Kokoda Historical

Small-group guided tours to WWII battlefields in Papua New Guinea. Explore the Kokoda Track / Kokoda Trail, Black Cat Track, Shaggy Ridge, Lark Force Track (Rabaul-Tol Plantation).

Kokoda Historical specialises in taking people on fully guided tours over the Kokoda Track, Kokoda Trail, Shaggy Ridge, Rabaul, Lark force, Bita Paka in New Britain. We also go to the Western Front, Ireland the UK including Goodwood Revival and many other European destinations. We have a unique way to blend adventure, master storytelling and first person accounts into an interesting and fun way to engage in history. For more information visit www.kokodahistorical.com.au

Listen to David's latest podcast for Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours. The important yet little know battle of Bita Paka in Rabaul during the First World War.

Mat speaks to historian David Howell about the Battle of Bita Paka, Australia's first operation of the First World War, which was fought in September 1914 in New Guinea.
Listen for free: https://radiopublic.com/living-history-with-mat-mclachlan-GMNmOQ/ep/s1!cece71379548c7fd0360f94f943b80898d6d0390

Royal Australian Air Force

This week marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings on 6 June 1944.

Almost 2,500 RAAF personnel directly supported the operation in Normandy.

This is just a selection of their stories....

#DDay75 #LestWeForget #AusAirForce

Sad to hear of the passing of Roy, I met him many times at the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway in Concord NSW.

Vale Roy Dockery NX114759 (N232906). Died on Sunday 2nd June. Roy was a member of the artillery units that supported infantry on the Kokoda Track during 1942-43. He was a signaler / Bombardier. He was one of the original veteran guides on the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway at Concord. He retired as a guide about one year ago when bad health made in impossible. He was 98 years old. Funeral announcements are yet to me made. He had a great life. There is a number of long interviews available on line where he tells his story. It was a great pleasure to talk to Roy about his time in PNG and Borneo. The children visiting the track were always drawn to him; He had a special gift in the way he taught the children about his time in the army. The attached photo shows Roy at the Memorial Walkway for the 70th anniversary of the Kokoda Campaign standing 2nd from left next to Fred Denny.

PNG National Museum & Art Gallery

Remnants from World War II continue to be unearthed along the Kokoda Track and the most recent discovery has been Japanese gun shells near Ioribaiwa village, Central Province.
Uncovered by local landowner Jack Avu while clearing an old garden site, the Type 94 Mountain Gun shells were found stacked in rows covered in hessian copra bags and a thin layer of soil.
Only a day’s walk from Owers Corner, the small hamlet of Ioribaiwa witnessed intense fighting during WWII as the furthest southern advance of Japanese forces in the Kokoda campaign.
The National Museum and Art Gallery’s Principal Modern History curator, Gregory Bablis, said the find is likely one of the largest WWII-era collections of this munition type in the world, with 164 shells uncovered. #PNGAusPartnership

Great training session today at Mount Donna Buang. Welk done everyone, all ready for our June and July Kokoda treks.

Kila and Rei, relaxing after a days trek on Kokoda. Kila has been with us since day one and is responsible for running the Green Masin, our dedicated group of Kokoda guides. Rei used to meet us as our groups came in when he was only 8, that was over a decade ago and now Rei is part of the team. Without these guys crossing Kokoda would be near impossible.

This day in history. War on our doorstep.

In the late afternoon of 31 May 1942 three Japanese submarines, I-22, I-24 and I-27, sitting about seven nautical miles (13 kilometres) out from Sydney Harbour, each launched a Type A midget submarine for an attack on shipping in Sydney Harbour . The night before, I-24 had launched a small floatplane that flew over the harbour, its crew spotting a prize target - an American heavy cruiser, the USS Chicago . The Japanese hoped to sink this warship and perhaps others anchored in the harbour.

