Luke's Story

On the 16th of September, I along with 11 other students and 3 teachers, journeyed to Papua New Guinea to undertake the Kokoda Trail, a task in which we would struggle, overcome adversity, conquer nature and remember our history in what would be a truly memorable and life changing experience.

Some background info. This is the second year in a row students have had this opportunity through the support of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Our story…

For 8 days we walked up the steep, muddy single file track that passed over and through the Owen Stanley mountain range (highest elevation 2189m). We walked for about 7-9 hours every day with a brief 1 hour stop for lunch. We made camp every night at various different villages along the track. We were met with fantastic views, amazing rivers and incredibly happy and fun villagers. We spent the nights relaxing, playing with the village kids and talking about our grand adventure. One morning at Isurava, we awoke at 4am for a dawn service at the Isurava Battle Site memorial. Reading out the names of the fallen soldiers is an experience that I will remember and treasure forever, the next 8 hours walking not so much. The final day ended with a tough 45 minute push up the last hill to the bus that would take us back to the world we knew. We had made great friends with the local villagers and our beloved porters and saying goodbye to PNG was a sad occasion, but at the same time, we were eagerly awaiting the world we knew. Overall, the knowledge and connection that I now have with the WWII Kokoda campaign is unforgettable and indescribable. Finally, the Kokoda trip was an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone fit enough and bold enough to undertake this colossal journey and experience.

SEP 2016