The Kokoda Youth Foundation is a registered charity and non-profit organisation that runs Australia’s toughest team endurance event ‘The Kokoda Challenge’. The Kokoda Challenge raises funds for Aussie kids who participate in our experiential programs that engage and inspire them to reach their full potential. Not only will this event change your life, it will also change the lives of Australian youth!
Learn more about how your participation changes lives by clicking HERE
KEEPING THE KOKODA SPIRIT ALIVE
We aim to spread awareness of the heroic defense of Australia against imminent invasion and the spirit of our young soldiers by instilling the Kokoda values of Courage, Endurance, Mateship and Sacrifice into the community of today. These timeless Kokoda values still have a profound impact on individuals and are the basis of a healthy community.
Saturday 14th of October 2023.Your team will start on Saturday and will have 20 hours from the start time to get to the finish line, which may mean they will be walking through to the early hours of Sunday morning.
CUT OFF DATE
FUNDRAISING: Fundraising is due 1 week before the event
TEAM CHANGES: Teams must be finalised 4 weeks before the event
Turning 13 the year of the event
START TIME AND LOCATION
48km teams will start at 7:30am. The start/finish line will be held at Cooranbong Equestrian Park locacted at 38 Kings Rd, Cooranbong NSW.
Teams can consist of 3 or 4 people
OPEN 48km - $1000 for 4 person teams, $750 for 3 person teams
SCHOOL 48km - $500
WHAT TO EXPECT AT OUR START/FINISH LINE
We recommend that you arrive at the start line a minimum of 30 minutes before your start time, or an hour if you haven't picked up your team hasn't picked up their event pack from pre-registration. This will allow you enough time to park, take some photos, take part in the ANZAC memorial service and hear from Vietnam Veteran and Founder of the Kokoda Youth Foundation Doug Henderson.
YOU DID IT! You've just spent hours helping your team on their journey through the Olney State Forest! An announcer will call out your teams name and each team member will be presented with dog tags.
There is hot food and drinks available for purchase, so you will finally be able to kick back, relax and reflect on the journey that was the Kokoda Challenge.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
As this is Australia's toughest team endurance event, we do have to implement some rules and regulations to ensure everyone's safety and security. We also need to make sure our event can run smoothly, and this can only be achieved with your help! Please familiarise yourself with the following points:
All 48km teams MUST start with 3 or 4 people.
All SCHOOL teams must have 4 student competitors, and ONE leader
If a team member needs to drop out at any time, this must be done at a checkpoint (if safe to do so). If a member cannot make it to a checkpoint, please call the emergency number on your race bib for a safe extraction from the track. All team members must wait for the removed member to be extracted safely before continuing the challenge. Teams can continue one man down to a team of three. In the event that there are only two members left, they must either join another team or withdraw from the event.Teams of 2 will not be allowed to continue.
WALKING AS A TEAM
You must walk as a team, you only walk as fast as your slowest team member. If at any point, your team is found to be walking separately or if you are found to have left a member behind at any point, your team will be instantly disqualified. We are a TEAM endurance event, our events are all about leaving no team member behind, racing ahead to achieve your own personal best does not align with the values of the Spirit of Kokoda.
ATTENDING EACH CHECKPOINT
You are tracked at every checkpoint to ensure you do not go missing or attempt to take any “shortcuts”. To successfully finish our event, you must go through every checkpoint with your team. You cannot leave the event and resume it at a later time. Any team found taking short cuts will be disqualified.
The minimum fundraising amount must be met by the cutoff date, or your team will not be able to participate in The Kokoda Challenge. The reason our events exist is to raise funds for our Kokoda Youth Programs, we would not be able to operate without the donations raised from this event.
WAIVER FORMS AND PERSONAL DETAILS
Every team member must complete their online registration and waiver to be able to compete in The Kokoda Challenge.
SUPPORT CREW REGULATIONS
Support crews are to meet their teams ONLY at support crew checkpoints. If teams are found meeting their support crews outside of designated areas, the team will be instantly disqualified.
