James's Story

The Kokoda Track…awesome physical challenge, amazing cultural experience, important historical pilgrimage. I’ve travelled a lot, and there is NOTHING like the Kokoda Track. You have probably heard how difficult the Kokoda Track is, but you may not have heard about how beautiful it is as well. There are definitely lots of muddy uphills and downhills, but there are also sweeping panoramas, vibrant jungle environments, diverse villages and pristine river crossings. You will also be surrounded by the history of the soldiers who fought and died here, including hearing their stories, visiting the battlesites and seeing relics in situ. Plus the modern story of the track is just as compelling, learning about the Papuans who live on the track today and building friendships with the local porters.

I went with Shane Goodwin at Escape Trekking Adventures, and it turned out to be a really good decision. Here’s why:
• The itinerary was perfect, with a few easier days at the start to allow your body to adapt, the longer days in the middle once you have your trekking legs, and then easier days at the end to savour the last days on the Track
• High quality military history that was engaging, detailed and respectful, that included visiting all important historical sites. The Dawn Service was also a real highlight of the trip
• Shane wants to give you every chance to succeed, going at an achievable pace and with a keen eye on how everyone is progressing
• Awesome food that tastes great and lots of variety, plus I’m gluten free and Shane did a great job accommodating that
• Safety is a big priority, from major things like taking a different route to avoid a landslide affected area, to small things like letting us take off boots our boots before crossing rivers so we could keep our boots dry and feet blister free
• Shane deeply cares about the local culture, including speaking Tok Pisin and coordinating charitable projects in PNG
• Escape Trekking Adventures provides you with a two-man tent each, so you’ve got space to relax at the end of the day, and a big backpack for you or your porter so you don’t need to buy your own
• Our itinerary allowed us to visit the Beachheads at the start of the tour, which is strongly recommend, since it’s an important part of the campaign history, lets you acclimatise to humidity and shows you a different part of PNG
• Shane is personally contactable in the lead up to the trek, so you can ask him any questions directly
• The porters are great guys and a personal porter is strongly recommended, since not only does it reduce the weight you need to carry, but they give you a firm pull when you look like you’re starting to slip over
• Shane is also just a top bloke; with a calm and reassuring personality and hilarious campsite stories

Overall, I strongly recommend Escape Trekking Adventures! And best of luck on your own Kokoda Track adventure!

OCT 2016