This unique tour gives you the opportunity to visit the hallowed ground of the Kokoda Track, without the need to join a gruelling 10-day trek. Beginning in Port Moresby, we travel to Owers’ Corner (the start of the track) by four-wheel drive. We then fly to the end of the track at Kokoda village, and explore the battlefields in the area. On November 3 we will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the recapture of Kokoda, with a ceremonial flag-raising on the same spot Australian troops raised their flag in 1942. The tour concludes with a visit to the beachhead battlefields at Buna, Gona and Sanananda. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit key sites on the Kokoda Track, and to pay your respects to the 2000 Australians who were killed or wounded in this pivotal WWII campaign.
Day 1: Key WWII sites in Port Moresby and welcome dinner
Day 2: Full day touring of Kokoda Track and Port Moresby
Day 3: Flight over Kokoda and sightseeing Kokoda Plateau
Day 4: 75th anniversary commemorative service and village of Gona
Day 5: Buna, Sanananda battlefield, and traditional ‘sing-sing’
Day 6: Port Moresby Nature Park and group farewell dinner
Day 7: Tour finishes after breakfast
Full Itinerary (Click here)
Kokoda 75th Anniversary – Without Trekking!
Day 1, 31 October Port Moresby
Welcome to this unique tour in the footsteps of the heroes of Kokoda. On arrival in Port Moresby we will be met at the airport and transferred to our central hotel. We will then tour key WWII sites in Port Moresby by air-conditioned vehicle. We begin at the foreshore, where we will see the wreck of the MV Macdhui (sunk during a Japanese air raid in June 1942), the location of the anti-aircraft guns that defended Port Moresby during the war and the PNG national War Memorial at Ela Beach. We will then visit the area where Australia’s worst aviation disaster took place at the 7-Mile Drome (when a US B-24 crashed into a convoy of Australian trucks, killing 73 men) and view the recently opened memorial to Squadron Leader John Francis Jackson DFC, whom Jackson’s International Airport is named after. We will then head to Bomana War Cemetery, the last resting place of many who fought and died in the Papuan campaigns of 1942. Bomana is also the last resting place of John French VC, who was killed in action at Milne Bay and to Bruce Kingsbury VC, who fell at Isurava. We will then return to our hotel and enjoy dinner. (L, D)
Day 2, 1 November Owers’ Corner – The Start of the Kokoda Track
This morning we board our air-conditioned 4WD for a full day of touring. We will leave Port Moresby and head towards the village of Sogeri, stopping at the spectacular Hombrum Bluff Lookout and Rouna Falls along the way. We will then travel to McDonald’s and Owers’ Corners, which represent the start of the Kokoda Track, and on location our historian will bring to life the events of 1942 as we look out over the Owen Stanley Range. We will then make our way up to Koitaki Showgrounds (the site of the infamous ‘rabbit that runs’ speech). Lunch will be served at the Koitaki Country Club as we enjoy some local hospitality. In the afternoon we will travel back down to Port Moresby and visit the National Museum and the PNG Parliament. In the evening our historian will give a presentation on the key battles fought in Papua during 1942 as we enjoy dinner at the hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 3, 2 November Port Moresby-Kokoda
This morning we will board our charter flight to Kokoda. With just over thirty minutes flying time we will see some magnificent views of the Kokoda Track as we fly almost directly above the famous trail. Landing at the village of Kokoda we will be met by many local friends before being picked up by an air-conditioned 4WD. We will visit the Kokoda Plateau to view the memorials to Australian and Japanese troops, and the Herbert Kienzle museum. Our historian will bring to life the desperate struggle by the 39th Australian Infantry Battalion who fought two battles in the vicinity at the start of the Kokoda campaign. Today marks the 75th anniversary of the day a patrol from 2/31st Battalion, the vanguard of Maroubra Force, entered Kokoda Government Station. This significant day represents the end of the Owen Stanley part of the Kokoda Campaign. The 4WD will take us on a sightseeing tour as we drive along part of the northern end of the Kokoda Track. Tonight we will stay in a basic but comfortable guest house on the Kokoda Plateau, where many a story will be told around the campfire this evening over a hearty meal. (B, L, D)