We ask that teams please be mindful of others when walking with a portable speaker. While some people may enjoy listening to music, others may prefer taking in the sounds of nature during the trek.
COURSE MAP AND ELEVATION
Your maps are now ready and can be viewed and downloaded through AllTrails via the link below:
WHAT IS A SUPPORT CREW?
Your are your teams saving grace throughout the 48km challenge. You provide your team with support at designated checkpoints along the track and are the key to finishing the challenge. Behind every great team is a phenomenal support crew
SUPPORT CREW ARE VITAL TO A TEAM’S SUCCESS AND ARE AN INTEGRAL PART OF ANY SUCCESSFUL TEAM.
Congratulations on being asked to be a part of the Kokoda Challenge as support crew! Ideally you give food, changes of clothes, medical attention and much needed encouragement to your team. The checkpoints you will be visiting to assist your team will be the bright points through their event experience. However, it is a big commitment so it is important to make sure you not only have the time to be available on the weekend, but also the enthusiasm to keep your team motivated and will encourage them though the tough times
ALL SUPPORT CREWS MUST BE REGISTERED WITH US
At least one member from each support crew must register their details with us . If your details change (ie. the support car you are using is changed, or support crew members change), don't worry! All details will be reconfirmed on the morning of the event. Register your details via the link below! (scroll down the page until you reach the "register my details" section):
Preperation is the key to success when it ocmes to support crews!
before the event weekend, you should knwo the in's and out's of how your support crew checkpoint will run.
Please familiarise yourself with the following points for guidance:
• Be sure you have met with your team and created a support crew plan PRIOR to the event weekend!
• Only competitors in the 48 Kokoda Challenge require a support crew
• Use the meeting agenda on the next page to ensure you’ve covered all topics to ensure you know where to meet, approximately what time to meet, what food to bring and more
• Look into apps such as Find My Friends or Live360 to track your team as they are walking, being mindful that they will be in and out of reception. We will also provide you with a link where you can track when they check into checkpoints
• You will need to get each competitors belongings before event day or at the start line if you’re droping them off. We recommend having a tub for each team member.
• Please note there is no limit to how many people are in your support crew but you are only allowed one car per support crew at the checkpoints. Some checkpoints have limited parking, we don't want teams to miss their support crew!
• When your team pick up their event pack at pre-registration, there will be a support crew car parking pass in this pack which will give you access into the support crew checkpoints.
• Plan to have at least one support crew member at the start line to attend the briefing after competitors have set off on their adventure, this is mandatory for support crew to attend
• Our event must respect the day users visiting these beautiful locations
WHAT IS A SUPPORT CREW?
A support crew is the saving grace for teams throughout the 48km challenge. They provide teams with support at designated support crew checkpoints along the track and are the key to finishing the challenge. Behind every great team is a phenomenal support crew!
WHEN DO I GET MY SUPPORT CREW CAR PASS AND WHAT IS A SUPPORT CREW CAR PASS?
Each support crew will be provided with a support crew car pass to put on their car dashboard. This will allow your car access into support crew checkpoints. On this pass, you will write your cars registration number. Each support crew is allowed ONE pass. Support crews found copying or sharing passes to have more than one car in the support crew checkpoint at one time will have their teams immediately eliminated. If you are using different cars in different checkpoints, simply cross out the registration number once you are done with vehicle A and then write the registration number of vehicle B.
Passes are received during kit collection and are packaged with the participants race bibs.
WHAT DOES A SUPPORT CREW DO?
Everyone’s support crew is different, but most provide the following at major checkpoints: a hot meal if you have a portable gas stove (warm soup or curry is very popular) or sandwiches, strapping and medical attention, refill water packs and re-pack backpack with essentials, provide a change in equipment (fresh socks, different clothes, walking poles etc) and most importantly they encourage you to keep going!
WHAT CHECKPOINTS DO WE ACCESS OUR TEAMS?
Support crew checkpoint information and addresses will be released soon! You will access your team around the half way point.
DO ALL 48KM TEAMS HAVE TO HAVE A SUPPORT CREW?
YES. All 48km teams must have a support crew.
