Deciding to trek the Kokoda Track is the easy part, the next step for most people is to conduct some operator research in order to decide upon the best provider to meet your individual requirements. As is the case for most trekkers, it is important that you choose a provider who understands the terrain intimately, has a safe track record and the experience needed to get you across the track safely, all while having fun!
In making the decision to embark on a Kokoda Trek in Papua New Guinea, we understands that you will likely have a whole myriad of questions, regarding the operator, the likes of:
- What is their safety record like?
- Are they currently registered with the KTA as a Licensed Operator?
- Do the people that own the business lead treks?
- Does the operator have Public Liability Insurance?
- How are their emergencies managed?
- Does the operator provide FREE Training Walks?
- Is the operator easily contactable?
There are a number of companies you could travel with and in recent years the number of providers has grown significantly. While there are many good operators, each has a different focus and it’s important to create a working relationship with someone who gets what a your goals and requirements are.
With the increasing popularity of this trek, sadly there has also been an increase in medical evacuations and injury with many other operator. The Kokoda Trail is not an easy trek; preparation on all fronts is not only essential, but your responsibility. The best operators will provide resources to assist in training; Adventure School Treks offers FREE monthly training walks in 3 locations – Melbourne, Adelaide and Cairns. In other areas, detailed training and nutrition guides will be provided, and AST team members will remain in touch on an ongoing basis to provide support.
Choosing an adventure travel company for a your trek can certainly be daunting, but to help make the research a little easier, answers have been provided to the below questions regarding AST:
Getaway Trekking & Adventures (GTA) is committed to ensuring our clients safety both on the track and ‘in country’. All of our leaders are Wilderness and First Aid trained. If needed, all staff can make stretchers. We carry satellite phones with direct contact with the evacuation helicopter & medical assistance, and we are in regular contact with our office.
Our National Trek Master and Trek Manager ensure all trekkers safety in crossing rivers and difficult areas. General safety on the track is excellent and the risk of incidents is very minimal. For example in our years of operation, we have recorded only eight emergency evacuations, which were caused as a result of gastro, migraines, knee injuries and dehydration.
We have a comprehensive Risk Management manual that all leaders are familiar with. If an unfortunate event does occur, we have well-developed procedures and strategies to protect the well-being of the patient – and of the group.
All Kokoda Trek Operators need to be registered with the licensing body, the Kokoda Track Authority. If the operator you are speaking with cannot provide verification of their registration, you should be asking why!
Trekking businesses will often employ experienced trek leaders, we do too, but we also get out on the track a few times a year at least. That way we are sure the information we are providing you with is current and relevant at all times.
It’s also a means of quality control. That doesn’t mean that our leaders aren’t great at what they do, but when you’re trekking in remote areas there’s no room for complacency and the buck stops with the principals! We need to ensure that procedures are being followed, our culture is being protected and our food and equipment is up to scratch.
As an example, our food menu was totally overhauled after one of our principals led a trek in August 2012. (She’s fussy, but her motto is, if she’s not happy, you may not be either!)
Public liability insurance for trek providers is incredibly expensive, but absolutely necessary. Getaway Trekking has a policy worth $10M, and covers a range of risks, with the major ones being property damage and personal injuries caused to our clients as a result of our business activities.
N.B. A copy of our current certificate can be provided on request.
We have well established protocols for dealing with medical emergencies. Please refer to our Emergencies page for a detailed outline of how we manage emergence situations. You should ask the operator you are speaking to if they can provide their emergency situation protocols.
Over the years we have developed training programs in various locations. Our leaders are always out training – it’s part of our lifestyle! We offer monthly training walks in Melbourne, Cairns and Adelaide and you are most welcome to come along. We also have leaders in Brisbane who will be happy to walk with you. There is no cost – we simply want to help you have the best preparation possible.
A good Operator will be as concerned about your preparation as you are and it’s important you can stay in regular contact. Getaway Trekking can be easily contacted via our Toll Free number: 1300 979 088, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, through the enquiry form on this website or via our Facebook page. We aim to reply to all enquiries within 24 hrs or sooner if possible.