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The Kokoda Campaign occurred between July and November 1942. The fighting took place along a narrow, rough path that crossed over many rivers and streams in the jungle and the 2,000 metres high Owen Stanley Mountains. There were no detailed maps of this route; it was formed from numerous tracks that linked remote and isolated villages deep within the jungle.

The battle was fought along the length of the track and can be divided into two main phases. In Phase 1 of the battle the Japanese pushed a small defending Australian force from Kokoda Village back to Imita Ridge near Port Moresby. During phase 2 a large attacking Australian force retook all this lost ground from the Japanese.

The Kokoda Memorial Walk describes both phase 1 and phase 2 of the story. The first plaque, Owers' Corner, at the bottom of the hill marks the precise point in time where phase 1 ends and phase 2 starts. So the text on each plaque describes both the Australian withdrawal (phase 1) and the Australian advance (phase 2) in the Kokoda campaign. Read the details of each phase carefully.

Emerging from the narrow track, which is dark and over hung by dense jungle the men are immediately challenged by yet another difficult river crossing. Soldiers and carriers overcame these obstacles with care and teamwork.


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