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Kokoda is located in Papua New Guinea
Location within Papua New Guinea
Coordinates: 8°52′40″S 147°44′15″E / 8.87778°S 147.73750°E / -8.87778; 147.73750
Country Papua New Guinea
Province Oro (Northern)
District Sohe District
LLG Kokoda Rural LLG
Elevation 370 m (1,210 ft)
 • Main languages Koiari, Motu
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
Location 55 km (34 mi) WSW of Popondetta
Annual rainfall 5,000 mm (196.9 in)
Climate Af

Kokoda is a station town in the Oro Province of Papua New Guinea. It is famous as the northern end of the Kokoda Track, site of the eponymous Kokoda Track campaign of World War II. In that campaign, it had strategic significance because it had the only airfield along the Track. In the decades preceding, it had been a foothills settlement near the gold fields.

An amphibious landing by Japanese forces to capture Port Moresby, was frustrated by the Japanese defeat in the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942 and postponed indefinitely after the Battle of Midway.[1][2] The Japanese command believed there to be a road leading through the Owen-Stanleys from Kokoda to the south coast.[3] An invasion force was landed on the north coast near Buna and Gona from 21 July 1942. Two battles were fought in and around the village during the opening stages of the Kokoda Track campaign. Kokoda was reoccupied by Australian forces on 2 November 1942, following the Japanese withdrawal back to the north coast.[4]

The station is linked by a rough road and a two-hour journey to the provincial capital of Popondetta.

In August 2009 Kokoda airstrip was the destination for Airlines PNG Flight CG4684 that crashed whilst attempting to land.[5] All 13 people on board were killed in the crash including nine Australian passengers who were due to trek the Kokoda Track, a Japanese passenger and three Papua New Guineans including the two pilots.[5][6]

The name 'Kokoda' was well known to many Australians after World War Two.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ * Bullard, Steven (2007). Japanese Army Operations in the South Pacific Area New Britain and Papua Campaigns, 1942–43. translator. Canberra: Australian War Memorial. p. 57–61. ISBN 978-0-9751904-8-7. 
  2. ^ * Horner, David (May 1993). "Defending Australia in 1942". The Pacific War 1942. War and Society. Canberra: Department of History, Australian Defence Force Academy. pp. 1–21. ISSN 0729-2473. 
  3. ^ Bullard 2007, pp. 95.
  4. ^ *Anderson, Nicholas (2014). To Kokoda. Australian Army Campaigns Series – 14. Sydney, New South Wales: Big Sky Publishing. ISBN 978-1-922132-95-6. 
  5. ^ a b "No survivors in PNG plane crash". News Online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2009-08-12. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  6. ^ "'No survivors' at PNG crash site". BBC News. 12 August 2009.