Day 8 – Isurava Guest House to Deniki

March 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Forbes to Kokoda & Back

This morning we were all keen to get moving as it was the last full days walk we had and not far away was something we all wanted to see. As we got closer to the Isurava memorial sight we came across Cons rock. This was used as a field hospital operating table. No bigger than a home office desk but flat. Sadly many soldiers must have suffered on that rock. Next to the rock on a plaque embedded in a rock marks the spot where Butch Bissett died from wounds from the battle up ahead. I got a photo there as I had taken the shot of his grave site back at Borma cemetery. The Battalion HQ must have been just back from this site but we missed it. You can understand that because the track was no wider than 2 or 3 men all along there.

Then just around the corner and Isurava Memorial appeared in front. This was the most famous battle of the track but I’m sure all the battles were famous (or should I put infamous) for the Aussie losing mates in each battle. It’s amazing how quite people become when at a place like this. One minute laughing and making jokes next nothing. I’m sure it’s the same everywhere by everybody, just the built in radar you have when you know when to show the respect to the people who deserve it. I just felt very honoured and yet humbled yet again like back at the cemetery just to be standing on their ground.

We spent at least an hour there reading the stories, just taking in all it had to offer. We went down to Kingsbury’s rock (VC) and got a group photo. There is a plaque there at the rock giving the history of Bruce Kingsbury and the reason he was award the Victoria Cross. He gave his life to do so.


Kingsbury’s Rock.

Kingsbury’s Rock.

The Isurava Memorial. It is a magnificent sight. Simple, no great statues of specific men of the time. Just four stones, with the words, that would mean so much to the diggers of the time.

The Isurava Memorial. It is a magnificent sight. Simple, no great statues of specific men of the time. Just four stones, with the words, that would mean so much to the diggers of the time.


Behind the memorial in the V of the hills is the Kokoda valley. That is cloud down in the valley below our height.

A group photo at the memorial, then time to move on.

From here we wound our way around the ridges, through more coco vines then you will see in a lifetime.
In and out of the forest, a lot of little creeks coming down across our track. We started meeting a lot of walkers coming back from Kokoda villages, from school and carrying supplies. For them it’s only a few hours walk, for us a days walk.

Then as Scotty and Milto and I topped the rise the porters started giving us a big cheer Oro Oro Oro as they had done the other boys coming in, this was it the last camp. What a welcome. You could see the Kokoda airfield down in the distance. We were there almost. We all waited to give Tractor a big welcome in which we did. The porters thought it was great.

We all settled in and relaxed. We went back down the track 100 meters to the water supply had a shower, washed some clothes and took it easy. Josh got a game of Texas holdem going with matches for money.
We sat back and looked out over the valley to Kokoda and all the villages and talked about all the things that we got up to. Some of the porters came over and pointed out their villages and what they did to make a living. Its not Kokoda the town, but Kokoda the valley, and lots of villages.

Mike and Cheryl gave us a two up set before they left. So I got that out and gave it to Harry to get a game going. That was a lot of laughs. They soon picked up the style of the game, and could through the pennies ok. They caught on quick with the punting; we used the pack of cards for money. Horis threw 5 heads to clean everybody out to finish the game, so I gave him the two up set. He thought that was great. I bet there still playing in his village

Every body hit the sack not long after dinner as they were keen to get down the hill and party the next day.

Story written by Ian Bown of Forbes

For more pictures visit the Kakoda Gallery


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