Over the years as the number of trekkers travelling the Kokoda Trail has grown, so have the standards of how the trail should be operated. More and more operators have decided to place more emphasis on giving back to the villages and communities that the trail passes through. With this idea in mind, many companies have decided to allow the trekkers to choose a much more intimate experience within the culture of the numerous Papua New Guinea villages along the trail.
These new practices include hiring local villagers who have expert knowledge of the trail to be porters as well as practicing ecotourism in terms of causing less damage to the trail and the plants surrounding it. This practice not only includes travelling in smaller groups as a means to prevent more of the track from being trampled but also involves staying in native housing developments instead of tearing down parts of the jungle to build large campsites.
Many campsites exist along the trail outside and inside the villages, but there are also guesthouses and trekker huts that travellers can choose to stay in as well. These modest dwellings are typically smaller buildings designed for a few people to use at once. They are constructed and operated by the natives who charge trekkers a small and reasonable fee per night, which helps fund the micro-economy of the small villages along the trail. These huts & guesthouses are typically raised from the ground and have windows with no glass. The huts still offer protection from the rain as the ceiling and walls are waterproof, made from woven dried palms from the trees in the area. Many of their owners provide trekkers with fresh produce grown from their own gardens.
These huts and guesthouses vary in size and shape from village to village, but offer travellers with a truly unique and authentic Papua New Guinean experience, while providing them with a well-deserved good night’s rest.