Read more here: http://kokodahistorical.com.au/history/japanese-attack-sydney-harbour

Looking for something to do this weekend? If you are in Melbourne come along this Sunday to our free training session: http://kokodahistorical.com.au/blog/donna-buang-training-session-1


Village museums ‘popular’ – NMAG

postcourier.com.pg Support for new community museums at Efogi and Alola along the Kokoda Track, and at Buna on the north coast, is already popular among community members, tour operators and trekkers.

Great afternoon at the Shrine of Remembrance today, delivering an integral part of our Kokoda Trek package for school groups.

Next month this group will be trekking Kokoda however, today they visited exhibitions at the Shrine that relate to the Kokoda Campaign. Items included the medal group of Corporal Corporal Charlie McCallum DCM, the 14th Battalion colours with battle honours that include Isurava along with uniforms from the Kokoda Historical collection including a 75 Squadron Kittyhawk pilots uniform.

To find out more about our group and school bookings visit: http://kokodahistorical.com.au/tours/school-group-bookings


55/53 Bn Sanananda (Scott Colomb) PIECE May 2019

Thanks to David Jenkins and Scot Colomb for putting together this video. This is the Australian High Commissioner to PNG as we open the new 55/53 Battalion Memorial at Sanananda.

This is "55/53 Bn Sanananda (Scott Colomb) PIECE May 2019" by David Jenkins on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

Great pics from our May Non-Trekking group.

Wonderful comparison images by Phil Bradley author of Hell's Battlefield. Kokoda Historical are running a Shaggy Ridge trek this coming October.

Everyone trekkers receives a signed copy of Phil's book to read in advance of their tour.

Our Shaggy Ridge trek runs 22-30 October 2019. To find out more and book visit: http://kokodahistorical.com.au/tours/shaggy-ridge-tour

21st Brigade troops move out of the Finisterres into the Ramu Valley on 9 November 1943 after being relieved. AWM 060483. Photo by Norm Stuckey. Comparison by Phil Bradley.


Jorgia's Kokoda Story

Read Jorgia's Kokoda story

kokodahistorical.com.au Run by historian David Howell, Kokoda Historical tours to Kokoda and PNG Battlegrounds with a historical perspective

Australian War Memorial

#OnThisDay in 1942 Kanga Force moved to Wau in New Guinea. Kanga Force was formed in April 1942 to reinforce the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles. They were primarily involved in reconnaissance work, but did stage some raids against Japanese positions in the Wau–Bulolo area.

To read more: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1417239

Photo: Kanga Force retreating from the Bulolo Valley.

55/53 Australian Infantry Battalion (Mice of Moresby)

Thank you to the children of Sanananda village who attended our service to deliver the PNG national anthem .. we love you all ❤️


Donna Buang Training Session

Come along to our next training session. It is free and you don't have to be booked on any of our tours.

kokodahistorical.com.au Run by historian David Howell, Kokoda Historical tours to Kokoda and PNG Battlegrounds with a historical perspective

Images in from Dean's group who are finishing their Kokoda trek with us today. All are safe and well and will be back at the Grand Papua Hotel later this afternoon. Well done everyone, great effort by all trekkers and the Green Masin.


21 May Trek Update

Latest news from Dean's May Trek-They are all finished and at Kokoda!

kokodahistorical.com.au Run by historian David Howell, Kokoda Historical tours to Kokoda and PNG Battlegrounds with a historical perspective

55/53 Australian Infantry Battalion (Mice of Moresby)

Special day for Sanananda.

The arrival of His Excellency Australian High Commisioner Mr Bruce Davis in Sanananda was met by a sing sing by the locals .. thankyou to the people of Sanananda Village


20 May Trek Update

Latest update from our trekking group. Dean and the group are at Isurava Battlefield.

kokodahistorical.com.au Run by historian David Howell, Kokoda Historical tours to Kokoda and PNG Battlegrounds with a historical perspective

We made the front page of the Post-Courier today. Well done to all involved.