Day 4, 3 November Kokoda 75th Anniversary
On 3 November 1942, the Maroubra Force commander, General George Vasey, marked the occasion of the recapture of Kokoda with a flag-raising ceremony witnessed by 25th Brigade. Now, 75 years later, we will be at Kokoda to attend the commemorative services. After the service, we will board our air-conditioned 4WD and head north towards the coast, and the village of Gona. Along the way our historian will stop at significant places including Oivi, the Kumusi River and Awala where the first contact was made between the Papuan Infantry Battalion and the advancing Japanese. Moving through Popondetta we will have a brief stop to take on supplies and view the war memorial. Afterwards we will continue to Gona beach where we will tour the battlefield before making our way by boat to Sanananda. On arrival at Sanananda we will step ashore and enjoy a special welcome by the village chief Newman and his family. We will stay the next two nights in basic but comfortable accommodation at Sanananda. (B, L, D)
Day 5, 4 November Buna and Sanananda
This morning we will wake to the sound of waves rolling over the dark volcanic sand, and enjoy breakfast in a traditional mess hall located only a few metres from the ocean. After breakfast we will take a boat ride up to Buna. Here we will see the Buna airstrip, the scene of heavy fighting during the beachheads campaign. We will see a collection of war relics at the Buna museum and walk the same track where the famous photograph was taken of wounded Australian Private George “Dick” Whittington being aided by Papuan orderly Raphael Oimbari. We will also visit a well-preserved Japanese bunker complex before returning to Sanananda for a leisurely lunch and a swim. In the afternoon we will tour the Sanananda battlefield and, for those who would like to go for a walk, we will venture up to Huggins Roadblock, where American troops blocked the Japanese in November 1942. Tonight the local villagers will treat us to a traditional ‘sing-sing’ and we will enjoy a traditional dinner overlooking the Solomon Sea. (B, L, D)
Day 6, 5 November Return to Port Moresby
An early start this morning as we say goodbye to Sanananda and make our way by boat back to Gona. Here we will transfer to Popondetta airport for our flight back to Port Moresby. On arrival, we will check in to our hotel and enjoy lunch. In the afternoon we will visit the Port Moresby Nature Park, where we will discover a unique collection of flora and fauna from all over the world’s second largest island (the park was recently voted the best tourist attraction in PNG). In the evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner and toast all those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of Australia in the dark days of 1942. (B, L, D)
Day 7, 6 November Farewell
Sadly our tour ends this morning after breakfast. We will be transferred to the airport for our flight back to Australia. The journey may be over but the memories will last a lifetime. (B)
Your Tour Includes (Click here)
Kokoda 75th Anniversary – Without Trekking!
- Services of an expert Historian
- Extensive touring of the battlefield sites
- 3 nights’ 3-star in Port Moresby, and 3 nights’ traditional in Kokoda and Sanananda
- Airport transfers
- All excursions, scenic drives, and sightseeing as described in the itinerary
- Anniversary commemorations at Kokoda
- Breakfast daily, six lunches and six dinners
- Services of a Tour Manager, Historian, Driver and experienced Local Guides
- Travel by comfortable air-conditioned touring vehicle
- Flight from Port Moresby to Kokoda
- Flight from Popondetta to Port Moresby
- Tips to your Tour Manager, Historian and Driver
- Souvenir cap, document wallet and luggage tag
Kokoda 75th Anniversary – Without Trekking!
HOW TO BOOK: Contact our reservations team on 1300 880 340 or click enquiry button below and leave your details. Deposit is $1000 per person.
Please note. Itineraries are subject to change due to operational reasons. Any changes will be advised closer to the time of departure.
*Per person, twin share, land only. Single supplement: $833