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How Difficult Is the Kokoda Trail? (And Other Commonly Asked Questions)

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The Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea is literally 96 kilometres in length. For those of you craving a long, difficult trek through a tropical rainforest, this is the ultimate trip for you!

How difficult is the Kokoda Trail, exactly? Read on to find out (and other commonly asked questions)!

Surviving the Kokoda Trek

Let’s be honest. The Kokoda Track doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being easy. In fact, it’s not only physically difficult, but it will also test your mental endurance. That’s because surviving the Kokoda Trek involves a lot of mud, rain, and hills!

Nonetheless, it doesn’t have to be as challenging as it sounds. You can always condition before your trip to make sure that it’s an easier journey. Another word of advice: You’re going to need a lot of endurance to get to the end of this trail!

How so? When it comes to the Kokoda Trail, you’ll have to work on your ability to continue walking across tough territory for a long amount of time. And if that’s not enough, you’ll also have to learn how to get through potential injuries and exhaustion, too.

Incredibly enough, those that are actually able to finish their trip consider it a personal badge of honour. Sometimes, veterans of the Kokoda Trail claim that it wasn’t nearly as hard as they thought it’d be. Wondering why it was such a breeze for them?

The biggest difference is that these hikers were more than ready for the trail ahead. Plus, they clearly had very high levels of endurance as well. Lastly, they managed to maintain their health throughout the entire trip.

If you want to take your love of hiking to the next level, there are a few things that you should know before you head out onto the trail. For instance, what makes the Kokoda Track so hard?

What Makes the Kokoda Track So Hard?

For those who aren’t sure why the Kokoda Track has a reputation for being gruelling, here are a few reasons why it’s such a killer trek:

  • Sporadic high levels of rainfall, humid weather, and intense heat.
  • Steep sections that can go on for a couple of hours.
  • Rugged and unstable parts of the trail.
  • Frequent creek and river crossings.
  • Heavy mud that can go up to your ankles in parts of the trail.
  • Walking for many hours for days at a time.
  • Isolation from the rest of society (unless you have an emergency).
  • Very few perks and amenities at your campsite.

But have no fear — if you think that you can handle all of that, then you might be the perfect candidate to finish the Kokoda Trail. However, those that simply can’t take it anymore are evacuated to a safe place. That’s why it definitely pays to be prepared for this extreme terrain!

Getting into Shape for Kokoda Tracks

Want to know the key to getting to the finish line? You’ve got to get into great shape to be able to complete the Kokoda Tracks. That being said, the harder you hit the gym, the better.

If you enjoy running, try to get in some regular conditioning outdoors before you book your trip. Don’t worry if you’re not already at the perfect fitness level. Here are some tips to help you out.

First of all, you need to take a hard look at your current level of fitness. Even though you might work out on a daily basis, there’s no harm in getting in additional training. We promise that you won’t regret it!

In case you didn’t know: The fitness level required to take on the Kokoda Trail is well beyond anything you can imagine. Having any doubts about your own endurance? That’s okay; you can always consult with a fitness expert who can make sure that you’re prepared for your trek.

Here’s the deal. One of the most important things to consider is how old you are and if you have any preexisting medical conditions. If that’s the case, then we highly recommend that you talk to your doctor before you attempt to tackle any hiking or training sessions.

What about people who aren’t in the best shape? As soon as you can begin a workout regimen that gets your heart rate up regularly, we don’t see why you couldn’t train for the Kokoda Trail. All that you have to do is dedicate yourself to a strict exercise routine, and you should be good to go!

Kokoda Trek Hiking Tips and Tricks

Looking for some Kokoda Trek hiking tips and tricks? We’ve got you covered. For those living in Australia, travelling along this historic trail on ANZAC Day is practically a national tradition.

If you’re one of the many Australians excited to get their trek on, you can expect to spend the year leading up to your trip training for your rigorous trek. That’s because it takes over a week to finish. Luckily for you, we’ve got the best training advice from Joe Bonington of Joe’s Basecamp!

According to Joe, you’ve got to get used to some pretty steep climbing to be able to manage this trail. As a matter of fact, Joe advises that getting your training in on a treadmill simply isn’t enough. What should you do instead?

Joe continues, “Instead, make sure you train on lots of steep bush tracks with broken and uneven surfaces and train with a loaded backpack so you’re fully prepared for the lay of the land when you start the trek.” Secondly, prepare to experience extraordinary heat on the Kokoda trail as well.

That’s why Joe recommends that you train during the hottest, stickiest days in Australia in advance of your trip. He suggests that you get used to the heat and push through the hot weather. Joe also reminds us that “the more you suffer in training, the less you’ll suffer on the track.”

Finally, you should probably spend some time on your lunges before you hit the trail. How many lunges are enough to be ready for the Kokoda Tracks? All we can say is that you need to make sure that lunges take up the majority of your training sessions.

Try doing your lunges in different ways, like with your foot raised. Don’t forget to get your side lunges in, too. Sounds simple enough!

More Hiking Advice for the Kokoda Tracks

Have you tried walking around with a loaded backpack yet? Surprisingly, this is a fantastic way to get into shape for the Kokoda Tracks. For those that don’t believe us, just ask gym owner Joe Bonington.

If you’ve already decided to take a day pack along with you, then you can expect to carry a few extra pounds on the trail. To build up your endurance, Joe says to apply the principle of overloading while you’re training and keep your backpack loaded with a couple of additional kilograms. He explains, “this way your body will be well adjusted to carrying additional weight on the journey.”

Do you love to learn about the places that you’re travelling to? Then you’ll have a much higher appreciation of the Kokoda Trail if you know about its background first. Thankfully, your guide in Papua New Guinea will tell you everything you need to know about the environment.

Nevertheless, there’s no harm in reading up on the history of the Kokoda Tracks before your trip. Just research online to find out about the legacy of the trail. Better yet, hit up your local library to get the real scoop about your expedition.

Final words: Be prepared to endure some major chafing along your trip. Yes, you read that right. Be sure to bring along a jar of Vaseline or anti-chafing glide to make your journey as comfortable as possible.

So, there you have it. Now that you’re ready to go, make sure that you take pictures during your trip. Don’t forget to invest in a quality pair of hiking boots before you leave!

Get Ready to Hike the Kokoda Trail

Are you getting ready to hike the Kokoda Trail? That’s wonderful news. To prepare for your trip, you’re going to want to spend the next couple of months doing some rigorous training.

What’s the bottom line? If you’re up for the challenge, the Kokoda Trail will be a life-changing experience. If you’re not sure what to bring with you, check out our camping and hiking gear guides!


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