Take a Virtual Kokoda Track Memorial Walk to the ANZAC Research Institute

The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway is an 800 metre track along the Brays Bay foreshore that acts as a living memorial and site of commemoration for all those who fought for Australia during World War II.

The walkway has been planted with tropical vegetation that resembles the conditions of the original Kokoda Track, and leads to a granite wall memorial bearing images of the Kokoda campaign, then a memorial rose garden; and finally onto the Concord Repatriation General Hospital site, where the ANZAC Research Institute is located.

Join us for a virtual tour along this walkway leading to the ANZAC Research Institute:

The Kokoda Track was the setting for one of the most important battles for Australians in the Second World War. It was fought between July and November 1942, when the Australian Army halted the southward advance by Japanese forces in Papua New Guinea, and were then able to push them back across the mountains. The tropical plants and vegetation used on the Walkway were designed to resemble the Kokoda Track. On the Walkway there are 22 stations where audio, photographs and plaques explain the varying military engagements that took place along the Kokoda Track.

The Kokoda Memorial Walkway Centre Piece is a series of granite walls where images of the Australian New Guinea Campaign have been sandblasted. A cascading waterfall and overlooking bridge accompanies the images. Approximately 625 Australians were killed along the Kokoda Trail, with over 1,600 were wounded. It is estimated that casualties resulting from sickness number over 4,000.

The Memorial Rose Garden consists of a circular brick wall with plaques and a black monument. There are 365 plaques dedicated to service personnel and 52 plaques dedicated to the units that served during the Second World War.

The ANZAC Research Institute is then a short walk along Hospital Road, where there is a statue based on George Silk’s famous photograph of a Panuan man leading a wounded Australian solider. The bronze statue is an original work by Dr. Maryann Nicholls, a former chief haematologist at Concord Hospital. The photograph was taken on Christmas Day, 1942, and has come to represent the sacrifice of Australian military personnel during the Second World War, and the mateship of the ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels’. The angels were Papuan volunteers who assisted in guiding soldiers to safety along the trail.

The wounded private in the photograph was George Whittington, who later died of bush typhus in February 1943. It took many years for the the Papuan man to be identified as Raphael Oimbari. He was later made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

(George Silk’s famous photograph of Private George Whittington and Raphael Oimbari. Taken Christmas Day, 1942, Papua New Guinea)

The word ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers who fought together became known as Anzacs, exemplifying a tradition of service, selflessness and mateship. April 25th was officially designated ANZAC Day in 1916 by Australia and New Zealand. With the start of the Second World War and other conflicts including those of Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq; ANZAC Day has been expanded to include remembrance of all servicemen and women who have given so much to Australia.

The health and medical ANZAC Research Institute was named after and in remembrance of this tradition. It’s mission is to provide leadership and excellence in health and medical research activities throughout Australia, with a focus on aging, to improve the future health and medical care for the Australasian community. In so doing, the Institute will provide a lasting legacy to the veterans and their families who have created the society we have today.

Learn more about the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway.

Donate to the ANZAC Research Institute.

If you would like to do this virtual walk in person, this is the route: