Every year students and staff train and participate in the Kokoda Challenges this is series of events which take place in Brisbane and the Gold Coast in June and July. Students have many options to be a part of our Kokoda Challenge family and may choose to be a part of the 30km, 48km and 96km challenges. In order for this to occur, their commitment to after school training on a Wednesday, as well as a variety of weekend hikes is required in order to ensure students are ready for these gruelling events.


The core values of the Kokoda Challenge are 'Courage, Endurance, Mateship and Sacrifice'. We use these values as the basis for everything we do during training for the event. These events are all about supporting each other through to the end, pushing yourself beyond your limits and achieving something you never thought possible.


The roots of these events lie in the Kokoda Campaign of World War II, and the bravery and sacrifice our Australian Diggers displayed to hold off the Japanese invasion in Papua New Guinea. The part our heroes played almost certainly protected Australia from direct invasion.


Each team that participates in the challenge is required to contribute a minimum fundraising amount to be able to begin. This fundraising money goes towards a youth program named the Kokoda Challenge Youth Program (KCYP). This is a long-term, 14-month commitment whereby troubled or disadvantaged teens are put through physical training and mentoring in preparation for trekking in Papua New Guinea, followed by a period of community service and forming community support networks.


The first two events that our students are able to participate in is open to students from years 7-12 (provided the student is turning 13 or older within 2020.) The 30km event is the Clairre Meredith Cup and 48km event is named the Bert Kienzel Cup. These two challenges will take place in the D'Aguilar National Park, starting and finishing at Brookfield Showgrounds in May or June. This is an all-day event with the 48km teams expected to be hiking into the night. Teams have 20 hours to complete the 48km distance, however our previous Lowood teams have taken roughly 15 hours to complete the course. The 30km teams have 9 hours to complete the event, with previous Lowood teams taking roughly 8 hours. The 30km course, coupled with wide, open fire trails, makes the perfect event for beginners or runners. The 48km course shares much of the 30km course with an extension for those who want a little more of a challenge. 


The final event is the Stan Bisset Cup (15-17 years old) and is the official 96km School Challenge of The Kokoda Challenge on the Gold Coast, held over the weekend of 18-19 July. Named in honour of Kokoda Veteran Stan Bisset MC OAM MID (who passed away in 2010), the course is designed to replicate the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. Students, along with their team leader, will hike for an extended period over rough and steep bush tracks across the mountains of the Gold Coast hinterland. The average 96km team takes roughly 30 hours to complete the event, with the time cut-off being 39 hours. The goal is to finish as a complete team of five in honour of the spirit forged on the Kokoda Track in 1942.


Last reviewed 10 February 2023
Last updated 10 February 2023