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La Rende!
Traversing Timor-Leste & INTERFET Anniversary

11 Days from 5900 ex Dili


4 nights Hotel
3 nights Camping
3 nights Guest Houses


Mostly by foot 
Transfers via vehicle or pony

Included Meals

10 Breakfasts
4 Lunches
5 Dinners

Trip Grade

Category 4
Extreme Expedition

Walk their story, honour their sacrifice.

“In February 1942, the Japanese landed 6,000 experienced troops in Portuguese Timor, only 400 miles north of Darwin.

They were opposed by the mere handful of 300 Australians comprising the 2/2 Independent Company. Forced back into the mountains, they organized a guerilla war, living off the country and carrying their wounded with them…

These few Australians, with the help of some Timor natives, immobilized, at a very crucial time in the war for the Allies, over 30,000 Japanese troops, of whom they took a heavy toll”

– Lieutenant Colonel B J Callinan, DSO, MC

“In many ways, East Timor’s story is a story of war. The former Portuguese colony has effectively been in some kind of conflict since Australian troops first arrived on December 17, 1941.

Alex Frew McMillan

International Force East Timor

(INTERFET) Sep 1999 - Feb 2000


One of the newest countries in the world, and one of Australia’s nearest neighbours, which, despite this relative proximity, continually features on various lists of the least visited (by tourists) countries on earth.

A fascinating place, blessed with vibrant waters teeming with marine life, a friendly people, rich indigenous and colonial history from its years under the Portuguese yoke, and with still raw wounds from its quarter of a century under the violence and oppression of Indonesian military rule.

Those who make the effort, who scratch beneath the surface, will be rewarded with a land full of real adventure, and like few other places on the planet, and this adventure allows one to truly get under that surface, whilst exploring an oft forgotten tale in Australian military history.

Embark on a pilgrimage as you follow a trail that connects sites of significance in the guerrilla campaign fought by Australia’s first commando forces in Timor-Leste and the Kriadu, Timorese people who walked alongside them, and honour those who bravely fought and lost their lives in 1942. Gain insight into the difficult terrain Australian forces had to endure during WWII and experience life in remote mountainous villages.

The whole trek traverses the entire island of Timor from North to South, some 130km. This expedition covers the first half of the trek from Bazartete to Hatabulico approximately 75km, 5 days of intense hiking. The trail crosses rugged ridges, crystal clear rivers, passes through Portuguese era coffee plantations, thick tropical jungles and crosses Mount Ramelau, which peaks at 2,986m.

Australia’s military experience in Timor-Leste is trans generational, with grandparents (and great-grandparents) serving there from World War II, through to the humanitarian crisis of the late 1990’s.

It’s with a celebration of this younger generation of Australian’s who, as part of INTERFET, helped provide stability and in doing so, forged lasting friendship, with the people of this fledgling nation, that we’ll get to conclude this very special version of La Rende.

A pairing of two Australian service histories, in one very special place.

“A land of amazing variety, of crumbling Portuguese churches, misty mountains, pristine reefs, translucent seas rich with fish, and an inspiring people who wouldn’t accept anything less than an independent homeland.

Tony Wheeler, founder of Lonely Planet


The Journey

Arrive in Dili and settle into Hotel Timor before heading out for a sunset walk to the summit of Cristo Rei, accessible by a 590-step staircase, with 360 degree panoramic views of Dili.

Take in the sights and sounds of the city over dinner.

Spend the morning exploring Santa Cruz Cemetery and the Resistance Museum, and learn about the Timorese struggle under Indonesian occupation.

Head to Agora Food Studio, a social enterprise, and explore traditional foods through preparing and cooking your own lunch, followed by a coffee cupping experience at Café Atsabe.

Spend the morning exploring the Sparrow Force House, participate in a Dili Battlefield tour and gain insight into the 2/2nd campaign.

Complete a final gear check before driving to the trail head located just outside of Bazartete.

Trek a short distance to Asumanu. Bazartete, is where Lieutenant Tom Nisbet’s 4 Section of B Platoon mounted an attack against the Japanese with 200 men.

Under severe pressure, the Australia’s conducted a fighting withdrawal towards Hatolia. Casualities: 2 Australians and over 40 Japanese. (D)

Distance: 1.5km

This morning ascend through corn fields and stunning views towards the coast.

Enjoy a traditional Timorese lunch, before descending through Portuguese era coffee plantations. 

Walk in the footsteps of a party from the C Platoon who in 1942 crossed swollen streams to reach a Japanese-owned SAPT plantation in Fatubessi, where they seized radio equipment to try and regain communication with Australia. (B, L, D)

Distance: 11.9km

Descent: 698m

Ascent: 916km

Explore more coffee plantations, fishing farms and cross rickety bamboo bridges on your trek towards Hatolia.

Situated high in the rugged mountain regions Hatolia was a significant gathering point after Japanese invasion.

On Friday 13 March, 1942 David Ross, the British Consul-General, who had been held under house arrest in Dili, arrived in Hatolia with a Japanese surrender demand.

