Is the price 'all inclusive'?
All packages ex Australia are fully inclusive, including meals, permits, all flights, site fees and 5-star accommodation – Airways Hotel -
We pride ourselves on ensuring there are no hidden costs.
Packages ex Port Moresby do not include hotel meals, backpacks (unless you hire a personal porter) and training; however do include breakfast and boots and backpack cleaning.
How much should you budget for spending?
Port Moresby prices are relatively high, therefore alcohol, soft drink and food items are quite expensive. Most trekkers budget between $250 to $500 AUD for the entire 10 days.
On the track you can purchase fruits, vegetables, have your clothes washed and dried, souvenirs etc.
We do a group money exchange prior to each trek and we will contact you prior to arranging this (close to the trek date).
If you wish to exchange your own money please do this in Australia as Port Moresby can be unreliable, and smaller denominations are preferable (there are no ATM's along the track)
Does our trek leader have a satellite phone and radio communication?
We carry a satellite phone, closed circuit radio and 2-way back to base and KTA ranger communication on every trek. We also contact Australia each night so your adventures will be updated daily on our website and Facebook page so your friends and family can follow your travels.
The Kokoda trail is very safe. Trek operators, PNG government along with the Australian government, meet each year to discuss the operations of the trail and safety is at the forefront of our company. It is highly recommended to trek with a professional trekking company like Australian Kokoda Tours. Australian Kokoda Tours has a comprehensive risk management plan and safety procedures, which are reviewed at the beginning, mid and at the end of each trekking season.
All our Australian guides are first aid trained for wilderness situations, and carry wilderness first-aid kits including Epipen’s and Defibrillator and on all treks, we carry satellite phones. It is important that you get yourself a full medical check before training. Australian Kokoda Tours requires a full medical clearance from your Doctor before trekking with us. Proper preparation and training before your trek is essential and will also make your experience more enjoyable.
A full list of registered companies is available on the Kokoda Track Authority website.
What happens in the event of an emergency?
In the case of an emergency, we will undertake to have you safely airlifted to Port Moresby.
All Australian Kokoda Tours leaders are Remote Wilderness First Aid accredited and carry satellite phones, KTA track radios and 2-way radios on all treks; we have emergency evacuation plans, which are reviewed three times per year and will, implemented on any emergency.
Please note that we cannot guarantee prompt medivac times when using your own travel insurance as most insurance companies have differing protocols.
Campsites- What do we sleep in?
Australian Kokoda Tours in conjunction with village elders have built Trekker, Porter accommodation and food huts in each village we stay in along the way. Therefore guaranteeing sleeping and eating facilities every night.
Most trekkers choose to stay in huts due to the larger space and ventilation, however we also include 2 man tents for those who prefer. (in most cases trekkers stay in huts, meaning it would be likely you could have tent to yourself)
How do we dispose of rubbish along the track?
Australian Kokoda Tours has a strict policy of disposal of our rubbish off the track. All our rubbish (and some other companies) is collected by our dedicated porters from our campsites and from the track for disposal.
However, while trekking, please put your own rubbish in your backpack until you arrive at the next campsite. If you see rubbish on the Track, pick it up and put it in our rubbish bags.
What do I need to bring?
Please refer to “Forms” tab for our pre-departure checklist.
Footwear – boots versus shoes?
This is a personal choice with most trekkers preferring trekking shoes. Shoes tend to be lighter in weight and easier to dry when they get wet. Both shoes or boots should be of good quality, and do not need to be 100% water proof. However, Gortex material is better for quick drying. Footwear should be lightweight and with a good firm and aggressive grip.
More importantly please go for comfortable shoes as your first preference. Footwear should be slightly bigger than your normal size as your feet may swell in the humidity and this can help prevent sore toes on the declines and discomfort if your feet swell. The Kokoda Track is harsh on boots; please do not trek in old or worn-out boots.
It is advisable to wear your boots on the plane and bring essential items in your carry-on luggage. Bags can and do go missing, and if you have got your boots, medical supplies and any important items with you and your bag goes missing, this will make trekking much easier.
Do I need walking pole?
Australian Kokoda Tours will supply walking poles and these will be given to you on your arrival in Kokoda. We will include instructions on how to use as well as a demonstration.
We recommend training without poles in order to improve, strength, balance, and co-ordination. (Poles must be returned)
Please refer to "The Kokoda Campaign" page.
Do you have an office in PNG and Australia?
Australian Kokoda Tours (AKT) has an office with administration staff, storage facilities and in Port Moresby and our Head Office is Torquay, Victoria. For any questions, contact us here.
What is the difference between PNG Led and Australian Led Treks?
Australian Kokoda Tours only runs Australian-led treks. Your safety is our number one priority with minimum level 2 first aid trained guide.
Do we walk the real Kokoda wartime track?
Yes, we do walk the real Kokoda Track. There are multiple tracks and trails that run across the Owen Stanley Ranges and Australian Kokoda Tours follow the fighting withdrawal of the 39th battalion. The history of this will be relayed to you each day and throughout the trek.
