About the Kokoda Campaign

In 1942, WWII was on Australia’s doorstep for the very first time with the Japanese invasion of Rabaul in Papua New Guinea. With most of our forces tied up in the Middle East, a group of young, inexperienced militia soldiers were tasked with intercepting the Japanese before they took Port Moresby from the north.

They were mostly teenagers – they were outnumbered, undertrained and ill-equipped. Victory looked unlikely if not for the courage of the Diggers and their indispensable alliance with PNG nationals, fondly named the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels. Over four arduous months, the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels helped secure an Australian victory by forming a human supply chain along the Kokoda Track, moving food, ammunition and wounded soldiers to and from the front line.

By January 22nd 1943, the Diggers had successfully warded off the advance, with less than 10% of the 14,000 strong

Japanese force returning to their homeland. 2,165 Diggers died honourably, and 3,533 were wounded in battle.

Since then, Kokoda has resonated with many Australians, and to replicate the Diggers’ journey has become an essential rite of passage.

The trek is physically, mentally and spiritually tough. It remains a powerful reminder of Australia’s and PNG’s shared history, teaching Australians young and old the true meaning of courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice. Importantly, it reaffirms our responsibility to the descendants of the PNG nationals who played such a crucial role in the Kokoda Campaign.

If you’re ready to trek in the footsteps of our Diggers, see our page of trusted Kokoda Tour Operators who offer the highest quality Kokoda trek experiences.

About-Map-correct

KOKODA 1942 LIVE

@Kokoda1942LIVE is the brainchild of historian Patrick Lindsay where the events of the Kokoda campaign unfold in “real-time” via Twitter, as if it were 1942.

Patrick believes the retelling of the story via Twitter brings an accessible retelling of the history of the campaign to a younger audience.

Patrick hopes that younger generations who don’t learn in a linear way will dip in and out of the Twitter feed, learning about the events which occurred on the Kokoda trail in a more effective way.