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Remembering the ANZACs on Kokoda

April 21, 2020 Tour Operator No Comments
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The Kokoda Trail has been a place of pilgrimage for Australians, and others, for many decades. It is a place of ANZAC reverence and of personal challenge. While we may not be able to celebrate ANZAC day this year like we normally do, we can certainly remember those who fought and sacrificed so much.

South Sea Horizons has been leading groups along the Kokoda Track since 2008 with an exceptional trek completion rate of 99%. Once borders open and travel resumes, South Sea Horizons will be ready to take travellers to Papua New Guinea to experience the Kokoda Trail.

The Kokoda track is one of the many walking tracks in Papua New Guinea that existed long before the Europeans discovered this part of the world. It was used for trade and cultural interaction between tribes and is still used for these purposes to this day. During the course of World War II, the Japanese decided to use this trail as means of ground attack against the Australians in Port Moresby. The idea was to take Port Moresby and use it as a base from which to stage a direct assault on Australia.

One end of the track lies in the north of the country at a village called Kokoda. It winds up and down over the rugged Owen Stanley ranges and finishes in the south at Ower’s Corner nearby Port Moresby. Both Kokoda and the Northern coastal plains were the scene of violent close contact jungle warfare as the Australians retreated in the face of the Japanese onslaught. The Japanese were finally stopped at Imita Gap as they had extended their supply lines too far in the rugged terrain and began to die of starvation. The Australians then chased them all the way back to the northern coastline.

Today the remains of the war lie strewn in the jungle and the track has reverted to quiet solitude, disturbed only by occasional trekking group. There are several villages along its length inhabited by peace-loving, hospitable locals. These are the descendants of the people who became known during the war as the ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels’ because of their selflessness in helping wounded Australian soldiers.

Papua New Guinea owned and operated, South Sea Horizons practise responsible-tourism that gives back to the communities they interact with. They only employ local Papua New Guineans as porters, historians and cooks. The local porters used while trekking include direct descendants of the last remaining ‘Fuzzy-Wuzzy-Angels’.

Keep the ANZAC spirit alive and register your interest to embark on a South Sea Horizons Kokoda Expedition. Email tours@southseahorizons.com or to find out more, visit www.southseahorizons.com/.

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