kokoda track melbourne

Kokoda Track Memorial Walk : Training for the Kokoda Trail in Melbourne


Embarking on the challenging Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea requires meticulous preparation, and Melbourne provides a diverse range of training locations to get you ready for this epic journey. In this guide, we’ll explore three key training locations within reach of Melbourne, each offering unique altitudes to simulate the conditions of the Kokoda Trail.

Grampians National Park: High Peaks for Altitude Training

The Grampians National Park, located about 235 kilometers northwest of Melbourne, boasts high peaks reaching up to 1,167 meters. Climb iconic peaks like One Tree Hill to simulate the altitude conditions of the Kokoda Trail. The rugged terrain and stunning landscapes provide an ideal setting for building the physical resilience needed for the challenging trek.

Dandenong Ranges National Park: 1000 Steps Challenge

The Dandenong Ranges National Park, particularly the renowned 1000 Steps Trail, replicates the steep ascents of the Kokoda Trail. Known as the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk, this trail begins at Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground and climbs through gorgeous rainforest walks. With a variety of altitudes along the trail, it provides an excellent opportunity to train for the varying conditions of the Kokoda Trail.

Altitude Variation

As you ascend the 1000 Steps Trail, note the changing altitudes, mimicking the diverse elevations encountered on the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea. This variation adds an extra layer of challenge to your training, preparing you for the altitude changes during the actual trek.

Wilsons Promontory National Park: Coastal and Elevated Terrains

Southeast of Melbourne, Wilsons Promontory National Park offers not only coastal scenery but also elevated terrains. Hike through rainforests, traverse challenging landscapes, and enjoy breathtaking coastal views. Training here will help build endurance for the diverse altitudes experienced on the Kokoda Trail.

Training Tips and Techniques

Altitude Simulation

To better prepare for the altitude challenges of the Kokoda Trail, incorporate altitude simulation techniques into your training. Train at higher elevations when possible, and consider using altitude training masks to simulate reduced oxygen levels.

Strength and Stamina

Focus on building both strength and stamina through a combination of cardiovascular exercises, weight training, and long-distance hikes. The Kokoda Trail demands resilience, and a well-rounded training program will ensure you’re physically prepared for the trek.

Historical Significance

Immerse yourself in the historical significance of the Kokoda Trail during your training. Visit the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk and reflect on the plaques commemorating the bravery and sacrifice of Australian soldiers during the Kokoda Campaign. This connection to history can be a powerful motivator during your actual trek.


Training for the Kokoda Trail in Melbourne is not just about physical preparation; it’s about embracing the historical significance and challenging terrains that define the Kokoda Trail experience. By exploring the Grampians, Dandenong Ranges, and Wilsons Promontory, you’ll not only build the necessary physical endurance but also gain a deeper appreciation for the journey that lies ahead. Lace up your boots, hit the trails, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime on the Kokoda Trail.


Q: What is the significance of the Kokoda Trail?

A: The Kokoda Trail holds historical significance as the location of a significant World War II battle between Japanese and Allied troops. It is now a popular trekking destination for those seeking a physical and historical challenge.

Q: Where can I find training for the Kokoda Trail in Melbourne?

A: There are various fitness centres, hiking groups, and personal trainers in Melbourne that offer specific training programs tailored for the Kokoda Trail. You can also find specialized training events and workshops dedicated to preparing for this trek.

Q: What are some popular trails or tracks in Melbourne for training?

A: Some popular trails and tracks for training in Melbourne include the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk, 1000 Steps Walk, Mount Dandenong, and various walking tracks in the Dandenong Ranges.

Q: When is the best time to start training for the Kokoda Trail?

A: It’s advisable to start training at least 3-6 months before your planned trek on the Kokoda Trail. This allows for gradual conditioning of the body, improving fitness levels, and getting accustomed to walking long distances and varied terrains.

Q: What are some tips for training for the Kokoda Trail?

A: To prepare for the challenges of the Kokoda Trail, it’s recommended to focus on uphill and downhill walking, stamina building, endurance training, carrying a backpack with weight, and practicing walking on rough terrains. It’s also beneficial to seek professional guidance for a tailored training plan.

Q: Are there any specific fitness requirements for training for the Kokoda Trail?

A: While there are no specific fitness requirements mandated for training for the Kokoda Trail, it’s essential to engage in a training program that gradually increases in intensity and duration to ensure that you are adequately prepared for the physical demands of the trail.

Q: How can I access the Kokoda Track Memorial Walking Track from Melbourne?

A: The walk can be accessed from Melbourne by train or car. The trailhead is approximately an hour’s drive from Melbourne and can also be reached by public transportation through Upper Ferntree Gully Station.

Q: What should I consider when training for the Kokoda Trail in Melbourne?

A: It’s important to consider the varying terrains and climatic conditions of the Kokoda Trail. Training in wetter areas, varied elevation, and challenging terrains will help prepare for the actual trail experience. Additionally, understanding the historical significance of the trail can provide the motivation needed for training.

Q: Are there any specific local events or workshops related to Kokoda Trail training in Melbourne?

A: Yes, there are often local events, workshops, and guided training sessions specifically designed for those preparing for the Kokoda Trail in Melbourne. These events may focus on physical training, historical insights, and practical tips for the trail.

Q: What gear and equipment do I need for training for the Kokoda Trail?

A: Essential gear and equipment for training include proper hiking shoes, a comfortable and durable backpack, trekking poles, appropriate clothing, hydration supplies, nutrition, and first aid essentials. It’s recommended to simulate the actual trek conditions during training by using similar gear and equipment.

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