Bulldog and Blackcat Trek

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Why Book With Us?

  • ATAS Travel Accredited
  • KTA Licensed Operator
  • Socially Responsible
  • Culturally Sensitive

Got a Question?

Do not hesitate to give us a call. We are an expert team and we are happy to talk to you.

Freecall 1300 979 088

info@getawaytrekking.com

12 Days, 11 Nights
Availability : April 21
Port Moresby
Port Moresby
Min Age : 16+
Max People : 20
Trek Summary

“Longer, higher, steeper, wetter, colder and rougher than Kokoda” – Peter Ryan, author of Fear Drive My Feet

The first Japanese landing in New Guinea was at Salamaua – on the coast south east of Lae – some 4 months before the landing at Sanananda and Buna and the start of the Kokoda campaign.

The trail that lead into the mountains behind Salamaua was known as the Black Cat Track and was both the escape route for some. For the Papuan Infantry and Australia’s Kanga force it was the track in the centre of their ongoing harassment of the Japanese. Whilst there was no victory at that time, the severe havoc caused diverted many Japanese troops from joining the Kokoda and other campaigns.

To continue over the mountains to the south coast the only trail was the Bulldog track running from Wau to Lakekamu. This track was rarely walked until gold miners from Bulolo were forced to evacuate via this route following the bombing of Bulolo and Wau mines just two weeks after the bombing of Darwin. The tack was tough and those miners ill prepared – needless to say some didn’t make it. Those that survived took six weeks – many carrying small quantities of gold with them.

With limited access to airfields, and the need to support the offensive against the Japanese post Kokoda, orders were given to put a road through the Wau from the south.

In early 1942, the 30 commandos of the 1st Independent Company (1st Ind Coy) under the command of Captain Roy Howard trekked the Bulldog Track northward and joined the “Kanga Force” comprised of the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles (NGVR) and the 2/5 Independent Company commandos at Wau.

As a group they executed the first offensive raid by Allied soldiers on the Japanese in WWII at their base at Salamaua on 29 June 1942. They destroyed a large amount of infrastructure and caused more than 100 Japanese casualties, with only three Australian soldiers sustaining minor wounds. They captured the Japanese plans for their raid on Milne Bay. One soldier with the plans in hand ran all the way up to the town of Wau in two days and the plans were flown to Port Moresby. The Japanese would later take 12 days to get to Wau.

During the six months of construction of the road to Wau, more than 70% of the Australians contracted malaria. In total, the project took nine months of construction and roughly 1,038 Australian engineers and 1,825 Papuans laborers supported by 524 Papuan carriers to build the road. During construction, only four Australians were killed; one by a landslide, one by a falling tree and two by accidental explosions. Locals from the Kukuku (Kukukukus) tribes of pigmy people sometimes raided camp areas and stole axes, knives, and explosives.

By late August 1943, the completed road became known as “Reinhold Highway” and spanned 140 miles with vehicles traveling at an average speed of 8-10 mph with truck convoys. Between August 23-25, 1943 the inaugural vehicle convoy including trucks and jeeps from the Royal Australian Engineers, headquarters led by Lt. Col Reinhold departed from The Centre Camp to Wau spanned 68 miles. When completed, General Sir Thomas

Blamey claimed the Bulldog Road “It ranks with the great army engineering feats of history.”

On September 23, 1943 the first truck convoy travelled across the road that spanned 114 kilometres crossing 17 bridges some with multiple spans. For the remainder of 1943 until at least late February 1944 vehicle convoys from the 2/34th General Transport Company used the road.

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 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 transfers
  • 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 Port Moresby
  • International and Australian domestic airfares
  • Passport & visa costs
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccinations and Anti-Malarial Medicines
  • Personal expenditure

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

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 Hideaway 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 Nuikewa

Early morning start to travel by PMV to Lakekamu Bridge and the Lakekamu River. Travel by boat up the river to Nuikewa.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 2Nuikewa to Tekadu

We collect local porters and guides in Nuikewa and start the walk on fairly easy trails to Tekadu.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 3Tekadu to Yanina

The walk today is a little more rugged mostly following the river. The elevation gain is steady being around 700 metres

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 4Yanina to Hidden Valley

The warm up is over – this is a significant climb up a ridge line and then traversing to gain altitude to around 2500 metres – about a 1600 metre elevation gain for the day.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 5Hidden Valley to Kaisenik

Hidden Valley to Kaisenik. At Hidden Valley we plan to get a local PMV to take us to Wau and Kaisenik which is a village out of town and the start of the Black Cat track. Today we say goodbye to our Bulldog porters and welcome a new team for the Black Cat track. We will also get to see the war graves and markers in Wau.

 

 Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 6Kaisenik to Aniko

We start down the mountains and into the gorges. It is a rugged walk – but mostly downhill. 

 

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 7Aniko to Gaudagasul

Today we again travel down the mountains and join the river system. It is a very rugged walk with steep slopes.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 8Gaudagasul to Mubo

Gaudagasul to Mubo. This is mostly along and across the river (in several places).

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 9Mubo to Salamaua

We walk to the Franscisco River very early to avoid the heat of the day. Here we get in a raft to travel to Salamaua where a boat should be waiting for us! We do a short tour of the coast and historical points before camping for the night.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 10Salamaua – Lae – POM

Start the day with a boat ride to Lae. At Lae we will get a PMV, tour the war cemetery and other historical sites before going to Nadzab airport and returning by plane to Port Moresby.

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

Breakfast, Included

Day 11Return Home

Fly out of Port Moresby home or to your next destination

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