The initial reaction was reportedly terse and typically Australian: ‘Surrender! Surrender be f…d.’ (B, L, D)

Distance: 13.9km

Descent: 823m

Ascent: 381m

Descend down to the Mota (river) Loes, trekking through dry river paddy fields and past local buffalo.

If time permits, explore the local hot springs.

Enjoy a traditional lunch in Lemeia Craic.

Continue ascending to Laquiama through rugged cliff lines picking and eating papaya rocks along the way. (B, L, D)

Distance: 14.6km

Descent: 648m

Ascent: 620m

Hike through coffee country flanked to the north by Cailcao Mountain and to the east by Mount Ramelau, which you’ll summit tomorrow.

As far back as 1942 Atsabe was lauded for its allure with a tourism pamphlet suggesting an investigation of Bandeira waterfall.

Today Mota (river) Bandeira, located near the Raimutin Wet Mill, remains a popular waterfall and one of the country’s main tourist destinations. (B, L, D)

Distance: 12km

Descent: 386m

Ascent: 651m

Trek to Hatabulico up and over Mount Ramelau, the tallest mountain in Timor-Leste, which stands at 2,986m.

Expect an early morning as the aim is to summit the mountain in time for sunrise.

Mount Ramelau is a site of deep religious and cultural significance and is adorned with a statue of the Virgin Mary at its peak.

On a clear day the view from the top reaches across a patchwork of dense green forest and rolling hills, the coastline visible in the distance.

Enjoy the surreal experience of viewing the entire nation from a single vantage point.

Watch your step on the steep zigzagging descent. (B, L, D)

Distance: 15km

Descent: 950m

Ascent: 1,200m

Tour a local Uma Lulik, a Timorese ‘sacred hut,’ and visit the spectacular Mota (river) Dokomali waterfall, before heading back along the windy mountainous path to Dili.

Visit the Maubisse Liberator Crash and Dare Memorial Museum and Cafe.

Established in 1969 with funds raised by the 2/2 Commando Association of Australia, Dare is the site of a significant firefight.

Enjoy a well-earned warm shower and dinner back in Dili. (B, L)

Join in the INTERFET Anniversary celebrations, followed by a beachside lunch.

Visit the Tais Market, a small daily market that sells mainly traditional cloth and souvenirs, and the Alola Foundation which supports the girls and women of Timor-Leste. (B)

Enjoy a leisurely morning and a Portuguese tart (or many).

After lunch head to the Dili International Airport for your return flight home (or journey onward). (B)


April to October

NOTE: Children must be a minimum 16 years old. Maximum group size of 12

This is an Extreme Expedition, completely self-sufficient, carrying all equipment and food. 

If you would prefer to make the experience a little easier, it is possible to arrange the use of a Personal Guide (who can carry your pack) for an additional USD $300 (approximately $465AUD), or Timorese ponies* for an additional USD $350 (approximately $540AUD), carrying only a light day pack with daily essentials, food and water.

*Timorese ponies are an important part of the 2/2nd story. Ideally suited to the mountains, they were used by the 2/2nds to carry supplies and equipment, and add an element of authenticity to the trek. Please note, the Ponies are not always available, and not always for the duration of the trek.


  • Airport transfers 
  • All in-country accommodation
    • Single Rooms
    • Twin Share Rooms
  • Tents, cooking equipment and eating utensil 
  • All in-country travel & logistics
  • All Dili attraction entrance fees
  • National Park entrance fees
  • Experienced Australian & local guides
  • Safety eqipment, satellite communication & first aid kit
  • Support vehicle in case of emergency 
  • All meals as indicated in itinerary (Breakfast – B, Lunch – L, Dinner – D)


  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance (this is mandatory)
  • Entry Visa (USD$30)
  • Timorese ponies or vehicle shuttle at a cost of USD $350
  • Lunches & dinners in Dili
  • Laundry
  • Optional activities
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal spending money
  • Tips for General Guides

Your Guides and Safety

An excellent guide can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and just an ordinary trip. Our handpicked professionals come from a range of backgrounds. Each has extensive outdoor experience, a knowledge of the local land through which you’ll walk, and a passion for the beautiful country that is Timor-Leste.

The guide will ensure that your trip is truly inspiring, a huge amount of fun, and safe. All guides are trained in Safety First Aid and are connected to Dili and our Melbourne offices by satellite phone.

Accommodation - Dili

Whilst in the Timorese capital, we’ll be staying in Hotel Timor.

Built in the 1970’s, it was burned to the ground by pro-Indonesian militia in 1999.

Since its restoration, it’s hosted many famed dignitaries, including Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton & John Howard.

Accommodation - Trekking

During our traverse of the country, we’ll bed down between an even mix of camping, and local guesthouses.

Think not a guesthouse like your favourite Bed & Breakfast, rather a simple, servicable affair, dry and warm (usually).

“Smiling, friendly people will welcome you to their country and all it has to offer. Make sure you take them up on it.

Lonely Planet, Timor-Leste

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