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Transcript of Kokoda Track
World War II
During World War II, the Japanese invaded Papua New Guinea; without the help of the courageous Australians and Papuans, Japanese forces would have invaded Australia, leaving thousands at risk. The Japanese landed at Gona on the north coast of Paupa New Guinea on July 21st, 1942. Their mission was to capture Port Moresby, the main Australian base by an overland strike across the Owen Stanley Range. Australian forces planned first to keep them from reaching Port Moresby and then to push them back over the Owen Stanleys to their north coast strongholds at Buna, Gona and Sanananda by making their way through the mountains by a jungle path called The Kokoda Track. Before September, the Japanese were successfully making their way towards their objective but it was too much to handle; by the 28th of September, the Australian forces and Papuan allies found their enemy were slipping away towards defeat. By mid November, the Japanese were forced to abandon their plan. By the 18th of November, the battle of The Kokoda Track was over, with more than 600 Australians killed and some 1680 injured. The Japanese planned to begin a bombing offensive against north Queensland and, had they decided to invade Australia, the invasion would have been launched from Port Moresby, if they reached their objective.
The Kokoda Trackbegins at Owers' Corner, 61 kilometres by road north east of Port Moresby. The 96 kilometre track ends n the northen side of Owen Stanley Range at Kokoda Station near Kokoda Village. The route and length alters as the Koiari People move their villages, they also chang the track. Now about three quarters of the track follows the same path used in World War II.
It takes between 4 to 12 days to completely walk the Kokoda Track, depending on fitness level. There are several villages and expensive traders and sellers along the track. The Kokoda Track Authority states that walkers must have a trek permit in order to walk, or else officers and locals will stop them, due to safety reasons.