Grounded Adventures

YOUR ONE WAY TRIP TO KOKODA

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Visiting Oro province without sighting any part of the iconic Kokoda Trail would be an awkward travel tale to bring home.

The town of Kokoda is about a two-hour drive from Popondetta or short flight from Port Moresby. You’ll find a number of guesthouses, guides and information on the famous 96km track. Do a day trek from Kokoda to Deniki and back, where you’ll enjoy stunning views over Kokoda valley (6 hours return) or cross the backbone of Papua New Guinea through remote rugged country all the way to Owers Corner, 50km from Port Moresby.

The challenging trail reaches 2,190m and commemorates some remarkable historical sites from the battles of WWII. It is hot and humid in the day and intensely cold at night. Depending on fitness and conditions, the trail takes 5 to 10 days. You will require a permit from the Kokoda Track Authority. We highly advise using a guide and trekking in a group.

Most war sites and war relics are scattered around Popondetta, Buna and Gona on the coast. If you’d like to visit, we recommend taking a guide along to show you the highlights. More information is available at the Oro Guesthouse or the Kokoda Trail tour operators.

Another lesser-known trek is the Mount Lamington volcano (1585m), which erupted devastatingly in 1950, killing 3000 people and destroying much of the natural habitat for the Queen Alexandria birdwing butterfly. The starting point to this trek is at Sasembatta Mission, a short way off the Kokoda Road. It’s a hot two-day walk to reach the peak, but the views are superb. Be sure to get permission and guides from one of the nearby villages. The Tufi area also boasts many walks around the rias and operators allow for visitors to be picked up or dropped off by boat and can organise a guide. Mount Trafalgar (1644m) is a testing overnight hike. The high plateau around the tiny town of Afore has good walks, including a spectacular trek down a very deep, steep bat cave.