Black Cat & Bull Dog Trek Itinerary
26th Jun 2013 - 10th July 2013
Note, night stays are subject to change depending on conditions, timings, group motivation and advice from local guides. The Australian Guide will have authority over setting the group pace, and command and control of the group regarding whether group members break of to smaller groups and over all safety of the tour and all members. A full safety brief will be given at Salamaua and a daily brief will be given to Trekkers prior to stepping of each leg or when a itinerary change is required.
Flight - Australia to Port Moresby: 26th June
Your Kokoda Trek package starts when you arrive in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on the 26th June 2013
You will be met at the airport by an Investa Treks staff member, and be transferred to the Gateway Hotel for the night.
In the later afternoon, trekkers will meet, get supplies and be briefed on what will happen while on the track. If you have any questions, the guide will be more than happy to answer them for you.
Your group will enjoy a nice meal (personal expense) and discuss the adventure ahead.
Then the night is yours to rest up before the onward journey the next day, but we recommend an early night.
(Any unwanted gear that you do not wish to carry on the track, can be left at the hotel to pick up on your return - Please see reception).
Day 1: 27th June - Port Moresby to Salamaua village
Rising early the group will grab a quick breatfast before meeting in the foyer to be transferred to Jacksons Domestic Airport for the start of the journey.
The group will fly to Lae and be met by our Investa Treks Australian Guide, Mr Rod Morrison.
From the airport the group will travel and board a boat for a ride from Voco Point (Lae) to via Huon Gulf, Salamaua village. There the group will have an enjoyable afternoon and have the opportunity to walk through the village and explore the area.
Salamaua was a Japanese base during WW2 and successfully raided by Australian Commando’s.
Black Cat Track – 4 day trek
Day 2: 28th Jun – Salamaua village to Mubo village in the Bitoi Valley
We start the day by walking along the Francisco River after approximately 30 minutes we find a suitable area to negotiate a river crossing (waist deep at times with a fast current, here the Australian Guide will explain the safety drill for a River Crossing). After the crossing we will proceed along valleys and many more creek crossings, up to Kunai ridges through Komiatum 1200m to Mt Tambu. This is the location of an assault on Australian Defences by the Japanese and bomb craters can be seen. Walking down through jungle creek crossings, some with log crossings (expect wet boots from knee deep creeks) on to the Buisival river for another chest high expected river crossing. We will then reach the Mubo village. This is the location where many raids were conducted by the Commando’s during WW2. The Guest house is located in the middle of this village.
Day 3: 29th June – Mubo village to Waipali village
Leaving Mubo we will pass through a network of gardens , pebbly fords and steep jungle scrambles through past landslides, and difficult sections of the river before climbing up the steep decent to Waipali village.
Note: We are aiming to be here by lunch time dependent on weather and group speed. The church bell located in the village is a defunct shell from WW2.
Day 4: 30th June – Waipali village to Buindiama village
We press on climbing up 200m past an abundant village, entering a tree line to commence the contoured accent up to the Kuger Range. Over the next 2 hours the track will steepen and deteriorate remarkably. The track is unstable and great caution must be taken with your step. The track has Stinging Salat ( Nettles ) and infested with stinging brown ants . Fallen trees have steps cut into them . There is a number of slippery descents and climbs one with a 500m rise. You enter a zone of deforestation as the track deteriorates caused by the 1979 drought. The track is a classic side hill following the gorge. Dead trees scatter the whole area and cover the track here, and there is an abundant amount of Kunai grass covering the track creating hazardous conditions. Hundreds of metres below you will hear the thundering roar of the Bitoi river . Sounds of logs and crashing boulders can be heard around the valley while the sun beats down on you . Eventually after much slow but safe progress you will come across to the confluence of the major Bitoi junction. Crossing the river fork the track improves immensely and nearing Bitoi village. You will notice the cooler air as you pass the 1800m mark. You will ascend a grassy ridge to enter the Buindiama village. Accommodation is a Guest house ( Dokta-boi’s house). Expect heavy rainfall in the afternoon.