Plaque to remember fallen soldiers | Loop PNG


looppng.com A plaque commemorating Australia’s 55/53 Battalion was recently unveiled in Northern Province.

Special deal, we have 4 places left for our 23 June - 5 July trek. This trek is going north-south. I am offering a very special price of $3,200 with free porter ex Port Moresby.

To book email [email protected] or call (03) 9781 5509


19 May Trek Update

Latest update just in from Dean and his group.

kokodahistorical.com.au Run by historian David Howell, Kokoda Historical tours to Kokoda and PNG Battlegrounds with a historical perspective

Australian War Memorial

It’s one of the most iconic images of the war in the Pacific, a blinded Australian soldier being led by a barefoot Papuan on Christmas Day 1942.

Private George “Dick” Whittington of Queensland was with the 2/10th Battalion when he was wounded in action during the vicious and bloody beachhead battles around Buna. He was temporarily blinded after being shot by a sniper above the eye and was being guided by Raphael Oimbari along a track through the tall kunai grass to a casualty clearing station.

Read more about this iconic photo: https://www.awm.gov.au/articles/blog/dick-whittington-and-raphael-oimbari

#MuseumWeek #FriendsMW #MuseumWeek2019 #MyAWM #AWMemorial

Thanks to Rob Denny President of the 55/53 Battalion Association for his kind words.

Good morning from PNG .. happy but sad day for us as we pack to come back home to Australia and the luxury of our own beds

I’m sure all of us will have our own interesting stories to tell upon our return of our experiences , the people we have met and the places we have visited

But None of this would have been possible without the knowledge and guidance of our leader David Howell of Kokoda Historical who hosted us on this tour

David has clearly shown himself this week as one of Australia’s leading modern day war historians and indeed the world .. from day 1 every battle , every place we have visited along the way with every date has been explained . Japanese and Australian stories and positions from Owers Corner to the beachheads have been shown to us along with places and dates of all of our battles.. you don’t get this knowledge without a lot of research and hard work and we would like to thank David for his superb leadership and allowing us to share in his knowledge

If you are thinking of coming to PNG on a non trekking or trekking tour then David is your man

His website is www.kokodahistorical.com.au

We will see you all back in Australia and we thank everyone who has supported our journey

Our Mice of Moresby non-trekking group have returned to Port Moresby for their farewell dinner. Tomorrow they return to Australia after completing what they set out to do. Commemorate their fallen at Sanananda.

Farewell dinner and we are treated to a seafood buffet including Trevally , Parrot Fish , chili crab and reef fish

Latest update for our May trek.

A big days walk today for everyone. Paul walked all day like a soldier and did a fantastic job. Cathy continued her solid effort too. Tonight we sleep on the hallowed battle scared ground of Brigade Hill. All trekkers are enjoying this challenging pilgrimage.

Looking forward to being able to take our clients back to visit.

The public gallery will re-open for visits on Monday, May 20, 2019. Our usual opening times are as follows;
Monday to Saturday from 9am to 3pm
Sunday from 1pm to 3pm

Entry is free on weekdays,
Weekends: Residents K5, Overseas Visitor K10. Children and Students Free.

With the Australian High Commission at Sanananda and Buna.

This week, the High Commissioner and the Head of Australian Defence Staff in PNG travelled to Sanananda, Oro Province to commemorate the sacrifice by the Australia 55/53 Battalion, hundreds of whom were left wounded, killed or missing after fierce fighting in Oro between 1942 and 1943.

After travelling to Buna, the group attended a moving service and the unveiling of a new plaque to commemorate the soldiers in Sanananda. They were joined by Ananias Mongagi and his son Frank, as well as by 21 Australian relatives and descendants of the ‘Mice of Moresby’, many of whom have never travelled to PNG before.

