Trekking on the Kokoda Track is a challenging experience both physically and emotionally.
During your Kokoda, Papua New Guinea experience, you will set new boundaries, gain a greater understanding of yourself, and others, and join a select group of individuals who have achieved something special in a world, where these challenges are quickly disappearing.
To help prepare for your trek, the Kokoda Track Pre-Departure Information Guide is a comprehensive guide to help you trek safely and responsibly while enjoying the Track's natural beauty, its wartime history and its cultural values.
Choosing the right group to travel with is an important decision, as you will be relying on them to guide you through the preparation, the experience and safety procedures.
The Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) strongly recommends you do your homework well, as this is a big investment in time, effort, commitment and money. Every visitor to the Kokoda Track will need a Trek Permit.
Trekking on the Kokoda Track must be undertaken with a licenced tour operator. The KTA does not encourage trekkers to walk without a tour operator, due to safety concerns. Solo travelers also bring little benefit to the local communities. All trekkers must carry comprehensive medical and travel insurance.
The KTA does not recommend any tour operator over another, as all operators guarantee to satisfy the minimum standards dictated by the Commercial Operations Licence.
Many tour companies have websites where you can start your research, while other companies rely on word of mouth and brochures.
The effects of Covid-19 on the Trekking Industry has caused most operator licenses to expire. A list of Licensed Tour Operators will be available shortly.
Issues To Consider When Choosing A Tour Operator:
- Does The Company Hold A Current Commercial Operations Licence?
- Without a licence they are operating illegally and the trek will be stopped on the track.
- Do you want a higher standard – adherence to the “Kokoda Code of Conduct” and a variety of accreditation programs?
- What Experience Are You Seeking?
- Most operators will focus on a particular aspect or experience for example:
- Military, cultural, or natural heritage.
- Guesthouse accommodation or camping.
- Carrying your own pack or use a porter?
- Speed and route of trek.
- Tour Operators often use different combinations of sections of the lattice work of tracks joining Owers Corner and Kokoda
- Different companies trek at different speeds (number of days)
- Group size
- Operators are required to advertise the maximum group size .
- Skill, experience, training and background of guides and tour leaders.
- What Are You Willing To Pay?
- There is often a close relationship between what you pay and the service you are offered. Check what is included in a price (and what is not)
- What level of service and backup do you require.
- What support do you need to prepare for the trek?
- Normally people will train for a minimum of three months (if you are already reasonably fit) before departing on the trek. Most train for a minimum of six months and often longer.
- Some tour operators supply support and training programs.
- Short Day | Overnight Trekking options?
- KTA welcomes and encourages anyone interested to take the opportunity to experience short day treks on The Kokoda Track. Short trekking options are a possibility with a local tour guide, starting at Owers Corner at the southern end of the track, leading to the farthest point at Ua'ule Creek. Overnight stays are available upon request. Short trekking offers up to four destinations depending on the time you have available. Click on the link to the Short Day Trek Checklist for more information.