HOW BIG OR SMALL CAN A SUPPORT CREW BE?
A support crew can be as big or small as you like! However please note that at each support crew checkpoint, only ONE car will be allowed into the designated support crew area as we have limited space available. We suggest a support crew of 4 or 5 people!
WHEN IS THE SUPPORT CREW BRIEFING?
The support crew briefing will be available online. This will be released with the event briefing video 1-2 weeks out from the event. It is compulsory for all support crews to watch this video. Support crews will also have the ability to ask questions to our event staff at the start line of each event if needed.
- If you meet your support crew outside of the designated support crew checkpoints, your team will be disqualified unless permission is granted by event organisers.
- Support Crews are discouraged to arrive at checkpoints more than 20 minutes before their team is due to arrive. Work out a plan with your team to communicate their ETA.
- Support Crews must bring their own toilet paper at checkpoints as none will be provided.
- The Kokoda Challenge is an environmentally friendly event. Support Crews MUST remove and dispose of all rubbish. There will be no rubbish bins provided.
- Strap your team’s feet and sensitive areas BEFORE blisters and chaffing occur.
- Only one Support Crew Vehicle of standard size is permitted per team (NO Trailers or campervans allowed). Vehicles are to park in the designated parking area. Please keep your driving speed down to 5km/h.
- A $5 cash donation will be required at all the support crew checkpoints. All donations are provided to the volunteering local organisation or community group, not the Kokoda Youth Foundation.
- Support Crews are encouraged to visit local attractions and cafes in between meeting their teams to support the local communities.
Our Eco Policy
LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS, TAKE ONLY PHOTOS
We are all so incredibly lucky to be living in such a naturally beautiful country; let's keep it beautiful! Much of The Kokoda Challenge course will wind through national parks or state forests where it's very important to respect the the flora and fauna by being considerate of the following:
Yep, even your banana peels and mandarin skins count as littering, don't be a tosser! These food scraps only decompose unless composted properly and can also negatively impact the native wildlife and plants, take ALL rubbish with you.
If you don't want to carry around rubbish with you then consider unwrapping your muesli or protein bars before you get to the event and store these instead in reusable containers.
Our food and drink vendors will be offering discounts for those who BYO keep cups, tell your support crew to bring theirs and yours as well to help reduce the impact on the environment and your wallet!
CONTAINERS FOR CHANGE
You can help us reduce our carbon footprint by putting all 10 cent containers in the bins marked CONTAINER FOR CHANGE. Not only will this stop all your recyclables from going into landfill, but all the money from your bottles will be donated to the Kokoda Youth Foundation to help us help more young people.
Event weekend - checkpoint information
IF YOU MEET YOUR TEAM OUTSIDE OF THE DESIGNATED SUPPORT CREW CHECKPOINT'S, THEN YOUR TEAM WILL BE DISQUALIFIED
START LINE: 48KM TEAMS WILL START AT 7:30AM. THE START LINE WILL BE HELD AT COORANBONG EQUESTRIAN PARK LOCACTED AT 38 KINGS RD, COORANBONG NSW.
- Only one support crew car is permitted per team
- Park is the designated parking bays.
- Parking will be $5 per car at the start line, all funds will donated to a local community organisation
- Once the 48km competitors have set off at 7:00 am.
- After competitiors have left, we encourage support crew to visit local businesses as there is no accessing your team until the support crew checkpoint
- Please advise there are no pets permitted at the event
- There will be a coffee van at the start line and a cafe across the road
CHECKPOINT 3 SUPPORT CREW CHECKPOINT: UNWIND ESCAPES LOCACTED AT 1577 Dooralong Rd, Lemon Tree NSW 2259.
- You will need the car pass that was in your team’s event pack to enter this car park
- You will be asked to return the car pass upon leaving the checkpoint.
- Please do not arrive more than 1 hour before your team arrives. They will walk past a sign that will prompt them to message you to let you know to leave if you are at the start line.
- It takes approximately 25 minutes to get to the checkpoint from the start line.
