Perhaps you have already walked the Kokoda Track and want to know more about WWII and this amazing country. Perhaps you have a relative that fought in PNG. If so, this incredible expedition is for you, exploring one of the many untold stories of the Pacific War in an entertaining and factual way.
- Visit the site of one of the lost stories of the Pacific War
- Visit Lae Cemetery and Japanese tunnels under Mt Lunamen
- Understand what both the Japanese and Australians endured on this campaign in 1943
Shaggy Ridge is a six-and-a-half kilometre long razor-backed ridge that is the highest feature in the Finisterre Mountains in north-eastern New Guinea. The ridge rises between the valleys of the Mene and Faria Rivers and ends at Kankiryo Saddle - a bridge of land separating the Faria Valley from the Mindjim River Valley.
In 1943 Shaggy Ridge was the site of the main Japanese defensive position blocking access from the Ramu Valley to the track and road network that joined it with the north coast. Operations by the 7th Australian Division in September and October 1943 had caused the Japanese to withdraw from the Ramu Valley and the lower features of the Finsterres and consolidate their defences around Shaggy Ridge.
The ridge was named after Captain Robert "Shaggy Bob" Clampett of the 2/27th Battalion whose company was the first to reconnoitre its approaches. The Australian attack on Shaggy Ridge was methodical with air and artillery support. However, to ultimately defeat the Japanese forces it required infantry to scale the mighty slopes and feeder ridges of Shaggy Ridge and one at a time locate and destroy the enemy bunkers and positions. The Japanese had carefully constructed their defences to cover all approaches with mountain gun and machine gun fire. In places the Japanese were able to roll grenades down the slopes on to the advancing Australians. The importance of this particular campaign in Australian history is not just based on the savageness of the battles fought on Shaggy Ridge and surrounding valleys. The historical significance is that the Ramu Valley, Markham Valley and Shaggy Ridge campaigns were models for the future of modern warfare. The strategic use of specialist forces, paratroops and the rapid deployment of Independent Companies (commandoes) were paramount in the success of the overall campaign.
Our 10 day Shaggy Ridge expedition will take us to Lae and then into the high country in which the Japanese retreated to. We will walk the valleys and the razor ridges of Shaggy Ridge itself, appreciating the sheer steepness and terrain both sides fouhgt in. All the while, our Australian Guide will bring the history of Shaggy Ridge alive, with stories from the battles, stories of determination, sorrow and at times, humour.
If you have already walked the Kokoda Track and would like to experience another amazing journey through the PNG wilderness, then our Shaggy Ridge expedition may be for you.
Day 1: Arrive Port Moresby-hotel accommodation
Day 2: Fly to Nadzab transfer to Lae, visit Lae War Cemetery, Japanese caves under Mt Lunamen.
Day 3: Visit Mission Hill, Dumpu and on to Onge village, trek to Aginau village.
Day 4: Grassland’s to Don’s Post, ascend to McCulloch’s Ridge past ‘Baker’s Oven’.
Day 5: Northward bound along Shaggy Ridge-the ‘Pimple’, Prothero 1 and camp Prothero 2.
Day 6: Descend to Kankiryo Saddle and on to Hill 4100 before Mainstream.
Day 7: Follow Faria River, base of Pailler’s Hill then climb King’s Hill, camp Onge Village.
Day 8: Return via vehicle back to Lae Hotel and commemorative dinner.
Day 9: Nazdab fly to Port Moresby, visit Bomana War Cemetery. Hotel accommodation.
Day 10: Return to Australia.
- Highly experienced Australian Historian
- Airfare from Port Moresby to Lae
- Airfare from Lae to Port Moresby
- 2 nights' twin-share hotel accommodation at Lae
- Transfer from Nadzab airport to Lae
- Group porters for 6-day trek in Shaggy Ridge
- Food for 6-day trek
- Transfer from Lae to Dumpu
- Vehicle for day trip to Mission Hill at Old Kaipit, then on to Dumpu
- Personal porter
- Communications and safety equipment including Satellite phone
- International airfares
- Travel insurance
Kokoda Helicopter Full
Port Moresby Nature Park