Ananias has a unique history with Australia, as he was present at the initial unveiling of a plaque in 1973, when a small group of veterans from the 55/53 Battalion came to Oro to remember their fallen brothers. They were led by Frank Budden, who had served as an officer during the war. Ananias was so affected by his experience at the service that he named his unborn son Frank, in honour of Mr Budden. It was an honour to have both Ananias and Frank join the service this week, reminding us all of the strong bond between PNG and Australia, forged in war but kept alive through our people.


Latest update from our 55/53 Battalion non-trekking group. Yesterday a new memorial plaque was unveiled at Sanananda. In attendance we had many of the descendants from the 55/53 Battalion Association along with the Australian High Commissioner to PNG, His Excellency Mr Bruce Davis and Colonel James Kidd, DSM (and Bar) CSM head of ADF mission to PNG. Special thanks to the people of Sanananda for a wonderful day.

[05/16/19]   Update from the Kokoda Track
Woke up to a lovely day and began walking under bright sunshine. As the day progressed the heavens opened up and the track became very muddy. Arrived at Nauro village to sleep the night. Cathy and Pete are steady as she goes on the track and Shelley is smashing it.

[05/15/19]   Update from the Kokoda Track
Great days walking today with many creek crossings. Some wet shoes and clothes from the rain and creek crossings. Tonight we are sleeping at Iorabaiwa just below the big battlefield. All trekkers happy and enjoying the walk.

Today our non-trekking group-The 55/53 Battalion Association, made their way from Kokoda to Gona via Poppondetta. Along the way we stopped at Oivi-Gorari, Kumusi and Martyrs School before touring the Gona battlefield. Tonight we base ourselves at Sanananda.

Whilst our non-trekking group are at Kokoda tonight. Our trekking group is in camp at Goodwater. All are well ans enjoying thier first night on the Kokoda Track.

Our Non-Trekking Tour has arrived at Kokoda. Today we visited Mamba Estate, once home to Bert Kienzle and his family. We also toured the Kokoda Plateau and walked part way along the Kokoda Trail.

Day 3 was all about Kokoda

Here is our Journey including our flight to Kokoda , our trip to the Kokoda Museum , mamba estate , the Kokoda hospital and the walk along the trail

Wonderful service for the 55/55 Battalion Mice of Moresby, today at Bomana. Thanks to Glenn and Kevin from the Port Moresby RSL for attending today.

Our Non-Trekking Tour with the Mice of Moresby 55/53 Battalion have today been up to Sogeri and Owers' Corner.


Click here to support Kokoda Eating Huts organised by Alfred Mallia

gofundme.com We need your help to never forget the ultimate sacrifice paid by those young men who defended Australia in the greatest battle that ever took place on the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. These huts will serve two purposes, firstly to enhance the picnic area at One Tree Hill for everyone to enj...

Dinner time at the Grand Papua

Big thanks to David for the summary and history of the Kokoda trail this evening here at the hotel

Dinner time for the group before we head to Owers Corner in the morning and the start of the Kokoda Trail

Update from the Mice of Moresby Non-Trekking Tour. We have arrived at the Grand Papua.

We’ve arrived in Port Moresby and are on the way to the hotel

Preparatory reading for our upcoming Mice of Moresby Tour. Lucky to have worked with both Jack and Ray guiding at the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway-Concord all those years ago.

This Saturday we will be taking decedants of the 55/53 Battalion to Port Moresby, Kokoda and the Northern Beachheads. Kokoda Historical in conjunction with the Assocation and the people of Sanananda, have built a new memeorial plaque which will be unveiled on 16 May.

Back in September 1973 Frank Budden led a small group of B company 55/53 mice of moresby soldiers back to PNG including Larry Scanlon , Jack Stevens , Fred Denny , Danny Jacques and Ray Small

They visited Moresby , Owers Corner , Bamana War Cemetary , Popendetta , Sanananda and Buna Gona

They also unveiled a plaque in rememberance of Fallen Mice

Next week we will visit as many of these places pictured as we can and try and recreate these photos in these exact locations

Thankyou for your service gentlemen

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