- Please follow the directions of our volunteers
- Please respect this area: do not play loud music, take all rubbish with you, leave your pets at home and respect other day-users
NOTE: $5 parking per support crew car applies at this checkpoint. Have your support crew bring along some cash as EFTPOS is not accepted, these funds will be donated to the community organisation running the support crew car park and not the Kokoda Youth Foundation.
FINISH LINE: COORANBONG EQUESTRIAN PARK LOCACTED AT 38 KINGS RD, COORANBONG NSW.
- Invite along all the family and friends you can to cheer your teams accross the finish line!
- Parking will be $5 per car at the start/finish line.
- Please advise there are no pets permitted at the event.
- There will be a coffee van, BBQ and treats vendor at the start/finish line.
- Come along and cheer the teams across the finish line as they collect their commemorative dog tags, to recognise the journey they have just completed!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
The 48km course treks across many different types of landscapes. The weather can also change at the blink of an eye, so you need to make sure you are prepared for all possible changes in weather or personal circumstance. The items on the compulsory list are to be always carried. Those on the recommended list are to be carried at your own choice.
Please ensure you are prepared with ALL of the following compulsory gear:
- Head torch and spare batteries
- Ability to carry at least 2 litres of water at all times - either a water bladder or water bottles (Please arrive with full water containers!)
- Mobile phone
- All competitors MUST download the Emergency Plus app
- Race bib
- Day backpack
- Reflective safety vest that MUST be worn at night and when crossing roads
- Hat and sunscreen
- Pealess whistle in case of emergencies
- Water shoes (or waterproof hiking boots) for safely crossing flowing creeks
- Roll of toilet paper and a shovel (in case you're stuck between checkpoint toilets) (one per team)
- Personal first aid kit (yes, everyone needs their own! Be sure this carries all essential needs in case you are to get separated from your team at any time)
The following items are not compulsory, but are HIGHLY recommended:
- Walking poles
- Gloves, beanie and thermals (it can drop as low as ZERO degrees on the track, plus wind chill!)
- Waterproof/windproof jacket
- Portable phone charger
- Back up head torch
- Spare pair of socks
- Small lightweight microfiber towel to dry your feet after creek crossings or before re-strapping
- Blister packs
- Instant heat pads
DISCOUNTED GEAR AT ANACONDA STORES
We're excited to have Anaconda on board as our equipment partner again in 2023! To celebrate, Anaconda are offering all Kokoda Challenge teams exclusive discounts on the best outdoor equipment. Download your discount flyer below and redeem at your local Anaconda store to ensure you have all the right gear to get you to the Kokoda Challenge finish line!
TEAM MEMBER TUBS
We suggest that every team member prepare a labelled box, tub or bag with the necessary supplies they may need upon reaching the support crew. To ensure that they have everything they need, they may want to consider including the following items in the tub:
- Spare socks
- Spare clothes
- Warm clothes: beanie, gloves etc for when it gets cold at night
- Hi-vis vest
- Head torch and spare batteries
- Stock up on snacks
- 10L of water
- Anti-inflammatory, paracetamol or any other medication
EVENT PACK COLLECTION
Before your team can take on The Kokoda Challenge, you will need to collect your team's event pack. This pack contains your teams race bibs (you can't start without these!), official event t-shirts, your support crew car pass plus some goodies from our partners!
You can either collect your event pack at pre-registration the day before the event or you can collect the morning of the event. We highly recommend collecting your event packs the day before the event to avoid rushing around on event day. You can have someone collect your event packs on your behalf, all they will need to do is let the volunteers know at pre-registration when they arrive that they are collecting on your behalf. For all the details regarding pre-registration and collecting your event pack on the day of the event, please book below:
KOKODA CHALLENGE PARTNERS
THANK YOU TO OUR GOLD SPONSORS:
And to our other valued partners:
TRAIL GAITERS AUSTRALIA
Use code TGKOKODA10 to get 10% off all funky and functional full priced gaiters. Trail Gaiters are fun, stylish and groovy lightweight stretch lycra gaiter that covers the top of your shoes when out trail running, walking or any outdoor activity.
