Five Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) rangers are helping prepare the historic Kokoda Track for its 75th trekking campaign.
The Queenslanders will work with rangers from Papua New Guinea, the Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) and local villagers to help prepare the famed track for trekking season.
The rangers are Dave Fuller and Carol Kinnaird from Cairns, Nick Smith from Atherton, and Alex Tessieri from Cardwell. Stuart Johnson from Toowoomba will depart from Brisbane.
The contingent will perform 10 days work on the track under a memorandum of understanding signed between the Queensland and PNG Governments.
National Parks Minister Stephen Miles said an agreement had also been signed with the Australian Government to help fund the project.
“The Kokoda Track is such a significant part of PNG’s and Australia’s wartime history, and the work is also a chance to learn skills from each other,” Mr Miles said.
Principal Ranger Dave Fuller is proud to be involved in what he sees as an important project.
“It’s a great thing to be involved in, for conservation and as a way to assist the people of PNG,” he said.
QPWS Acting Executive Director Northern Parks and Forests James Newman said all the rangers were looking forward to the task ahead.
“They know this will be no holiday, and that working conditions along the track will be similar to a lot of our Queensland Wet Tropics tracks in monsoonal conditions,” Mr Newman said.
“But the biggest part of the experience will be at night when they stay in villages, eating local traditional foods and sleeping on the floor in traditional huts.
“I’m proud that our rangers will be sharing their expertise, learning from local rangers and helping the KTA to maintain a safe, well-managed track that honours the historical significance and protects and promotes its special values," Mr Newman said.