It is highly recommended you train hard prior to trekking the Kokoda Trail to make the experience more enjoyable. Your training should include long walks, uphills and downhills – the steeper the better, or walking up and down stairs is an ideal training method. During your training, try to bring some load / backpack perhaps after the first 1-2 weeks of initial training. You should train in the shoes that you will wear for the trek to get your feet most comfortable with it. Allow for 1-3 months of training ahead of time.
We have training programs inlcuded with our information packages which all trekker’s receive at time of booking and upon receipt of trekking deposit. We have a very unique website called Fit4Treks which has been designed to help our trekkers train more effectively for the Kokoda Track.
For our Australian Guided reccommendations click here.
During the day it can be quite hot and humid. The nights get quite cold. It is recommended that you wear long sleeve shirts. You should also bring a bandana to wear around your neck, a hat or peak cap, thick socks, walking boots and gaiters. For protecting yourself against possible chafing it is a good idea to wear a pair of lycra gym shorts instead of ordinary shorts. Each night we either stay in villages or camp beside a creek with plenty of fast flowing, crystal clear mountain water. We always have the opportunity to have a good refreshing bath. After this you will want to change into a spare set of dry clothing. You must be prepared for rain it is a good idea to bring plastic bags to store spare clothing within your pack. This will ensure you always have something dry to put on.
Guides & Porters:
A personal porter can be hired for AUS$580.00 if hired prior to starting your trek. If you hire a personal porter during your trek, there is an additional charge of $100. If you are not used to carrying a heavy 12-15kg pack we strongly recommend you hire a Personal Porter. For every personal porter hired a food porter is also employed. The food porter carries your food, your personal porters food and his own food. The cost also covers 2 x airfares back to Kokoda; wages, food and accommodation in Port Moresby before they return home, airfares, first aid and so on.
Remember the Kokoda Trail is either up or down, not too many flat spots. It can be hot, humid and muddy. We are on the trail to have fun and its no fun slogging it out with a huge pack on your back unable to enjoy the scenery and take in the atmosphere. If you struggle and end up hiring a porter on the track, payment has to be paid to us at the end of your trek or debited to your credit card. We are responsible for all porters until they arrive back home from their trek.
As part of your trek cost, group porters are hired to carry our food and cooking equipment. They will help us set up camp in the evenings, boil the billy for those cups of tea that we are always craving and help prepare our meals.
You will need a light sleeping bag for although it is quite hot and humid during the day it can be very chilly at night. If you have a good set of thermal underwear, a self-inflating sleeping mat, and a sleeping bag you will enjoy a deep, comfortable sleep each night.
There is the opportunity to stay at village guesthouse accommodation. For the other locations you will need a tent. You also need a plate, canteen/cup and eating utensils. We provide all cooking pots.
Back packing equipment for camping can be purchased, hired from outdoor shops or borrowed. One of the most important items is a good backpack. One that can be adjusted so approximately two-thirds of the weight will sit on your hips and one-third on your shoulders. Ensure the belt is well padded to avoid chafing.
First aid kit which contains antibiotics, anti â€“ diarrhea medicine, anti – malaria tablets, aspirin, anti – inflammatory tablets, Panadeine forte, antiseptic, sticking plaster, elastic bandages, Staminade drink, sunscreen ointment, insect repellent
Oral Electrolyte – it is highly recommended to bring enough of these to be taken daily, before you get dehydrated. Dehydration can be caused by diarrhea or sweating. In emergency this can be substituted with drinking boiled water plus a bit of salt and one teaspoon of sugar.
Suggested Items to bring with you:
- One rimmed Hat or Peak Cap (protection against rain and/or sun)
- Two quick dry shirts
- One thermal top (Optional – only used at a few camp sites)
- One thermal long pants (Optional – only used at a few camp sites)
- One or two man tent – (The lighter the better)
- Tarpaulin ground sheet to lay tent on in case of rain
- One pair of bush walking boots (with good grip)
- One pair of sneakers (for walking through rivers and creeks)
- One pair of crocs, sandles or thongs (for day’s end)
- Two towels (the chamois sports towels you can buy from camping stores are ideal. One small one for your day pack to dry your feet)
- One 60-70 litre back pack
- One light sleeping bag (5 degress)
- Pack Covers for when it rains. (remember your day pack needs one as well if you are using a personal porter)
- Camel pack (at least 2 litre capacity for water)
- 2 smaller water bottles to mix an energy drink or oral electrolyte
- One pair of gaiters (lawn mowing type from bunnings are ideal)
- One bandana (Optional)
- Four pair of thick socks
- One pair of thin socks (Optional)
- Two sets of underwear
- One poncho style rain jacket. The really cheap plastic ones. (Optional)
- One pair of lycra gym shorts. (Optional)
- One day pack (Only required if you are using a personal porter)
- One sleeping mat/thermarest
- Mosquito Net (if not sleeping in your tent and using guest houses instead)
- Sunglasses (optional as really do not see much sun)
- Head light & spare batteries or small torch
- Zip-lock plastic bags for packing wet or dry clothes, camera, etc.
- Plastic black garbage bags to separate your clothing. (wet, socks, towel, clothes, last days clothes)
- Camera/film, diary, toothbrush/paste, toilet paper, soap, small towel etc
- Extra bag for leaving gear in Port Moresby while on the trek.
- We suggest you make up 6-8 days of small packs of trail mix or whatever you would like to nibble on during the day.
- Toilet paper – in a resealable plastic zip-lock bag. Wet loo paper isn’t fun!
- 1 pair swimmers for washing in the rivers – nothing too revealing
- 1 sarong for women to wrap around after washing
For our Australian Guided reccommendations click here.
