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The Kokoda Challenge 2 mins read
The Kokoda Challenge returns to Lake Macquarie

The Kokoda Challenge, annual charity event that honours the legacy of the Australian Diggers who fought in the Kokoda Campaign during 1942, is returning to Lake Macquarie on Saturday 12th October, 2024. Last year the event saw 500 people hike distances of up to 48 kilometres, raising over $90,000 for local youth programs.


Teams of 2-5 people will traverse through Olney State Forest and Watagan National Park, some choosing to trail run the 18km, 30km, and 48km course that consists of over 1,400 metres of elevation. Organised by Australian charity the Kokoda Youth Foundation, the event is set to attract even more teams this year to take on the trails in support of its mission to change the lives of Australian youth through mentoring programs.


Since the event's inception in 2004, the funds raised as part of The Kokoda Challenge have helped to change the lives of hundreds of youths across Australia through self-discovery programs, while also encouraging disengaged youth to remain in the education system.


Kokoda Youth Foundation Founder and Vietnam Veteran, Doug Henderson said the Kokoda Youth Programs are about providing disadvantaged and disengaged youth with the appropriate tools to realise their full potential by instilling the values of the Kokoda Spirit; Courage, Endurance, Mateship, Sacrifice.


“With one in ten Australian youth at risk of disengagement from education and employment, programs like this are vital in continuing to safeguard the future of Australian children,” said Doug.


“Being involved in something like The Kokoda Challenge gives ordinary Australians the chance to make a life-changing difference in a young person's life.


“It doesn’t matter if you’re an avid hiker, new in your fitness journey, or someone who just enjoys the occasional walk—the event is open to all levels of experience and we encourage you to register, donate and join us for an unforgettable 20-hours,” said Doug.


"Building on the success of last year's event in Lake Macquarie, this year we will be hosting a Digital Detox Program in Coffs Harbour on 6-13th October for NSW kids aged 14-16," said Chris Emert, manager of the youth program. "This fully-funded, 8-day adventure camp will combine challenging outdoor activities with mindfulness techniques such as breathing and meditation, helping children understand the impact of technology on their mental health and develop skills to manage their relationship with devices.”


Hikers and trail runners battle relentless hills and walk through the pitch-black night all to support the Kokoda Youth Foundation on their mission to change the lives of kids in our community. The event will commence with a commemorative service to honour Kokoda veterans along with all other men and women in service.


School and open team registrations are now open online at


Kokoda Challenge Lake Macquarie

Event date: 12th October, 2024

Distances: 18km, 30km and 48km

Registration costs: team registrations fees start from $170

Start time: from 7:30 am

Location: Cooranbong Equestrian Park near Lake Macquarie


For more information and to register your team in the Kokoda Challenge, visit:  

Contact details:

For more media information, please contact:

Amy Puckeridge

Event Marketing Officer

(07) 5539 4141


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