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Is it Kokoda Trail or Kokoda Track?

In discussion of the World War 2 campaign in Papua New Guinea regarding fighting along the route across the Owen Stanley Range, which runs from Port Moresby to Buna via Kokoda, there is often disagreement on exactly what to call the route – Kokoda Trail or Kokoda Track.

The current official gazetted place name is Kokoda Trail. This is as used by the Papua New Guinea Government, the Australian Army and the Australian War Memorial.

Before and during the War the route was variously called track, trail and road, and so there seemed no standardised name at the time. Many soldiers during the Kokoda Campaign referred to it as simply “The Track”. According to the Australian War Memorial both Track and Trail are acceptable, although Trail is considered official for the place name and battle honour.

The Library’s Map Collection has World War 2 military mapping and aerial photography of Papua New Guinea. This includes the 1:253,440 and 1:63,360 scale topographic map series produced by the Australian Army.

The Australian War Memorial’s online Encyclopedia has an entry on the Kokoda Trail. There is also a good outline of the history of the Trail, including the issue of what to call it, on the Adventure Kokoda website.

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Last update: 2011-05-19 14:28
Author: General Reference Enquiry