel as light as possible. If you are carrying your own pack, it should weigh no more than 12 kgs.

It is important to wear light ‘quick dry’ clothes, as it is very hot and humid on the track.

A common mistake made by many trekkers is that they pack far too may clothes for the time they are away making their packs significantly heavier that they need to be.

We recommend you stick to the following checklist to ensure you only take what is absolutely necessary:

  • Hiking boots (make sure they are well worn in)
  • Spare boot laces
  • Spare pair of sandals
  • Gaiters
  • Sun hat (wide brim)
  • Quick dry shorts
  • Quick dry shirt (short or long sleeved)
  • Light weight rain jacket
  • Underwear
  • Hiking socks
  • Swimmers
  • Sweat towel
  • Polar fleece jumper (for cooler nights)
  • Track pants (for cooler nights)

A full equipment list is available to view within the EQUIPMENT tab on this page. Remember, it is important to train in the clothes that you intend to wear on the track – you must be confident there are no issues with chafe or other problems.

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes, travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any trek provided by Getaway Trekking. Travel Insurance will cost you approximately AU$125 -$150 for a 7-9 day trek in Papua New Guinea.

You are required to provide Getaway Trekking with details of your Travel Insurance. We suggest you take out insurance as soon as you make any form of payment; in unforeseen training accidents or family emergencies, you may have some protection.

You MUST ensure your insurance covers Helicopter evacuation in medical emergencies.

Please supply us with a copy of your Travel Insurance Certificate and ensure we have the following information:

  • Travel Insurance Company’s 24 hour emergency
  • Contact phone number
  • Your Name, Date of Birth etc…
  • Policy No.
  • Travel Dates and Destination

Please Note: If you retire from the trek for reasons other than medical, you will need to pay for the evacuation “up front” (normally with credit card or a cash transfer to the relevant company). Getaway Trekking will bill you for any evacuation costs we incur including on ground staff, transport, etc. Other extra costs you may incur are accommodation, transport and meals.

Does the trek price include airfares?

No – all Getaway Trekking prices are ‘land only’, meaning an airfare is an additional cost.

Please inform our team at the time of your reservation if you require an airfare cost and our Travel Manager will confirm availability and provide a quotation for your consideration.

Treks with pre-trek accommodation in Cairns
On arrival at Cairns International Airport you will be met by a Getaway Trekking & Adventures leader who will assist with your check in. We will travel as a group, and arrive together in Port Moresby, therefore we will advise you well ahead of time which flight to book.

Flights leave from Cairns International Airport, landing in Port Moresby and take approximately 1 hour, 30 minutes. International check-in requires you to be there 2 hours prior to departure; this allows you plenty of time to check your bags through, be security checked and complete the required customs and immigration forms.
Your flight from your home port to Cairns may be at your own discretion.

Treks with pre-trek accommodation in Port Moresby
Your flight into Port Moresby from your own port may be at your own discretion. We will need your flight details in order to ensure that you are met on arrival.

There are a number of airlines which fly into Port Moresby including:

You will be arriving in a hot humid environment, and we recommend you wear appropriate clothing. It can be a good idea to wear your boots and take important medications with you in the plane. In the event that your bags get left behind (it can happen) then you have the two most important items with you.

Unless you have Frequent Flyer advantages, 23kg is the maximum checked in baggage weight. Hand luggage can be 7kg.

What does a typical day look like trekking in Papua New Guinea?

While you are on the track, you can expect to undertake a daily routine similar to that of the table outlined below.

Please Note: This is an indicative schedule and may change depending on weather, track conditions and group fitness/injuries, etc.

What hydration considerations should I make on trek in Papua New Guinea?

Your Trekmaster (and leader) will advise the best treks to fill up your water bottles along the trail, however you will need to carry a minimum of 3 litres of water on you throughout your journey. There are many treks to fill up along the trail. The furthest you will walk between water is 4 hours.

It is essential that you take electrolytes with you. We recommend you add these supplements to your water, every time you fill up, as they help prevent dehydration due to high perspiration losses. As with all other elements of your preparation, we recommend you research and sample different types of electrolytes to see which suits you best, prior to embarking on your trek.

Dehydration can become a major issue on the trail. It is very important to keep drinking fluids on the track. Because of the higher level of activity, temperature and humidity you will tend to sweat more. With the increased fluid intake and sweating you also tend to flush out of your system essential minerals, salts etc. This is why it is important to use electrolytes, salt replacements and Glucose type products.

In addition to electrolytes, salt replacements and Glucose type products, water purifying tablets are also recommended. The water is generally very good along the track but always check with the Trek Master or Trek Leader about the quality of the water. We only source our water from the streams that do not pass through any villages or campsites. With the different environments, conditions, food and water, upset stomachs, vomiting and diarrhoea can occur.

Please Note: Please ensure you bring adequate medication as outlined on our personnel first aid kit page.

What are the meals like on the trek?

Getaway Trekking takes pride in our food and has recently undergone a major upgrade in this area. We have a Catering Manager in Port Moresby who provides delicious and nutritious meals for the track.

We do need to be advised when booking if there are any particular dietary requirements. We do our best to manage your requirements but please be aware we are operating in a third world country where availability is limited. Please be proactive if you have specific issues and discuss them sooner rather than later. We will generally be able to work through a solution with you.

In Port Moresby, it is often quite difficult to source products that are gluten free or suitable for vegans. We will discuss this with you, but previous trekkers have found they prefer to provide much of their own food, to be sure they remain well on the track.

