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Which Tour Operator?


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#1 Yvie

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 12:10 PM

I want to trek the Kokoda Track next year and finding it hard to compare tour operators. Any suggestions for operators? I prefer not to have to bring my own camping gear. Not sure if this is the right forum to ask this as it is owned by a tour operator. Does anyone know of any other Kokoda Track forums where these types of questions may be more appropriate?

#2 Saloo8

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 02:25 PM

Having trekked with Kokoda Trekking (who own this forum) I can highly recommend them as an operator.  The guides and porters are excellent and very professional without being "touristy", for lack of a better word.  You get a fascinating insight into PNG and it's culture as well as into the history of Kokoda, particularly the battles that took place on the track in WW2.

As for gear, you could contact Gail or Nathan directly and inquire about having it supplied or you could look at hiring the gear you need yourself.  I'm not sure where you are based Yvie, but if you are in the Melbourne area, I can recommend a gear hire company or two.


#3 Waza

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 09:05 PM

Hello Yvie

I can only endorse what Saloo8 has said in regard to KTL, I have trekked with them before and am returning for another go in April/May next year and looking forward to it. They are a wonderful Company, owned by equally wonderful people. People who do so much for the people of the Kokoda and surrounding areas. They have put so much back into the Community.

With specific regard to gear, I really purchased very little gear as very little was required. I purchased a 75l Back pack off ebay, a Hydration Pack (an essential item) off ebay, an inflatible mat off ebay, a small sleeping bag, tent & insulated mat for under $35.

They were more than adequate for my needs and I gladly gave most of them to my wonderful Porter Maurice for the sensational job he did over 8 days.

Engage in a question and answer session with Gail and read as much as you can about previous Treks here online and I'm sure you will be impressed with what they offer.

When are you trekking next year?

best regards

Waza (Trek 83)

#4 Yvie

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 04:29 PM

Thanks for the information Waza and Saloo8. I live on the Gold Coast and I am planning to do the track next year in July/August.

#5 peterh13

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 05:16 AM

Hello Yvie.

My wife and I trekked Kokoda with Gails company and found them to be excellent in every way. The best thing was that the guides and porters made you feel so relaxed and confident which is very important when you are in a jungle 100's of miles from home.
Prepare for the worst and dare the good Lord to dissapoint you.

Non semper erit aestas.

#6 jennym

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 03:13 PM

Hi Yvie
I hav just joined this forum for the exact same question as you. Have been googling different tours and e.mailed one company who has not got back to me.

I am looking at Aug/sept 2012 and will be doing it on my own as no one else in my crowd is keen, so would love to swap any info and ideas with others.

I am 50 so would appreciate any feedback from others whos mind is keen but bit worried about the knees. (lol)

Regards Jenny

#7 Boss Meri

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 11:54 AM

Jenny, do not let age bother you.  Just look at the photograph of the lady below who from memory I think she told me just turned 60.  She had a ball and yesterday during my drive around with her, she talked non stop and was just so excited about her experience.  She had married young, raised children and never travelled.  Her son walked with us a few years back and told her he thought she could do it.  Her children jointly paid for her trek and I think the smile says it all!

As for which tour company naturally I represent Kokoda Trekking so hope you will choose us, but which ever company you end up walking with, we trust you will have a great time.

Heather walked with two trekkers from WA who are retired from the workforce.  One guy struggled as he injured his ankle but he completed his trek along with a young lawyer aged 28.

All four combined well together and bonded as a team.

As for trekking companies the top companies like ourselves offer different experiences.  For us we want our trekkers to experience a personal challenge; learn about the history but just as important, we want them to talk and mix with our PNG staff, learn about their culture, their families etc to give you a feel that you have in fact walked in PNG and in their backyard that they call home.

Heather remarked yesterday that some of the boys had their families come to Orohaven to meet them with their children and that too was a special way to finish their trek.  In fact the highlight for me listening to them was just how much they respected the people who walked with them and how they cared for them, every inch of the way.

Heather informed me yesterday that often prior to her trek she would read through our forum to help her prepare for her trek so perhaps one day she might end up posting a comment to this thread.

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#8 jennym

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 02:27 PM

thankyou so much 4 your reply Boss Meri
I am def impressed with ur website and the fact that u have replied. I am madly taking notes and please dont laugh but am already adding a 6 kilo water bag in a backpack (much 2 my daughters embaressment) when I do my daily walks. I much appreciate the info on the other lady and hopefully she will join the forum so that i can talk with her

#9 Boss Meri

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 06:22 PM

Hi again, you reminded me of one thing Heather mentioned yesterday.  In training she apparently added some extra weight but when she came to walk forgot that she had to add 1kg extra to cover for her daily ration pack.  Of course she could have asked her personal porter to carry on her behalf but it seems she wanted to carry this herself.

I am not too sure if Heather has registered or just reads the forum as does a lot of people.  However, her daughter can be sent a private message who has registered as:  Tori.702

#10 Waza

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 08:27 PM

Hello Jenny and also Yvie

Don't worry too much about age Jenny, if you have prepared, then you will manage the daily walk. Yes, it can be tough at times, but you just stop and take a breather, no one will mind, least of all the Guides and Porters and once you get your breath back, just start walking again, every step forward is a step closer to your goal.

I just started training again for my April Trek and I'll be 67 by then, but I know that by day 3 or so, my 'climbing' legs will be working well and all my preparation on my local 'hill climb' will have been worth it. I was apprehensive when I did my first Trek in 2005 and the first day from Kokoda to the Isurava Battle Site was almost a killer, but with more than a few stops and plenty of encouragement I got there and was given a hot cup of soup (from a rival Trekking Company Operator whom I met at Brisbane Airport), so as I said, plenty of training on hills and you will be rewarded with an experience of a life-time.

I spoke with Gail today and my excitement hit me, realising that there is only 4 months to go!

I notice you are both thinking of trekking after July next year, perhaps you can work it so you walk together for company.

Best regards

Warren (Waza)

#11 Rooster

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 04:55 PM

I did the Trek in 2008 with another firm. Had way too many trekkers (27) in the group. By the time you add the porters it was nearly 70 in the group. It was too big. If I went again I would choose a company with smaller groups.
I was 51 when I did the trek - had no problems.

#12 Boss Meri

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:59 PM

Rooster, thanks for your feedback as we have often wondered what it was like to walk with such a large group of trekkers.  Our treks average 6-10 trekkers.  We are out on the track almost every week but in smaller numbers rather than some who come in a few times in the year and bring large groups which makes campsites hard to share with them.  Our groups can pretty much stop anywhere and still fit in because we keep them small.  We also have a food drop into Efogi which helps as well to make our groups less congested.

#13 Andrew1969

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 05:44 PM

Agree.....its gotta be a small group IMO

#14 Andrew1969

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 01:50 PM

I've now officially convinced myself to go with a company.....but which one?!?!?!

I want a strong military focus, since thats the reason for me wanting to do the walk. But its hard to tell which companies have this focus!

#15 Watto

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 01:09 PM

Some interesting posts guys I'm only new to forum and have just started searching the net for information on different tour operators and comparisons I've been very impressed so far with what I've seen on kokoda trekking web page which was the first I came across and liked the app thatnks guys I also really like to idea of smaller groups to make it more of a bonding and supportive experience. I'm still a long way of travelling and look forward to hearing what others post




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