Kokoda Pilgrimmage Will Help Save Lives Here At Home

A nine-day, 96km trek through dense jungle retracing the footsteps of Aussie soldiers certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted. But for Jenny Townley, it offers a life-changing adventure and a fantastic physical challenge.

Jenny and her partner Phil Burnham have registered for The Trek to Save Lives: Kokoda 2017 to raise money for RACQ CQ Rescue. Organised by Inspired Adventures, the trek along the iconic Kokoda Track will see a small group of about 12 walkers in August 2017 traverse Papua New Guinea’s harsh wilderness, taking the same path as our troops once did, and making their way across the country exploring tropical rainforests and mountainous terrain.

One of the world’s great treks, linking the southern and northern coast of Papua New Guinea, the Kokoda Track promises to be an inspiring challenge and a real test of fitness, Ms Townley said.

The Kokoda Trail was the site of bitter fighting between Australian and Japanese armies during the early days of the war in the Pacific in World War II.

Ms Townley, who is the Manager of CQR Health and has a passion for bushwalking, bike riding and the outdoors, said the fundraising trek appealed to her as it combined fitness and adventure and most importantly, raised money for a cause very close to her heart.

“I’ve always been involved in physical fundraising like charity fun runs and the Rio Tinto River2Reef Ride, so I’m really looking forward to that feeling of accomplishment of conquering the Kokoda Track but also knowing that I’m helping to raise funds for RACQ CQ Rescue’s life-saving service,” Ms Townley said.

“I’ve hiked previously but I expect this to be more challenging as well as incredibly rewarding. It’s also kindled my interest in the history of the trail and retracing the footsteps of Aussie soldiers and given me a real appreciation for what they endured,” she said.

The trek landscape included rugged mountainous country of rainforest, jungles of fern, orchids, various wildlife and clean mountain streams as well as the unique opportunity to visit unspoilt villages along the track and to be welcomed by tribespeople.

“Kokoda is a great opportunity to raise much-needed funds but also to be challenged physically and mentally - I’m really looking forward to meeting the rest of the team and enjoying great camaraderie during what promises to be a life-changing and exhilarating experience.”

Ms Townley is already researching the Kokoda Track and planning her trek training regime. She hopes to complete some other treks including the Great Whitsunday Walk before the tour departs for Kokoda next year.

“I really encourage others to join us – you too can challenge yourself and discover the rugged beauty of Papua New Guinea and retrace the footsteps of Australian history,” she said.

“Your efforts will also help ensure RACQ CQ Rescue can continue its aeromedical and search and rescue services here in this region which is so vital to those in dire situations.”