Kokoda 75th anniversary tour (NON TREKKING)

Join historian David Howell on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the retaking of Kokoda by Australian forces. Through a unique blend of adventure, master story telling and living history, David will bring to life the events of the Kokoda campaign as he accompanies you on this once in a lifetime pilgrimage.

This tour will see you attend the official retaking of Kokoda ceremony at the Kokoda Plateau for the 75th anniversary.   In addition other key battlefields of the Kokoda campaign will be visited. These areas include Port Moresby, Owers’ & McDonalds Corners, Sogeri, Koitaki Showgrounds, Kokoda Station (village) and visiting the Northern Beachheads of Buna, Gona and Sanananda.

Be a part of the 75th Kokoda commemorations as we remember those who gave their tomorrow for our today. 

ITINERARY

Day 1- 31 October 2017

On arrival in Port Moresby we will transfer to the Holiday Inn. After we settle in to our rooms an air-conditioned 4WD will pick our group up. We will then visit the foreshore of Port Moresby, stopping to view the wreck of the M.V. Macdhui, the location of the anti-aircraft guns that defended Port Moresby 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 drone and view the recently opened memorial to Squadron Leader John Francis Jackson, D.F.C. 75 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force 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 the 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 for our evening meal.(D)

Day 2- 1 November 2017
After a buffet breakfast, we will muster in the main foyer before boarding our air-conditioned 4WD. We will then start heading towards Sogeri stopping at Hombrom Bluff & Rouna Falls along the way. McDonald’s and Owers’ Corners represent the start of the Kokoda Track, and on location your 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 show grounds (the site of the infamous rabbit that runs speech). Lunch will be served at the Koitaki country club as we enjoy some local hospitality. After lunch, we will travel back down to Port Moresby and visit the National Museum and the PNG Parliament. In the evening your historian will give a presentation on the key battles fought in Papua during 1942 as we all enjoy dinner at the hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 3- 2 November 2017
Early breakfast at the hotel before we 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 Kokoda we will be met by many friends before being picked up by a air-conditioned 4WD. We will visit the Kokoda Plateau to view the memorials and the Herbert Kienzle museum. Your historian will bring to life the desperate struggle by the 39 Australian Infantry Battalion who fought two battles in the vicinity at the start of the Kokoda campaign. We will also be at Kokoda seventy-five years to the day when a patrol from 2/31st Battalion, the vanguard of Maroubra Force, entered Kokoda Government Station. This significant day represent 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. We will stay at a 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 2017
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 seventy-five years later we will be at Kokoda to attend the official commemorative service. After the service, we will board our air-conditioned 4WD and head north towards Gona. Along the way your 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 the drive 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 as we have a special welcome by the village chief Newman and his family. We will stay the next two nights at Sanananda.

Day 5- 4 November 2017
Awakening to the sound of waves rolling over the dark volcanic sand, breakfast will be served in the mess hall located only a few meters from the ocean. This morning we will take a boat ride up to Buna. Here we will see the Buna airstrip, the scene of much fighting during the Second World War. We will see many war relics at the Buna museum and walk along the same area as George "Dick" Whittington, aided by Papuan orderly Raphael Oimbari was photographed. We will also visit the well preserved Japanese bunker complex before returning to Sanananda for a leisurely lunch and 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. Tonight, we will be treated to a traditional sing sing and eat our meal overlooking the Solomon Sea.
(B, L, D)

Day 6- 5 November 2017
Up early this morning as we say goodbye to Sanananda and make our way by boat back to Gona. Here we will transfer to Popondetta air-port and make our way back to Port Moresby. On arrival, we will return to the Holiday Inn where we will have lunch. After lunch, we will board the 4WD to the Port Moresby Nature Park, here you will discover a unique collection (voted best tourist attraction in PNG) of flora and fauna from all over the world’s second largest island. In the evening, we will have our final group get together and toast all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defence of Australia in the dark days of 1942. (B, L, D)

Day 7- 6 November 2017
Today we will say goodbye to Milne Bay and return to Port Moresby for our return flight to Australia. (B).

Inclusions
  • Kokoda Historian David Howell
  • Experienced Local Guides
  • Charter airfare Port Moresby to Kokoda and Scheduled flight Port Moresby to Popondetta
  • 3 nights twin-share hotel accommodation at Port Moresby
  • 3 nights at Kokoda guest house 
  • 2 nights twin share guest house accommodation in Sanananda
  • Transfers to all sites including Bomana, Owers Corner and Kokoda
  • Transfers from all airports
  • Communications and safety equipment inc. Satellite phone
  • Public liability insurance
  • All tips included
  • Souvenir cap and luggage tag
Exclusions
  • International return airfare (we can arrange)
  • International phone calls and extra purchased of drinks
  • Additional fresh local fruit and vegetables can be purchased along the way.
  • Entry Visa to Papua New Guinea (Free)
Optional Extras


  • Single room supplement 


Price

$4397 ex Port Moresby

7 day tour


Dates

31 Oct-6 Nov 2017