Indigenous Kokoda Adventures – Who We Are and Where We Began
Our story begins a very long time ago, decades ago, probably long before many of you were born. During the Second World War, Japan had the intention to attack Australia and thought that Papua New Guinea would be a strategic place to launch an attack from. They had heard of a trail that the locals used to move from village to village and thought they could take that over and use it to move their men back and forth from Kokoda to Owers’ Corner.
What began as a relationship forged because of war remains to this day because of the unbreakable bonds that grew between the Australian soldiers and the locals, named by the soldiers as their Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels. We are the descendants of the original Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.
Australia was not about to stand idly by and let this happen and positioned their men on PNG and specifically on Kokoda to ward off the potential attack on Australia.
There began what was to become, months of horrific fighting. The local people, our forefathers, stepped in to help the Australians in their battle to defeat the Japanese by carrying their wounded, their dead, food, artillery and ammunition, guiding the soldiers safely through the jungle along the Track throughout the battle. Ultimately, because of the knowledge and unwavering help provided by the local villagers, the Australian soldiers were successful in defeating the Japanese and defending Kokoda.
Guiding people along Kokoda is in our genes and our blood. It is who we are. We are the first Indigenous group in Papua New Guinea to offer an authentic trekking experience while directly supporting our people, villages and communities along the Kokoda Track. We have safely guided trekkers along Kokoda for decades for other tour operators and we have now stepped forward to reclaim our heritage and legacy.
This is authentic sustainable travel at its best and we invite you to come and experience our culture while challenging yourself in a truly magnificent setting.
Ne isivi alu a lohoveve ige au noele. Lohoi eleha abika teho Kokoda
(We would be honoured to be a part of your journey while you become part of ours. Come find yourself on Kokoda.)
Indigenous Kokoda Adventures vision is far reaching. We envision a day when people living along the Kokoda Track can make a decent wage while maintaining their dignity and having a decent quality of life.
IKA also envisions a day when families that live along the Track can confidently send their children to school and not worry about their futures. Families that live along the Kokoda Track are like families everywhere – they want their children to have full, productive lives, working in a profession that pays a competitive decent wage and being productive members of society. The main necessary ingredient in this is, of course, education.
What We Offer
We allocate a 1:1 trekker to porter ratio to promote a strong bond between your porter and yourself. Our goal for each trek is to not only ensure that all trekkers safely complete their journey from beginning to end, but also to promote solid relationships between trekkers and porters. This relationship becomes one of the most memorable experiences of the trip and is reminiscent of the wartime bonds that were established during the war between the Australian troops and the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.
While Indigenous Kokoda Adventures is a tour operator, we consider ourselves first and foremost, a community focused enterprise. Our mission is dual. First, to provide trekkers with a safe, challenging, life changing experience on the Kokoda Track, while offering them an opportunity to hear the voice and stories of the local people, told by the people of the Kokoda Track. Our second mission is to provide a better employment experience for our porters and guides which involves fair compensation along with other employment conditions that many people in the developed world take for granted.
We believe that better compensation of our porters and guides will ultimately result in better outcomes for the families, villages and communities along the track. Better access to education is of course the number one way to break the cycle of poverty and with better compensation, our porters/guides will be better able to educate their children.