Follow in the footsteps of Australian soldiers with these war history trails designed to honour the fallen.
WWI Queenslander Challenge, 100km, various locations and dates
Legacy/Soldier On/Whiskey's Wish and Executive Excellence Events have joined forces to bring you a unique opportunity to commemorate the sacrifices made by the brave men and women of Queensland with the WWI Queenslander Challenge. Participants will be walking in the 'FOOTSTEPS OF OUR FOREFATHERS' as the diggers marched in column formation as they moved into the next strategic position in preparation for battle. Mates will be tested side by side in this challenging 100km trek through rugged terrain.
Participants will carry a commemorative brick representing the fallen soldiers of WWI. This brick, engraved with the name of one of the 6967 fallen soldiers who called Queensland home will be used to form part of a new memorial at Woodford RSL dedicated to Queensland ANZACS and commemorating the 100 year anniversary of WWI.
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1,000 Steps, Kokoda Track Memorial Walk, Dandenong NP, Vic 5km/2hr
Made in honour of the notorious PNG trail, the 1000 Steps Kokoda Track is located in Dandenong NP and is only suitable for the physically fit. Constructed in the late 1900s, walkers will find plaques laid throughout the track describing and illustrating the lives of those who fought and died on Kokoda.
After conquering 1000 steps from Ferntree Gully, walkers reach One Tree Hill picnic ground, where they can rest after the struggle they experienced and reflect on the tremendous hardship the soldiers lived through. This is physically draining, short war history walk that doesn’t require you to leave the country.
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Anzac Walk, Gallipoli, Turkey 30km/1-2 days
Enabling travellers to explore this beautiful but tragic landscape, the Anzac Walk stops at the main areas Australian soldiers fought on the Turkish front in WWI. Shipped to Gallipoli under the Allies’ campaign, the Anzac soldiers fought to capture the Turkish forts that aided the German war effort. Starting on North Beach, where the 11th Battalion disembarked from their boats under fire from the awaiting Turkish soldiers, the trek continues with various steep inclines and leads walkers to 13 stopping points before finishing at a spot overlooking North Beach.
Visual material and historic info are found on various stopping points throughout the walk, showcasing authentic voices of the men that fought in Gallipoli. Rated medium grade, the Anzac Walk is long with steep inclines and designed to be taken leisurely. Trekkers can take their time to sit and read about the short accounts of daily life and death on Gallipoli.
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Circuit of Remembrance, Peronne, France 64km/2-3 days
Resulting in a renowned number of Allied casualties in WWI, this route follows the notorious Battle of the Somme in 1916. With both forces at a stalemate, the failed Allied campaign involved crossing no-man’s land to penetrate German trenches, resulting in massive casualties as the Germans were prepared to fight the incoming soldiers. Signposted with an image of a poppy, the track begins at Peronne and stops at 12 important sites surrounding the battle.
It takes hikers to the Villers Bretonneux’s Australian Memorial, winds through numerous individual battle sites, and towns occupied by different forces, and leads trekkers to the Tower of Ulster where the 36th Battalion was the only party to successfully make it through German lines, losing 5 000 soldiers lives. Concluding in the town of Albert, the trail can be completed in the opposite direction, with the assistance of local guides.
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Kokoda Track, PNG 96km/ 8-10 days
The infamous Kokoda Track is one of Australia’s most significant WWII campaigns. Within seven months, hundreds of Australians had fought and died in PNG as they tried to defend and hold back Port Moresby from Japanese capture. Walking in the footsteps of the Australian soldiers, the Kokoda Track commences from Owers’ Corner, and continues through the Owen Stanley Range. Climbing over steep ridges, trekkers make their way through deep valleys before passing through Brigade Hill, where a major battle was fought.
The track makes its way to another battle at Isurava, before reaching the end of the track, 400m above sea level at the Kokoda station. The track is a difficult walk with steep gradients through dense rainforest and high temperatures. Prior training and a medical examination is highly recommended before commencing. The track can also be started from the opposite end, or halfway at Efogi.
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