Day 5: 1st July - Buindiama village to Wau ( Wau 4WD only, described as a small town, no Police. location of Wau Ecology Institute. Porter pick up)
The Bitoi River is now passable by foot and you follow its bed along with sections hemmed in by more sedate cliffs than the day before. After bypassing Nuicam we ascend the Black Cat Saddle up past 2000m. The Monane forest is again more prominent here, with patches of Klinkii, Hoop pine and moss cover. Here you reach the summit of the Kuper Range before going down the roller coaster path to Wau.
Day 6: 2nd July - Rest Day in Wau
While in Wau trekkers will have the opportunity to rest, and take in the local sites. Meals will be served at the respected times, and trekkers will be looking forward in anticipation for what lies ahead.
BULL DOG TREK – subject to conditions on the track and trekkers pace.
Day 7: 3rd - Wau to Edie Creek or Hidden Valley
Walk from Wau (alt 1200m or 3900ft ) to Edie creek ( alt. 2200m or 7200ft ), Distance 14km . This will take you approximately 4-5 hours walk. From the Wau Ecology Institute the road climbs a steady gradient around Mt Kaindi, up past Ribroaster prospect were a massive land slide is visible opposite Koranga creek. The road then deviated from the 1943 road by zig –zagging steeply over a spur of Mt Kaindi, before descending down to Orange hotch-potch workings at Edie creek Mine .
Note : you can ask permission to stop at the mines transit house. There is a trade store and small supermarket there . ( A PMV can be caught up to Edie creek taking 1 hour , costing K10 per passenger ) The climate is much cooler at Edie creek and comes as a surprise . Misty conditions and heavy rain prevail on most afternoons .
Edie creek ( alt . 2200m or 7200ft ) to Hidden Valley - ( alt. 2600m or 8500ft ) is a gentle 14km walk taking 4 hours along the ridge of the Bulolo – Watut Divide . Taking you to the Hidden Valley Exploration Camp , past good stands of mountain pandanus and montane rainforest. There is a Shelter at the entrance of the camp were it is possible to camp the night. However since there are very few visitors in this area it may be possible to stay at the Exploration Camp a further 30 minutes walk off the Bulldog Track , following the main access road around the prospect .
The view fro Hidden Valley camp down the Upper Watut valley is worth the walk . Most mornings views are clear across to the Eastern Highlands and the Sarawaged and Finisterre ranges of the Huon Peninsula.
Day 8: 4th July – Hidden Valley to Yanina village
From Hidden Valley the old Bulldog track has re-opened as far as Johnson Saddle, also known as Salemba Camp. It has spectacular views early morning down to the Bulolo valley and across the Kuper range. Sections of the old 1943 road timbers and corduroy are well preserved here due to the petty conditions. Due to 1997/98 natural disasters large sections are covered with dead trees and moss. Wild strawberries can be found. After rounding the Upper Bulolo spur the track climbs a further 100m to the highest elevation of the tack at 3000m ( 9800ft ). The moss forest becomes healthier as you approach the Ecclestone Saddle, on the main Ekuti ( PNG ) divide. Rain and mist is common in the afternoon. Occasionally a spectacular view is seen across the Eloa gorge, passed the Gulf Province to the coast. The track now descends gradually across the almost shear headwalls of the Eloa gorge past a small but pretty Eloa falls, and a number of temporary bush shelters down to the clear Fox Saddle . this area was formally a prospecting area and there is alot of Kunai grass. After Fox Saddle, the Montane forest is very rich in native plumbs and Cassowaries (do not approach birds). Expect persistent cool and heavy rain in this area. The old Bulldog track in this section now not in use (for 50 years) is another 2 days difficult walk – 14km. The main track now takes a short cut down a jungle covered spur 800m (2,600ft) almost vertically down to Yanina village and takes about 1.5 – 2 ( 2.5 -3 ) hours . A log bridge crosses the Eloa River to Yanina village where the group will stay for the night.
