THE 77TH ANNIVERSARY
While the 75th Anniversary of Kokoda has passed, 2019 represents the 75th anniversary for many other battles including the Northern Beaches and Shaggy Ridge. 75Kokoda will be putting together more 75th anniversary treks to these locations as well as running the 2nd Kokoda Reenactment trek, which was a huge success in 2017 and 2018. So come and join us in 2019 for some amazing treks that will take you through an important part of Australian history.
Kokoda Anniversary Treks & Tours 2019
ANZAC Day Treks
Anzac Day is the time when we commemorate Australian service and sacrifice in times of war and on peacekeeping operations. In 2019 we will be running treks and tours that will place you either at the Isurava Memorial, Kokoda Village or at Bomana War Cemetery on Anzac Day for the official dawn service to commemorate the 77th Anniversary of Kokoda and the battles fought in Papua.
There are two places you must commemorate Anzac Day in your life 1/ Gallipoli and 2/ Papua New Guinea.
Lest we forget!
First Battle of Kokoda
In the early hours of 29 July 1942, Japanese forces launched their attached upon the defenders of the Kokoda Plateau. The young militiamen of the 39th Infantry Battalion which numbered fewer than 100 men, fought gallantly to stem the Japanese advance. During the battle the 39th Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel William Owen was mortally wounded. Trek Kokoda and be at the Kokoda Memorial Park on the 75th Anniversary of one of the most famous battles in Australian history.
39th March to Kokoda
On the 7th of July 1942, B Company of the 39th Australian Infantry Battalion started their arduous trek across the Kokoda Track. The Japanese had not landed yet and as such this fresh young group of men would be the first to encounter this formidable enemy. Join us on a true reenactment of this march as we dress, eat and live exactly how B Company did on their journey over the Owen Stanley Ranges. We will kit you out in replica uniforms (including boots) and give you the same rations they had as we immerse you in the real history of this trek.
2nd Battle for Kokoda
After the gallant stand made by the 39th at Kokoda and with the death of their Commanding Officer, the 39th regrouped with reinforcements at Deniki. Major Allan Cameron took command and sent his force in to retake Kokoda. During the period: 8-10 August 1942, the 39th held back the Japanese and delayed their advance over the Kokoda Track. 8 August is known as Kokoda Day. Be at Kokoda on the 75th Anniversary as we commemorate this momentous occasion in Australian history.
Battle of Isurava
Once again the overwhelming strength of the Japanese forces pushed the 39th Battalion back from Kokoda and into the Owen Stanley Ranges. Desperate for reinforcements the militiamen dug in on the high ground at Isurava, waiting for the AIF to arrive before the Japanese did. In the late afternoon of 26 August the AIF had arrived but so too the Japanese. The battle of Isurava would rage for four days. During this time Private Bruce Kingsbury would posthumously earn the Victoria Cross the highest award for gallantry. This trek will place you on the exact ground where the battle took place 76 years ago.
Ioribaiwa Ridge Battle
Ioribaiwa Ridge is the furthermost point of the Japanese advance; it was hear they say the Japanese soldiers could see the lights of Port Moresby. With victory almost in their sights, orders from Tokyo were to ‘Advance to the Rear’. The Japanese had only to make the ridges of Imitia and Owers’ Corner before they were on the march to the capital. The tide had turned and now the Australians were to push the invaders back to the sea. Come and stand on Ioribaiwa Ridge and see for yourself just how close they came to marching on Port Moresby. 75 years after the battle the heroic efforts of those that would save Australia will not be forgotten.
Battle of Brigade Hill
Maroubra Force withdrew to the next defensible strong point on the Track, a feature known as Mission Ridge. With the Japanese defeat at Milne Bay, the 2/27th Infantry Battalion were released from Port Moresby. Finally Brigadier Potts was to commit his entire brigade to the battle. The fighting was ferocious often with bayonet and fist. Despite the best efforts of Pott’s and his men, the position fell to the Japanese, who were now half way to Port Moresby. Be on top of Brigade Hill as we commemorate the anniversary of one of the most famous battles in Australian history.
Eora Creek village was the site of a rearguard position during the retreat of Australian forces along the Kokoda Track.
During the Australian advance back along the Track, Eora Creek was the scene of bitter fighting when the 16th Brigade sought to overcome a strong Japanese defensive position established on heights that dominated the village and creek crossing. Crossing the creek under the cover of darkness, by morning many Australians found themselves cut off on the Japanese side of the creek. Stand on the very spot 75 years after the battle as we commemorate all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defence of Australia.
Finally after two months of blood and iron, Australian and Japanese soldiers had fought for their lives against each other and against the harsh jungle environment. With the Japanese stronghold at Eora Creek taken by Australian troops of the 16th Brigade, the tide had turned. Australians soldiers marched out of the Owen Stanley’s, passing through the old battlefields of Isurava and Deniki on to the Kokoda plateau without Japanese resistance. On 3 November 1942, a ceremony was held where the Australian flag was raised over the Kokoda Plateau signalling the end of the mountain phase of the Kokoda Campaign. The bloody fighting of the Northern Beachheads was to follow. Be at the Kokoda Plateau after walking the Kokoda Track to raise the Australian flag once again 76 years after the battle.