This week’s trip report is a little different. Our member swanning_it recently flew to Papua New Guinea with a team of 8 Australians to trek the Kokoda Trail!

Walking the Kokoda Trail, the site of a famous World War II battle, is not an easy task. But it’s an area of great historical importance. Between the endless uphill and downhill sections, it’s also an enjoyable way to see some remote parts of Papua New Guinea.

swanning_it flew to Port Moresby from Cairns on Papua New Guinea’s flag carrier, Air Niugini. An upgrade to Business class was available for only $150, so upgrading was a no-brainer given the excess baggage our member was carrying.

The trip started from MEL, BNE and CNS and we all decided to fly Air Niugini (PX) as the prices are better than both QF and VA. I flew into POM from CNS onboard a PX F100 and was lucky enough to snag a J upgrade for AUD150 (as much as the excess baggage would have cost) and the others, although in Y on the 767, all agreed the meal, service and comfort on PX was pretty good.

After meeting the rest of the group in Port Moresby, the next flight was to Girua with PNG Air. From there, it was a short drive to the town of Buna where the team would meet most of their porters for the trek. But Track Master Roy had some detours planned, including a visit to the village of Dobuduru. As was often the case throughout the trip, the locals were extremely friendly and hospitable. But the welcome that the group received to this village was quite something!

The village were totally involved, from adults to pikininni’s dressed in the most stunning tapa cloth outfits, headdress, kina shells, beads and face paints. I was absolutely amazed that this display was just for us … just 8 of us! A whole village done up in the most wonderful dress, just for us! How humbling, how beautiful, how … well, PNG!

The Kokoda Track itself appears to have been a tough, but rewarding slog. It’s no walk in the park and even though the track is “only” 100 kilometres, it’s a rugged track through mountainous terrain.

Photo’s really fail to tell the full story, but I hope these at least go someway to show just how steep and dense the jungle actually can be. Not all the time, but at times, it was really thick and at other times exceptionally steep and yes, in the above pic, there is actually a track there!

Despite the challenge, the team all finished and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Then it was just a crossing of the Goldie River and the last climb up to Owers Corner and it was over! Talk about conflicting emotions!

Finished, alive and no injuries!

The trip concluded with a side trip to Goroka for the famous Goroka Show! Read swanning_it‘s incredible Kokoda Trail trip report and marvel at the photos HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]