Hiking the Kokoda Track

The Kokoda track runs from Owers corner about 50 kilometres from Port Moresby for 96 kilometres over the Owen Stanley ranges to Kokoda village. Hiking the Kokoda track takes you through a variety of environments ranging from low lying swamp to dense rainforest. There is also a lot of history from the second world war as Australian diggers fought to stop the Japanese from invading Australia. The Japanese fought their way from Kokoda village all the way to Imita ridge where the Australians finally stopped the advance. There are still wartime relics to be seen at most of the villages.
You can walk the track in either direction, which means either going by bus to Owers Corner from Port Moresby and walking to Kokoda village and then flying back to Port Moresby or alternatively you can fly to Kokoda village and walk back to Owers Corner and then by bus back to Port Moresby.

When I did the walk it was in August 2008 and we flew to Kokoda village and started the trek from there. As you have to fly over the Owen Stanley ranges by light aircraft the weather can and does cause delays. We lost the first day of the hike due to weather preventing us flying to Kokoda village which meant having to make up a day over the period of the walk. If you start hiking the Kokoda track from Owers Corner and walk to Kokoda village then the weather may cause you a delay in flying back to Port Moresby. We had planned to have a short day in the middle of the trip (3 hours) which turned into a long day (11 hours ) to make up the time. It is important to have insurance to cover extra accommodation or missed flights as well as getting evacuated by air in case of injuries.. It is possible to carry your own pack, although most people opt to pay local porters to carry their gear which makes the hike less strenuous. There are some huts in the villages but most people camp in tents. The walking times can vary immensely as they are dependent on fitness levels, the amount of weight carried, the amount of sightseeing that is done and the track conditions to mention a few.

Hiking the Kokoda track can be done in eight to ten days and is classified as moderate to hard but is a very satisfying achievement to complete.

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