Day 9: 5th July – Yanina village to Anandea village
From here the track rejoins the old Bulldog road and uses the original 1943 bench cutting. There is a beautiful rest stop at a major bend of the Eloa gorge on a granite boulder wedged into a steep section of the gorge (covered in Beetlenut spit). Shortly after this there are two tricky and slippery log bridge crossings across the gorge. The track down to Anandea is very pleasant, with views of hoop pine crested ridges. There is a cane and Bamboo Bridge which crosses the Eloa River once more just prior to reaching Anandea village. Accommodation is found at the HAUS- WIN. Note: it is possible to walk through to Tekadu village in one day with out time for site seeing. This will depend on the group progress
Day 10: 6th July - Anandea village to Tekadu village
The track leave Anandea and climbs over a steep section of the gorge, following a gentle grade. The Eloa valley be comes more restricted through dense jungle. There is a precarious high log bridge supported by steel cable in this section. Parts of the track are subject to erosion but can be easily followed, muddy in places. The valley begins to open out and the track passes through gardens and alluvial flats past Tekadu No 2, crossing a tributary of the Eloa River via a small bamboo bridge. Further on another bamboo bridge which ascends over the Kodama River, marks the approach to Tekadu village.
The group will continue past the main village for another 2km to the settlement of Yenawe and the location of the Tedadu airstrip, school, aid station and UYANA GUEST HOUSE. Note: there is a wet creek half way between Tekadu and Yenawe, known for its deep rock pool ideal for washing.
Day 11: 7th July - Tekadu village to Kakoro village or Niukeva village (eta 13 hour walking day)
The track is cleared and maintained right into the gulf province. WW2 Relics can be found. Track continues on to a alluvial plain covered in jungle. Track meets the East & West branches of the Eloa River ( Avi Avi ). From here main track goes on to Kakora ( 15km – 6 hrs walk ), past the Ivimka Research STN ( 1km – 20 minute walk ), from track junction to a small rise above the Avi Avi River . Accommodation is possible here. The track to Niukeva (11km – 4.5 hours walk) is very poor, and the trekkers are very happy to have a good Guide. Tracks here hug the toe of the dividing range.
The Niukeva track roughly follows the west (main) branch of the Eloa River for 4km until a fishing camp is encountered. The River is CROSSED just a bit further on at a large weir. Raft may be needed in high water. The muddy track then follows the boundary between the alluvial flats and the hills crossing several creeks through thick jungle and a small hamlet is reached after 2 hours walk. The group will stay in this area.
Day 12: 8th July - Niukeva village to Okavai village (eta 7 hour walking day)
Today it is a 5 hour muddy walk with one or two canoe crossings. The alternative is to construct a bush-raft at Niukeva 5-6 hours pending on river currents and this will be decided by the Investa Treks guide.
Day 13: 9th July – Okavai village to Lake Kamu Bridge by PMV boat ride
The group will make the final days trek to Lake Kamu bridge where the group will board a boat (1 hour ride). The group will continue to the Main Road from Port Moresby to Kerema, where it will board a PMV, and continue to Port Moresby for the last night at the Gateway Hotel.
At Port Moresby you will be transferred to the Gateway Hotel, where you can enjoy a refreshing shower, clean up and a rest. Be sure to collect all your personal items that you had left at the hotel while trekking.
Trekkers usually meet together for final celebration meal to reflect on the trek, before the trip home the next day. Other Investa Trekkers will also be at the hotel and we encourage the sharing of stories.
Home day: 10th July -
You are free to do as you choose, before being transferred to your flight back to Australia.
Remember Trekkers: Unwanted gear can be left at the Gateway Hotel
before your trek, and picked up when you return.
Spaces Are LImited so Apply Now.
If you have aby questions Contact Us