Phillip Tolley

We have used Kokoda Track Experience for three years now, and each trek has been wonderful. Each trip we have taken 8 – 12 colleagues all who have thoroughly enjoyed their time on the track, and valued the support and encouragement given by Tim and Lore as guides. Nothing has been too much trouble, and they really go the extra mile to make sure every trekker has a memorable experience.

- Phillip Tolley, September 19, 2015

John Hughes

Mervyn Hains of Kokoda Track Experience runs an excellent Kokoda Trail sevice. I walked the Trail in August 2011 with 17 other trekkers and it was one of the high points of my 60 years. Merv met us in Cairns and welcomed us to his house to meet his family. He then led us on our 8 day trek to Kokoda. His local knowledge and rapport with the porters meant that we were safe, well supported and entertained along the trail.

His preparatory information and guidance ensured we all trained hard, planned our medical programmes and arrived with the proper kit. Merv has an affinity with the sacred history of the Trail and this was evident throughout. We all, I believe, were changed and moved by following the route of the original diggers, ably led by Merv and supported by his porters. I would not hesitate to recommend Merv to other trekkers and have done so already.

John Hughes

- John Hughes, April 17, 2012

Phillip Jackes

Phillip Jackes

Regards Merv,

Just a short note of thanks for the experiences I have gathered over the last few days. As Deb and I have traveled and trekked through many continents and countries I think I can speak about our Kokoda Track trek, with some authority.

We were very fortunate to be able to do such a trip considering what our ancestors did to ensure that we could. A special place, but made even better with the selection of guides and porters. Although I only spent a small amount of time with you, seeing what you did for Tom and what you have done for the villages in terms of water movement was and is substantial. And as for Dave, you would struggle to find a better character to guide you on such a trip. His compassion and patience was extraordinary, and his knowledge of the goings on and atrocities of Kokoda was so informative, he often had us in the palm of his hand.

We were also blessed with the quality of your porters and native guides. The choice of Peter and Arnold as leaders is very wise decisions. But across the board I managed to interact comprehensively with all the local men, trying to explore their backgrounds, and am a better person for my meeting with them. Andrew spent much time teaching us some local music, Bishi for a first timer was awesome, Kenny, Chilean the character, Simon, Jake, Nelson, and all the other boys (very humble and loyal to the trip) were just great to be with. I have many photos, some sad, many happy of the boys and when published would love them to be sent to them.

If there is any way in which I can help from Brisbane, I would love to, be it an informal informative session with potential trekkers, or anything, please do not hesitate to ask. Just today I bought 2 more books on Kokoda, “Retreat from Kokoda” and “The Spirit of Kokoda”. I certainly have the Kokoda bug!

I will ensure that anyone I know utilizes your company, and will pass on your details to interested parties.

Thanks again Merv for the wonderful experiences

Phil Jackes

- Phillip Jackes, October 3, 2008

Lee Morrison

Lee Morrison

Hey Merv,

Just wanted to say how grateful I was to be part of such a wonderful experience. After the shock of the first day I can truly say I enjoyed every day of the trip - even the mud. I know it was only a very small glimpse of the conditions that the diggers had to endure but it gave me a much better appreciation of the formidable task they had in front of them. I was really touched by how giving the porters and locals were - especially for people that have so little. I was well taken care of by my porter Vagi (vargee - I believe) & felt he took great pride in doing so.

I really miss the stunning views of the untouched mountains of PNG but especially the simplicity of our days and nights. I'm looking forward to an escape to the wilderness again closer to home (soon as I buy some new boots and my knees recover !) to recapture some of that peace.

Thank you for sharing some of your personal war time experiences with us.......they were genuinely very interesting and particularly helpful in trying to understand the veterans that we assist.

So thanks again - and to Rhonda for all her hard work behind the scenes.
If Rhonda e-mails me the contact details of the lady with the baskets I'll pass it on to my girlfriend in cairns who is happy to purchase me one.

It was a pleasure to meet you & walk with you. It was an experience that will always be with me. Fondest regards & take care - the people of PNG are fortunate to have your help.

- Lee Morrison, August 3, 2008

Russel Shatford


During my time on the Kokoda Track I can’t speak highly enough about the support that I received from Merv, John his assistant and Tom my porter. Due to a physical mishap they ensured that my experience on the Track was not only enjoyable but that I completed the trek.
The organization, assistance and general running before, during and after was first class and made a taxing undertaking satisfying and very rewarding. The mood within our Group was always congenial which was a testament to Merv’s friendly disposition, experience and knowledge of the Track.
All in all this was an excellently run adventure that I would recommend to anyone who is looking at walking the Kokoda Track.

Trust this finds you well, regards to all.


- Russel Shatford, June 3, 2008

Colin Baldwin

Colin Baldwin

If you’re reasonably fit or can get fit,
If you’d like some adventure and a challenge,
If you have some mental toughness,
Do yourself a favour,
Walk the Kokoda

- Colin Baldwin, April 3, 2007