Alma O’Donnell

Trekkers Camp At Good Water


Alma O'Donnell

The team would have been woken this morning by Alma's choice of wakeup music.

Dad (Bernie) called at 7pm tonight. At that stage, only three of the trekkers were still up; clearly the 3 hours of walking today has them all tuckered out!

They departed their Port Moresby hotel at 8am yesterday, and were at Bomana War Cemetery by 9am. They then headed to Sogeri with the hope of catching up with Morris; he wasn’t there, so they were directed elsewhere, but he wasn’t there either so they headed off to McDonald’s Corner to see the statue, and then got to Ower’s Corner by 11.30am. At Ower’s, they had lunch and took photos. While they were there, two other groups came in.

They then headed off at 12.30pm, crossing a waist-deep Goldie River after the initial tricky downhill. The group set a good pace today, with no-one falling behind. There were 4 minor falls as the track was a bit slippery, and there was also some ‘gloopy’ mud. There has been light rain on and off since 4.30pm. In a puzzling move, Anne is sporting hot pink gaiters – although they’ll likely be a fetching shade of mud brown by this time tomorrow (which is probably for the best, really).

As the Track is quite busy, there were two other groups already camped at Good Water when the K12s arrived, so they didn’t get the best camping spot and having only a small shelter. But all four toilets have seats, and the trekkers have all had a wash in the nice little creek followed by a lovely dinner of fried chicken and potato. The porters have been singing for hours, and even have a guitar with them, so it looks like the K12s will be kept well-nourished from an aural perspective.

They had a couple of briefings today – Bernie managed to explain World War Two in 8 minutes and the Kokoda campaign in 2 minutes, and Steve did an excellent talk on army organisation (explaining what a brigade is etc.) The group has many of the same porters as last year. For those of you for whom this means anything: Corina has Kenneth again, Bernie has Koi, Anne is partnered with Robin, Brenton is with Artie again and Alma’s porter is the charming Paul, who was Michelle’s porter last year (it remains to be seen if Alma will be similarly showered with flowers).

Tomorrow, the K12s will be awoken by Alma’s chosen wake-up music by 5am. They’ll be walking by 6.45am, heading up a reportedly very muddy Imita Ridge. They’ll then criss-cross Ua-Ule Creek and head to Ioribaiwa, where they plan to be staying tomorrow night.

We’ll get another update through to you whenever we next hear from Bernie (if at all), but in the meantime remember you can send through your messages of support by email ( or text (0438 293 602) to me, or by posting a comment to the blog page.


If you wish to support Alma’s fundraising efforts you can visit her sponsorship website at

Alma’s Top 10 Tips for Kokoda

1: Take your time
2: When its hard to breathe and you want to give up : stop: take three deep breaths and then 100 more steps

Alma with Village kids at Ioribaiwa

3: Check your pockets before sitting in the rivers

4: Hide your cutlery ( from me!)
5: Pack a sleeping bag for less than 15 degrees
6: Talk to the locals
7: Play games with the children
8: Give your porter snacks or coke , when you have them
9: Get to know 5 things about your porter
10: It’s OK to cry , smile & laugh all at once






Team Member – Alma O’Donnell

Alma on the Kokoda Track

Alma on the Kokoda Track

“Vulnerability is the true measure of courage” ….

This is my third consecutive year to commit to the “Gift Of Time Appeal”, Kokoda Challenge .  The “Gift Of Time Appeal”, has helped to keep close to our hearts the families of vulnerable children with disabilities, and their courageous life journey. Over the years of fundraising for Auricht House I have been privileged to experience the true strength of community.

Young children from Dominican Primary school and  Nazareth College and high profile professional woman such as Senator Anne McEwen, Justice Margret Nyland and Anne Skipper AM have shown such wonderful community strength in coming together to support  Auricht House families.

As I walk the track this third and final year, I  will pay tribute to  those brave and courageous men, women and “Fuzzy Wuzzy’s” who, 70 years ago, fought such a treacherous battle on the Kokoda track.

If you wish to support Alma’s fundraising efforts you can visit her sponsorship website at

Centacare Adelaide
Centacare Adelaide

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