One of our ex trekkers took the time to post his thoughts, perhaps you might like to take the time to view what worked for him. If you are interested please go to our forum area, ‘Preparing for Kokoda – the Average Joe’, by Dan Towler
We carry a first aid kit for our guide and porters, however you are expected to bring with you your own first aid kit. Remember common sense prevails. Do not bring with you a box of bandaids for example that would cater for the whole group of trekkers instead of just yourself with maybe a few extra.
The major area of concern is your feet. Ensure you have a comfortable pair of walking boots and good thick socks (bring one pair of thin socks as they can be worn with the thick ones to prevent blisters). Each night you will have the opportunity to thoroughly wash and dry your feet. It is then a good idea to give them a liberal covering of tinea of anti fungal powder to dry them out during the night. Next morning it is advisable to give them a liberal coating of Vaseline. We recommend tea tree antiseptic oil or cream to treat any minor scratches or bites you might have.
The best protection against malaria is to avoid being bitten. Mosquitoes are not a major problem on the Kokoda Track because of the altitude. Nevertheless they are about. We therefore advise you to wear long sleeved shirts and apply ‘Rid’ mosquito repellent to any exposed areas of skin whenever you stop and rest.
Blisters should not be a problem if you have good boots and have broken them in properly. Even so it is a wise precaution to have a blister kit with you. The Spenko blister kit contains a soothing ‘second skin’ and is highly recommended.
We recommend you bring the following in your personal first-aid kit:
- Anti malarial tablets (as prescribed by your doctor)
- Antihistamine (such as Benadryl)-useful as a decongestant for colds, allergies, or ease the itch from insect bites or stings.
- Antiseptic – mercurochrome and antibiotic powder/tea tree antiseptic cream/oil – for cuts and scratches
- Calamine lotion – to ease irritation from bites or stings.
- Kailin preparation (Pepto Bismol), imodium or Lomotil – for stomach upsets
- Rehydration mixture – for dehydration, especially that caused by sever diarrhoea
- Vaseline and Intensive Care Cream
- Tropical Strength Aero guard or Rid Mosquito repellent (no aerosol cans please)
- Two Senko Blister Packs. Two rolls of broad elastic bandage and six safety pins
- Medicated powder
- Panadol or Aspirin
- One roll of Elastoplast
- Sun block/lip balm
- One jar of Staminade
- One packet of glucose tablets
- Water purification tablets
It is a good idea to carry some pocket money during the trek, perhaps around 100-150 Kina – in small notes of K5’s and 10’s. The local villagers often offer you to buy their fruit and produce which you might like to have for lunch or dinner during the trek.
Tips for Personal Porters and Food Porters
Tipping porters is optional, but we find that the majority of our clients generally feel obliged to give a tip at the end of the trek. Usually a personal porter is tipped around K100.00 and a tip is given to the group as a whole contributed by all the trekkers in the group. The group tip is discussed by the trekking group at the end of the trek as it depends on the performance.
At the end of each trek the trekkers, guides and porters usually celebrate the end of a successful trek. If you end your trek in Kokoda, you will need to allow for beer and any other food purchased that is not included in your trek package. It is normal for trekkers to shout the portes beer and sometimes pizza at the end of the trek. A carton of beer typically costs K160.00 while a 12″ pizza costs K45.00. There are no ATM’s in Kokoda, so take more rather than less. You can always take the excess home. Australian currency can sometimes be converted in Kokoda, but should not be totally relied on.
Personal Favorite Snacks
If you have favorite snacks you’d like to have during the trek, such as snack or fruit bars, please bring them along. You may do some shopping at the supermarket in Port Moresby prior to your trek, if you arrive 1-2 days ahead of the schedule. Please note that as part of your trek package, you will also be provided with some snacks as well as meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Prospective trekkers should have a medical checkup to verify that their health is satisfactory for this strenuous walk and provide proof of their own travel and medical insurance cover. A Kokoda Trekking medical form is included in your information package.
Covermore is Kokoda Trekking’s recommended Travel Insurance company for walking Kokoda.
Tourist Visa Application:
All tourist’s to PNG are required to obtain a tourist visa for entry to Papua New Guinea. If you are a citizen of some countries you may need to apply prior to arrival can obtain on arrival but it is best to check with PNG Consulates in your country to avoid not being allowed entry to Papua New Guinea.
As of the 14th July, 2016 Australian passport holders can now secure a 30 day, free tourist visa on arrival in Papua New Guinea.
The Visa Form is located within your information packages. I’ve included Australian Consulate details below for contact in relation to obtaining your Visa locally or as mentioned please contact a PNG Consulate in your country of residence.
PNG High Commission
39-41 Forster Crescent,
Yarralumla ACT 2602
P.O BOX E6317 Kingston ACT 2604
Ph: 612 62 733 322
Fax: 612 62 733 732
Brisbane – Queensland (QLD)
Level 3, 344 Queens Street
Brisbane QLD 4001
GPO Box 220, BRISBANE
Ph: 617 3221 7915/8067
Fax: 617 3229 6084/617 3221 7916
Sydney – New South Wales (NSW)
PNG Consulate General
Level 2, 222 Clarence Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
P O Box A2273
Sydney South, NSW 123
Ph: (02) 92839020/(02) 92832070
Fax: (02) 92835424
For people interested in the challenge of the Kokoda Track, it is suggested they obtain a copy of Clive Baker’s book “KOKODA TRAIL TREK”, available from Australian Military History Publications, 13 Veronica Place, Loftus, NSW 2232, Australia, phone (02) 9542 6771, fax (02) 9542 6787
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. This book is a good travel companion and a memento of your trip