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Old 26-10-2002, 05:48 PM
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Brisbane lawyer, Amelia, gets a helping hand from her porter Paul while crossing a creek at Hoi village:
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  #32  
Old 26-10-2002, 05:50 PM
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Australian-trekkers-at-Nauro :
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Old 26-10-2002, 05:52 PM
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Children of Efogi :
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Old 26-10-2002, 05:53 PM
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Steepness of the hills on the Kokoda Trail :
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Old 26-10-2002, 05:55 PM
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Isurava Monument - Kokoda trail :
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Old 26-10-2002, 05:57 PM
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Kokoda Airport :
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Old 26-10-2002, 06:00 PM
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Menari Village -Kokoda :
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Old 11-01-2003, 02:51 PM
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Memorial at Kokoda :
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Old 12-04-2003, 09:09 PM
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Kokoda Trail - Story by Philip Rehder

The following article appeared in the Paradise in flight with Air Niugini Magazine No 156 March - April, 2003.

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Kokoda Trail - Story by Philip Rehder, Photographs by Peter Savage :

Gradually men dropped out utterly exhausted -just couldn’t go on. You'd come to a group of men and say 'Come on! We must go on. ' But it was physically impossible to move. Many were lying down and had been sick... many made several trips up the last slope helping others.

An officer of an Australian unit who fought on the Kokoda Trail recorded what happened when his unit made an ascent at one of the many extremely difficult ridges across the Owen Stanley Range. That was during a defence by Australian troops to prevent the vigorous Japanese army's movement towards Port Moresby after they had captured Kokoda in July 1942.

Fifty-eight years later, a small group of us numbering seven from Sydney, Port Moresby and Goroka made the same journey across the infamous Kokoda Trail- the first group to do so in the new. millennium.

It had been our goal to experience the challenges the trail offered - minus the hardships of the war. The trail was originally a link from the north to the south coast and was first used by miners struggling north to the Yoda Kokoda gold fields of the l890s. But it was the war which made it famous.

We all came together at Port Moresby two days before the walk to ensure all supplies and material were included and checked. Good preparation was essential.

Due to availability of a wider range of products there, the Sydney lads had brought up the food rations and the important first aid kit. We did not plan to travel with a local guide, so expedition co- ordinator and second time walker, Joe Holloway thoroughly briefed us on the important points of the walk, such as safety, necessary supplies only, proposed camp sites and overall map information.

The Police and National Emergency and Disaster Office were notified of the walk including departure and estimated arrival times.

Enthusiasm was evidently high when everyone woke very early on Wednesday morning. Joe revealed he didn't get much sleep. Perhaps he knew something we didn't.
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Old 12-04-2003, 09:13 PM
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We weighed our backpacks in at MBA [now Airlines of PNG] and unlike the 25 to 30 kilogram of food, ammunition and other equipment a soldier carried, our heaviest bag weighed 18 kilograms.

A Twin Otter took us on a scenic flight via Woitape and Yongai in the Koiari hinterland. Staring down at the forbidden mist shrouded mountain ranges below, I quietly wondered how we would manage.

The breathtaking landing and take-off at Yongai airstrip raised a few hairs before our foot journey began when we touched down at Kokoda.
Kokoda Station has several large war monuments at the Memorial Park with brief epics of the war and a trail inscription showing names of places and villages where the most significant battles were fought.

After signing the register book, we headed along a track towards the first peak in front of us, strolling through gardens and open grassland. At this early stage we realised it was going to be a hard haul, but were prepared physically and mentally. Before leaving we had many ale bets for the first and most falls, and the PNG boys were relieved when a Sydneysider became the first victim who would have to spend his money upon our return.

Day one was short due to flying time from Port Moresby and the climbs were not as long and steep as some other parts of the track, but it provided a foretaste of what was to come. As expected, the rain came in around mid-afternoon and we were pleased to arrive at the misty Isurava village for our first camp. Isurava was the sight where perhaps the most ferocious fighting took place on the trail. Withdrawing Australian troops were on their last legs when the Japanese launched a major attack on 26 August 1942.

At Isurava the Japanese were throwing everything they had at the Australians who had dug in to hold off the Japanese onslaught. The battle of Isurava was a David and Goliath story. On the fourth day of the battle General Horii decided upon a final massive attack on Australian positions.

From sunrise to sunset the Japanese attacked in overwhelming numbers. 10 Platoon (about 32 men) 2/14 Battalion commanded by Lieutenant Harold 'Butch' Bisset fought off eleven separate attacks. Afterwards over 200 enemy dead were counted in front of 10 Platoon's position.
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