Kokoda Challenge

Lake Macquarie


12 OCTOBER 2024



Starts From -




Click on the distance you’re interested in for further information regarding start times, entry fees and more

Soldiers at the Lake Macquarie Kokoda Challenge start line

Tackle the Kokoda Challenge! Register Now

Register Now

LAKE MACQUARIE’s Newest AND Toughest Charity Event

The Kokoda Challenge is returning for another year in Lake Macquarie!

Setting off in the hills of the quaint town of Cooranbong, your team can choose to traverse the 18, 30 or 48km course through the stunning Olney State Forest and Watagans National Park. 

Why these distances, you ask? Well, 18 + 30 + 48 = 96km, which is the distance of the real Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. 

While most of our competitors choose to hike the courses, our events also attract a large number of trail runners. Given the steep elevation, most of these teams will hike the inclines and trail run down the mountains and flat sections of the tracks. Others will run the entire way and compete for the illustrious winners’ medals and school cups named after Kokoda Veterans. 

But The Kokoda Challenge is not about winning, it’s not about beating your personal best or charging ahead of your team, in fact this will actually get you disqualified! The Kokoda Challenge is all about making it to the finish line with your entire team, that’s the most important thing! You’re only as fast as your slowest team member and you leave no one behind. 

That’s precisely what our Diggers did back in 1942 during the Kokoda Campaign in Papua New Guinea and that is the meaning of ‘Kokoda Spirit’ – courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice.


Unlike most other events, The Kokoda Challenge is run by the Kokoda Youth Foundation (KYF), not an event company. We are an Australian registered charity that exists to provide experiential youth programs for local kids free of charge. Your team will be allocated a fundraising page where you will be required to raise funds for the KYF so we can continue to change the lives of Aussie kids, just like we have been doing since 2004!

Our mission is also to educate more Australians about our nation’s history with our involvement in the 1942 Kokoda Campaign. It is an extraordinary story of young, undertrained and ill equipped soldiers that defeated highly advanced Japanese forces in their attempt to seize Australian soil in New Guinea during WWII. It is our mission to ensure the story of these brave men lives on, and so too does the legacy they left behind. 

Before you register your team, it’s important to know that this is not just a walk in the park! Our maps are very intentionally made to include steep inclines, river crossings and other extreme conditions to give you a glimpse of what our Australian Diggers experienced on the real Kokoda Track. However, the Kokoda Spirit is ultimately about perseverance in the face of adversity and doing so with your mates beside you. That is the Kokoda Spirit and that is what will get your team to The Kokoda Challenge finish line. 

The Kokoda Challenge is, as the name suggests, indeed a challenge! We believe that change doesn’t come from your comfort zone, so if you want to push yourself mentally and physically, then you must be willing to take on what the mind is telling you is too tough. 

Through this event, you will prove to yourself that you are capable of more, you will raise funds for local youth programs and honour our Veterans in a very special way



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