Do we trek at night?
Australian Kokoda Tours does not trek at night. Our itineraries are designed to ensure you are in camp well before nightfall. If under any circumstance we are not able to make our intended campsite by nightfall we will camp in a closer village.
Is there a Kokoda Track Code of Conduct?
Yes, there is and this can be acquired from the Kokoda Track Authority. Australian Kokoda Tours support the Code of Conduct strongly to ensure the long-term protection of the track. Mick O’Malley is also the secretary of the Kokoda Tour Operators Association (KTOA).
Do we support the villages and locals along the Track?
Yes, most if not all of our porters or their families are from the track. Most of our porters originate from Kagi village in the middle of the tack. We also support at least one porter each year to fly to Australia 100% funded by Australian Kokoda Tours.
In partnership with seven villages we stay overnight in Australian Kokoda Tours have funded the construction of village huts for eating, cooking, porter and trekker accomodation. This guarantees AKT trekkers accomodation and also enables the villages to hire out the huts when AKT are not using them. (AKT also pays accomodation fees)
Is there an easier direction to trek?
The Kokoda trek is difficult walking from both directions. Kokoda to Owers’ Corner follows the initial battles of the campaign by the 39th battalion, starting with the first major battle at Kokoda until the Japanese surrender. We have walked the track in both directions and both have there difficulties.
Village life and gifts
Most of our trekking groups share the cost of a present’s porter to carry gifts. This makes distributing gifts easier and alleviates trekkers offloading gifts in the first village due to the weight of their packs. (This is discussed later as a group)
While in villages we recommend you do not give money to anyone, as this can create problems between the village people. If you would like to help the villages, a gift that they can share is more appropriate, clothes, shoes, and books, reading and writing material.
First aid items are in much need such as Bandaids, Antiseptic cream, Strapping Tape, Bandages etc. We strongly advise, not giving any prescription medication to the village people or porters, as they are not used to such medications.
We also ask our trekkers to cover up when walking to and from showers and not to walk about the villages in swimming bathers unless swimming. Please cover up while walking around the villages, in a sign of respect.
What does a typical trekking day involve?
- Your Australian guide will wake you up at 5.00 am on the track
- Breakfast on the track is usually served from 5.00 am
- We usually start walking around 6.00 am
- There is usually 10-15minute breaks every 40-45 minutes or so along the track and depending on the terrain and weather and we will also stop for morning tea and lunch each day.
- The walking pace is at your comfort and you will have help and porters with you for the entire journey. We will walk between 4 to 9 hours with 7 to 8 hours being the average.
Toilets, washing and shower facilities
These amenities are very basic
- Toilets on the Track and villages are known as ‘long drops.' These are deep pits dug in the ground for use as toilets. There is a combination of toilets with seats and without and all toilets have walls for privacy.
- You must take your own toilet paper. Wipes are not recommended.
- On four of the nights, the showers are enclosed and on three of the nights the showers are in the creeks. Australian Kokoda Tours will provide 100% biodegradable body wash for showering and 100% biodegradable laundry wash for clothes washing.
- Australian Kokoda Tours supplies private female shower tents in each village.
- Australian Kokoda Tours will provide Antibacterial Hand Gel, however, your own small bottle is recommended.
There are no specific huts for males or females on the Kokoda Track (they are shared).
How fit do you need to be?
You do not need to be an elite sportsperson to complete the expedition but the fitter you are the more enjoyable you will find it. All trekkers should be either walking or jogging (i.e. stair climbing, hills, inclines and anything that goes in the upward direction) on the days we are not group training.
The training is designed to help YOU, so it extremely important that you get to as many, if not ALL of the scheduled training sessions as possible or ensure you are training at least 3 times per week.
Every participant needs to consult a physician well before the expedition date and make sure that they do not suffer from any chronic heart, lungs, cerebral, physical or any other serious illness.
We will provide you with a medical clearance form (also available under the “Forms” page) to be filled out that can usually be bulk billed by most doctors.
However, we are not a medical facility, and we take no legal responsibility for medical or other emergencies that may arise during the training or the trek.
As your service provider and hosts, we will take all necessary steps needed to evacuate injured or ill clients with the greatest of care.
If you cannot attend the scheduled training sessions, a training program can be provided for you.
What sort of physical training and preparation do you need?
We will provide you with training programs and a schedule to follow, including an indication of training hikes that we recommend you undertake as part of your preparation. For all ex Australian packages we offer 8 weeks complimentary training including hikes (the training sessions are located in Geelong and Melbourne, VIC). For group treks please contact us in regards to training as we may able accommodate your location.
Completing the training will help you to fully enjoy the experience.
Water and Electrolytes on the trek
You will need to carry a water bottle at the least and most trekkers will also carry a 2-litre camelback.
There are many places to fill water bottles along the track so there is no need to carry more than 2 liters of water at a time.
