the kokoda challenge

18km sunshine coast

18km SUNSHINE COAST KOKODA CHALLENGE

Start Time

11:00 AM

9 hours to complete

18km through imbil state forest

Minimum age to register 18km kokoda challenge

9yrs old (or turning 9 the year of the event)

1 checkpoint

no support crew

The Kokoda Challenge is a tribute to all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the 1942 Kokoda Campaign. It is an opportunity to make a huge impact in your community through fundraising for local youth programs, and is the ultimate test of your own mental and physical ability.

In 2023, the average finish time for 18km teams was 5 hours and 18 minutes with the fastest team coming through in 2 hours and 53 minutes and the lucky last team rolling through in 8 hours and 19 minutes. With an 11:00am start time, this means some teams will be walking after the sun has set and the cold has well and truly set in.

Don’t let the fact that the 18km is the shortest distance in the Sunshine Coast Kokoda Challenge trick you into thinking that it’s easy, because it most definitely is not!

The total elevation of this course exceeds 800 metres and the highest peak is over 450 metres, so you can imagine how steep some of the inclines and declines are!

While this distance attracts a large number of trail runners, the 18km Sunshine Coast event is still predominantly filled with hikers. It is tough, but is very much achievable, especially with your team beside you. We believe that change does not come from your comfort zone and therefore, if you want to achieve something great, you must be willing to push yourself past what you think you can endure. As the name suggests, this is supposed to be a challenge after all. 

We also wouldn’t be doing the name Kokoda much justice if this were a leisurely stroll through Imbil State Forest. This event is designed to emulate the real Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea that took the lives of thousands of Aussies during the Kokoda Campaign in 1942.

At the start line, you will stand in silence with thousands of other hikers and runners as the bugler plays The Last Post, an integral part of each and everyone of our events. You’ll also be standing not far from where many soldiers trained in the Blackall Ranges before being deployed to New Guinea. 

This is a community event that will see you raise funds for local youth programs, you’ll even spot our ‘Kokoda Kids’, as they’re affectionately known, walking the course alongside you. It is an event designed to test your grit and is unlike any other endurance event, as you’ll be taking every step with your teammates beside you.

Explore Sunshine Coast 18KM MAP

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18km SUNSHINE COAST KOKODA CHALLENGE

The Kokoda Challenge is operated by the Kokoda Youth Foundation, we are a local charity that exists to mentor local youth in the community through our experiential youth programs. Through our events, your team will fundraise for our 'Kokoda Kids' and honour Australia's Veterans.

George Palmer shaking the hands of a Kokoda Kid in the Kokoda Challenge Youth Program