A Day On The
Kokoda Track

Kokoda Track - PNG - Deniki to Alola

The Kokoda Trail winds its way up along a meandering path deeper and deeper into the Owen Stanley Ranges between Deniki and Alola. It is a day of great beauty and tragic history as we visit possibly the most important battle site along the Kokoda Trail; Isurava.

Kokoda Trail map

The sunrises and a thick scud settles into the Yodda Valley below, covering the road from the north and the airstrip that both the Japanese and Australians so desperately wanted.

Two hornbills fly past, their wings thrashing through the thick humid air, as we wake to the rattling of pots of porridge over a campfire, and the chatter of our guide team, preparing to leave by 7 am.

Sunrise on the Kokoda Track Deniki

“Are You Ready?” cries the Lead Guide. “Yes” we yell with a nervous ending, our resolve tested the day before coming up to Deniki makes us doubt whether we have the wear with all to complete this epic pilgrimage.

The trail is narrow, forcing us to form a single file. Those with personal Guides can feel the presence of their silent angel hovering just behind, without breath, floating through the fields of Choko.

Large pastures of Choko vines sprawl across the cleared canopy of the jungle on the edge of the Owen Stanley Ranges. Guides collect young Choko sprouts and fruit to be used for dinner tonight.

The jungle starts to thicken. The gradient begins to increase. Our legs begin to throb. The meander has turned into a slog. We can feel our hearts pounding in our chests. How on Earth did they fight a war here?

My breath is taken away as the jungle opens up into a large amphitheatre of grass. The valley spills down to an even larger valley like a stream into a river. 

Here, over 80 years ago, thousands of Australian and Japanese pitched battle in one of the bloodiest of the Kokoda campaign. For 4 days, young men from both nations gave their lives unwillingly.

We are told stories of bravery and valour. Men such as Kingsbury, Bear and McCallum are etched in our memories because of their overt acts of bravery. But what of the other 70-plus Australians who lost their lives in that 4-day blood bath? Kilburn, Williams, Morris. All forgotten in the tragic theatre of war.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them.”

As in 1942, we head further south from Isurava, deeper into the mountain range. Daylight at times turns to evening, the canopy so thick, barely any light penetrates.

Ghosts appear along the trail, slowly struggling along the tortured trail.

Packs feel heavy. Legs feel heavy. Rain drizzles across the trail. Our guides feel the weight of their packs too. That sinking feeling once again hits me “Am I going to make it”?

Just as quickly as the rain came, it disappears. A small village can be seen ahead. Idyllic. Quiet. Isolated. Our home for the night. And my doubts vanish. I have a new spring in my step.

I have made it through another day on the Kokoda Track. My frown turns to a beaming smile.

Ahead is Alola Village!

We are greeted by a group of beautiful children. Some look after their younger siblings while their parents tend to their gardens.

Our local team have constructed our tents in perfect lines. A fire is boiling water and popping corn for afternoon tea.

And the world is once again good!

Fire in Hut Kokoda Trail
Camp fire Kokoda Trail

Want to Go?


The best time of year to visit the Kokoda Track is between March and November. However, from March to early May you may still get the tail end of the wet season. From May to September it is usually drier however rain is ever-present on the Kokoda Track so still expect some rain. October to the end of November is pre-wet season so it may come early it may come late. The busiest times on the Track are April around ANZAC Day, June and the Queens Birthday Holidays and September and school holidays.

How many Days?

Kokoda can be done in as few as 4 days and as many as 9 or 10. We suggest 9 days on the Track and for those in a hurry the Fast Kokoda which is done in 6.


The Kokoda Track is a quite difficult trek. While the ups and downs are one thing, the trail condition which can be muddy at times is just as taxing on the body. A good level of fitness is required to complete this trek.

Getting There

All Kokoda trips start and end in Port Moresby, the capital of PNG. Flights from Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns occur on a daily basis. Flights from other state capitals such as Melbourne will go via one of these hub airports.


Our Kokoda treks are fully supported by our local team and an Australian guide. You can carry your own gear or you can employ one of our experienced Local Guides to carry your pack for you, and you will then only need to carry a day pack. The cost of this Personal Guide is $720.

More Information

For more specific information and how to book, go to our Kokoda page which shows you all the options available to walk the Kokoda Track.