Behind the News - Episode 24

The Kokoda Challenge

The Kokoda Track

The Kokoda Track was first hiked during the Second World War, 1942. It was to prevent the Japanese from invading Australia and is now walked to raise money for trauma research. As Australian soldiers fought there, you would see trenches and rusted weapons scattered along the trail today. You shouldn't expect to find any facilities, as there are no electricity or shops. The track is only undertaken by the fittest and determined of bushwalkers, and is around 96km long and is located in Papau New Guinea.

At only 18 yeas old, Chloe participated in the Kokoda Challenge. This is pretty impressive, as 16 months earlier she had suffered brain, stomach and limb injuries as a result of a tragic car accident. She was told that she would stay at the hospital for nine to ten months, but, despite that prediction, she was dismissed after three months of her admittance.

Soon after her leave, she was confronted with another challenge- the Kokoda Track. Many of the doctor that had aided Chloe in her recovery were attempting the challenge to raise money for the hospital's trauma research, so Chloe and her father joined in to show her gratitude for their help when she was in hospital.

When she saw the arch, the sign of the finishing line, Chloe was elated and couldn't believe it. Although she was estatic, she couldn't help but talk about the pain she was suffering. "Just my whole lower limbs, my hips, my knees, my ankles, everything, just absolutely it's excruciatingly painful."

According to some web sources, the Australian and Papau New Guinea governments are considering seeking a World Heritage listing to ensure the preservance of the Kokoda Trail and its environment.