Returning from completing the Kokoda Track last week, eight Gladstone men chose to pay their respects by completing the same track as their ancestors. (L-R) Mick Smith, Jason Smith, Andrew Smith, Dave Smith, Troy Millers, James Maroske, Mitch Upton and Alf Gudgeon.
Returning from completing the Kokoda Track last week, eight Gladstone men chose to pay their respects by completing the same track as their ancestors. (L-R) Mick Smith, Jason Smith, Andrew Smith, Dave Smith, Troy Millers, James Maroske, Mitch Upton and Alf Gudgeon. Brenda Strong

Gladstone men walk Kokoda trail in lead-up to Anzac Day

KOKODA was the time when war came knocking on Australia's doorstep. Now, eight Gladstone men have paid their respects by following in their forefathers' footsteps.

Embarking on an eight-day expedition to the rugged terrain of the jungle in Papua New Guinea, the young men chose to travel the historic Kokoda trail as close to Anzac Day as possible.

They returned to Australia last week.

Andrew Smith said the journey had been challenging and rewarding.

"Most days were pretty hard," he said. "We decided to do Kokoda to pay our respects with a bunch of mates."

The group attended the Gladstone Anzac Day dawn service wearing their team shirt which read 'Walking in the footsteps of heroes'.

For Troy Millers, the trek was a humbling experience.

"I can't narrow it down to one highlight," he said. "The trip was a very humbling and emotional experience."

The young men agreed undertaking the Kokoda Track was an experience they would carry with them for the remainder of their lives.



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