Australian Kokoda Tours will provide water purification “Steripens” (1 per 2 trekker) however, EACH trekker must supply 4 AA lithium batteries, which MUST be carried in your carry-on luggage. Your porters will advise the best places to fill up your water bottles and ALL water MUST be purified.
Australian Kokoda Tours will also supply 100% electrolyte only capsules. However you may bring Gatorade or Staminade etc... to flavour your water.
If you have had issues with water contamination you can also bring water purifying tablets as an extra precaution. The water is generally very good along the Track but always check with the trek team leader.
Do I need a doctor’s clearance?
Yes. We require approximately 4 weeks prior to your trek a Doctor certificate. This can be downloaded from our website under the “Forms” tab.
Australian Kokoda Tours MUST receive a doctor's certificate or your trek may be cancelled without refund.
Australian Kokoda Tours will carry a wilderness first aid kit, including (epinephrine injection) Auto-Injector, for the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis and an (AED) Automated Defibrillator.
However, you will be required to carry your own personal kit, refer Medicines and First Aid under the “Checklists” Tab.
Travel Insurance is mandatory and you must provide proof of you travel insurance prior to arrival in PNG. You are responsible for organising your own Travel/Medical insurance, which can be secured via our website via the “Insurance” tab Suresave Insurance
However, if you have your own travel insurance please be aware of your limits and coverage, as medical expenses can be a very costly in PNG. Medical evacuation cover is MANDATORY.
We require a copy of your personal, Travel and Medical Insurance no later than 4 weeks before departure. Failure to have travel and medical insurance will prevent you from trekking.
What size backpack do I need?
Australian Kokoda Tours supplies all backpacks on ex Australian packages. However, if you feel more comfortable with your own backpack, you will need a 60/75 litre backpack for your main pack and a 30/40 litre pack for your daypack and they should include rain covers.
Note: Daypack’s are only needed if you have a personal porter.
Do I need to carry my own backpack?
You can choose to carry your own backpack if you have trained and are in good physical shape.
Alternatively, you can choose to engage a personal porter to carry your backpack with all of your gear at a cost of $700.
A backpack and daypack are automatically supplied if you choose to hire a personal porter and these will be sent to your prior to your trek.
Engaging the services of a personal porter allows you peace of mind, knowing a porter will be by your side to assist you for the entire trek.
Your personal porter does a lot more for you than carry your backpack. This includes putting up your tent, assisting you on difficult sections of the track and making sure you have everything you need. Employing a porter also provides a local with a highly sought after source of employment. Personal Porters carry a maximum of 16 kilos.
Climate - When is the best conditions to trek Kokoda?
The climate most of the year is quite humid, however, night 2 and 3 of the trek can get quite cool due to the location of the villages we stay in on these nights.
The conditions on the Track can vary due to the changes in the season, dry season and the wet season. Dry season is normally from late May to late October and good trekking Most treks will get rain at me point and usually in the late afternoon. conditions can still be expected in April and November. December, January, February are usually very wet and muddy, therefore Australian Kokoda Tours do not trek during this period.
The temperature will usually range from 24-28 degrees under the canopy and 30-35 degrees out of the canopy. The night temperature will range from 5-10 degrees on nights 1-3 and 15-18 degrees from night 4-7 with the humidity ranging between 80% – 95%.
What size groups do we take?
Groups can consist upwards of 6 trekkers, to a maximum of 25.
Group sizes will vary for the Anzac Day, School, Private groups and special tours.
Do you need to bring any additional food?
All your food is included in your trek (except hotel meals on ex POM packages) However if you are a big eater, you can bring extra food but you must declare your food and advise customs that it is for trekking on the Kokoda Track.
We will supply you with the below snack pack and you can add and subtract as you need.
8 Muesli bars
Energy nut mix (large)
8 Days electrolyte capsules (not Gatorade/Powerade due to the high sugar content and heavy weight to carry)
2 tins of tuna
Feel free to add or substitute your snack pack to your preferences
What sort of meals do we eat during the trek?
All meals are prepared fresh by our cooks who have been trained in food hygiene and food intolerances to ensure you not only enjoy your food but it is healthy and safe to eat. At no stage do we provide ration packs or dehydrated food.
We do not require any trekkers to carry or prepare their own food, however, we will do provide you with a nutritious 8-day snack pack.
Our breakfast consists of oats, porridge, cornflakes, weetbix, pancakes, coffee, tea, milo and more...
Lunch will consist of noodles, salami, eggs, wraps, cheese, soups etc.
Dinner's range from stir fry, curries, pasta, cous cous, rice, chicken, beef stew's and other delicious healthy options that will pleasantly surprise you.
We are able to supply Gluten Free, Vegetarian and other dietary requirements on request; we do need to be advised at least 4 weeks prior to trek departure and may require a doctors certificate.
Australian Kokoda Tours has a “no alcohol/no drugs” policy while trekking the Kokoda Track.
Alcohol and drug consumption is strongly frowned upon in the Kokoda culture. We require all our trekkers to respect this. Prescribed medication from your GP is acceptable.