PAPUA NEW GUINEA 2013

Oro Province
Kokoda

The Kokoda Trail is a series of narrow paths that run from Kokoda, in Oro Province, to Ower's Corner in Central Province. During World War Two the Imperial Japanese Forces tried to reach Port Moresby via the Kokoda Trail. Had they succeeded they could have taken Port Moresby and threatened Australia with invasion. They were prevented by a small force of Australian soldiers who fought them to a standstill and then into retreat back to Kokoda. This was one of the most epic and drawn out jungle battles of WWII and it is told in detail in A Bastard of a Place by Peter Brune.There is also a movie, Kokoda, about a small group of Aussies during the conflict. Today the Kokoda Trail is a popular, if extreme, walking challenge for trekkers. It takes about four-days to walk the trail through very rugged and difficult terrain, but today nobody is shooting at you!

On our second visit to Mamba we made good time. I had expressed an interest in visiting Kokoda to see the war memorials so we made a side journey there. I feel very strongly that people should visit the memorials out of respect to to those who gave their lives in the pursuit of freedom. Our lives could be very different without their sacrifices.

 

The symbolic Kokoda end of the Kokoda Trail The Kododa Memorial Hospital is paid for by trekkers who stay in its huest accommodation
The MacDonald Corner end of the Kokoda Trail photographed in 1992

And finally a sign over the Kokoda Court House that demonstrates that war still continues near the Kokoda Trail.

An amusing Kokoda court house sign
War memorials at Kokoda
Mark at the Kokoda war memorial (l-r) Hayward, ben and Eddie at the war memorial
War memorial plaque

There is also an interesting Kokoda Museum with numerous photographs from the battle for the trail and assorted military artifacts collected along its length.

Kokoda Museum
Statue featuring a Papuan known as a "Black Angel" aka "Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel",
helping a wounded Australian soldier down the Kokoda Trail

After visting Kokoda we continued on to Mamba Estates.