The Trek Master and the team organise cook all your meals. They also take care of the washing up. The carriers are also well catered for with food on the track. You are more than welcome to assist in meal preparation. It will give you an even better feel for the culture of PNG.

Our Typical Menu

  • Breakfast: We have cereals, usually Weet-Bix or Porridge, Muesli, Rice Cakes with spread and limited fruits depending on availability, tea, coffee, biscuits, sometimes pancakes and damper.
  • Lunch: Is usually noodle soups, and a smorgasbord of dry biscuits, spreads, tinned meats, cheese, baked beans and fruit
  • Dinner: We use a combination of delicious PNG developed recipes, supplemented with rice or pasta. Where possible, we purchase fresh local vegetables to add to the meal.

Please Note: You need to take your own snacks such as energy bars, sweet lollies etc.

Where do we stay on the trek?

Along the track we will stay in guesthouse accommodation provided by local landowners. The quality varies, but the style is similar to the photo shown – generally one large room where everyone bunks in together.

Although it is rare there is no guesthouse available, all reputable trek operators will carry alternative accommodation. We carry two types:

  1. A ‘bivvy’ – a ground sheet, and a large tarp overhead; effectively a large communal open air tent. The bivvy is great fun as it enhances group dynamic with everyone together.
  2. We also carry tents for those who prefer – sometimes our clients use tents for just one or two nights if they are particularly tired, are feeling a little unwell, or just need a bit of personal space. We don’t ask people to share tents as the guesthouse or bivvy provides that option already.

What will conditions be like on the trek route?

The conditions on the track vary due to the changes in the season, which are broken up into the dry season and the wet season. These seasons also have sub or ‘fringe’ seasons.

The dry season is normally from late May to late October, though good conditions can still be expected in April and November. It is possible to get rain and consequently mud on the track during any season or month.

The temperature will range from 24-28 degrees under the canopy and up to 32 degrees out in the open areas. The night time temperature will range from 18 degrees in the lower sections down to 8 degrees in the higher areas of the Owen Stanley’s.

Late November, December, January, February and March are wet and muddy, and it is likely these times will be unsuitable for trekking.

Toilet facilities - what are they like in Papua New Guinea on a trek?

The facilities on the track are very basic at best. Toilets on the track and in the villages are known as ‘long drops’ and ‘short drops’. These are simple, deep pits or short pits that have been dug in the ground for use as toilets. Some villages have made an attempt to create toilet seats, however you should not assume these are clean. These facilities have a roof and screen over them for privacy.

You do need to take your own toilet paper (2-3 rolls). We also suggest a pack of “wet ones”. Please bring biodegradable products in line with Trek Kokoda Track by Getaway Trekking & Adventures’s environmental policy of being eco friendly.

Very often the village will have a river for showering and washing facilities, if not a simple water pipe is used to flow the water onto the trekker for washing. We ask that you “soap up” on the bank and pour water over you so that soap does not enter the river. Washing of clothes should be done in the same manner and not in the river. There are no specific changing rooms on the track or in the villages, but showers will generally have a screen for privacy.

Is it safe to trek in Papua New Guinea?

Getaway Trekking is committed to your safety both on the track and “in country”.

All of our leaders require a current Wilderness First Aid qualification in order to accompany trekkers on an expedition in Papua New Guinea.

If needed, all staff can make stretchers. We carry satellite phones with direct contact with the evacuation helicopter & medical assistance, and we are in regular contact with our Office. Our National Trek Master and Trek Manager ensure all trekkers safety in crossing rivers and difficult areas. General safety on the track is very good, and the risk of incidents is very minimal.

In Port Moresby it is highly recommended not to travel alone and certainly not at night as Port Moresby has some violence and petty crime. Take a guide with you when exploring, and ensure you stay away from Settlement areas. Travel with caution and more importantly, use common sense.

Getaway Trekking leaders carry a satellite phone on all Papua New Guinea treks. The purpose of the satellite phone is for emergency use only – it is not available for clients use. It is used to ring in to the office with updates, flight information or used in an emergency (where a helicopter may be needed).

As there is no electricity along the trail we cannot charge the battery. The Trek Master or Trek Leader may only switch the phone on a couple of times a day (to save the battery). The battery is fully charged before the trek starts.

Giving back - do you recommend taking gifts for locals?

Getaway Trekking donates AUD$25 per booking to the Kokoda Track Foundation for community projects in Buna & Sanananda for each trekker who traverses the Kokoda Track.

Staff and clients of Getaway Trekking have been regular and welcome visitors to Buna for the 14 years we have been in operation. During this time we have assisted both financially and physically with village infrastructure works in Buna, and continue to work with village representatives on appropriate projects for their community.

As you trek along in Papua New Guinea (PNG) you may feel that you too would like to provide gifts or donations to children and villages along the journey. If this is the case, you may wish to be prepared prior to arriving in PNG. We discourage plastics and encourage more usable items such as educational materials; pens, coloured pencils etc. Sports equipment is always a big hit and biodegradable balloons always create a smile.

Please Note: Should you wish to provide gifts, please remember to be very conscious of extra weight in your pack.

How much spending money should I plan to take with me?

On the track you need to take local currency (PNG Kina) with you. Most things on the track will cost between 5-10 PNG Kina i.e. bunch of bananas, photo with Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel family members, can of Coke. The local villages do not have change to give you, therefore lots of small change  is best. Past clients have comfortably managed with AUD$100 (converted to PNG Kina) for their time on the track.

We also recommend you budget approximately AUD$200 for your time in Port Moresby. This will cover expenses such as additional food and drinks you may require, laundry, international phone calls ect.