A SPECIAL MENTION ALSO TO:
Getaway Trekking: who have kindly donated a free trip to our highest fundraising team
SPORTOGRAF: Sportograf photographers will be stationed throughout the course to capture your special moments. Keep an eye out for our photographers and don't forget to smile! Photos are protected with passcode: KokodaLM2023
Spring Waterman: who donated ALL of your water and has been doing so for over 15 years
KOKODA YOUTH PROGRAMS
The Kokoda Challenge events exist not only to provide your team with a mental and physical challenge, but also to raise funds for our life-changing youth programs that mentor kids in our local community.
DIGITAL DETOX PROGRAM
Our Digital Detox camp is fully funded by the donations raised through The Kokoda Challenge events, meaning we can provide the experience to kids completely free of charge so any 12-14 year old can take part, no matter their background.
This is an opportunity for kids to disconnect from technology and become more conscious of their relationship with their devices. Run onsite at our outdoor education facility Kokoda Park, this 7-day camp includes a series of adventure-based activities such as the high ropes course, rock climbing wall and giant swing, combined with educational workshops that teach mindfulness, breathing, yoga, journalling and more.
Submit an application to join the program or learn more ↓
KOKODA CHALLENGE YOUTH PROGRAM
Also fully funded by the donations raised through The Kokoda Challenge, the KCYP is a 9-month journey that will see 14-16 year olds hike the 96km Kokoda Challenge, adventure to Borneo to trek the Sandakan Memorial March and give back to local organisations through community service.
This program delivers increased social connections, a deeper understanding of the 1942 Kokoda Campaign and Australia's involvement in WWII, fostering connections in the local community and the opportunity to learn resilience and realise their full potential.
This program delivers a range of benefits, including strengthened social connections, a deeper understanding of the 1942 Kokoda Campaign and Australia's involvement in WWII, fostering connections in the local community and the chance to develop resilience and reach their full potential.
Submit an application to join the program or learn more ↓
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
This six month, regional school-based program is for students in Grades 8 and 9 who are losing interest in their ongoing education and at risk of exiting the schooling system.
The program operates one day a week and combines three months of physical training for the 48km Kokoda Challenge, whilst challenging kids to break through their pre-set beliefs and personal limits.
This is followed by three months of community service providing students with the opportunity to make a difference in their local area through positive contributions and connections.
KOKODA PATHWAYS PROGRAM
This school-based program is for senior students who feel they are at a crossroads with their education and future employment. Often they may be at risk of disengaging from school or family life, or experiencing a lack of direction and motivation.
The students will be mentored in the skills needed for workplace readiness in a range of careers, while also learning a range of social and personal development skills through adventure-based learning and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).
1942 KOKODA campaign HISTORY
The Kokoda Campaign was a significant military operation that took place during World War II in 1942, between the Japanese and Allied forces, mainly Australian and Papua New Guinean troops. The campaign aimed to secure the Kokoda Track, a vital route connecting the northern and southern coasts of Papua New Guinea, which the Japanese intended to use to invade Australia.
The campaign began in July 1942 when the Japanese landed at Buna, Gona, and Sanananda on the north coast of Papua. The Australian forces, who were vastly outnumbered, were pushed back along the Kokoda Track towards Port Moresby, suffering from disease, starvation, and exhaustion. However, they managed to hold off the Japanese advance, and after several months of intense fighting, they were able to push the Japanese back to the north coast.
The campaign was fought in some of the most challenging terrain in the world, with the troops facing dense jungle, steep mountains, and treacherous rivers. The Australian and Papua New Guinean troops showed remarkable resilience, bravery, and resourcefulness throughout the campaign, which was a turning point in the Pacific War.
The Kokoda Campaign was a significant victory for the Allied forces, as it prevented the Japanese from establishing a foothold in Papua New Guinea and ultimately thwarted their plans to invade Australia. It also highlighted the importance of the Australian and Papua New Guinean partnership and the critical role that indigenous troops played in the campaign.
Read more about Kokoda Veterans who our school cups are named after: