Milne Bay Kokoda and Northern Beachheads Tour
- Visit Bomana War Cemetery on ANZAC Day
- Visit Owers Corner, McDonald's Corner and Koitaki
- Visit Kokoda Village
- Stay overnight at the northern beaches at Buna, Gona and Sanananda
- Stay at Milne Bay visiting the site where the Japanese were first turned back in WWII
- Have the history come alive with historian David Howell
Seeing many of the major WWII battle sites does not require trekking through the muddied jungles of PNG. In fact, most can be visited using air conditioned buses with a bit of walking through fields and beaches.
However, just visiting these sites is not enough for you to fully understand what occurred there. That is why David Howell, WWII Historian and more importantly, Educator, will accompany our group to various significant WWII sites in PNG including Bomana War Cemetery (on ANZAC Day), Owers Corner, Kokoda, Buna and Gona as well as Milne Bay. David will bring these sites alive with his extensive knowledge of the area and his unique and infectious enthusiasm to deliver history in an entertaining, fun and at times moving way.
If you want to visit some of the most important WWII sites in PNG; maybe you had a relative that fought there; and you want to understand what really went on, then this once a year trip is for you.
Depart Australia for Port Moresby. On arrival we will be greeted by David Howell (Kokoda Historian), who will meet us at the airport for transfer to the Hotel.
We will take a 4WD out of Port Moresby heading towards Sogeri. along the Sogeri Highway stopping off at Hombrom Bluff & Rouna Falls as we make our way to McDonald’s and Owers’ Corners. After visiting the start of the Kokoda Track we will make our way up to Sogeri and to Koitaki show grounds (the site of the infamous rabbit that runs speech). We then will return to the hotel and prepare for tomorrow’s Anzac Day commemorations. (D) (Overnight Port Moresby)
Up nice and early as we make our way to attend the official Anzac Day dawn service. The service will see many people gather in the tranquil surrounds of Bomana War Cemetery, the final resting place of many of the brave soldiers who will feature in the many stories during our tour. There will not be a dry eye as the Last Post is sounded and words of the Ode are recited. After the service we will attend the Gunfire Breakfast before returning to the hotel for a short break.
At lunchtime we will enjoy lunch and a game of ‘Two Up' at the Royal Port Moresby Yacht Club. The activities will continue late into the afternoon. We will then return back to our hotel for a light dinner and well earned rest. (B,L) (Overnight Port Moresby)
We will transfer to Jackson’s Airport and fly to Popondetta. After being picked up by 4WD we will start driving towards Kokoda. Along the way we will stop at places of significance such as; Awala, Kumusi River (Wairopi) and Oivi-Gorari. Upon arrival at Kokoda we will visit the Kokoda Memorials on the Plateau, the Bert Kienzle Memorial, the Kokoda Airstrip and the surrounding area. Your historian and master story teller will bring to life the events of 1942. Tonight we will be treated to local village hospitality and a banquet. (Overnight Kokoda). (B,L,D)
Up nice and early as we take the 4WD to Gona. Along the way we will stop off at the Popondetta supermarket and take on supplies for our adventure at the Beachheads. Arriving at Gona we will tour the surrounding area including ‘Small Creek’, the Memorial and the beach itself. We will then board our boat for a short trip down to Haddy’s Village. After touring the area we will then take another short boat ride up to Sanananda.
On arrival we will be welcomed by a traditional ‘Sing Sing’ and enjoy a drink from a fresh coconut as we experience the hospitality of the Sanananda villagers. After lunch we will tour the original Sanananda beachhead including the 55/53 Battalion Memorial, before making our way up the Sanananda road and on to Huggin’s Road Block. Then return back to the Sanananda Guest House for a swim and refreshment. In the evening we will watch the sun go down across the warm waters of the Solomon Sea. (B,L,D) (Overnight in Sanananda)
Awakening to the sound of waves rolling over the dark volcanic sand, breakfast will be served in the mess hall located only a few meters from the ocean. This morning we will take a boat ride up to Buna. Here we will see the Buna airstrip, the scene of much fighting during the Second World War. We will see many war relics at the Buna museum and walk along the same area as George "Dick" Whittington, aided by Papuan orderly Raphael Oimbari was photograph. We will also visit the well preserved Japanese bunker complex before returning back to Sanananda for a leisurely lunch and swim. (B,L,D) (Overnight in Sanananda)
Up very early as we make our way back to Popondetta for the flight to Milne Bay (transferring back through Port Moresby).
On arrival in Milne Bay we will tour the township before visiting the beaches of Ahioma, here you will be able to view the remnants of the Japanese landing barges. A magnificent view of the town and the surrounding area is made available from the lookout. After which we will take in the Milne Bay War Memorial and the Alotau market.
Today we will also take in Rabe Village, here the customs and traditions of Milne Bay culture will come alive. You will also have the chance buy some great traditional souvenirs such as carved wooden figurines & bowls, traditional grass skirts from the Trobriand Islands along with clay pots, woven baskets and jewellery. Return to the hotel for the evening meal. (B,L,D) (Overnight Milne Bay)
After breakfast at our hotel, we will set off to visit the many Second World War sites pertaining to the battles of Milne Bay. Our first stop is Wahuhuba Bay where we will hear about the Japanese landing, the first of such to happen on this site at the start of the campaign. We will then visit the John French VC Memorial in Goilanai River. Here your historian will recall the heroic feats of men like John French before we move out to Gilli Gilli and the KB mission, both areas which were the scene of some of the first fighting. On the way back we will stop in to the Turnbull War Memorial were we will see many relics and hear about the United States contribution. After which we will return to the hotel for the evening meal. (B,L,D) (Overnight Milne Bay)
Saying goodbye to Milne Bay we will board our plane to return to Port Moresby. We will then check in to our original hotel before setting out on our sightseeing trip around the PNG capital. We will visit the old gun emplacements at Paga Hill, look out at the wreck of the MV Macdhui, the PNG Wildlife Park, gardens, Parliament House and War Museum. We will then return to our hotel before making our way in our Sunday best to the Royal Port Moresby Yacht Club. This will be the perfect way finish your PNG experience. (B,D) (Overnight Port Moresby)
Depart Port Moresby for return to Australia.
Note: While our accommodation in Port Moresby and Alotau is hotel style, our accommodation in Kokoda and Sanananda is guest house style. This means you will need to bring a sleeping bag to keep you warm. We will supply mosquito nets for both locations. (B)
- Experienced Australian Historian David Howell
- Experienced Local Guides
- Return airfare Port Moresby to Alotau and Port Moresby to Popondetta
- 3 nights twin-share hotel accommodation at Port Moresby
- 1 night at Kokoda guest house
- 2 nights twin share guest house accommodation in Sanananda
- 2 nights twin-share hotel accommodation at Alotau
- Meals as per Itinerary
- Transfers to all sites including Bomana, Owers Corner and Kokoda
- Transfers from all airports
- Visit to Milne Bay Memorial
- Communications and safety equipment inc. Satellite phone
- Public liability insurance
- International Airfares
- Travel Insurance
- Hotel meals and drinks other than Breakfast
- Tourist Visa (this is Free)
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