Map showing Kokoda Track

Australian Army Field Survey Section, 2nd, Kagi-Naoro area1942, nla.obj-234327141

During the World War II campaign in Papua New Guinea, there were a series of battles between the Australians and Japanese 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 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.

Other websites that have information about Kokoda include:

  • The Australian War Memorial’s online Encyclopedia has an entry on the Kokoda.
  • There is also a good outline of the history of the Trail on the Adventure Kokoda website.
  • The ANZAC Portal hosted by the Department of Veterans' Affairs has information on the Kokoda Track
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