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AFL Footy Show hosts launch Do Kokoda campaign

April 28, 2014 Tourist Boards No Comments Email Email

010Australian AFL legends and the hosts of Channel Nine’s AFL Footy Show, Sam Newman and Garry Lyon, have joined forces with Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA) to launch the destination’s new “Do Kokoda” campaign, to coincide with ANZAC Day.

ANZAC Day has been selected for the launch of the new campaign due to the high significance Kokoda has for many Australians when remembering the sacrifice of their ANZACs.

The two Footy Show hosts recently trekked Kokoda for the first time to understand the challenges and triumphs undergone by others and produced daily diaries of their experiences during the eight day trek, in the form of webisodes and blogs.

002Their accounts of their Kokoda journey are available for others to view and share on the dedicated campaign microsite – www.dokokoda.com. Stories from the trek include Sam and Garry’s  special relationships they formed with their porters, how out of his depth Sam appears when dealing with the jungle and the gradual but obvious change in attitudes of both men from the beginning of the trip to the end. These stories will form part of an inspirational community platform, created to motivate others to share their Kokoda stories.

003In addition to the testimonials from past trekkers the site includes links to established Kokoda trek operators, FAQs about trekking Kokoda, information on how to donate to the Kokoda Track Foundation to support communities along the track, as well as an opportunity for those who submit their stories to win a trip to Tufi Resort in PNG.

Peter Vincent, Chief Executive Officer of PNG Tourism Promotion Authority, says the launch of the ‘Do Kokoda’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the rich history and stories behind Kokoda, as well as the wealth of experiences to be encountered along the track.

004“The Do Kokoda campaign and microsite have been designed to provide information and inspirational accounts that will encourage more Australians to take on the challenge of Kokoda as well as highlight the important and positive impact tourism has on local communities along the track,” Mr Vincent said.

“Thousands of people trek through the jungles of Owen Stanley Ranges in the footsteps of heroes and our hope is to encourage more Australians to the do the same.”

After trekking the Kokoda track, Sam Newman said he was blown away by the entire experience stating it was the hardest thing he has ever done.

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“It was tough, there’s no doubt about that, but the whole trip was so memorable – from the wild jungle along the track to the World War II history and especially the porters. Our porters, the local boys, were unbelievable,” Sam said, “I wouldn’t have made it the whole way without them.”

Garry Lyon said the trip had more of an impact on him than he had expected and he’s looking forward to sharing his experiences with others.

“We captured some amazing footage along the way for our daily diary accounts which will feature on the new “Do Kokoda” website,” said Garry.

012“There’s plenty of moving moments where Sam and I are struggling and learning about the history of the track but there’s also a lot of very funny parts to check out as well. You put Sam in a jungle and there’s bound to be some funny moments!”

To encourage Australians to submit their stories and testimonials on the “Do Kokoda” site, PNGTPA is offering those who upload their Kokoda story a chance to win a seven night boutique adventure for two at TUFI Resort valued at over $7,000. Entries need to be submitted between now and 1 November, 2014 via www.dokokoda.com/stories/submit-and-win.

To view Sam and Garry’s videos from their time on the track and to learn more about Kokoda visit www.dokokoda.com.

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